Johannes Martens

Cello

− Coming to work and hearing my colleagues play is really fantastic. After a stressful morning with small children it can be a joy to sit down and play a symphony.

Johannes Martens

Cellist Johannes Martens had a brutal first meeting with the concert stage:

− My very first concert, with Ås Music School Orchestra, in the gym at Åsgård School, was a catastrophe, he says.

− I was 8 years old. My chair was placed at the edge of the stage, and when the conductor raised his stick, I twisted a bit and tipped backwards, over the edge. I didn’t get to play a single note, but ended up with a concussion and a totally wrecked cello. I think that experience brought out the devil in me, and I swore that I would become a musician.

One must make use of oneself on all levels

Johannes has two cello idols he always turns back to: Leonard Rose and Truls Mørk.

− They are like prophets to me, he laughs.

− As a musician, I’ve also been very inspired by our Conductor Laureate, Jukka-Pekka Saraste. He has a unique musical nerve.

Johannes was engaged by the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra in 2008, and is an active chamber musician. He plays a cello built by Francesco Rugeri in Cremona in 1690, on loan from Dextra Musica.

− Being a musician means making use of oneself on all levels: body, intellect, feelings and communication with other players and the audience. It is a challenge I appreciate enormously in the every day, as a source of growth as a human being.

Likes the daily life in the orchestra

The cellist has experienced many highlights in the course of his time in the orchestra, but also likes the daily life:

− Coming to work and hearing my colleagues play is really fantastic. After a stressful morning with small children it can be a joy to sit down and play a symphony.

He sees the music the orchestra plays as bridge-building − not just between people today, but also to our own past:

− The music creates long lines for us. Our music form is often labelled as “artistic music”, but that is a word we can not claim as our own. On this topic I'll recommend Richard Taruskin's Oxford History of Western Music. In the introduction, he describes elegantly how “score music” is a useful term which can be said to encompass the entire Western, “classical” music tradition, from the first recorded hymns until today. It is due to music being “manifested” through written notation that it attained such a unique position in the history of our art and culture. And I love how our repertoire spans so much of human experience, making us in one sense timeless.