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Cello Unwrapped

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Cello Unwrapped

  • Cello Unwrapped

    Throughout 2017

    Cello Unwrapped

    Over 40 concerts, insight events and workshops exploring the cello through Baroque, Classical, Romantic, contemporary, folk, jazz, electronica and beyond...
    Read moreBook Tickets

  • Maya Beiser: New York Cello

    10 Feb

    Maya Beiser: New York Cello

    American cellist and producer Maya Beiser performs works written for her, including Steve Reich’s scintillating Cello Counterpoint, and Golijov’s multi-layered Mariel...
    Read moreBook Tickets

  • Gautier Capuçon & Frank Braley: Colours of a New Century

    15 Mar

    Gautier Capuçon & Frank Braley: Colours of a New Century

    Gifted young artist Gautier Capuçon and pianist Frank Braley pay homage to the legendary recitals of Rostropovich and Britten...
    Read moreBook Tickets

  • English Chamber Orchestra & Nicolas Altstaedt: Haydn Cello Concerto No.1

    19 May

    English Chamber Orchestra & Nicolas Altstaedt: Haydn Cello Concerto No.1

    Compelling young Franco-German cellist Nicolas Altstaedt performs Haydn’s dazzling First Concerto with the English Chamber Orchestra...
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  • Natalie Clein: Bach Through Time

    2 Nov

    Natalie Clein: Bach Through Time

    ‘Mesmerising’ cellist Natalie Clein presents the fourth and fifth cello suites alongside 20th century reflections by Bloch and Kurtág...
    Read moreBook Tickets



The ninth edition of our now award-winning Unwrapped series features more than 30 great cellists, from legendary masters Christophe Coin, Pieter Wispelwey, Raphael Wallfisch, Antonio Meneses and Christoph Richter, exciting talents like Gautier Capuçon, Nicolas Altstaedt, Jean-Guihen Queyras, Alban Gerhardt and Leonard Elschenbroich, ‘alternative’ cellists Zoe Keating, Ernst Reijseger and Maya Beiser, to our youngest artist, winner of BBC Young Musician of the Year, Sheku Kanneh-Mason.

Cello Unwrapped takes us on a journey from the instrument’s earliest beginnings through the prism of Bach’s mind, the dazzling concerti of Vivaldi, Boccherini, CPE Bach and Haydn to its Romantic heartland and into the ground-breaking, visionary works of the 20th and 21st century. But that’s only one stream of the cello’s story: we present the instrument in new and unusual contexts, with world-class singers, with choirs – and cello choir – with Indian musicians, tango band, folk duo, jazz ensemble, Spanish guitar, in its continuo role, with electronics, prepared piano, multi-tracked, improvised, distorted, amplified, cello in ways you’ve never heard it before.

The exceptional creativity of our cellists has inspired so much of this series, we hope you’ll follow them, to the New York loft of Arthur Russell’s Tower of Meaning, presented by Oliver Coates and the London Contemporary Orchestra, to Nicolas Altstaedt’s new work with Hauschka, Lost, from the tour de force that is Kodály’s Sonata to Messiaens ecstatic meditation, from solo Bach to the soulful blues of Ayanna Witter-Johnson.

‘The more I hear in [Hall Ones] adaptable surroundings, the more I’m inclined to think it may be London’s best classical venue. Which is good, given how many delectable programmes lie ahead in Cello Unwrapped’s year-long box of unearthly delights.’ ★★★★★ David Nice, The Arts Desk

‘The acoustics of Hall One at Kings Place – among the best of any London concert hall – are particularly sympathetic to the cello. The year-long extravaganza, Cello Unwrapped, curated by Helen Wallace, takes place therefore in the ideal venue.’ Barry Millington, ★★★★ Evening Standard

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Music

Tango Band feat. Adrian Brendel, Joanna MacGregor, Martynas Levickis, Thomas Gould & Adriano Adewale

Friday, 10 March 2017 - 7:30pm / Hall One

Joanna MacGregor and Adrian Brendel are joined by violinist Thomas Gould, accordionist Martynas Levickis and percussionist Adriano Adewale for a programme of classic tango and its myriad musical tributaries.

