International Cello Duo from Apollo's Fire play works from Bach, Beethoven, Duke Ellington, plus an Original Composition from Rene Schiffer Live at Nighttown!
Music is René Schiffer’s chosen path to truth. Born in the Dukedom of Brabant (now divided between Belgium and Holland) in 1961, he began his lessons at six years old with his father, Hungarian cellist György Schiffer. René studied with world renowned cellist Anner Bijlsma in Amsterdam, and specialized in historical cello with Jaapoter Linden, in Rotterdam. He studied viola da gamba with Catharina Meints at The Oberlin Conservatory of Music.
Schiffer performed his first professional concerts in the European Philharmonic Orchestra, with Jean Jakus conducting, in the Brabants Orchestra in the Netherlands, and as a permanent member of the New Belgian Chamber Orchestra. He also performed with the European Community Baroque Orchestra in 1988, under Ton Koopman, Roy Goodman and Edward Higgingbottom. Later he followed renowned baroque orchestras such as the Les Musiciens du Louvre, the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra and La Petite Bande, where he performed from 1989 till 2005. Schiffer also performed regularly with the Dutch Bach Society (Utrecht) and Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra (Toronto)..
As a soloist and a chamber player René Schiffer participated in festivals located in Amsterdam, Budapest, Tallinn, Utrecht, Versailles, the Flanders Festival and Grandchamp.. He was also the permanent cellist in ensemble Il Gardellino from 2003 till 2007, with whom he made trips to Israel, Guatemala, as well as many European countries. Since its foundation in 1993, Schiffer has been principal cellist of Apollo’s Fire, the Cleveland baroque orchestra, which has toured throughout the United States and European cities such as London, Birmingham, Madrid, Lisbon, Bordeaux, Metz, Tilburg, Heerlen and Bregenz.
If the word "celloworm" exists, as it does for "bookworm", I am definitely one of those! Although growing up in a tiny rural town in Japan, more than 1000km from Tokyo, our house was always full of music. My mother was the local active pianist/piano teacher. I myself started to play piano when I was 3 years old and later I switched my main instrument to cello, which has been my life long love and passion.
After graduating from the Toho Gakuen School of Music in Tokyo, a generous Dutch government scholarship allowed me to study in The Netherlands. It was such a delightful and fruitful time; I received my soloist diploma at The Royal Conservatory of The Hague, won several prizes at International Competitions and most of all, made many precious and wonderful friends. I have been very lucky to perform with many excellent bands such as: La Petite Bande (Belgium), Bach Collegium Japan,Barokksolistene (Norway),Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra (Canada), Seattle Baroque, Apollo's Fire-Cleveland Baroque Orchestra (USA), both Drottningholms Slottsteater- and Baroque Ensemble (Sweden) and Concerto Copenhagen.
I have a dream: one day I want to be free from "cello technique" and express freely all the beautiful things I've experienced. I always carry my cello on my back but in fact, my cello is the one who leads me and shows me around the world.