Joan Bachs – Cello

What I love about playing in the Noga Quartet is bringing great music to life and making it fresh for a modern audience. I believe that great music can bring joy and enrichment in a world that has many problems.

As a child I was surrounded by music, paintings and books, and L’encyclopédie sur l’art was my favourite book. I had a fantastic inner life, and in many ways I’m still like that little boy at heart. I discovered the cello when I was three. I was listening to the Dvorak Cello Concerto and my parents remember me immediately trying to put together pieces of wood – one for the bow and one for the cello. I “played” along with the recording and felt it was me playing instead of Rostropovitch. When I then heard my first orchestra concert I dreamt that a cellist would get sick and that I would be asked to step in!

My studies led me to be selected for the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique in Lyon. When I moved to Berlin at age 19, I discovered a rich and glorious musical city. I went to every concert I could.

I studied in the Universität der Künster Berlin with two great teachers, Jens Peter Maintz and Wolfgang Emanuel Schmidt, and I learned how to freely express my own voice through the cello. What an experience to then be selected to play in the orchestral academies of the great Berlin orchestras, like the Deutsches Symphonie Orchester Berlin and the Berliner Philharmoniker.

For me, performing chamber music is like being part of a great school of life. It’s like being personally connected with the composer’s soul through the composer’s thoughts, feelings, fears and hopes. I studied first with the Artemis Quartet and then with the Alban Berg Quartet. Now playing in the Noga Quatrtet is one of the great joys of my life.