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Marcel Johannes Kits

Marcel Johannes Kits (*1995) is one of the most promising cellists to emerge from Estonia, having won the 1st Prize at the Johannes Brahms Competition in Austria in 2016 and at the George Enescu Competition in Romania in 2018. He has also won 1st prizes at the major competitions in Estonia (TV competition Classical Stars in 2013 and National String Competition in 2015). In 2019 he was semifinalist at the ARD cello competition.

During this season he’s performing with the Munich Chamber Orchestra, Novosibirsk Chamber Orchestra (conductor Andres Mustonen), Tallinn Chamber Orchestra (conductor Tõnu Kaljuste) and the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra (conductor Vassily Sinaisky).

During the last season he performed with the Moscow Chamber Orchestra (conductor Andres Mustonen), George Enescu Philharmonic Orchestra (conductor Paul Watkins), St. Petersburg Symphony Orchestra in the Grand Hall of the St. Petersburg Philharmonia (conductor Yuwon Kim).

He has also performed in China and Japan and in venues such as Konzerthaus Berlin, Moscow Conservatory, Boulez Saal, Laeiszhalle Hamburg, Prinzregententheater München, Romanian Athenaeum in Bucharest, Tel Aviv Opera House and Jerusalem Theatre.

He has performed as a soloist with the Latvian National Symphony Orchestra, Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, Kymi Sinfonietta, Württembergische Philharmonie Reutlingen, Südwestdeutsches Kammerorchester Pforzheim, Pärnu City Orchestra, Jena Philharmonic Orchestra, Israel Symphony Orchestra Rishon LeZion, Liepāja Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra Ensemble Kanazawa, and worked with conductors such as Risto Joost, Olari Elts, Wolfgang Emanuel Schmidt, Arvo Volmer, Mikk Murdvee, Mihkel Kütson and Jüri Alperten.

In 2015 he recorded the CD Songs of Childhood by Arvo Pärt and in 2016-2018 he recorded CDs for Deutsche Stiftung Musikleben in Hamburg Laeiszhalle, Pierre Boulez Saal and Hamburg Elbphilharmonie. Being passionate about chamber music, he has played from the age of 9 in the Trio ‘95 with Robert Traksmann (violin) and Rasmus Andreas Raide (piano).

Marcel showed great interest in the cello when he was just four years old, and began his first lessons at the age of five. He studied with Laine Leichter at the Tallinn Music High School from 2002 and with Mart Laas from 2011 in the same school. From 2014, he studied with Prof. Francis Gouton at the Trossingen University of Music (Germany) and from 2018 he is continuing his studies at the Berlin University of the Arts with Prof. Jens Peter Maintz.

He has participated in masterclasses of Steven Isserlis, Ivan Monighetti, Wolfgang Emanuel Schmidt, David Geringas and many others.

Between 2010 and 2014 he was given a full scholarship in the three-week Astona International Summer Academy in Switzerland.

He receives a scholarship from the International Academy of Music in Liechtenstein and participates regularly in the intensive music weeks and activities offered by the Academy.

He is supported by the Deutsche Stiftung Musikleben, Cultural Endowment of Estonia and the Association of Estonian Professional Musicians, which awarded him the “Musician of the year” Prize in 2019.

Marcel plays an Italian cello made by Francesco Ruggeri (Cremona, 1674) and a bow made by Victor Fétique, both kindly on loan to him by the Deutsche Stiftung Musikleben.