Julian Steckel

Cello

"If you know one room in an apartment, but not that the apartment has seven other rooms, you won’t even understand the room you’re in."
Julian Steckel
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Biography

Written music is potential energy that a performer must unleash. Audiences can tell if a musician really feels that energy, or if their expression is second-hand. When Julian plays, he is sharing something fragile and alive.
“As an interpreter, I’ve started trusting my inner life more and letting the audience in,” he says. “It’s a kind of vulnerability that makes you stronger.” His first child was born at the end of 2018. Since then, his conviction has grown, his sense for metaphor expanded.

He knows that making music for an audience occasionally involves tipping the scales too far one way or another. But he is aware of his responsibility toward what is often called the “intentions of the composer.” He dives deep into scores, investigating the organic connections that give a work its unity. “If you know one room in an apartment, but not that the apartment has seven other rooms, you won’t even understand the room you’re in,” he says. When Julian plays, the music is in safe hands. You listen for his discoveries; what the music, through him, is trying to tell you.
Every life is a series of experiences, encounters, memories, places. Sometimes it’s possible to understand the contours of a musician’s ability through a list of these moments. Julian’s solo career was launched after he won the prestigious ARD Musikwettbewerb in 2010. Since then, he has soloed with the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the Orchestre de Paris, the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra and the St. Petersburg Philharmonic. He’s worked with the conductors Christoph Eschenbach, Sir Roger Norrington, Valery Gergiev, Jakub Hrůša, Mario Venzago, Fabien Gabel, John Storgårds, Lahav Shani, Antony Hermus, Christian Zacharias and Michael Sanderling. His chamber music partners include Janine Jansen, Christian Tetzlaff, Karen Gomyo, Antje Weithaas, Renaud Capuçon, Veronika Eberle, Vilde Frang, Antoine Tamestit, Lars Vogt, Elisabeth Leonskaja, Paul Rivinius, Denis Kozhukhin, the Modigliani, Armida and Ébène quartets.

For Julian, these experiences and encounters are the result of organic growth, not external pressure. It’s a development that tends to happen when a musician of his ability goes through life with an open mind.

His playing is effortless, unhindered by technical boundaries. He derives energy from appearing not to try. It’s a quality that many look for and few find. He sees his talent and his musical upbringing as a gift. His mentors are responsible for the rest.

“My very first teacher considered lightness and simplicity to be at the core of cello playing,” Julian says. “Listen to yourself, plan what you’re doing, get it right the first time. I owe everything to these insights.” He studied with Ulrich Voss, Gustav Rivinius, Boris Pergamenschikow, Heinrich Schiff and Antje Weithaas. Now he is a teacher too, at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Munich.
„What happens? The music comes into focus. Suddenly, you notice that you're not sitting there listening to a star, but actually discovering Haydn, Schumann, Dvorak or new music.”Süddeutsche Zeitung / Auftakt, Harald Eggebrecht, February 2016
In the current season Julian will make his debut with the Munich Chamber Orchestra (Clemens Schuldt), as well as the MDR Symphony Orchestra Leipzig under Dennis Russell Davies. Re-invitations will lead him to the National Theater Orchestra Mannheim, the Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra, the Orchestre Symphonique de Québec (Otto Tausk), as well as the Kristiansand Symfonieorkester and the Auckland Symphony Orchestra with Giordano Bellincampi.
Along with this, chamber music remains a source of inspiration and a hotbed for communication for him: his projects include several complete cycles of the Beethoven sonatas for violoncello and piano with Paul Rivinius, an Australia tour with the Skride Quartet as well as a trio tour with Karen Gomyo and Olli Mustonen.

Julian’s relationship with music spans analytical intelligence and extreme commitment. His interpretations are grounded and accessible. He’s played his way to freedom.

Season 2019/2020
This biography is to be reproduced without any changes, omissions or additions, unless expressly authorized by artist management.
Contacts: Arnold Simmenauer, Oda Caspar

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Programme

2020 / 2021
String trio
with Tobias Feldmann (violin) and Lise Berthaud (viola)

Beethoven: String Trio No. 1 in G major, Op. 9

Veress: String Trio

***

Mozart: Prelude and Fuge No. 2 in G minor, K404a

Dohnanyi: Serenade for String Trio

Clarinet Quartet
with Sharon Kam (clarinet), Antje Weithaas (violin) and Enrico Pace (piano)
18–26 October 2020

i.a. Hindemith: Quartet for clarinet, violin, cello and piano (1938)

Clarinet Trio
with Sharon Kam (clarinet) and Enrico Pace (piano)
01–07 March 2021
Beethoven: Gassenhauer Trio, Op.11
Webern: Three Little Pieces, Op. 11
Rota: Allegro giusto for clarinet, cello and piano
***
Berg: Four Pieces, Op. 5
Brahms: Trio in A minor for clarinet, cello and piano, Op. 114
2021 / 2022
Solo (1)

