BIOGRAPHY

Benedict Kloeckner, born in 1989, is one of the outstanding artists of his generation. He performs worldwide as a soloist with renowned orchestras such as the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra London, the Deutsche Radiophilharmonie, the NDR Radiophilharmonie, the MDR Symphony Orchestra, the Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie, the Kremerata Baltica, the Camerata Oslo and the Munich Chamber Orchestra and works with renowned conductors such as Daniel Barenboim, Christoph Eschenbach, Ingo Metzmacher, Michael Sanderling, Clemens Schuldt, Heinrich Schiff and Sir Simon Rattle.

He appears in concert halls such as the Berlin Philharmonie, Carnegie Hall New York, Kennedy Center Washington, Symphony Hall Chicago, Arts Center Seoul, Musikverein Vienna, Gewandhaus Leipzig, Tonhalle Zurich, Gasteig in Munich, Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Rudolfinum Prague, Athenaeum Bucharest and Barbican, Cadogan and Wigmore Hall London.

In the 2021/ 2022 season, he will perform the 6 Bach Suites at the Berlin Philharmonie, the Alte Oper Frankfurt and release a CD recording of the Suites with Brilliant Classics . On a tour of South America, he will give guest performances of chamber music programs at the Teatro Colon Buenos Aires, among other venues, and will give concerts with the Filarmónica de Buenos Aires. He will make his debuts in Japan at Suntory Hall in Tokyo and in South Africa with the Johannesburg and KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic Orchestras. He will also perform the Schumann Concerto at the Palais des Beaux Arts in Brussels and at the Seoul Arts Center.

Benedict Kloeckner is a welcome guest at festivals around the world. His chamber music partners include Emanuel Ax, Lisa Batiashvili, Yuri Bashmet, Christoph Eschenbach, Vilde Frang, Anna Fedorova, Gidon Kremer, Anne Sophie Mutter and Sir András Schiff.

An intensive and regular collaboration connects him with contemporary composers. In 2018, he performed the world premiere of Wolfgang Rihm's Double Concerto for 2 Cellos and Strings, as well as the world premiere of Eun Hwa Cho's Cello Concerto at the Seoul Arts Center together with the Korean Chamber Orchestra conducted by Christoph Poppen. With the Mozarteum Orchestra Salzburg conducted by Peter Tilling, he gave the Austrian premiere of Dai Fujikura's Cello Concerto. In 2020, he gave the world premiere of seven works composed for him by Howard Blake, Elena Kats Chernin, José Elizondo, Dai Fujikura, Geoffrey Gordon, Bongani Ndodana-Breen, and Eric Tanguy. The premiere of a new cello concerto by Bongani Ndodana-Breen with the Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra and the KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic Orchestra is scheduled for 2022.

His CD recordings have been highly praised by the international press and nominated for the German Record Critics Award, among others. Recordings have been made in collaboration with artists such as Gidon Kremer, conductors Heinrich Schiff and Michael Sanderling, pianists Danae Dörken, Anna Fedorova, and José Gallardo, and composers Wolfgang Rihm and Howard Blake.

Since 2014, Benedict Kloeckner has been Artistic Director of the “International Music Festival Koblenz” IMUKO, which he founded, where he organizes concerts with renowned artists such as Benjamin Grosvenor, Vilde Frang, Tianwa Yang, Boris Giltburg, and the Munich and Georgian Chamber Orchestras.

Benedict Kloeckner received his artistic training with Prof. M. Ostertag, Prof. Frans Helmerson, and Gary Hoffman at the Kronberg Academy, made possible by the Angela Winkler Scholarship. He received important impulses and valuable support for his artistic development from Gidon Kremer, Steven Isserlis, Michael Sanderling, and Sir András Schiff. His first teachers were Gabriel Mesado and Martin Rummel.

Benedict Kloeckner plays the “Ex Maurice Gendron” cello by Francesco Rugeri (1680) on generous loan. He obtains his concert attire exclusively from DE FILIPO Uomo.

