“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.”
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
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.