Day of the cello

Principal cello Bruno Delepelaire on the merits of his instrument

Bruno Delepelaire, first principal cello of the Berliner Philharmoniker
(Photo: Sebastian Hänel)

There are many ways to discover the cello. For Bruno Delepelaire, first principal cello of the Berliner Philharmoniker, it was his grandmother who, at the age of 52, began to learn the string instrument and inspired her grandson with her enthusiasm. “I love how the cello sings,” says the musician. If you don’t have a cello-playing relatives but are nevertheless interested in this instrument, then the Day of the cello, held by the Landesmusikrat Berlin in cooperation with the Berliner Philharmoniker Foundation on 14 October in the Philharmonie’s chamber music hall, is perfect for you.

Delve into the world of the cello

The event opens with the family concert by the 12 Cellists of the Berliner Philharmoniker, in which Bruno Delepelaire and his colleagues from the cello section present a colourful and entertaining musical programme. Anyone who thinks after that “you have to be a professional musician to have fun with the cello” will soon discover otherwise: no matter whether professional or amateur, whether a fan of Early or New music, the presentations, exhibitions, concerts, workshops and lectures give a comprehensive insight into the possibilities of the cello, the 2018 instrument of the year. Very young music students can be heard playing the first, simple pieces, and you can marvel at the abilities of the students of the Academy of Music Hans Eisler Berlin, Berlin University of the Arts and the Barenboim-Said Academy already possess. You can watch over the shoulders of luthiers and find out about the construction of the instrument or you can even receive your first lessons from experienced music school teachers.

Ideal for chamber music

For Bruno Delepelaire, his contact with the cello was a turning point in his life. But even people who don't aspire to a career with the Philharmoniker can – as the cellist says – only benefit from the string instrument: “The music is mainly about fun and feelings and you do not need to be a professional for that. Since the cello part is often less virtuoso than that of the violin or the piano, one can quickly become involved in ensembles and enjoy making chamber music.”