Marcel Johannes Kits (1995) is one of the most promising young cellists to emerge from Estonia, having won the 1st prizes and special prizes at the Johannes Brahms competition in Austria in 2016 and at the George Enescu competition in Romania in 2018. He has also won 1st prizes at the major competitions in Estonia (TV competition “Classical Stars” in 2013 and National String Competition in 2015).

During the last season he had recitals in China and Japan and concerts with the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra (conductor Andres Mustonen) in Israel, Bad Reichenhaller Philharmoniker in Germany, Pärnu City Orchestra (conductor Jüri Alperten) in Estonia and with Kymi Sinfonietta (conductor Andres Mustonen) in Finland. In February he made his debut in Konzerthaus Berlin with pianist Rasmus Andreas Raide and in March they had a recital tour in Estonia.

During this season he’s performing with the Moscow Chamber Orchestra (conductor Andres Mustonen) in Moscow, St. Petersburg Symphony Orchestra in St Petersburg (conductor Yuwon Kim), George Enescu Philharmonic Orchestra (conductor Paul Watkins) and is playing chamber music in the great hall of Hamburg Elbphilharmonie and Berliner Philharmonie.

He has performed as a soloist also with Estonian National SO, Württembergische Philharmonie Reutlingen, Südwestdeutsches Kammerorchester Pforzheim, Israel SO Rishon LeZion, Tallinn Chamber Orchestra, Latvian National SO, Liepāja SO, Orchestra Ensemble Kanazawa, Jena Philharmonic Orchestra, Euro Symphony SFK, SO of the Karlsruhe University of Music etc., and worked with conductors such as Risto Joost, Olari Elts, Mikk Murdvee, Wolfgang Emanuel Schmidt, Arvo Volmer and Mihkel Kütson. Marcel performed at the gala concert of Estonia’s 97th Independence Day with Estonian National Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Risto Joost.

He is a prize winner of several international competitions: 2nd prize at the international cello competition in Liezen (Austria, 2004), 1st and 2nd prize at the international Karl Davydov cello competition in Kuldiga (Latvia, 2006 and 2012), 2nd prize at the international Dombrovsky competition in Riga (Latvia, 2011). In 2015 he was awarded the prize of the friends and sponsors of Trossingen University of Music.

In 2015 he recorded the CD of the Songs of Childhood by Arvo Pärt and in 2016 and 2017 he recorded the CD-s of Deutsche Stiftung Musikleben in Hamburg Laeiszhalle and in the Pierre Boulez concert hall in Berlin.

Being passionate about chamber music, he has played from the age of 9 in a piano trio with Robert Traksmann (violin) and Rasmus Andreas Raide (piano).

Marcel showed great interest in the cello when he was just four years old, and began his first lessons at the age of five with Lembi Mets and Reet Mets. He studied with Laine Leichter in Tallinn Music High School from 2002 and with Mart Laas from 2011 in the same school. From October 2014, he studied with prof. Francis Gouton at Trossingen University of Music (Germany) and from 2018 he is continuing his studies at the Berlin University of the Arts with prof. Jens Peter Maintz.

He has participated in masterclasses of prof. Maria Kliegel, prof. Wolfgang Emanuel Schmidt, prof. László Fenyö, prof. Wen-Sinn Yang, prof. Jan-Erik Gustafsson, prof. Marko Ylönen, prof. Ivan Monighetti, prof. David Geringas and many others. In 2017 and 2019 he participated in the masterclass of Steven Isserlis at IMS Prussia Cove.

In 2010-2014 he was given a full scholarship in the three-week Astona International Summer Academy in Switzerland. He receives a scholarship from the International Academy of Music in Liechtenstein and participates regularly in the intensive music weeks and activities offered by the Academy. He receives a scholarship also from the Association of Estonian Professional Musicians and was awarded the “Musician of the year” title in 2019.

Marcel plays an Italian cello made by Francesco Ruggeri (Cremona, 1674) and a bow made by Victor Fetique, both kindly on loan to him by the Deutsche Stiftung Musikleben.

27. April 2019