Sonata for Violoncello and Piano in F major op. 6 Tr 115

(First edition)

Romance for Violoncello with Piano accompaniment in F major Tr 118


Une larme. Thème et variations

Raphaela Gromes
Julian Riem

Being the daughter of two cellists, Raphaela Gromes heard Strauss’ Cello Sonata “already in her mother’s womb” - albeit in the generally known second version. To this day, this second version of the sonata is one of Strauss’ most frequently performed early works. Raphaela Gromes and Julian Riem released the world premiere recording of the long-forgotten first version only last year - and it is this first version that they will perform in the opening concert of this year’s Richard-Strauss-Tage.
Just like Richard Strauss, Gioachino Rossini is remembered rather for his operas than for his chamber music. However, he had a special affinity for the sound of the lowest string instrument: the double bass. In the last decade of his life, Rossini (who had retired early as an opera composer) composed the deeply felt elegy Une larme (A Tear) for the double bass. The theme was apparently so important to him that he reworked it: thus he created an extended version for cello and piano - Rossini’s only original work for this instrumentation.

18:15 Introduction

Tickets € 29

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© Sammy Hart
© Sammy Hart

Raphaela Gromesborn in 1991, 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 soloist was in 2005 with Friedrich Gulda’s cello-concerto and was highly acclaimed both by the audience and the press. At the age of 14 she took up her studies at the University of Music and Theatre “Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy” Leipzig as extraordinary student with Peter Bruns. She continued her studies in 2010 at the University of Music and Performing Arts Munich with Wen-Sinn Yang, later on with Reinhard Latzko at the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna. She received valuable input from the master classes with well-known cellists like David Geringas, Yo-Yo Ma, Frans Helmerson, Natalia Gutman, Jens Peter Maintz, László Fenyö, Daniel Müller-Schott, Kristin von der Goltz, Wolfgang Boettcher, Anner Bylsma and Wolfgang Emanuel Schmid.

Previous engagements include music festivals like the Schleswig-Holstein Festival, the Ludwigsburg Festival, the Rheingau Music Festival and the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Festival. Raphaela Gromes also performed in prestigious concert halls such as the Tonhalle Zurich, the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, the Laeiszhalle in Hamburg, the Konzerthaus Berlin and the Vienna Konzerthaus. In spring 2018, she made her debut in the USA with the Fort-Worth Symphony Orchestra conducted by Miguel Harth-Bedoya. Projects in the 2019/20 season include her debuts with the Münchener Kammerorchester, in Asia with the Macao Orchestra, the New Year’s Concert with the Dresden Philharmonic and tours with the Festival Strings Lucerne, her piano partner Julian Riem and the Arcis Saxophon Quartet.

Furthermore, various composers have already dedicated cello concertos to her: the world premiere of Dominik Giesriegel’s cello concerto in 2012 was followed in 2013 by Valentin Bachmann’s cello concerto performed with the Philharmonic Orchestra Budweis conducted by David Svec. The third world premiere, the double concerto “Chroma” that Mario Bürki had written for Raphaela Gromes and Cécile Grüebler in 2014, brought her into contact with the Swiss military orchestra. Further on she collaborated with Kent Nagano and the Czech Philharmonic as well as with Christoph Altstaedt and the Beethoven Orchestra Bonn.

Raphaela Gromes has already won numerous prizes: In 2011 she was awarded the Musikförderpreis des Konzertverein Ingolstadt (young musicians’ scholarship), in 2012 she was first in the Competition Richard Strauss. In 2012 she was granted a scholarship of the Studienstiftung des Deutschen Volkes (German National Merit Foundation) and has been supported by Yehudi Menuhin Live Music Now since then. Furthermore she received the scholarship of the Hans and Eugenia Jütting Foundation Stendal. Raphaela Gromes and her duo cello partner Cécile Grüebler, received the Förderpreis der Theodor-Rogler-Stiftung Bad Reichenhall (young musicians’ scholarship) in 2014. In 2016 she was first in the cello solo competition of the German Music Council and became one of this year’s young talented musicians who receive special promotion (“Bundesauswahl Junger Solisten”). She was first prize winner of the Kulturkreis-Gasteig competition in 2012 and 2016. In 2019 she was awarded the Prize of the German Record Critics for her Offenbach release and the Bavarian Art Promotion Prize.

Raphaela Gromes’ cello was built by Jean-Baptiste Vuillaume in 1855 and is provided by a private benefactor.

© Sammy Hart
© Sammy Hart

Julian Riemstudied under Michael Schäfer at the University of Music and Performing Arts Munich and under Michel Béroff at the Conservatoire National Supérieur in Paris.
Most recently, he continued his studies in the soloist class of Rudolf Buchbinder at the Basle Music Academy, where he received the soloist diploma with honors. Early on declared by Béroff as one of the “most promising pianists of his generation”, he won international piano competitions in Modena, Madrid and Premio Vittorio Gui in Florence and was a scholarship holder of the German Music Competition.

As a soloist, chamber musician and Lied accompanist, he performs regularly in Europe, Japan and the USA. He plays both in the Velit Quartet and in the Munich Horn Trio, which received an Echo Klassik for the recording of the Horn Trios by Brahms, Ligeti and Koechlin at Farao classics in 2012. Together with cellist Raphaela Gromes he forms a solid duo whose CD recording ‘Serenata Italiana’ 2017 will be released by Sony classical. The CD program will be presented in season 17/18 in the Tonhalle Zurich, the Allerheiligen Hofkirche Munich, het Concertgebouw Amsterdam, the Konzerthaus Berlin, the Laiszhalle Hamburg and the Wiener Konzertverein.

He performed at international festivals like the Liszt-en-Provence Piano Festival, Musica mundi in Brussels, the Rolf Liebermann Podium Hamburg, Les Muséiques in Basel, the Mecklenburg Vorpommern Festival, the Munich Biennale, the Munich Opera Festival, the Rheingau Music Festival, the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival, the Oleg -Kagan Festival Kreuth, the Tucson Friends of Chambermusic, Arizona, Tongyeong International Music Festival, Korea, and Barge Music New York.