Did you learn an instrument when you were growing up? I learnt the violin for ten years and pretty much loved every minute of it apart from the nerves I often got playing to an audience and for exams. Please note I was never a soloist (I wasn’t in that league). I played in orchestras both full and string, and in smaller configurations such as trios.
Looking back, it was also a perfect way to control a teenager. Parents take note. I had so many rehearsals, that weekends and after school time were filled to the brim with violin. No time to muck about, well at least until I was about 16. I finished playing when I was 18, and dropped it cold, as soon as I started university, which I slightly regret now. People I played with have gone onto become professional musicians. One of my old school friends is a violinist in the NZ Trio, she was always a super charged version of my fellow amateurs.
We only played classical music which I loved, but there no opportunity to incorporate contemporary styles. Today things have changed, classically trained musicians now reach out to capture new audiences by playing modern tunes. It adds a different flavour to contemporary music and injects some humour to the classical tradition. Classical music is very regimented in all of the rules that abound, although orchestras now often perform with popular musicians which I think is a great move.
2CELLOS are a Croatian duo comprising of classically trained cellists, Luka Šulić and Stjepan Hauser. They have released three albums, most recently Celloverse just this week. They cover popular music, everything from Michael Jackson, Coldplay, ACDC, Radiohead to Avicii. They have done quite well with their cross over classical style combined with their energetic performances. It could seem a bit of a gimmick but I can see how their style would work really well at musical festivals and it may even get kids interested in classical music. And what’s not to like about that.
This is one of their best videos although it’s not from their recent album. It’s ACDC’s Thunderstruck played to a stunned baroque audience.
And here’s their most recent video, a cover of Paul McCartney and Wings Live and Let Die, along with pianist Lang Lang.