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Music

Narek Hakhnazaryan & Oxana Schevchenko: Russian Soul

Saturday, 11 March 2017 - 7:30pm / Hall One

Charismatic young Hakhnazaryan, gold medallist at the 2011 Tchaikovsky International Cello Com-petition, is in demand the world over. Here he presents a very personal programme reflecting his Armenian heritage and the Russian tradition in which he was brought up.

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Exhibition

British Violin Making Association: Players Meet Makers

Sunday, 12 March 2017 - 10:30am / Kings Place

Makers’ Day is the British Violin Making Association’s annual showcase of over forty cello, violin and viola makers, bow makers and associated trades displaying their instruments & bows – the best of new making in the UK throughout. At 1.15pm, a quartet will perform a concert on instruments selected from those on display.

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Interact, Music

Beyond Cello II – Workshops with Ernst Reijseger, Ivan Hussey, Hannah Marshall, Shirley Smart and Kate Shortt

Sunday, 12 March 2017 - 10:30am / St Pancras Room

Back by popular demand and celebrating the new Beyond Cello division of the London Cello Society, we bring you once again another Beyond Cello event, a provocative and radical vision of cello playing with diverse talents in the world of ‘alternative cello’.

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Music

Beyond Cello II – Concert with Ernst Reijseger and Shirley Smart

Sunday, 12 March 2017 - 4:00pm / Hall Two

An unforgettable one-man show full of enchantment and surprises, Ernst Reijseger takes his listeners on a journey that is part cello and part dream world. Shirley Smart’s performance includes music from both her duo and trio projects, which weave jazz, classical and contemporary influences.

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Music

Beyond Cello II – Cabaret with Hannah Marshall, Ivan Hussey, Shirley Smart, Kate Shortt & BirdWorld

Sunday, 12 March 2017 - 7:00pm / Hall Two

An adventurous evening cabaret of star cellists from the UK – Hannah Marshall, Ivan Hussey, Shirley Smart and Kate Shortt – who explore a wide variety of styles, including comedy.

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Music

Gautier Capuçon & Frank Braley: Colours of a New Century

Wednesday, 15 March 2017 - 7:30pm / Hall One

Gifted young artist Gautier Capuçon is a beloved collaborator of conductors and musicians the world over. Here, he and Frank Braley pay homage to the legendary recitals of Rostropovich and Britten, with works by Beethoven, Debussy, Britten, Fauré and Martinů.

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Music

SOLD OUT – Cellophony: Wind in the Willows (Family Concert)

Sunday, 19 March 2017 - 1:30pm / Hall Two

Cellophony cello octet presents The Wind in the Willows, a unique adaptation of Kenneth Grahame’s classic animal tale.

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Music

SOLD OUT – Cellophony: Wind in the Willows (Family Concert)

Sunday, 19 March 2017 - 3:30pm / Hall Two

Cellophony cello octet presents The Wind in the Willows, a unique adaptation of Kenneth Grahame’s classic animal tale.

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Music

Cellophony: ‘Merry England’

Sunday, 19 March 2017 - 7:00pm / Hall Two

Cellophony cello octet presents The Wind in the Willows, a unique adaptation of Kenneth Grahame’s classic animal tale. The cellists will be joined by one of the UK’s best-loved actors Simon Callow for a full performance of the piece as part of Cellophony’s evening concert.

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Music

Pieter Wispelwey & Paolo Giacometti: The Lied Transformed

Friday, 24 March 2017 - 7:30pm / Hall One

Dutch cellist Pieter Wispelwey has long been admired for his intensely imagined, questing performances and dizzying level of accomplishment on modern and period instruments. Here he and pianist Paolo Giacometti present two pillars of the repertoire, Johannes Brahms two great sonatas.

