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 Messiaen’s ecstatic meditation, from solo Bach to the soulful blues of Ayanna Witter-Johnson.
‘The more I hear in [Hall One’s] 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