Nella Hunkins Cellist

         Nella picture


           Brief biography

                workshops and

          Concert schedule

          Solo cello

         The Bach Duo

          The Montpellier Duo 

         The Tivoli Trio

 Nella and Kneale

The Bach Duo

The Bach Duo's members are Nella Hunkins, violoncello and Micaela Schmitz, 
harpsichord; both are Americans who have spent much of their lives in Europe. 
They offer many programmes, including Bach viola da gamba sonatas, suites 
for solo cello or harpsichord, and duos by other baroque composers.

The duo can be contacted via email or by ringing 01386 859648.

Nella Hunkins is from New York and comes from a family of professional 
musicians. She began her studies at an early age with her cellist father, whose 
cello she has inherited and plays since 1969. At 14 she enrolled at Juilliard and 
studied with Leonard Rose, ultimately finishing two degrees at Indiana University 
under Janos Starker. 

In 1968 she received a Fulbright scholarship to study at the Paris Conservatory. 
Her first major appointment was Associate Principal Cellist with Cleveland 
Orchestra in 1973. Family and musical activities brought her to Berlin where 
she played with the Berlin Philharmonic Ensemble, including their Denon 
recording of Boccherini Quintets. She performed at the Casals Festival 1974-78,
Salzburg Festivals 1984-90, and as a soloist with orchestras in New York, Berlin,
and Singapore as well chamber music tours.

For eight years she was principal cellist of the Singapore Symphony Orchestra. 
She has taught at the Cleveland Institute, Oberlin Conservatory (1971-78), 
Berlin Hochschule der Kunste (1980-86), the National University of Singapore's 
music conservatory  (as a founding faculty member), and as performance coach
for the youth orchestra of the Jeunesse Musicale. She has since chosen to make
her home in the Cotswolds, where she has made it her mission to share her love 
of chamber music, especially that of J.S. Bach

Micaela Schmitz (originally from the U.S.) specialises in early keyboard 
instruments, including harpsichord, fortepiano and clavichord. She earned her 
Doctorate of Musical Arts under Arthur Haas at the Eastman School of Music, 
in Rochester, New York. This was preceded by a first degree in Music at U.C. 
Berkeley, and a Masters in Choral Conducting. She spent two years studying 
with Jacques Ogg and Bart van Oort at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague 
on a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship. As a soloist she has received acclaim 
for her performance of Bach’s Goldberg Variations, which features an 
entertaining pre-concert talk.

She has performed with Laurence Cummings, Paul Simmonds (duo keyboard
repertoire); gambist Jacqui Robertson-Wade, and with Cathryn Dew, recorders. 
Her ensemble Lady Georgianna offers costumed 18th-century presentations. 
She delivers arts workshops with Early Music in the Vale, is Education Officer 
for the Chipping Campden Music Festival, and co-runs the Worcestershire Waits,
an early music ensemble for young people aged 8-16. She edits the magazine 
Harpsichord & Fortepiano, and received a Finzi Trust Scholarship in 2008-9 to 
research and edit 18th-century songs. 

Programmes include:

Music of Joy for All the World   

Bach's viola da gamba Sonata in D Major, the crown jewel of the repertoire, 
is flanked by virtuosic keyboard works and other baroque treasures by Vivaldi 
and Marcello, including a Bach transcription of a Marcello concerto.

Music of Peace for All Time 

Sharing a title with their CD, this programme features the timeless music of 
Bach including viola da gamba sonatas, works by Vivaldi, and works by Bach 
based on models of Vivaldi.

This programme includes works by Bach and Vivaldi, including passages for 
two instruments where there is a certain degree of improvisation alongside ones 
where every note is written out (except for a few embellishments), and works 
for solo instruments that show simplicity in a single voice next to works where 
one instrument stands in for an entire orchestra. Vivaldi was much admired by 
Bach so we have included his work as well.


"Just one of my most memorable evenings - it went so fast - loved every minute. 
Thank you."  (Concert goer, 20 November 2010)

"Still buzzing! Loved the concert!" (Concert goer, 20 November 2010)

"I thought the interchange [in the Vivaldi Four Seasons] between soloist Lin and
concertmaster Alexander Souptel couldn’t be beat until I heard his interplay with
magnificent principal cellist Nella Hunkins in the other three concertos.” 
(Gil French, American Record Guide)

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