A new recording featuring a distinguished alumnus will be released this year by King’s College: Tecchler’s Cello: From Cambridge to Rome features former chorister and renowned cellist Guy Johnston. The new album, due for release in September, is available for pre-order from today.
The album includes Ola Gjeilo’s Serenity (O Magnum Mysterium), performed by Guy and King’s College Choir on BBC Carols from King’s in 2015. The track has been recorded specially for this album and is available as an instant free download when pre-ordering the album. A stunning line-up of artists are represented on Tecchler’s Cello, with performances by another BBC Young Musician of the Year, Sheku Kanneh-Mason, as well as Tom Poster, Magnus Johnston, and the Orchestra of the Accademia di Santa Cecilia under the direction of Carlo Rizzari.
One of the most exciting and versatile British cellists of his generation, Guy Johnston was born into an artistic family. Guy Johnston began his musical journey as a chorister by joining his brothers in the world-renowned Choir of King’s College, Cambridge, under the tutelage of Stephen Cleobury. He went on to achieve early success through the BBC Young Musician of the Year title, the Guilhemina Suggia Gift, the Shell London Symphony Orchestra Gerald MacDonald Award, as well as receiving a Classical Brit Award at the Royal Albert Hall.
Guy now plays a 1714 Tecchler cello, and in its third centenary he set out to celebrate the life of the instrument and its creator, commissioning a number of new works. He explains:
‘I began to ask myself lots of questions – How did David Tecchler end up settling in Rome, who was he making cellos for, and how did this cello come into my hands? What is my journey and role as a cellist in the 21st century? I decided to mark this anniversary by commissioning three works as gifts for the cello by celebrated British composers David Matthews, Mark Simpson and Charlotte Bray. I asked them to think of the role of the cello in the last three centuries and to let their imagination run wild.’
Guy’s inspiration then led him to Italy, taking his cello back home to get to the root of some of these questions. Joined by friends from both countries, recorded at locations close to his heart, and featuring works from across his cello’s 300 years, this album traces that musical journey, from Cambridge to Rome.