Highly virtuosic and full of drive, passionate and technically brilliant, versatile and charming – there are hardly any other cellists who are able to captivate their audiences the way Raphaela Gromes does. Whether as a soloist with orchestra, as a duo in chamber music or alongside a wind quartet, the young cellist always leaves everyone spellbound with both her fantastically ambitious and remarkably effortless playing.
Raphaela Gromes has been an exclusive artist with Sony Classical since 2016. Her albums are distinguished by creative programming and an explorative spirit. In fact, Gromes features a world premiere recording, such as Jacques Offenbach’s Hommage á Rossini, Klengel’s Cello Concerto No. 3 (with the RSB Orchestra and Nicholas Carter on “Romantic Cello Concertos”) or, in 2020, the original version of the Sonata op. 6 by Richard Strauss.
Her albums have won a number of awards: in 2019 she received the German Record Critics‘ Award for the CD “Offenbach”as well as the Bavarian Arts Promotion Award in the category “Music and Dance”. In 2020 she received the OPUS KLASSIK in the category chamber music/duo for her CD “Offenbach” together with pianist Julian Riem and was awarded the Diapason Nouveauté for her album “Richard Strauss – Cello Sonatas”. In February 2021 her album “Klengel – Schumann: Romantic Cello Concertos” received the Diapason d’Or.
Her latest album “Imagination’” was released on October 8, 2021 and immediately after release soared to the number 2 spot in the German classical music charts.
The album, already the 6th one by the Opus Klassik award winner, has been featured in the media on numerous occasions, including on WDR’s “Kölner Treff”, ZDF’s “Volle Kanne” and Morgenmagazin, as well as on NDR’s “DAS!” program.
Harald Eggebrecht of the Süddeutsche Zeitung comments on the new release in October 2021:
“But out of the standstill [caused by corona] she created something virtuous, pulling together an enjoyable, highly virtuosic fairies and trolls set of elegant romantic pieces and releasing it as a CD (Sony).“
Born in 1991, Raphaela Gromes starts taking cello-lessons at the age of four. Aged seven she appears at the encore of one of her parents’ concerts, both professional cellists.
Her first appearance as a soloist took place in the fall of 2005 with the Cello Concerto by Friedrich Gulda, a performance for which she received resounding acclaim from both audience and press. As a young student, she began her studies at the age of 14 at the University of Music and Theatre Mendelssohn-Bartholdy in Leipzig with Peter Bruns before continuing with Wen-Sinn Yang at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Munich in 2010 and later with Reinhard Latzko at the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna.
Awards to her name include First Prize at both the 2012 Richard Strauss Competition and the 2016 Concorso Fiorindo Turin, as well as the German Music Competition Prize in the solo cello category. Also since 2012 she has held a scholarship from the German Academic Scholarship Foundation and has been supported by Yehudi Menuhin Live Music Now.
She gained valuable musical inspiration from master classes with renowned cellists such as David Geringas, Yo-Yo Ma, Frans Helmerson, Jens Peter Maintz, László Fenyö, Daniel Müller-Schott, Kristin von der Goltz, Wolfgang Boettcher, Anner Bylsma and Wolfgang Emanuel Schmid.
Raphaela Gromes celebrated her debut at such renowned festivals as the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival, the Jungfrau Music Festival Interlaken, the Vorsprung Festival of the Audi Summer Concerts in Ingolstadt with Kent Nagano, the Munich Opera Festival, the Marvao International Music Festival, the Edinburgh International Festival, the Rheingau Music Festival, the Ludwigsburg Schlossfestspiele and the Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, and has given guest appearances at the Tonhalle Zurich, the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, the Elbphilharmonie and Laeiszhalle Hamburg, and the concert halls of Berlin, Vienna and Dortmund. In 2018, a tour took her to the United States, in 2019 to Korea, and in 2020 to China.
In 21/22, debuts will follow with the Tonkünstler Orchestra, the Frankfurt Radio Symphony, at the Festspielhaus Baden-Baden, the Philharmonie Essen and again at the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, the Prinzregententheater Munich and, for the first time, at the Isarphilharmonie Munich, plus concerts in the Netherlands, France and Central America. In the 2022/23 season, she will be Artist in Residence at the Staatstheater Augsburg and will make her debut with the Belgian National Orchestra in Brussels.
Raphaela Gromes‘ performances together with her pianist Julian Riem are acclaimed for being perfectly-executed duets: “The two of them really do redefine instrumental duet playing in their own way: Gromes and Riem play chamber music symbiotically”, raves “Die Presse” following their debut at the Vienna Konzerthaus. In addition to her regular duo partner Julian Riem, other chamber music partners of Gromes include Andreas Ottensamer, the piano duo Yaara Tal and Andreas Groethuysen, Lis de la Salle, Anais Gaudemard, Daniel Dodds, Christian Altenburger, Isabelle von Keulen, Patrick Demenga and Mischa Maisky.
