The 12 Cellists of the Berlin Philharmonic

They are unique. Naturally, every symphony orchestra has its cello section. But nowhere else in the world have the deeper, larger strings joined together to form an independent ensemble – an orchestra within the orchestra – meeting with success after success. This is why every music lover knows immediately where the “12 Cellists” come from, even if they cannot name their orchestra. They are an institution.

They have been playing together since 1972, appearing as an ensemble, occasionally in Berlin, often elsewhere, and quite often travelling great distances. Even their premiere concert, with its evening-long program, took place not in Berlin, but instead in Tokyo, the Japanese capital, a city with which they are still closely associated. The group’s personnel has changed over the years; founders have entered retirement, and younger colleagues have also moved on. Continuity and renewal have formed a productive alliance in the history of the 12 cellists – as you can hear for yourselves.