Alban Gerhardt: Bringing Bach to the people

Alban Gerhardt is acclaimed as one of the finest cellists of his generation – and one of the most exciting. Unafraid to bring his own interpretation to the old masters, and passionate about breaking down classical music barriers, Gerhardt frequently steps out of the confines of the concert hall in order to bring classical music to the masses.

Gerhardt’s desire to bring classical music to everyone, has seen him play a Hamburg maternity ward, a fitness studio in Oldenburg and a Cleveland supermarket.

Now the next step on his mission to invite people to experience classical music in a different way sees him going back to his street music roots with ‘Bach Bahn’. The concert at Berlin Central Train Station will see Gerhardt playing a series of Bach pieces at the busy terminal, a project, he tells Classic FM’s Anne-Marie Minhall, terrifies him. 

Born in Berlin in 1969, Gerhardt’s made his first public appearance with the Berlin Philharmonic at the age of 18. He went on to win the Young Concert Artists International Auditions in 1994. He has since gone on to receive much acclaim for his unique approach; he says he always leaves room for improvisation on the night and plays each piece as if it were written for him.

In addition to Bach Bahn, the German musician is juggling several other projects this spring – including his wedding just four days after premiering Thomas Larcher’s new work at the Wigmore Hall.

Classic FM’s Anne-Marie Minhall talks to the German star about inspiring kids with Bach, the dangers of reinterpretation, why the British are “more eloquent” than their German counterparts and the difficulties of choosing music for his wedding.   

Listen to the full interview