2018 is the year of the cello! The Landesmusikrat Berlin has named the deep string instrument as “Instrument of the Year”. The patronage of the project, which was presented at a press conference in the Hermann-Wolff-Saal of the Philharmonie, will be taken on by the 12 Cellists of the Berliner Philharmoniker. And with good reason: after all, they are the only symphony orchestra cello section that has also became world-famous as an independent ensemble. “Playing the cello is a lot of fun, but you pay for it in sweat,” said Ludwig Quandt, first principal cello of the Berliner Philharmoniker. “It challenges you artistically, physically and meditatively.”
For the next 12 months, the cello will be less of a solo instrument than an ensemble one. The Berlin senator for culture Klaus Lederer demonstrated just how quick it can be as an inexperienced player to be able to participate in the ensemble: he received his first cello lessons from Ludwig Quandt and then, together with his teacher and three other of the Philharmoniker’s cellists, was able to play Paul Lincke’s march Berliner Luft. “I’m delighted that the 12 cellists have taken on the patronage and want to focus on working with music school ensembles. The 12 Berlin music schools, which I have been responsible for since 2017, are important to us in this city. And step by step, we want to strengthen them.” The Landesmusikrat Berlin has been working with the Schleswig-Holstein Landesmusikrat since 2010 to appoint an instrument of the year with the aim of raising the instrument’s profile and popularity.