Pieter Wispelwey Plays Brahms

with Caroline Almonte

Pieter Wispelwey


An ambitious undertaking encompassing the complete cello works of Beethoven, the six solo suites of Bach and Brahms’s cello sonatas performed over three consecutive evenings.

‘A musician through and through, someone you can always trust to get the message right.’ Gramophone Magazine

There are a handful of musicians who inspire the adoration (not just the admiration) of audiences, critics and other musicians. Pieter Wispelwey is one of them. The Dutch cellist is a master of both the modern and the Baroque cello with the interpretative range and technical command equal to the most challenging works. He specialises in performances that cast new light on familiar repertoire. Gramophone Magazine described him as a ‘musician through and through, someone you can always trust to get the message right.’

A familiar presence on Australian stages, Wispelwey has performed with the Australian Chamber Orchestra and made his Melbourne Recital Centre debut in 2011 with an acclaimed solo recital. In 2017, his ambitious agenda encompasses the complete cello works of Beethoven, the six solo suites of Bach, and Brahms’s cello sonatas all performed over three consecutive evenings. Melbourne-based pianist Caroline Almonte is the perfect partner for the virtuoso musical conversations of Beethoven and Brahms. This is your opportunity to experience three facets of one of the world’s great cellists in one of the world’s great halls.

Brahms was inspired by both Bach and Beethoven (there are hints of their music in the first sonata) to compose music that combined the clarity of the Baroque with the passion of the Romantic. The decorous First Sonata is a marked contrast to the epic sweep of the mature Second – two sides of the same man. As a bonus, Wispelwey and Almonte offer a transcription of Brahms’s Violin Sonata No.1, which is every bit as ravishing on the cello.

Marshall McGuire, Director of Artistic Planning on Pieter Wispelwey:

The cello works of Beethoven, Bach and Brahms revealed, and revelled in, by one of the great cellists of our time. Bold, intense and unforgettable.

Presented by Melbourne Recital Centre


Johannes Brahms

Cello Sonata in D, Op.78 (transcription of Violin Sonata No.1 in G, Op.78)
Cello Sonata No.1 Op.38


Cello Sonata No.2 in F, Op.99


Join musicians and experts to delve deeper into the music and lives of the composers by attending a free pre-concert talk 45-minutes before each Great Performers concert.


This production is part of the following series:

Welcome to Great Performers 2017

Melbourne Recital Centre’s flagship international recital series, showcasing the truly greatest solo performers from across the globe.