German cellist Peter Bruns returns to Durban

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KNOWN as one of Germany’s leading cellists, Peter Bruns opens the KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic Orchestra’s (KZNPO) Summer Season 2014 on Thursday at Durban City Hall. The event forms part of the KZNPO World Symphony Series Festival.


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PASSION: International cellist Peter Bruns performs at the opening of the KZNPOs Summer Season on Thursday.

PETER BRUNS, one of Germany’s leading cellists, opens the KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic Orchestra’s (KZNPO) Summer Season for this year on Thursday at Durban City Hall. The event forms part of the KZNPO World Symphony Series Festival.

He is in Johannesburg as we chat via Skype. Bruns is humble and a pleasure to chat to. Explaining how his passion for music began, he says: “I began to play with instruments at a very early age. I played the flute and also did piano playing, and actually the cello was quite late, like around nine years.

“That’s late because nowadays children begin at the age of five or six. I had a choice between the trombone, the flute and the cello, and somehow I decided to learn cello. But I play piano as well. Classical music was something that I heard all the time; I grew up with it. My parents were not musicians, but they listened to it all the time so it was common for me.

“From the beginning I took a liking to it, and I was asked to compose a piece on the piano when I was six years old, so I found I was a natural.”

As for the opening of the KZNPO Summer Season, Bruns says he is delighted to be playing at the concert: “I know the orchestra. I (have been) to Durban twice already. The first time was five years ago and the second time was about two-and-a-half years ago.

“And I noticed that it’s a very good orchestra – I’ve been looking forward to this. The second concerto that I am going to play is a very deep, sometimes slow and sometimes fast beat, and has a very special language of music and I really like to play it.”

For Bruns, music is etched into his soul. As we chat, I can tell that music is a part of who he is: “It’s the biggest part of my life.

“On one side it’s a hobby and of course it’s fun, and on the other side it’s my work and I know that I earn my money through it. So it’s very serious. Music is the centre of my life.”

Despite having performed across the globe, the accomplished cellist still gets nervous every time. I ask him what he considers most important right before taking the stage for a performance.

“To be very prepared and relaxed before going on stage. I think I feel (I should be) producing characters (who are) speaking to the audience.

“I look forward to the concert and when I go on stage I want to speak to the people,” he says.

Bruns tells me that he likes people to leave one of his performances feeling as though they have had a deep emotional experience.

“For me that’s the most important thing because music is a language of emotions, that’s why it’s all over the world.

“I would love people to tell me after a concert that they really felt the beat and were moved.”

• Peter Bruns performs at the Durban City Hall on Thursday February 20 at 7.30pm. Book through Computicket

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