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PROGRAMS

Between Nostalgia and Revolution

Schumann – Five Pieces in Folk Style for Violoncello and Piano, Op. 102

Martinů – Variations on a Slovakian Theme for Violoncello and Piano, H. 378

Schumann – Three Fantasy Pieces for Violoncello and Piano, Op. 73

– Intermission – 

Schumann – Adagio and Allegro in A-flat Major, Op. 70

Shostakovich – Cello Sonata in D minor, Op. 40

Robert Schumann’s works for violoncello and piano have accompanied and inspired me ever sinceI started playing the cello. It was our wish to combine works by Schumann with 20th century compositions that shared his spirit of innovation, his love for the music of the past (in particular that of Johann Sebastian Bach) and his efforts to achieve a simplicity of expression  a “folk style” that, in its approachability and highest artistic standard, appealed to the public’s interest back then.

Schumann’s music is characterized by poetry, sensibility, and sincerity; they are also indispensable elements for Dmitri Shostakovich and Bohuslav Martinů, even if these contrasted sharply with external conditions –perhaps to even counter the disorders of the world with something deeply intimate and human. In keeping with the spirit of Leonard Bernstein,  I wish to do justice to the relevance of this music. “This will be our reply to violence: to make music more intensely, more beautifully, more devotedly than ever before.”

Inspired by Bach

J.S. Bach – Gamba Sonata in G minor, B.W.V. 1029

Mendelssohn – Sonata D Major, Op. 58

– Intermission –

Beethoven – Cello Sonata No. 3 in A Major, Op. 69

Inspired by Bach explores the influence of Johann Sebastian Bach, a major influence to many composers, through two of the most beautiful cello sonatas of the repertoire. Mendelssohn is known for being a great advocate of Bach’s music, and in his vibrant, virtuous Cello Sonata, it is especially clear in the slow third movement, which touches the listener as a slow Bach-style chorale and quotes parts of Bach’s chromatic Fantasy and Fugue. It is not known how familiar Beethoven was with Bach’s work, however in his magnificent Cello Sonata, he quotes Bach’s Johannes Passion “es ist vollbracht.” Beethoven’s Cello Sonata then became its own inspiration for many composers, who attempt to echo its perfect instrumental balance and compositorial genius. 

Forgotten Romance

Liszt – Romance oubliée, S. 527

Liszt – Dream of Love, S. 541

Chopin – Cello Sonata in g minor, Op. 65

– Intermission – 

Rachmaninov – Cello Sonata, Op. 19

Forgotten Romance is a program of works by three great Romantic pianists and composers who didn’t write very much chamber music, but had a particular love for the cello. Sergei Rachmaninov wrote his Cello Sonata after a long personal and artistic crisis, in which he had to fight back his way to mental health and artistic creativity. His Cello Sonata is a journey of the soul –from darkness, struggle, and despair to blazing joy and glory Following a similar journey, Chopin’s Cello Sonata was one of his last works, a complex masterpiece full of poetry, virtuosity, and intensity. The program opens with Liszt’s beautiful and lyrical Romance oubliée and his famous Dream of Love, conveying the composer’s great emotional depth in what  Frederic Delius calls “an outburst of the soul.” 

A Dancing Miracle

J.S. Bach – Cello Suite No. 1 in G Major, B.W.V. 1007

J.S. Bach – Cello Suite No. 2 in D minor, B.W.V. 1008

J.S. Bach – Cello Suite No. 3 in C Major, B.W.V. 1009

– Intermission –

J.S. Bach – Cello Suite No. 4 in E-flat Major, B.W.V. 1010

J.S. Bach – Cello Suite No. 5 in C minor, B.W.V. 1011

– Intermission –

J.S. Bach – Cello Suite No. 6 in D Major, B.W.V. 1012

Legendary cellist Pablo Casals once said that Johann Sebastian Bach’s 6 Suites for Violoncello “is the quintessence of Bach’s music, and Bach himself the quintessence of all music itself.” Casals made these works famous as one of mankind’s great achievements. They are inspired by fashionable court dances of the time and some musicologists also suspect a connection to biblical stories from the New Testament. Experiencing the complete cycle in one (or optional two) evenings is both an adventure for the listener and a challenge for the interpreter, with both facing some of the most virtuosic, emotionally deep, and musically genius art ever made.