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Music

Kian Soltani with VOCES8 and Hugo Ticciati: Svyati

Friday, 31 March 2017 - 7:30pm / Hall One

Protegé of Anne-Sophie Mutter and soloist with the West Eastern Diwan Orchestra, Kian Soltani joins Hugo Ticciati and VOCES8 for an exquisite choral-instrumental sequence.

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Music

Hauschka + Nicolas Altstaedt: Lost

Saturday, 1 April 2017 - 7:30pm / Hall One

A plane landing in a raging snowstorm in New York 1964 inspired Federico Fellini to write a new script, but the film project was abandoned and Fellini died soon after. Nicolas Altstaedt has approached the artist and composer Hauschka in order to pursue, musically, the footsteps of Fellini.

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Music

CANCELLED – Tender Central

Thursday, 20 April 2017 - 7:30pm / Hall Two

Due to a change in circumstances, it is with regret that the Tender Central show scheduled for 20th April 2017 has been cancelled.

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Music

Cellophony with Kate Royal

Friday, 21 April 2017 - 7:30pm / Hall One

The UK’s leading cello ensemble with special guest, soprano Kate Royal, presents a programme of exciting classic and contemporary works, including Villa-Lobos’s beguiling Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5 and Arvo Pärt’s striking dramatic scena L’Abbé Agathon.

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Music

The Art of Continuo directed by David Watkin

Saturday, 22 April 2017 - 5:45pm / Hall Two

Renowned continuo cellist and director David Watkin invites you to focus on the role of the cello – not leading, but nevertheless fundamental. What are the micro-decisions a bass-line player makes in every bar?

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Music

David Watkin directs: Bach, Purcell, Handel

Saturday, 22 April 2017 - 7:30pm / Hall One

In a programme directed by David Watkin, soprano Julia Doyle joins soloists from the OAE Experience and baroque cellist Allison McGillivray to explore the role of the continuo in sacred and secular music.

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Music

Unlocking the Bach Solo Suites with David Watkin

Sunday, 23 April 2017 - 10:00am / Hall One

Renowned Bach exponent David Watkin, whose recent recording of the Bach Suites won both Gramophone and BBC Music Magazine awards, will be joined by gifted post-graduate cellists to explore Bach’s six solo suites.

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Music

London Sinfonietta’s Tim Gill: Avant Cello

Saturday, 6 May 2017 - 7:30pm / Hall One

For Elgar, Shostakovich and Britten the cello was a voice of heroism and lament. But how did other 20th and 21st century composers hear it? London Sinfonietta’s principal cellist Tim Gill presents a survey of pioneering cello repertoire though the 20th and 21st centuries.

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Music

Barnabás Kelemen & Natalie Clein with Katya Apekisheva: Duo Dances

Sunday, 7 May 2017 - 6:30pm / Hall One

Hungarian virtuoso Barnabás Kelemen joins Natalie Clein in the two greatest duos of the 20th century: Kodály’s wildly expressive rhapsody, driven by an earthy energy and dance rhythms, and Ravel’s own duo, which bears the scars of his wartime experience.

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Spoken Word

Pre-concert Talk: Buying and Investing in Cellos

Friday, 12 May 2017 - 6:45pm / St Pancras Room

Cellist and guest speaker Justin Pearson has established a fine instrument scheme for the Royal Society of Musicians of Great Britain, and has helped many prominent cellists. He draws on long experience of instrument buying and of forming syndicates.

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Music

Guy Johnston & Joan Rodgers – Oxford Lieder: Russian Voices

Friday, 12 May 2017 - 7:30pm / Hall One

Often compared to a human voice, the cello is a natural partner in song, as composers have long recognised. Here leading cellist Guy Johnston is joined by distinguished soprano Joan Rodgers in a Russian-themed programme.

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Music

English Chamber Orchestra & Nicolas Altstaedt: Haydn Cello Concerto No. 1

Friday, 19 May 2017 - 7:30pm / Hall One

Compelling young Franco-German cellist Nicolas Altstaedt performs Haydn’s dazzling first concerto and conducts his darkly dynamic Symphony No. 49 in F minor, nicknamed ‘La Passione’. Plus, Veress’s Transylvanian Dances and solo sonata, a cellistic tour de force.

