Jason Victor Serinus, a journalist from The Seattle Times, writes about his interview with Luka and Stjepan after their concert in Seattle. Jason said that The Boys as likely to play AC/DC as Paganini. He also reviews some 2Cellos concert in 2015.
In 2011, Croatian cellists and longtime friends Luka Sulic and Stjepan Hauser spent $1,000 on a video of themselves performing their arrangement of Michael Jackson’s “Smooth Criminal” and posted it to YouTube. Four years and 10 million views later, they are in the midst of their third whirlwind U.S. tour.
By the time they wrap up in Ferrara, Italy, on July 30, 2Cellos will have taken no prisoners in 42 cities in the U.S. alone, and also swept through four in Germany, 10 in Japan and five in Italy. Most of their U.S. shows are already sold out (as is their March 14 Seattle show). Such is the power of social media to generate a worldwide audience for 2Cellos’ unique application of cello to rock, pop and classical repertoire.
Luka and Stjepan, as their fans call them, first met in summer music camp when they were 14 years old. “We were both crazy about cello and passionate about music,” Sulic, 27, says. “We were good friends, but people considered us to be rivals because we were both ambitious young cellists from the same country who were practicing like maniacs and attending competitions.”
After reuniting in London in 2010, where Hauser, now 28, had just finished his studies and where Sulic had arrived to get his master’s at the Royal Academy, both felt restricted by what was happening in the classical world. Although each had won a lion’s share of competitions — Sulic nabbed first and special prize at the VII Lutoslawski International Cello Competition in Warsaw (2009), first at the European Broadcasting Union “New Talent” Competition (2006), and first at the Royal Academy of Music Patron’s Award in Wigmore Hall (2011), and Hauser accrued at least 21 first prizes at national and international competitions — they wanted to try something out of the ordinary.
“We felt we had so much creativity and energy, and so many ideas, that we decided to do something really crazy, exciting and revolutionary,” says Sulic. “Once we circulated our video, it changed our lives forever. We’re living a dream. This project opened so many doors to us, not only in the pop and rock world, but also in the classical world as well. We feel blessed and privileged.”
Eschewing the term “crossover,” Sulic and Hauser strive to give good pop and rock songs a classical dimension through their training in expression. Performing their own arrangements on electric cellos, they begin most shows slowly and quietly, with classical and film-score selections, before seguing into their arrangements of pop songs. By show’s end, when their drummer has joined them and they may have shredded more than one bow, classical poise has ceded to rock mania. “We start like angels and finish like devils,” says Sulic with a laugh.
The men, who have already collaborated with Lang Lang a few times, do have some classical gigs on the horizon. On July 2, in Tokyo’s Suntory Hall, they’ll join a string orchestra to play Bruch, Paganini, Rossini and Boccherini.
“We’ll perform things we love playing,” says Sulic. “But we’ll also play string orchestra arrangements from our most recent album, ‘Celloverse,’ and movie music by (Enrico) Morricone and (Hans) Zimmer. Our shows are a great way to introduce classical music to a wide audience, and we plan to do more solely classical concerts in the future.”
Source: The Seattle Times
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