Photo: Lisa Notzke


“I’m not an opera groupie”

With her cello
is constantly on the road, as a soloist and in ensembles. She also stages concert formats – also in the HIDALGO collective, of which she is a founding member, and as the new dramaturgical director of HIDALGO. Anne tells us what she has against classical music theater, why concerts have to be physical and why her cello is a Ferrari

Elisabeth Pilhofer


Anne, you are very successful as a cellist – why don’t you concentrate on this talent? Why do you still come up with event formats as a concert designer?

Because I find it exciting to put things together into something bigger. But don’t get me wrong: I love music! I find so much in it that fulfills me. But there’s something else inside me. I played a lot of theater as a child – and even then I tried to combine theater with music.

So you like opera?

No, I’m definitely not an opera groupie. The music is great and I admire the voices and the artistry, but even for me as a concert designer, opera as an overall spectacle is often intangible.

Why not?

I can’t generalize what exactly my problem is. It’s often too artificial for me. Sometimes the acting is weak, therefore not honest and actually superfluous. At times like this, opera seems stiff to me – like an old and inaccessible art form.

How do you want to better address the audience at your concerts?

By breaking with the conventional format and packaging the music differently. I incorporate dance, for example. For me, the physical is much more concrete and accessible. A person meets a person.

And what ideally happens then?

The audience and the performers come closer together and become aware of the possibility of influencing each other. A cozy reception is replaced by a shared experience. Of course, this requires a relatively intimate setting.

What do you see as your role in the HIDALGO collective?

I think I’m responsible for the enthusiasm. That’s my nature: to be a little more extremely happy about things than everyone else.

What brings you back to calm?

I’m the worst person to chill out with. Either I sleep or I do something. Zero or one hundred, there’s not much in between for me. Which can be exhausting.

Are you an instrumentalist who practices the cello manically for hours every day?

I don’t pick up the cello every free minute with inspiration. There are too many other things that are fun for that. In a way, the cello is my working partner.

But that doesn’t sound very romantic.

Of course I love working and practicing with my cello. It is a wonderful piece of wood, far more than a simple utilitarian object. I have to take good care of it. For example, I regularly care for the bow with rosin, i.e. bow resin. Then the horsehair rushes over the strings again with plenty of grip. And every now and then the cello comes into the workshop for a check-up.

Like a car?

Yes. (laughs) But my cello is not a Ford Fiesta. More like a Ferrari.

Back to the HIDALGO collective: What are your hopes for the next few years of collaboration?

That I meet even more new, crazy people. And that there is still no right or wrong here, no matter what kind of humbug you come up with. It’s about experiencing something new, without judgment. For me, this is exactly what HIDALGO stands for: making things tangible. It’s great that this special space exists.