SYMPHONIC ROCK MEETS INTERPRETATIONS OF CLASSIC ROCK
A while back I was searching YouTube for a music video, and stumbled across a kind of funny video that stuck in my mind. Two young musicians in 17th Century court dress were giving a cello concert in a Baroque music hall, the audience also in 17th Century clothing, powdered wigs and all!
They began playing Vivaldi, then suddenly it turned into a ‘dueling cellos’ concert as they segued into a cover of “Thunderstruck” by AC/DC! Fascinating, as a certain Vulcan might have remarked! When I had time, I searched out other videos and information about the musicians.
It turns out that the two young musicians, Luka Sulic from Maribor, Slovenia and Stjepan Hauser from Pula, Croatia (both countries are part of the former Yugoslavia), are both international recognized and celebrated CLASSICAL music performers.
Sulic and Hauser first met in their teens while attending classes in Croatia. Sulic went on to study in Vienna, Austria and London, England. Hauser conducted his advanced studies in Manchester and then also London, England. Of note, during his time in London, Hauser played two private recitals for Prince Charles.
For the duration of their schooling and training years, Sulic and Hauser were rivals, opponents in music competitions. Between them, they have enough music awards and prizes to paper that Baroque music hall in the video Apparently though, the pair found that being two of the most recognized young classical musicians in the world, though proper and noble, was much less than financially rewarding!
In an attempt to alleviate their financial straits, in January, 2011 Sulic and Hauser entered the pop music world by recording a cover of Michael Jackson’s “Smooth Criminal” specifically for YouTube. That music video became an overnight sensation! 2Cellos had created a new style of music, dubbed “Ba-Rock”.
By May 2011, 2Cellos had recorded and released their first album, self-titled 2Cellos. They diligently searched for rock and pop music that could be transcribed for their two cellos, and ended up covering songs by such diverse originals as Guns N’Roses, Kings of Leon, Nine Inch Nails, Nirvana, Ricky Martin, Sting, U2, and, of course, Michael Jackson.
2Cellos next embarked on a world tour with Elton John in June 2011, culminating in the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Concert at Buckingham Palace on June 4, 2012.
Early in 2013, 2Cellos’s second album, In2ition, was released. It does have some Classical music, but is primarily covers. However, the duets are with such dissimilar musicians as Elton John, Lang Lang, Naya Rivera, Sky Ferreira, Steve Vai, and Zucchero.
A music video of 2Cellos, joined by Steve Vai on AC/DCs “Highway to Hell” was also released to YouTube at this album’s debut.
In summer of 2013, 2Cellos again accompanied Elton John on another world tour, culminating in December with two days of soldout performances at Madison Square Garden in New York.
The “Thunderstruck” video I saw was released in February 2014, and in March 2Cellos embarked on their first solo concert tour, to Japan.
Their third album, Celloverse, was released early in 2015. It is, again, mostly covers, but as a bonus includes a DVD with seven videos. Some are concert recordings, some are YouTube videos. I ordered this album from Amazon myself, and am eagerly awaiting its delivery.
2Cellos also embarked on a solo world tour early this year, beginning in America, but had to postpone the rest of the American dates when Hauser was injured. They do plan to resume the European half of the tour in June.
Sulic and Hauser say that although their albums are primarily rock and pop music, they do not intend to desert their classical roots. Of their five scheduled concerts in Europe this summer, two are Classical and three are rock. They say that their future plans are to tour with a combined classical and modern orchestra.
Check out some of 2Cellos’s music videos on YouTube. Their music is good, and the videos are entertaining as well. Maybe, like me, you’ll find them good enough to order their albums.
Although the two record covers of mainly rock songs, Šulić and Hauser say they still play with orchestras and will not abandon playing classical music. The cellists say they would someday like to go on tour with both a classical and a contemporary orchestra.