Are there no cellists in Berlin?

Are there no cellists in Berlin?


norman lebrecht

December 02, 2020

Nicolas Altstaedt has cancelled his solo spot with the Berlin Phil this Saturday ‘due to illness’.

Press release: As a result, the Cello Concerto No. 1 in A minor op. 33 by Camille Saint-Saëns will not be part of the broadcast and will not be substituted by another work.

They have four days to find another cellist, and clearly they can’t.

I’ve got one living just across the road. He could be there by teatime.


  • pianoguy says:

    is your neighbour any good, Norman?

  • V. Lind says:

    What about Johannes Moser? He may be handy.

  • Martin Carpenter says:

    He was already replacing Truls Mørk.
    Maybe they couldn’t be bothered rearranging a second time

  • Pablo says:

    You know, they decided to close the Berlin Philharmonie for the remainder of the year…perhaps that has something to do with it?

  • Di says:

    Stephen Isserlis doesn’t need the work, and probably can’t be arsed to quarentine/go through testing rigmarole….

    • violin accordion says:

      Paul Watkins / Guy Johnston would be much more worthy and jump at the opportunity

      • NYMike says:

        As head of the cello faculty @ Yale U, an artist member of CMS/LC in NY and cellist of the Emerson Qt., I doubt Watkins can show up in Berlin on short notice.

  • MacroV says:

    Like there aren’t a dozen cellists in the Berlin Phil (including two principals as good as anyone in the world) who couldn’t step in?

  • Mike McGuire says:

    Everyone in the section can play the Saint-Saens!! There’s no doubt about that. Maybe they don’t want to for some reason. The two remaining pieces are both great…Pulcinella and the Bizet Symphony in C. The Bizet doesn’t get played so often, so I’m more than happy with just these two works.

  • MacroV says:

    Not just other Berlin Phil cellists, but if I’m not mistaken Berlin or environs is also home to Daniel Muller-Schott, Jan Vogler, Alisa Weilerstein, and Alban Gerhardt, all of whom would probably have been available and happy to step in.

  • henry williams says:

    camile thomas