An Interview with Benedict Kloeckner, Cellist
The multiple award-winning German cellist Benedict Kloeckner opens Harrogate International Festivals’ Sunday Series in 2018…
Harrogate International Festivals’ Sunday Series, now in its 25th year, has built an astounding legacy of bringing the finest classical musical talent from around the world to Harrogate.
It begins this January with cellist Benedict Kloeckner and Japanese pianist Momo Kodama. The recital features a rare combination of these two world-class musicians playing Schumann and Chopin.
Audiences can expect a performance that features, says Benedict: “A variety of emotions ranging from moments of pure beauty and magic to moments of absolute despair. Pieces which move in a very deep way. I am really happy to play these pieces with Momo Kodama, she is one of the most outstanding pianists of our time. A real poet on the piano, her wide range of sound colours, and noble delicate approach never ceases to amaze and touch me.”
It will be his first time in Harrogate, somewhere he says he’s looking forward to visiting and discovering.
Born in 1989, the 28 year-old first fell in love with the cello aged 8, when his brother began playing in a piano trio, and his job was to turn the music pages. His devotion is complete, citing his cello as his most valued material possession. “It is a very beautiful instrument from the 17th century.” A fan of The Smiths, The Beatles and Adele, alongside Schubert and Chopin, it was strong mentors, including András Schiff, who encouraged him to pursue a career in music.
The first cellist who inspired him was Jaqueline du Pré with her recording of the Elgar cello concerto. A piece of music that “never ceases to move me deeply.”
For those who are a bit intimidated by classical music, how would he convince new audiences to come along?
“Firstly I would show them some cool classical YouTube videos and then tell them that neither a suit nor detailed musicologist knowledge is required to come to the concert. However, no words can convince as well as the music itself so I would just ask them to come and give it a try with the optimism that they will enjoy and return!”
Benedict Kloeckner and Momo Kodama will perform on Sunday January 21 at The Old Swan Hotel, Harrogate. Book online at harrogateinternationalfestivals.com Box Office: 01423 562 303.
Images: Marco Borggreve