This is one of the best CD recordings of the year – perhaps of the decade […]. Here we encounter the closest we have witnessed […] to a new Casals.”

(Early Music Review on the CD recording of J.S. Bach’s 6 Suites for Solo Cello)

“Peter Bruns does what he does best on his Tononi cello from 1730: he declaims, just like Pablo Casals, who also used to own the instrument. Peter Bruns once confirmed the closeness to Casals, saying: ‘I also try to speak with the instrument.’”

(Maja Ellmenreich in Deutschlandradio Cologne)

The cellist Peter Bruns has established an excellent reputation in the international music world as one of Germany’s leading cellists.

Born in Berlin, he studied with Professor Peter Vogler at Berlin’s “Hanns Eisler” Academy of Music.

Peter Bruns has performed as soloist and chamber musician in renowned concert halls throughout all continents, including the Berliner Philharmonie, the Carnegie Hall in New York, the Wigmore Hall in London, concert halls in Tokyo, Hong Kong and Seoul, in the Semperoper Dresden, in the Leipziger Gewandhaus as well as at the most important festivals including the Kuhmo, Bergen, Berlin and Dresden Music Festivals, the Budapest Spring Festival, the Seoul Spring Festival and Gidon Kremer’s Lockenhaus festival.

The artist has also performed as soloist with many major orchestras and has toured with the Staatskapelle Dresden as well as with the RAI, MDR and Berlin symphony orchestras. He has collaborated with conductors such as Giuseppe Sinopoli, Eliahu Inbal, Gianandrea Noseda, Christoph Prick, Marc Albrecht and Bruno Weil.

His fascination with the ancient language of music and the instrumentation of the various stylistic periods has led to close collaboration with renowned orchestras in this field, in particular with the “Akademie für Alte Musik” Berlin, with whom Peter Bruns has played for CD productions, concerts and festivals (Bergen, Brügge, Berlin, Regensburg, Köthen).​

From 1993-2000, Peter Bruns was Artistic Director of the Moritzburg Festival. From 1998 to 2005, he was Professor for Cello at the Dresden School of Music and, since 2005, has held the same position at the Academy of Music in Leipzig.

Master classes led Peter Bruns to many German cities as well as to London, New York, France, Sweden and Australia.

Developing also a career as conductor, Peter Bruns is Artistic Director of the Mendelssohn Kammerorchester Leipzig since 2014, and performs regularly in its own concert series in the Gewandhaus Leipzig as well as on tours.

Peter Bruns has recorded a series of award winning CDs including Brahms’s Cello Sonatas, Bach’s Six Suites for Cello Solo, the works of Gabriel Fauré, Ernest Bloch, Charles Koechlin and Robert Schumann, a recording of a Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach concert which won the Cannes Classical Award for “Best CD of the Year”, Antonin Dvorak’s works for cello and orchestra with the Staatskapelle Dresden and his highly acclaimed recordings of Haydn’s, Schumann’s and Volkmann’s Cello Concertos with the Mendelssohn Kammerorchester Leipzig.

Peter Bruns plays on a cello from Carlo Tononi, Venice 1730, which was once owned by Pablo Casals.

DENIS ZHDANOV (Violoncello)

Denis Zhdanov was born in the East Siberian town of Magadan on the Pacific Coast. He received his first piano lesson at the age of eight, and at eleven years old he moved to St. Petersburg where he began his cello studies. He completed an eight-year music programme in four years and in 1994 was accepted into the Central Music School in the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow, into the class of Professor Galina Zubareva. In 1997 Dennis took part in and won his first competition, the International A. Rubinstein Competition in Moscow. In the same year Denis was awarded a scholarship by the Vladimir Spivakov Foundation and performed all over Russia. In 1998 Denis Zhdanov became a student at the Tchaikovsky Conservatory and studied with Professors A. Knyazev and Evgrafov. In 1998 he was also engaged as a soloist by the UNESCO Foundation in Moscow.

He graduated from the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in 2002 and one year later, on a Europa Stipendium, Denis continued his studies with Professor Peter Bruns at the Hochschule für Musik in Dresden and later at the Hochschule für Musik und Theather Felix Mendelson-Bartholdy in Leipzig. In 2004 Denis won First Prize as well as the Audience Prize at the International Brahms Competition, and played his German debut at the „Semper-Oper“ performing the Second Cello Concerto of D.Shostakovich. In 2004 Denis took the First Prize und „Audince prize“ in the International „Brahms-Competition“ and made his German debut in the „Semper-Oper“ performing the Second Cello Concerto by D.Shostakovich. Two years later Denis received an Audience Prize and Special Prize at the International Aram Khachaturian-Competition in Armenia. During this competition Denis became acquainted with Prof. Wolfgang B ttcher taking part in his masterclasses and studying privately ö with him. The work he has done with a so many great musicians such as Mstislav Rostropovich, Gennadi Rojdestvenski, Vasiliy Sinaisky, Dmitri Shebalin, Bernard Greenhouse, Natalia Shahovskaya, Tatiana Grindenko, Dmitry Yablonsky, Dmitri Sitkovtsky, Jury Simonov, Antoni Wit und Anne Bylsma has had a huge influence on Denis during his artistically formative years. DenisZhdanov's rich repertoire contains works from early Baroque until the 21st century.


Peter Bruns & Denis Zhdanov

27.05.19 – 31.05.19

5 days


4 individual lessons (open to the public)
An accompanist
Public perfomance
Career counseling

We offer comfortable accommodation at Musitektur Academy at an affordable price for students participating in the masterclass and their attendants. During their stay at Majorenhaus, students will be involved in the educational process throughout the course, having the opportunity to passively attend all the lessons and practice in all their free time both in lecture rooms and in their rooms. More info

Concert engagements in Sankt Blasien, Zurich, Liechtenstein, Leipzig or Hamburg for the best participants

Course location: Musitektur Academy
Brünigstrasse 1, 6053 Alpnachstad, Switzerland

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