German Cellist Maria Kliegel Launches New Cello Pedagogy Initiative

Based in Essen, Germany, the Cello-Forum La Cellissima is geared to students wishing to pursue professional music careers

Founder Maria Kliegel


Maria Kliegel founded Cello-Forum La Cellissima in September 2021, in which she gives masterclasses and individual lessons across three days to students who apply to the program. 

Up to four individual lessons of 50 minutes each can be booked, and for those looking to complete the full three-day course, five lessons will be offered. The complete course accepts a maximum of three participants. 

The initiative teaches skills such as consolidation of repertoire, instrumental technique, efficient practice, confidence and managing stage fright, memorization, and the advice and mediation for the search of a suitable teacher, an instrument, or a bow.

A student of János Starker at Indiana University, Kliegel was described by cellist Mstislav Rostropovich as “the best cellist I have heard since Jacqueline du Pré.”

She was the winner of several first prizes in cello competitions including the American University Competition in Chicago, Bonn’s German Music Competition, Brazil’s Aldo Parisot Competition, and Paris’ Concours Rostropovich. With one million CDs sold worldwide, her solo appearances and extensive repertoire is the subject of many audio and visual recordings. 

As a jury member in many competitions, including Germany’s ARD International Cello Competition, she is additionally known for her role in music education — with this forum as an expansion of her pedagogy. 

In 2019, Kliegel served as a faculty member of the newly founded Institute of Musical Excellence in Wroclaw, Poland. From November 2021, she will hold a professorship at Brescia’s University of Music in Italy. Kliegel plays a cello by Carlo Tononi, c.1730, Venice. 

“The aim of the Cello-Forum is to establish itself as a unique contact point for cellists outside the regular university business,” said Kliegel. “It should provide support for those who have not yet found a suitable place to study or who are preparing for the inevitable ‘entrance examination’ event.

“Such a process sometimes takes many frustrating years, uncertainties, doubts, fears and discouragement gain the upper hand,” she continued. “Hard-earned quality is lost, so I would like to prepare and follow up auditions, put competition preparations in the most objective, self-critical but positive light possible, observe concert appearances and CD recordings, and provide advice and assistance. The more questions students ask, the better. An enrichment for everyone and a challenge for me!”

To apply for the next available forum from January 4 to 6, 2021, and future forums, click here