„A fresh and interesting Interpreter, deep and sensitive in the lyric passages and with supreme mastery and sovereignty in the virtuoso ones!
A real joy for the listener!“
Michael Heupel is a sought-after soloist and chamber musician. His dynamic approach to music-making and creative programming have lead to performances in prestigious halls all over the world, such as the Athens Megaron, the Elbphilharmonie and the Laeiszhalle in Hamburg, the Cadillac Shanghai Concert Hall, the SFCM Concert Hall, the Cuvilliés Theater in Munich, the Onassis Cultural Center in Athens and the Liederhalle Stuttgart.
As a soloist he has performed with orchestras such as the Athens Symphony Orchestra, the National Chamber Orchestra of Belarus, the Athens Youth Symphony Orchestra and the Sinfonietta of Chania/Crete. He has appeared under the baton of conductors such as Ernst Kovacic, Karl-Heinz Steffens, Eiji Oue, Alexander Myrat, and William Kunhardt. He is often invited to perform in international music festivals and concert series around the world like the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival, the Athens Festival, the “FULL” concert series by the UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive in San Francisco California, the Euro Music Festival, the “Music connects the OCC and the Panteion University” concert series in Athens, the Aurora Chamber Music Festival in Sweden, the MusicAlp Festival in France and the Mendelssohn Summer School Festival in Hamburg. In 2009 he was invited by the UN climate conference in Copenhagen (COP 15) to perform a solo program with the name "The planet’s deep expectations".
As a chamber musician he often works beside distinguished musicians such as Jakob Koranyi, Mario Haering, Christoph Schickedanz, Konstantinos Destounis, Tilmann Wick, Danae Papamattheou-Matschke, Asya Fateyeva, Apostolos Palios, Alexandros Sarakenidis and Gintaras Janusevicius. His quality and experience as a chamber musician lead to his selection by the HfMT Hamburg, to participate in a research and music program by the German Government, performing in China, the United States and Germany in 2017 and 2018. His musical performances and interpretations have been often praised by the press.
Michael Heupel’s commitment in sharing his musical experiences has lead him to search for and create numerous innovative concert experiences for his audience, such as his projects “Das Geschenk von Un” (2014, together with composer Antonis Adamopoulos and artist Margot Zweers), “Hommage to Greco” (2014), “Blank 8” and “1Blank2” (2015 with choreographer and dancer Aggeliki Trombouki), “Improptica I” (2016 with the Ensemble Volans), “Between+Betwixt” (2016 with artist Anthoula Bourna), “ZigBang” (2017 with the Ensemble Volans) and the “Sisyphos Project” (2018 with composer Shiwen Wang, dancer and choreographer Charlotte Virgile and the Ensemble Volans). His spirit for innovation has been rewarded with his inclusion to the Future of Orchestral Culture Fellowship as well as the Masefield concert scholarship by the Alfred Toepfer Foundation in Hamburg. In 2014 he started his own concert series taking place every year in December in the Catholic Church in Chania, Crete, where he presents and performs a variety of works for solo cello and invites other instrumentalists to so as well.
Apart from his concerts he has sought to create a more direct contact of a broader audience with music through a plethora of articles he has published in the mainstream media as well as presentations for children and adults. He has given lectures on classical and contemporary music in many institutions in Greece and Germany. In 2016 he was invited to give a talk and perform at the TEDxAcademy in Athens on the topic of music’s power to change people and society. He also teaches the cello in Hamburg and in masterclasses around Europe.
Born 1988 in Athens, Michael Heupel began his musical education at the age of 5, playing the piano and the recorder. He took his first cello lessons at the age of 8 and 2 years later he enrolled in the Athens Conservatory. At the age of 14 he attended the class of Renato Ripo at the Modern conservatory of Athens. There he obtained the diploma for cello with the highest grade and was awarded the first Prize and the gold medal of the conservatory at the age of 17. In October 2006 he began his studies in the University of Music, Drama and Media in Hanover in the class of Prof. Tilmann Wick, and graduated with distinction in 2011. From 2011 to 2014 he completed his Masters degree in the university of music and drama in Hamburg in the class of Arto Noras. He also received thorough training in chamber music by teachers like Karl-Heinz Kämmerling, the Szymanowski Quartet, Tatjana Masurenko, the Talich Quartet, Lars Vogt and Niklas Schmidt. Numerous masterclasses and private lessons with eminent artists and teachers like David Geringas, Bernard Greenhouse, Julius Berger, Jens Peter Maintz, Anner Bylsma, Wolfgang Emanuel Schmidt, Bernard Gmelin, Gerhard Darmstadt, Anatoli Krastev and Enrico Bronzi have helped him develop his artistic personality and earn prizes in national and international competitions, like the Panhellenic Youth Music Competition, the Masefield Competition in Hamburg and the International Mozart competition in Hagen. He is also holder of the Onassis foundation scholarship.
Michael Heupel’s repertoire ranges from the baroque to contemporary music, while also delving into improvisation and other genres of music. While his interpretations of the classical repertoire have earned great public response and critical acclaim, his dedication to the study and interpretation of contemporary music has prompted many composers to write works for him. Some examples include the “Cretan Suite for cello solo” and “Aimodia for cello and 2 speaking voices” by Efi Markoulaki, “Evenos for cello and flute” by Kostantinos D. Kakavelakis, “Die verlorene Stadt von Sisyphos” and “Schwebende Bam Maske for cello and guzheng” by Shiwen Wang, “Unknown Destination for cello and guitar” by Ioannis Papadopoulos and other works. In 2019 he is to premier a new concerto for cello and orchestra by composer Martin Donoso Vera.
In order to explore a wider range of contemporary music, he is also a founding member and the artistic director of the Ensemble Volans, which consists of young musicians living in Hamburg. His commitment to contemporary music is also apparent on his first cd “Afierossis”, for which he recorded works for solo cello from the 20th and 21st century.
Always looking to expand the expressive possibilities of his playing and broaden his artistic horizons he has acquired experiences in other musical genres, like folk music and free improvisation, and has also worked alongside dancers, visual artists and writers.
He plays on a cello built in 1723 by David Tecchler in Rome.