Furthermore, a number of cello concertos have already been dedicated to her: Dominik Giesriegl’s Cello Concerto in 2012 and Valentin Bachmann’s Cello Concerto in 2013. Her third world premiere, the double concerto Chroma composed for Raphaela Gromes and Cécile Grüebler by Mario Bürki in 2014, teamed the young cellist up with the Swiss Military Orchestra. 2022 included the world premiere of the work Arcobaldo della vita for cello, piano and string orchestra by Igor Loboda, dedicated by the composer to the duo Gromes – Riem, and performed with the Georgian Chamber Orchestra Ingolstadt under the baton of Ruben Gazarian.
Raphaela Gromes plays a cello by Carlo Bergonzi dating from around 1740 provided to her from a private source.
She is a cultural ambassador for SOS Children’s Villages worldwide and an ambassador for the José Carreras Leukemia Foundation.
The Munich-born pianist Julian Riem studied with Michael Schäfer at the University of Music and Performing Arts Munich, with Michel Béroff at the Conservatoire National Supérieur in Paris and in Rudolf Buchbinder’s class of soloists at the Basel Academy of Music.
Even early on he was hailed by Béroff as one of the „most promising pianists of his generation“. He won international piano competitions in Modena and Madrid as well as the Premio Gui competition in Florence and was awarded a scholarship by the Deutscher Musikwettbewerb (German Music Competition).
As a soloist, chamber musician and lieder accompanist he regularly performs in Europe, Japan and the USA, at such renowned venues as the Konzerthaus Vienna, Het Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Konzerthaus Berlin, Tonhalle Maag Zurich and Munich’s Herkulessaal.
He and cellist Raphaela Gromes form an established duo whose four CD recordings for Sony classical have not only been distinguished with numerous awards but have all made it into the official German classical music charts. These CDs feature world premieres and several arrangements by Julian Riem. „Offenbach“ got the „Opus Klassik“ for chamber music 2020, the recording of Richard Strauss‘ Cellosonatas was awarded a Diapason d’or.
He is also a member of the Velit Piano Quartet and the Münchner Horntrio (Munich Horn Trio) which was awarded an Echo Klassik in 2012 for its recording of the trios by Brahms, Ligeti and Koechlin released by Farao classics.
Julian Riem makes regular guest appearances at international festivals, including the Munich Opera Festival, Festspiele Mecklenburg Vorpommern, Rheingau Music Festival, Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival, Liszt-en-Provence Piano Festival, Musica mundi in Brussels, Les Muséiques in Basel, Tucson Friends of Chamber Music, Arizona, Barge Music New York, Tongyeong International Music Festival, Korea, International Music Festival Marvão, Portugal, among others.
In addition to the classical concert repertoire, Riem also devotes himself to modern and contemporary composers. Alongside Messiaen, Ligeti, Stockhausen, Henze, Boulez, Xenakis, Schnittke and Hartmann, his programs include works and world premieres by Liebermann, Stahmer, Bourbodakis, Illes, Koch, Cowell and Ranjbaran.
Musical collaborations have included e.g. Ingolf Turban, Christoph Poppen, Christian Altenburger, Wen-Sinn Yang, Reinhard Latzko, Maximilian Hornung, Isabelle van Keulen, Jano Lisboa and Andreas Schablas, as well as Susanne Kelling, Carolina Ulrich and Juliane Banse.
Numerous CD recordings are a testament to his extensive artistic pursuits, primarily in the field of chamber music.
was born in Adelaide, Australia. He studied at the Lucerne Conservatory with Prof. Gunars Larsens and received all diplomas, teaching diploma, concert maturity diploma and soloist diploma, "with distinction". He continued his studies with Prof. Keiko Wataya at the Utrecht Conservatory in Holland and in master classes with Piero Farulli, Rudolf Baumgartner, Franco Gulli, Nathan Milstein and Thomas Zehetmair. Daniel Dodds is the winner and prize-winner of various international competitions and scholarships, including the Dorcas McClean Prize for Violin, Queen Elisabeth Jubilee Trust, the Mozart Prize of the City of Lucerne, a scholarship from the Migros Genossenschaftsbund, the Adelaide International Violin Competition, the Rudolfo Lipizer International Violin Competition, the Renata Molinari International Violin Competition and the Vaclav Huml International Violin Competition. Since 2000 he has been concertmaster of the Festival Strings Lucerne. Concerts with this internationally renowned chamber orchestra have taken him to the great concert halls of Europe, North/South America and Asia. Daniel Dodds appears regularly as soloist with the Festival Strings Lucerne all over the world, and conducts concerts and tours from the first desk. In 2008 he was invited to join the Lucerne Festival Orchestra conducted by Claudio Abbado.
Daniel Dodds appears regularly as soloist with the Festival Strings Lucerne all over the world, and conducts concerts and tours from the first desk. In 2008 he was invited to join the Lucerne Festival Orchestra conducted by Claudio Abbado. As a soloist and chamber musician, Daniel Dodds regularly performs concerts in Switzerland and abroad. He has performed solo concerts with orchestras in Europe, North and South America, Asia and Australia. Daniel Dodds plays the Stradivarius "ex Rudolf Baumgartner" from 1717, which is made available to him by the Festival Strings Lucerne Foundation.