Cello Concerto, Op. 104, 1st movement

Cello Concerto, Op. 104, 1st movement

Antonin Dvorak

Frans Helmerson's masterclasses

English 42 min Cello

In this session, Frans Helmerson and Miquel Fuentes work on Antonin Dvorak's avant-garde piece, Cello Concerto Op. 104, 1st movement.

Produced by the Saline royale Academy in February, 2021 at Arc-et-Senans.

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The masterclass

About this cello masterclass

In this masterclass, Franz Helmerson accentuates the concept of "evoking" the emotions of a piece while manoeuvring the bow. In a piece with many similar repeating notes, such as the first movement of Dvořák's Cello Concerto, Helmerson instructs Miquel that the approach should never be identical; variation is vital. It is essential to understand the use of forte in the composer's writing for the same reason Dvořák did: to captivate.

In addition, when performing, the importance of finding the musical limit cannot be understated; otherwise, it is just a piece that is agreeable and bland. However, this piece is just the opposite of polite; it is avant-garde and filled with turbulent expression.

What we learn in this masterclass

  1. Sustain development of vibrato in dotted notes.
  2. Playing an expressive vibrato.
  3. Conveying emotion.
  4. Concentration of the bow.
  5. Playing with variation.
  • Student:Miquel Fuentes
  • Instruments: Cello
  • Date:16 February 2021
  • Academy:Academy Feb. 14 - Feb. 21, 2021
Frans Helmerson

Frans Helmerson

Don't be careful. Challenge me.

Frans Helmerson

Sheet music

Aim for excellence! You can improve your skills with expert advice. Download the annotated sheet music of this cello masterclass. Please note that this piece has been annotated in accordance to Frans Helmerson’s feedback and comments.

Frans Helmerson

Frans Helmerson

In 1971 he won one of the most famous music prizes for cellists, the Cassado Competition in Florence.

Born in 1945 in Sweden, he began playing the cello at the age of eight. After studying in Gothenburg, Rome and London with Guido Vecchi, Giuseppe Selmi and William Pleeth, he received particular support and advice from Mstislav Rostropovich.


His solo career began in Stockholm, then he joined the greatest orchestras across the five continents, playing with the leading conductors of our time - Seiji Ozawa, Colin Davies, Neeme Järvi, Evgeni Svetlanov, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Herbert Blomstedt, Sergiu Comissiona, Rafal Frübeck de Burgos and Kurt Sanderling.


His passion for chamber music has led him to numerous festivals, including the International Umeea-Korsholrn Festival in northern Sweden and Finland. He has performed in Verbier, Prades, Naantali, Kuhmo and Ravinia and now works regularly as a conductor with Scandinavian orchestras.
He also teaches at the Musikhochschule in Cologne, where he is based, and at the Escuela Superior de Musica Reina Sofia in Madrid. He taught at the Villecroze Music Academy in 2012, 2014 and 2020.

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