Hindemith: Sonata for Cello solo

Ligeti: Sonata for Cello solo

Dutilleux: Trois Strophes sur le nom de Sacher

***

Kodaly: Sonata for Cello solo

Solo (2)

Bach: The Suites for Cello solo BWV 1007-1012

Duo (1)
with William Youn (Piano)

Boulanger: Trois pieces (1914)

Mendelssohn: Sonata for Cello and Piano No. 2 in D major, Op. 58 MWV Q 32

***

Martinů: Variations on a theme by Rossini

Shostakovich: Sonata for Cello and Piano in D minor, Op. 40

Duo (2)
with Paul Rivinius (Piano)

Boulanger: Trois pieces (1914)

Saint-Säens: Sonata for Cello and Piano No. 1 in C minor, Op. 32

or Poulenc: Sonata for Cello and Piano

Piazzolla: Le Grand Tango

***

Martinů: Variations on a theme by Rossini

Brahms: Sonata for Cello and Piano No. 2 in F major, Op. 99

String Trio
with Tobias Feldmann (Violin) & Lise Berthaud (Viola)

Beethoven: Serenade for String Trio in D major, Op. 8

or Dohnanyi: Serenade for String Trio in C major, Op. 10

Ysaye: String Trio “Le Chimay”

***

Mozart: Divertimento for String Trio in E-flat major K. 563

Quartet
with Sharon Kam (Clarinet), Antje Weithaas (Violin) and Enrico Pace (Piano)

Beethoven: Trio for Clarinet, Cello and Piano in B-flat major, Op. 11 ”Gassenhauer”

Bartók: Kontraste Sz. 111 for Violin, Clarinet and Piano

***

Brahms: Piano Trio No. 3 in C minor, Op. 101

Hindemith: Quartet for Piano, Violin, Clarinet and Cello

Discography

Zoltan Kodaly: Solo Sonata and Duos
Zoltan Kodaly
Cello Sonata op. 4; Sonata op. 8 for solo cello; Duo op. 7 for violin and cello

Antje Weithaas - violin
Paul Rivinius - piano

C.P.E. Bach: Cello Concertos
C.P.E. Bach
Cello Concerti in A Minor, Wq. 170, B-Flat Major, Wq. 171 & A Major, Wq. 172

Stuttgarter Kammerorchester
Susanne von Gutzeit - conductor

French Cello Sonatas Vol.2
Franck
Cello Sonata A Major

Fauré
Romanze op. 69; Berceuse op. 16; Elegie op. 24; 3 Romanzen op. 17

Saint-Saens
Cello Sonata No. 2 op. 123

Paul Rivinius - piano

Rachmaninoff - Prokofiev
Sergei Rachmaninoff
Cello Sonata in G minor, Op. 19 & 2 Pieces, Op. 2

Sergei Prokofiev
Cello Sonata in C major, Op. 119

Ravel: Sonata for Violin and Cello
Maurice Ravel
Violin Sonata op. posth.(1897); Sonata for violin and cello; Violin Sonata (1927)

Paul Rivinius - piano
Lena Neudauer - violin

Martha Argerich & Friends - Live from Lugano Festival 2011
Works by Ravel, Shostakovich, Beethoven, Rachmaninoff, Haydn, Mozart and Liszt
With Martha Argerich, Renaud & Gautier Capucon, Alissa Margulis, Sergio Tiempo, Alessandro Stella, Dora Schwarzberg, Lucia Hall

French Cello Sonatas: Poulenc, Saint-Saëns, Debussy, Boulanger & Fauré
Poulenc
Cello Sonata (1948)

Faure
Papillon op. 77; Sicilenne op. 78; Apres un rêve

Debussy
Cello Sonata (1915)

N. Boulanger
3 Pieces

Saint-Saens
Cello sonata op. 32

Paul Rivinius - piano

Korngold, Bloch & Goldschmidt: Cello Concertos
Korngold
Cello concert C Major op. 37

Bloch
Schelomo

Goldschmidt
Cello concerto op. 23

Daniel Raiskin - conductor
Staatsorchester Rheinische Philharmonie

Mendelssohn: Works for Cello and Piano
Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy
Cello Sonatas Nr. 1 & 2 opp. 45 & 58
Variations concertantes op. 17
Lied ohne Worte op. 109

Paul Rivinius - piano

Spannungen 2005: Johannes Brahms
Johannes Brahms
Piano Quartet Op.34 & Sextet Op. 36

Lars Vogt - piano
Isabelle Faust - violin
Christian Tetzlaff - violin
Veronika Eberle - violin
Hanna Weinmeister - viola
Stefan Fehlandt - viola
Gustav Rivinius - cello


Videos

Schumann Cello Concerto live/Julian Steckel/Christian Zacharias/Göteborgs Symfoniker

Contact

Arnold Simmenauer
t: +49 (0)30 414 781 724
f: +49 (0)30 414 781 713
Oda Caspar
t: +49 (0)30 414 781 723
f: +49 (0)30 414 781 713