What the magnetic cellist learned from Anne-Sophie Mutter and Msitislav Rostropovich, and how he hopes to pass some of that on.

What made you become a cellist?

I always remember my first experience. My mother is a piano teacher and she took me to orchestra rehearsals and when I was five years old. I heard the Schumann Cello Concerto for the first time. At that age I didn’t know anything about Schumann or the cello but I was fascinated by the way the instrument sounded and how it was played. That was the start, and then I asked her if I could have cello lessons.

You grew up in Munich. Is the German musical education a good one?

I think we have very good music schools, especially for children. Even in the villages there are people who support young children to learn an instrument and to help them find a good teacher. The system works quite well. However one can always support music schools and this is why I regularly go to visit and tell the kids something about music and the cello. And also to support the music teachers! In general, I think that the system of music schools...