Cellist Johannes Moser Shares Emotion, Music with World-Leading Orchestras, Award-Winning Albums

Johannes Moser

Johannes Moser

As a child, Johannes Moser was soft-spoken and shy. Hearing the award-winning German-Canadian cellist now and experiencing his amazing stage presence, the audience would never know.

Johannes lives life through a modified philosophy of “life is what happens to you when you are busy making other plans.”

“In my mind, this is related to ‘Art is what happens when you are thoroughly rehearsing something and then inspiration takes you to somewhere completely different and unexpected’,” Johannes said.

This inspiration has taken the cellist all over the world, performing with the world’s leading orchestras and recording albums.

Johannes believes the audience is a magnificent counterpart for sharing emotion and music, as it transforms the sounds into music and then turns music into emotion. He thinks the audience is a true catalyst, while the concert is the platform for this transformation.

“I want people to have their own experience and special moments which I hope they will remember, just as I remember meaningful moments from other artists that have shaped me,” he said of his music.

Lutoslawski & Dutilleux Cello Concertos

Johannes recently released an album of two gems of the golden age of the cello, titled Lutoslawski & Dutilleux Cello Concertos. Johannes and the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin perform concertos from Witold Lutosławski and Henri Dutilleux that premiered in 1970.

This album is a result of a decade of Johannes performing these pieces over and over again, and his goal was to distill the essence of that process and bring it to life on that album.

While equally virtuosic and engaging, both pieces showcase different aspects of the musical landscape of the late twentieth century. Lutosławski’s concerto explores the possibilities of chance composition in the form of a duel between the solo cello and a ferocious orchestral accompaniment, in which the individual ultimately prevails. In comparison, soloist and ensemble work together more smoothly in Dutilleux’ “Tout un monde lontain”.

This is Moser’s fourth album as an exclusive Pentatone artist, after releases Dvořak and Lalo Cello Concertos (2015), Rachmaninov and Prokofiev - Works for Cello and Piano (2016), and Elgar and Tchaikovsky (2017). 

Other projects

Johannes also is the artist in residence with four different orchestras this season, with each organization and location is getting a tailor made residency from him. These collaborations take much work and very special care from Johannes. These include the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin and the Oregon Symphony.

He also isn’t slowing down with recording, preparing to perform the Mendelssohn sonatas. This composer is on the very top of Johannes’s favorites lists with Beethoven, and he is excited to begin this recording.

Johannes believes that each performance season should have a theme for his focus. This season it is “residencies"; last season it was "new commissions and trio tour". That does not mean he is only doing that, as he keeps his normal concert schedule with orchestras and chamber music, but it gives an extra talking point and point of focus for the cellist.

About the artist

Born into a musical family in 1979, Johannes began studying the cello at the age of eight and became a student of Professor David Geringas in 1997. He was the top prize winner at the 2002 Tchaikovsky Competition, in addition to being awarded the Special Prize for his interpretation of the Rococo Variations. In 2014 he was awarded with the prestigious Brahms prize. 

Johannes recently won his third ECHO Klassik award as “Instrumentalist of the Year 2017” for his Russian Recital disk.

In addition to performing with orchestras all over the world, his newly formed piano trio with Yevgeny Sudbin and Vadim Gluzman toured extensively throughout Europe and North America. 

Learn more about Johannes Moser on his website.