WA cello quartet hit the road

NINE years after its inception, cello quartet I Cellisti is finally hitting the road on its first national tour.

The four cellists, all members of the Western Australian Symphony Orchestra, made their performance debut as I Cellisti at a benefit concert for victims of the Kobe earthquakes.

The group’s repertoire ranges from Mozart to Motorhead and they play a combination of traditional acoustic cellos (the instruments have a combined age of 600 years), silent cellos – an electric version of the traditional cello – and other electronic instruments.

Admittedly its repertoire for this tour does not include any Motorhead but it does include a Beatles number and, it is understood, a version of the theme to Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, complete with sound effects, will make up the encore.

Since the Kobe earthquake benefit I Cellisti has performed more than 150 concerts throughout WA and recorded a CD called Celli Beans.

Group manager Michelle Komatsu said I Cellisti had done several concerts but had been trying for several years to get a tour off the ground.

"On Monday [August 11] it all happens she said.

Being a cello quartet the group soon found that there was not a great repertoire.

They got in touch with a similar group in the US that had a composer working for it and picked up some Argentinian tangos written by a German composer.

It also created some of its own arrangements.

The four members of I Cellisti are Shigeru Komatsu, Fotis Skordas, Tim South and Jon Tooby.

The group light heartedly claims the Monkees, the Amadeus String Quartet and the Wiggles as their seminal influences.

The tour kicked off on August 11 at the Bunbury Regional Entertainment Arts Centre and takes the group through the Northern Territory and Victoria.

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