‘Hecker plays like an angel ... the beauty of her sound is enhanced by an exquisitely elegant line and sweeping lyricism. There is absolutely no artifice to mislead the audience; her performance comprises musicality and pure talent.' El Pais
Cellist Marie-Elisabeth Hecker made her international breakthrough with her sensational success at the 8th Rostropovich Competition in Paris in November 2005, where she became the first contestant in the event's history to win both first prize and two special prizes. Since then Hecker has become one of the most sought-after soloists and chamber musicians of the younger generation, recognised for her deep intensity of expression and natural affinity for the cello, with Die Zeit describing her playing as "heartbreakingly sad and instinctively beautiful."
Born in 1987 in Robert Schumann's hometown of Zwickau, Hecker developed a passion for music early on in her life and began learning the cello at the age of five, with the distinguished German cellist Peter Bruns becoming her principal teacher. She continued her studies with Heinrich Schiff and subsequently took part in masterclasses with eminent figures such as Anner Bylsma, Frans Helmerson, Bernard Greenhouse, Gary Hoffman and Steven Isserlis. Early recognition came when she won Germany's important Jugend Musiziert competition at the age of 12, which was then followed by the special prize at the 2001 Dotzauer Competition and the Borletti-Buitoni Trust Award in 2009.
Among the highlights of her career to date are performances with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Mariinsky Orchestra, Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestre de Paris, Philharmonia Orchestra, Staatskapelle Berlin and Vienna Symphony Orchestra, partnering conductors such as Barenboim, Gergiev, Herreweghe, Janowski, Kreizberg, Krivine, Luisi and Nagano. In addition, she has appeared in recitals in Amsterdam, Barcelona, London, Lucerne, Madrid, Munich and Paris.
This season, Marie-Elisabeth Hecker makes her Carnegie Hall recital debut and also makes her debut in Japan with the Royal Flemish Philharmonic under Edo de Waart. She returns to the Israel Philharmonic with Christoph von Dohnányi, the Orchestre de Paris with Thomas Hengelbrock and the Orchestre Philharmonique de Luxembourg with Emmanuel Krivine, and appears for the first time with the Orchestra della Toscana, the Orchestre National de Belgique, the Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne and the Musikkollegium Winterthur under Mario Venzago. As a chamber musician she appears in concert with her husband Martin Helmchen and Christian Tetzlaff, as well as with Louis Lortie, Alina Ibragimova and Nils Mönkmeyer.
Marie-Elisabeth Hecker plays on a Luigi-Bajoni cello of 1864.
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