Solo Cello

Joel Laakso

My instrument: Nikolaus Amati, from around 1690 (The Royal Theatre).

My education: I have studied both at Sibelius-Academy in Helsinki and Edsberg Chamber Music Institution in Stockholm under professors Martti Rousi and Torleif Thedeen.

My favourite composition:Bach Goldberg-variations, original and also the string trio version. My favorite opera is Lohengrin by Richard Wagner and favorite ballet is Romeo and Juliet by Prokofiev. I would love to play “Sacre du Printemps” by Igor Stravinsky with dancers! I also get inspired every time I play Beethoven and Brahms symphonies.

My greatest musical experience: When I was able to put on a recording of Mozart’s Requiem on the LP-player all by myself, and then listening it through with a pocket score. I don’t think I was able to follow more than the bass line that time but still I think it is my greatest musical experience.

My most memorable/funny/unusual experience in the Kapel: I remember vividly my first performance with Det Kongelige Kapel in autumn 2013. It was a premiere of Othello and I was stunned by the energy and sound from Kapel. At the same season I managed to break my C-string during a performance of Porgy&Bess. It happened just couple of pages before a little cello-solo. However, I had a spare string in my pocket and was able to set and somewhat tune it just by the time my solo should start. I think (Ingemar) Brantelid who was my standpartner had a hard time keeping a straight face. : )

When I’m not playing in the Kapel: I like to spend time with my son Olaf who was born in early 2017. It is also nice to swim every now and then.