"Hecker plays like an angel ... the beauty of her sound is enhanced by an exquisitely elegant line and sweeping lyricism. There is absolutely no artifice to mislead the audience; her performance comprises musicality and pure talent."
Representation: UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand
Photo: Harald Hoffmann
A much sought after cellist, Marie-Elisabeth Hecker, has appeared with orchestras such as the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Deutsches Sinfonieorchester Berlin, Frankfurt Radio Symphony, Gewandhaus Orchestra Leipzig, Mariinsky Orchestra, Orchestre de Paris, Philharmonia Orchestra, and Vienna Symphony Orchestra with conductors including Barenboim, Gergiev, Harding, Janowski, Nagano, and Saraste. In addition, she has appeared in recitals in Amsterdam, Barcelona, Berlin, Frankfurt, Jerusalem, London, Lucerne, Madrid, Milan, Munich, New York, Paris, Vancouver, Verbier and Zurich. With an extensive discography, her recent releases include Brahms’ Cello Sonatas with pianist Martin Helmchen and Elgar’s Cello Concerto with the Antwerp Symphony Orchestra and Edo De Waart.
Cellist Marie-Elisabeth Hecker made her international breakthrough with her sensational success at the 8th Rostropovich Competition in Paris in 2005, where she became the first contestant in the event’s history to win the first prize as well as two special prizes. Since then Hecker has become one of the most sought-after soloists and chamber musicians of her generation, recognised for her deep expression and natural affinity for the cello, with Die Zeit describing her playing as “heartbreakingly sad and instinctively beautiful”.
Born in Robert Schumann’s hometown Zwickau in 1987, Hecker started playing the cello at the age of five at the Robert Schumann Conservatory, before studying full-time with the distinguished German cellist Peter Bruns. She continued her studies with Heinrich Schiff and subsequently took part in masterclasses with eminent figures such as Anner Bylsma, Bernard Greenhouse, Frans Helmerson, Gary Hoffman and Steven Isserlis. Early recognition came when she won Germany’s important Jugend musiziert competition at the age of twelve, followed by the special prize at the 2001 Dotzauer Competition and the Borletti-Buitoni Trust Award in 2009. She is supported by the Kronberg Academy.
Highlights of her career to date include performances with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Gewandhaus Orchestra Leipzig, Konzerthausorchester Berlin, Mariinsky Orchestra, Netherlands Radio Chamber Orchestra, Orchestre National de France, Philharmonia Orchestra, Philharmonisches Staatsorchester Hamburg, Staatskapelle Berlin and the Vienna Symphony Orchestra, collaborating with conductors such as Barenboim, Gergiev and Nagano. Making her debut with the Philharmonic Orchestra in London, this season also sees Hecker return to the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra to tour Israel under the baton of Vladimir Janowski.
Appearing at some of the world’s most prestigious concert halls Hecker has performed with her partner Martin Helmchen at venues such as the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Carnegie Hall in New York, London’s Wigmore Hall, Louvre in Paris, Konzerthaus Wien and the Zürich Tonhalle. She also appears in different chamber music constellations across Europe with Viviane Hagner, Michael Lifits, Christian Tetzlaff and Carolin Widmann. Her chamber music performances this season include the Cheltenham Festival, London’s Wigmore Hall and the Rheingau Festival in a quartet with Veronika Eberle, Martin Helmchen and Tatjana Masurenko; the Vienna Konzerthaus with Martin Helmchen and Carolin Widmann; and the Schubertiade with the Apollon Musagète Quartet.
In May 2016 Hecker’s recording of the Brahms Cello Sonatas with Martin Helmchen was released on the label Alpha Classics label to critical acclaim.
Aside from her concert performances Marie-Elisabeth Hecker was appointed Professor at the University of Music Carl Maria von Weber Dresden in August 2017 and regularly travels to Rwanda in co-operation with Music Road Rwanda in order to support a local music school with concerts and educational projects.