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Music

Natalie Haas & Alasdair Fraser: Folk Cello

Wednesday, 24 May 2017 - 8:00pm / Hall Two

Sizzlingly-talented young Californian cellist Natalie Haas and Alasdair Fraser, long regarded as Scotland’s premier fiddle ambassador, have been reviving the Scottish tradition of playing dance music on violin and cello for over 12 years.

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Music

Jean-Guihen Queyras with Geneva Camerata – Haydn Cello Concerto No. 2

Friday, 26 May 2017 - 7:30pm / Hall One

A cellist of exceptional versatility and integrity, Jean-Guihen Queyras is as well-loved for his performances of contemporary music as for those with period instrument ensembles. In this vivacious programme with Geneva Camerata he combines Haydn and Gershwin.

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Workshop

Chamber Cellos

Saturday, 17 June 2017 - 10:00am / Hall Two

From late starters to serious gigging amateurs, Chamber Cellos courses offer individual and collective challenges within a supportive and fun environment. Led by professional cellist Kim Mackrell, Chamber Cellos courses are all about the joy of playing.

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Music

Leonard Elschenbroich with 12 ensemble: Suite italienne

Saturday, 17 June 2017 - 7:30pm / Hall One

The bold, versatile and virtuosic 12 ensemble collaborates with fast-rising German virtuoso, Leonard Elschenbroich, in a programme that seamlessly blends the contemporary with baroque and neo-classical music.

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Music

Tricko (Lucy Railton & Kit Downes) + Tom Challenger & Kit Downes: ‘Vyamanikal’ Album Launch

Thursday, 21 September 2017 - 8:00pm / Hall Two

Cellist Lucy Railton joins forces with award-winning pianist-composer Kit Downes, forming Tricko – a pairing that is dark, detailed, colourful and contemplative. Kit Downes and saxophonist Tom Challenger then launch the extraordinary ‘Vyamanikal’ album, with guests.

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Music

Christophe Coin with Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment: Galloping Galant

Friday, 22 September 2017 - 7:30pm / Hall One

Christophe Coin, period instrument royalty, joins the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment for the effervescent G major Concerto of Boccherini, CPE Bach’s powerfully-driven A minor Concerto and symphonies by Sammartini and CPE Bach.

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Music

Brodsky Quartet with Antonio Meneses: The Cello Quintet

Saturday, 23 September 2017 - 7:30pm / Hall One

Legendary Brazilian cellist Antonio Meneses, formerly of the Beaux Arts Trio, joins the Brodsky Quartet for a celebration of the cello in chamber music by Boccherini, Schubert and Borodin.

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Music

Zoë Keating: One Cello x 16

Sunday, 24 September 2017 - 7:30pm / Hall One

Groundbreaking composer and performer Zoë Keating creates a universe of music with a cello, a laptop computer and her own boundless imagination.

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Music

Zoë Keating: One Cello x 16

Monday, 25 September 2017 - 8:00pm / Hall One

Groundbreaking composer and performer Zoë Keating creates a universe of music with a cello, a laptop computer and her own boundless imagination.

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Music

The Cello Makers with John Dilworth and Mats Lidström

Wednesday, 27 September 2017 - 6:30pm /

Leading Swedish cellist Mats Lidström reveals the special qualities of the great cellos of the Royal Academy of Music collection through music spanning three centuries, with commentary from renowned maker and instrument expert John Dilworth.

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Music

Natalie Clein, Julius Drake & Ruby Hughes: Tre Voci

Saturday, 30 September 2017 - 7:30pm / Hall One

Soprano Ruby Hughes was a cellist herself, and loves to sing with the ‘warm, expressive, very human voice’ of the cello, here played by Natalie Clein, alongside distinguished pianist Julius Drake.

