Sublime convergence of cellos

Dr Heleen du Plessis. Photo: Gregor Richardson
Dr Heleen du Plessis. Photo: Gregor Richardson
Like bees to honey, about 70 cellists will swarm to Dunedin for a cello players’ specialist retreat and to stage a mass cello concert at the Dunedin Town Hall next month.

The Cello Extravaganza concert on August 22 is expected to be the largest cello ensemble to perform on the stage.

Event director and University of Otago senior lecturer in cello Heleen du Plessis said cellists from across New Zealand would join the Cellists of Otago ensemble for the retreat, starting on August 19, which would include coaching sessions, masterclasses and a two-hour workshop on movement and posture with surface electromyographic analysis.

The aim of the group was to share the ‘‘profound beauty of the unique sound of many cellos playing together’’, the sense of community in an informal atmosphere, and the joy they experience when they make music together.

Participating players would range from beginner to very advanced, and the concert programme included Heitor Villa-Lobos’s Bachianas Brasilieras No.5 and Julius Klengel’s Hymnus for 12 Celli.

Newly arranged works have also been especially written for the event by composers Peter Adams and Keith Moss.

The ensemble would also be joined by award-winning New Zealand soprano Rebecca Ryan, Dr du Plessis said.

‘‘Don’t miss this once-in-a-long-time opportunity to experience cello playing in excess, excellence, and extravagance.’’

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