Imagine, as a very young child, being so transfixed by the sound of a cello you heard on the radio that you look around you, gather whatever you can find and try to make a cello, in the hope that you can play it, just to create that magical sound yourself.
That is how it all began – in the town of Pula, Croatia – for HAUSER, the dynamic young cellist who has rocketed to fame as half of the genre-busting worldwide musical sensation 2CELLOS.
With the release of Classic – his first solo album for Sony Classical – HAUSER has realized maybe the best of all possible musical dreams that dazzled that little Croatian boy. Joined for the recording by the London Symphony Orchestra, he plays some of the most beloved melodies ever written, most of them classical and never before been arranged to feature the cello.
“It’s simple,” HAUSER says, when asked to describe Classic. “It’s the most beautiful, the most romantic melodies ever written in classical music – by the greatest composers – played on the cello, the most beautiful and romantic instrument of all.
“Art and music were big parts of everything with my family, in our house – always. It influenced all of us. Not just me: My brother, my sister, we were raised in this classical music environment. I was just a few years old when I heard a cello on the radio for the first time, playing Saint-Saëns’ ‘The Swan’. I just fell in love with the sound. When I first heard it. It was like … I can’t describe it. It’s not usual for a child to know what he wants at an early age. But that was the sound. I remember thinking, ‘That’s it.’”
HAUSER’s impatience to play a cello himself survived his childlike attempt to build one, and – at the age of 8, when he was at last big enough to hold the real instrument – he began to play the cello and develop his talent. Early frustrations with his first teacher almost led him to quit. When a visiting teacher recognized in a master class his ability and his potential – and, importantly, told him so – he became a committed and passionate cellist.
And so it would be, from HAUSER’s competitive student days in Croatia through his conservatory training in London and Manchester. He lived and breathed classical music, and it completely defined his life until he finished his studies around the age of 25.
The 2011 video of Michael Jackson’s “Smooth Criminal” – which HAUSER and Luka Šulić produced themselves, the result of their getting to know pop music – went viral, made history and changed the lives of the two cellists who suddenly went global as 2CELLOS.
HAUSER sees their success as liberating – liberating, to him personally as an artist, because “it gave me a sense of what it’s like to play for a big audience. What they like, what they want. Now I approach classical music in the sense that it’s something everybody can enjoy. Young people. Old people. These are songs that everyone can appreciate. I wanted to make something accessible for everyone.”