Friedrich Kleinhapl

"Intensity is part of everything I do."

Anyone who hears Friedrich Kleinhapl at a concert will realise immediately - this man is not playing the cello, he is the cello. His passionate style, his highly individual interpretation, his ability to draw forth inimitable sounds from his instrument, to make it sing - all these characteristics raise Friedrich Kleinhapl above the many other cellists. His virtuosity is not only testimony to his great talent, it is also the expression of an extraordinary life, the product of an unfaltering ambition to achieve musical perfection and the consequence of the drive to abandon the well-trodden paths and break new ground.

With an absolute reliance on his intuition and the sound of the cello, his performances move the hearts of even the most inexpert hearer. Even while he was a pupil with Philippe Muller in Paris, Kleinhapl began to pursue his vision of the perfect sound, and in the years afterwards he applied a virtually scientific meticulousness to its realisation. With the help of an anatomist and a biomechanic he developed his own unconventional playing technique.

In close collaboration with violin-makers and with the assistance of acoustic laboratories and state-of-art technology he perfected his instrument and had a specially designed chair built to suit his body size. The major health problems he suffered during this time did not set him back but instead opened up new dimensions, that were to have a lasting influence on his personality, arousing in him the desire to open up new musical territory. His efforts were soon rewarded, and even in his young years he worked with some of the great musicians such as Claudio Abbado, Lord Yehudi Menuhin, Paul Tortelier and Tibor Varga.