Marcel Johannes Kits (1995) is one of the most promising young cellists to emerge from Estonia, having won the 1st prize 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). In 2019 he was the semifinalist at the ARD cello competition.

During this season he’s performing with Estonian National Symphony Orchestra (conductor Vassily Sinaisky), Symphony Orchestra of the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre (conductor Andres Mustonen), Pärnu City Orchestra (including the premiere of a cello concerto by Urmas Sisask, conductors Aivo Välja and Kaspar Mänd) and is making his debut at Konzerthaus Berlin (festival Young Euro Classic) and at Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. He’s also invited to be the guest principal cello of the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra in Munich.

He has also performed in China and Japan and at venues such as the grand hall of the St. Petersburg Philharmonia, grand hall of Hamburg Elbphilharmonie, Berliner Philharmonie, Moscow Conservatory, Boulez Saal, Laeiszhalle Hamburg, Prinzregententheater München, Romanian Athenaeum, Tel Aviv Opera House and Jerusalem Theatre.

He has performed as a soloist also with St. Petersburg Symphony Orchestra (Musical Olympus festival), Latvian National SO, Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, Kymi Sinfonietta, Jyväskylä Sinfonia, Novosibirsk Chamber Orchestra, Tallinn Chamber Orchestra, Munich Chamber Orchestra, Moscow Chamber Orchestra, Württembergische Philharmonie Reutlingen, Südwestdeutsches Kammerorchester Pforzheim, George Enescu Philharmonic Orchestra, Jena Philharmonic Orchestra, Israel SO Rishon LeZion, Liepāja SO, Bad Reichenhaller Philharmoniker, Orchestra Ensemble Kanazawa, etc., and worked with conductors such as Risto Joost, Olari Elts, Yuwon Kim, Andres Mustonen, Tõnu Kaljuste, Paul Watkins, Ville Matvejeff, Wolfgang Emanuel Schmidt, Arvo Volmer, Mikk Murdvee, Mihkel Kütson and Jüri Alperten.  

In 2015 he recorded the CD “Songs of Childhood” by Arvo Pärt and in 2016, 2017 and 2018 he recorded CD-s for Deutsche Stiftung Musikleben in Hamburg Laeiszhalle, Pierre Boulez Saal and Hamburg Elbphilharmonie.

Being passionate about chamber music, he has played from the age of 9 in the piano trio Trio ‘95 with Robert Traksmann (violin) and Rasmus Andreas Raide (piano). They have performed at Pärnu Music Festival, as well as in Germany, Switzerland, Lithuania and Bulgaria. In 2020 they won the 1st prize at the Ilmari Hannikainen piano chamber music competition in Jyväskylä, Finland. 

Marcel showed great interest in the cello when he was just four years old, and began his first lessons at the age of five. He studied with Laine Leichter in Tallinn Music High School from 2002 and with Mart Laas from 2011 in the same school. From 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 Steven Isserlis, prof. Ivan Monighetti, prof. László Fenyö, prof. Maria Kliegel, prof. Wolfgang Emanuel Schmidt, prof. Wen-Sinn Yang, prof. Jan-Erik Gustafsson, prof. Marko Ylönen, prof. David Geringas, prof. Henry-David Varema and many others.

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 is supported by Deutsche Stiftung Musikleben, Cultural Endowment of Estonia and Association of Estonian Professional Musicians, which awarded him the “Musician of the year” prize 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.

29. November 2020