Guest blogger Danielle Marie Georgiou is the artistic director and choreographer of DGDG: Danielle Georgiou Dance Group. She also serves as the Assistant Director of the UT Arlington’s Dance Ensemble. And she’s a member of Muscle Nation.
Tonight at the Winspear Opera House, cello rivals Luka Sulic and Stjepan Hauser will join forces for a magical evening of music. 2CELLOS started when Sulic and Hauser came together in January 2011 and uploaded their cello version of Michael Jackson’s “Smooth Criminal” to YouTube.
Within just a few weeks, their video became a huge viral sensation, receiving more than 5 million views. Now, Luka and Stjepan’s success extends way beyond YouTube, and their fanbase continues to grow around the world. The duo has appeared on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno, The Ellen DeGeneres Show (twice in 6 months!) and Stefan Raab’s TV total in Germany.
I had the chance to interview 2Cellos via e-mail recently. They didn’t distinguish who was who in their responses, but it seems like Stjepan was doing most of the talking:
Danielle Georgiou: How long have you both been playing the cello?
2CELLOS: Since childhood. Luka started when he was 5, and I started when I was 8.
D.G.: What first got you interested in music and performing?
2CELLOS: I heard cello on the radio when I was really little and fell in love with its magic and warm sound straight away! Luka’s father is a cellist, too, so he was surrounded by the sound from an early age.
D.G.: What kept you interested in playing? For most kids, they drop their musical interests or switch around instruments. But you both were focused on the cello.
2CELLOS: Cello is such a universal instrument, its sound is the closest to the human voice! It is a very melodic instrument, so it can be very moving, touching and romantic – perfect for the tender and gentle stuff. But at the same time it has enormous power and can sound aggressive and strong! You can do anything on the cello, the range is so rich, you can play as high as the violin, as low as the double bass, you can pluck the strings like a guitar, you can play it like electric guitar, hit it like a percussion, there is nothing you can’t do! It is the most universal instrument, and we fell in love with it from the very start!
D.G.: So now you guys are experts. Do you keep taking lessons? And are you also teachers now?
2CELLOS: No, there is no time for that at the moment, we are constantly touring and traveling, but maybe in the future, we would like to work with the kids!
D.G.: Where did you two meet? And weren’t you both considered each other’s rivals? How did you join forces?
2CELLOS: Since we were both from the same country and both very promising and talented young cellists, very often people considered us to be a rivals. But in fact we were always great friends! We always wanted to play together, we knew this would be crazy, but we didn’t get a chance because we studied in different cities, later on in different countries. But it wasn’t until two years ago, when we finally joined forces, because Luka came to London for studies and I was already living there. We just started, made one video, and everything just exploded!
D.G.: Who all have you worked with? I know you toured with Elton John, but who else have you shared the stage with?
2CELLOS: We also played with Red Hot Chilli Peppers and George Michael. It was an unforgettable experience.
D.G.: What is it like being international music stars and touring the world?
2CELLOS: It can be tiring, but it is great! We have the opportunity to share our music with people all over the world, and this is incredible!
D.G.: And since you are both classically trained, what’s it like playing a pop song versus playing a classical piece? Do you prefer one over the other?
2CELLOS: We don’t like to divide music into categories. Anything we play we do it with the same passion, focus and enthusiasm. The main point is to deliver the message to the listener, no matter what you play.
D.G.: Have you written your own compositions and performed them?
2CELLOS: We have one song on the latest album, IN2ITION, but want to do more in the future.
D.G.: Are you excited to come to Dallas?
2CELLOS: Sure! Cant wait!
D.G.: What can we expect from the show?