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Music

Sheku Kanneh-Mason: BBC Young Musician 2016

Wednesday, 4 October 2017 - 7:30pm / Hall One

Sheku Kanneh-Mason shot to fame in May 2016 when he won BBC Young Musician with a riveting performance of Shostakovich’s first cello concerto. His pianist sister, Isata Kanneh-Mason, joins him for this special recital.

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Music

Christoph Richter & Dénes Várjon – Schumann: A Haunted Legacy

Thursday, 19 October 2017 - 7:30pm / Hall One

Christoph Richter and Dénes Várjon weave a rapt narrative around the relationships between Johannes Brahms, Clara Schumann and Robert Schumann.

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Music

Matthew Barley, Sukhwinder Singh & Soumik Datta with O/Modernt: Indian Inflections

Friday, 20 October 2017 - 7:30pm / Hall One

Cellist and seasoned cross-cultural collaborator Matthew Barley teams up with master tabla player Ustad Sukhwinder Singh, Soumik Datta on sarod and violinist Hugo Ticciati to explore both Western and Indian works through performance and improvisation.

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Music

Rafael Aguirre & Nadège Rochat: La vida breve

Friday, 27 October 2017 - 7:30pm / Hall One

Exciting young Swiss cellist Nadège Rochat teams up with renowned flamenco guitarist Rafael Aguirre for an evening exploring the works of Spanish greats de Falla, Granados, Albeniz and Cassadó, with inflections from Piazzolla, Ravel, Lara and Gardel.

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Music

Natalie Clein: Bach Through Time – Concert II

Thursday, 2 November 2017 - 8:00pm / Hall One

In the second of our Bach Through Time recitals, Natalie Clein presents the fourth and fifth suites alongside 20th century reflections. ‘a mesmerising cellist’ The Times

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Music

Paul & Huw Watkins – First World War: Channel Crossings

Sunday, 19 November 2017 - 6:30pm / Hall One

During the First World War, a new music was emerging on both sides of the channel. In this concert Paul Watkins and his brother Huw explore the cello sonatas of Delius, Bridge, Webern and Fauré, alongside pieces by Scott and Nadia Boulanger. With readings from the composer’s letters and poetry of the time.

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Music

Christophe Coin with Ailish Tynan & Maggie Cole: Italians in London

Thursday, 23 November 2017 - 7:30pm / Hall One

Christophe Coin returns with Maggie Cole for a colourful programme of Baroque Italian sonatas. Irish soprano Ailish Tynan joins them for Piatti’s exquisite songs with cello. A rare glimpse into London’s chamber music life in the 18th and 19th centuries.

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Music

Raphael Wallfisch with the Orchestra of the Swan: Albion

Sunday, 3 December 2017 - 6:30pm / Hall One

Raphael Wallfisch returns to Cello Unwrapped, this time with the Orchestra of the Swan for a special concert of British music, taking us from Elgar to Britten via Edmund Rubbra, Ireland and Imogen Holst.

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Music

Pieter Wispelwey: Bach Through Time – Concert III

Friday, 8 December 2017 - 8:00pm / Hall One

In the final part of Bach Through Time, Pieter Wispelwey begins at the beginning with the serene first suite in G major, accompanied by Britten’s final suite for Rostropovich, Ligeti’s distilled early solo sonata and the outpouring of joy which is Bach’s third Suite.

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Music

Laura van der Heijden with Academy of St Martin in the Fields: Schumann’s Concerto

Friday, 15 December 2017 - 7:30pm / Hall One

Schumann’s cello concerto is unique in its balance of classical transparency and soulful expressivity, heroic ambition and poignant intimacy. Captivating young cellist, Laura van der Heijden joins the Academy of St Martin in the Fields for a version of the concerto with strings.

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Music

Oliver Coates with Tenebrae: Le temps de Noël

Saturday, 16 December 2017 - 7:30pm / Hall One

Multi-award-winning Tenebrae, renowned for the passion and precision of their performances, join cellist Oliver Coates for a seasonal sequence of French and English music.

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