Guest artist Lynn Harrell and the relationship of musicians with their instruments

“Over time, musicians become one with our instrument partner and so it happened with this cello and me. I changed it, and it unquestionably changed me.”

From his first job in the Cleveland Orchestra as sixth cellist (where he advanced to Principal after just two years), to his legendary solo touring career and plethora of world premieres, Lynn Harrell’s cello—a 1720 Montagnana which he nicknamed Monty—was, in his own words, “my best friend and companion.”

Lynn Harrell debut photograph
Harrell performed the Schumann Cello Concerto for his 1966 solo debut with the Cleveland Orchestra. He will perform the same work with the Bellingham Festival Orchestra July 1.

In an interview with opuscello.com, Lynn Harrell makes the poignant observation that “we, cellists, are special because we embrace our instrument. We wrap our arms around it. It is a companion that is very much life-sized!” >READ THE COMPLETE INTERVIEW

Lynn Harrell made the decision to part ways with his instrument in 2013, writing on his blog: “Over time, musicians become one with our instrument partner and so it happened with this cello and me. I changed it, and it unquestionably changed me. Now, I want to have a hand in seeing it go to another musician.”

Lynn Harrell’s experience of feeling a special connection to his instrument is not uncommon. On his website, Joshua Bell recalls the moment when he learned that English violinist Norbert Brainin planned to sell the famous 1730 Gibson Strad to a wealthy German as a museum piece:  “It made me nauseous, the thought of that…I said, ‘You cannot take this violin.’” >READ THE FULL STORY

2012-07-09 12.20.59
Joshua Bell with Bellingham Festival Orchestra principal violinist Richard Roberts and Maestro Michael Palmer during the 2013 season. [Photo credit: Audrey Kelley]

During the 19th Bellingham Festival season in 2012, Lynn Harrell performed the Elgar Cello Concerto in E Minor, Op. 85. This year we welcome him back on July 1, performing the same work with which he made his solo debut with the Cleveland Orchestra in 1966: Schumann’s Cello Concerto in A Minor, Op. 129.

>BUY TICKETS FOR THIS PERFORMANCE

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s