Hecker plays like an angel … the beauty of her sound is enhanced by an exquisitely elegant line and sweeping lyricism.
There is absolutely no artifice to mislead the audience; her performance comprises musicality and pure talent.’ El Pais Cellist Marie-Elisabeth Hecker made her international breakthrough with her sensational success at the 8th Rostropovich Competition in Paris in 2005, where she became the first contestant in the event?s history to win the first prize as well as two special prizes. Since then Hecker has become one of the most sought-after soloists and chamber musicians of her generation, recognised for her deep expression and natural affinity for the cello, with Die Zeit describing her playing as ?heartbreakingly sad and instinctively beautiful?. Born in 1987 in Robert Schumann?s hometown Zwickau, Hecker began learning the cello at the age of five, with the distinguished German cellist Peter Bruns becoming her principal teacher. She continued her studies with Heinrich Schiff and subsequently took part in masterclasses with eminent figures such as Anner Bylsma, Frans Helmerson, Bernard Greenhouse, Gary Hoffman and Steven Isserlis. Early recognition came when she won Germany?s important Jugend musiziert competition at the age of twelve, followed by the special prize at the 2001 Dotzauer Competition and the Borletti-Buitoni Trust Award in 2009. She is supported by the Kronberg Academy. Among the highlights of her career to date are performances with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Deutsches Sinfonieorchester Berlin, Dresden Philharmonic, Filarmonica della Scala, Frankfurt Radio Symphony, Gewandhaus Orchestra Leipzig, Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, Mariinsky Orchestra, annover, Hannover, Netherlands Radio Chamber Orchestra, Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne, Orchestre de Paris, Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Orchestre National de Belgique, Orchestre Philharmonique de Luxembourg, Philharmonia Orchestra, Royal Flemish Philharmonic, Rundfunk Sinfonieorchester Berlin, Spanish National Orchestra, Staatskapelle Berlin and Vienna Symphony Orchestra. She had collaborated with conductors such as Barenboim, Gergiev, Harding, Hengelbrock, Herreweghe, Janowski, Luisi, Nagano, Saraste, Thielemann, von Dohnányi and Zacharias. In addition, she has appeared in recitals with her partner Martin Helmchen in Amsterdam, Barcelona, Berlin, Florence, Frankfurt (Alte Oper), Hohenems (Schubertiade), Jerusalem, London (Wigmore Hall), Lucerne (Lucerne Festival), Madrid, Milan, Munich, New York (Carnegie Hall), Paris, Vancouver, Verbier (Festival) and Zurich. Highlights of this season include the debuts with the Bielefeld Philharmoniker and its music dirtector Alexander Kalajdzic and the Hamburger Philharmoniker with Philippe Herreweghe as well as return invitations from the Konzerthausorchester Berlin, Rundfunk Symphonieorchester Berlin, Royal Flemish Philharmonic. As a passionate chamber musician, various projects are in the schedule; duo recitals with Martin Helmchen in Basel, Maastricht, Paris, and Vienna, trio performances with Martin Helmchen and Sharon Kam/Carolin Widman in Gent, Paris and at Rheingau Festival. As part of a piano quartet Marie-Elisabeth Hecker performs with Veronika Eberle, Martin Helmchen, Antoine Tamestit at the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Laeiszhalle Hamburg, Tonhalle Zurich. She will in addition take part in a chamber project at Toppan Hall in Tokyo with Christian Tetzlaff and Lars Vogt amongst others. She will also appear at the Hindsgavl, Jerusalem International Chamber and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Festivals. In co-operation with Music Road Rwanda Marie-Elisabeth Hecker regularly travels to Rwanda in order to support a local music school with concerts and educational projects.