Cello Unwrapped takes a bow

  • Classical & Jazz
Cello Unwrapped takes a bow


Wed, 28/12/2016 - 11:08


Ayanna Witter-Johnson
28 December, 2016

HOMAGE to the beloved, beguilling cello is being paid throughout the coming year in a major Cello Unwrapped celebration at the Kings Place arts venue in King’s Cross. 

More than 30 of  the world’s finest cellists are performing in nearly 50 recitals and chamber concerts with talks and workshops thrown in for good measure.

The series opens on Saturday’, January 7,  with “a glittering conversation across time” involving Vivaldi, Tchaikovsky, Ravel and Britten pieces performed by Alban Gerhardt and the Auroro Ochestra.

The series ends on Saturday December 16 (2017) when seasonal French and English music is being performed by Oliver Coates with award-winning ensemble Tenebrae.

 “The line-up of great cellists performing in the series includes meastri Christoph Richter, Pieter Wispelwey, Raphael Wallfisch and Antonio Meneses,” says Peter Millican, chief executive of Kings Place. There’s exciting new talents like Nicolas Altstaedt, Gautier Capucon, Natalie Clein and Laurea van der Heijden.

“Further, ‘alternative’ cellists Zoe Keating, Ernst Reijseger and Ayanna Witter-Johnson (pictured) are performing as is BBC Young Musician of the Year, cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason.” 

The Cello Unwrapped series involves a journey starting at instrument’s earliest beginnings and the prism of Bach’s mind and the dazzling concertos of Vivaldi, Boccherini and Haydn, says Millican. 

The journey moves through the instrument’s Romantic heartland into the ground-breaking visionary works of the 20th and 21st centuries.

“But that’s only one stream of the cello’s strory,” says Millican. “We also present the instrument in new and unusual contexts with world-class singers, with choirs – and cello choir! – with Indian musicians, tango band, folk duo and jazz ensemble.

“And we're presentring the cello in ways you’ve never  heard before, with electronics, prepared piano, multi-tracked, improvised, distorted and amplified.”

• Tickets from £9.50 online savers, 020 7520 1490, www.kingsplace.co.uk/cello-unwrapped

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