How do you find a balanced and relaxed playing?

Workshop


I always strive to create a positive and creative atmosphere in my teaching, aiming to help each student reach their full potential and develop their unique artistic style and relaxed playing techniques. With every piece of music I teach, my goal is to promote its character, structure, and the composer’s musical intentions. Simultaneously, I encourage students to convey their personal interpretation, dynamic variation, and expression, aiming to connect with their audience. It is noteworthy that many of my former students have gone on to become prominent cello instructors and members in prestigious orchestras around the globe.

Through various cello exercises, I am looking to demonstrate how to further develop the strength and flexibility of the bowing hand. I will also cover posture and playing positions; the impact of breathing; the flexibility of the different arm joints; bowing techniques at different speeds; bow-string contact points; and feeling and balancing the weight of the bowing arm.

This recording is only for reference and consultation by the participants of the ESTA Porto 2024 Conference. All contents are protected by copyright and its violation is a crime. Illegal downloading and sharing of content or part of it is strictly prohibited

About the speaker

©Tamara Pinco

Lars-Inge Bjärlestam, Cello

Lars-Inge Bjärlestam is a Swedish cellist and a much sought-after educator. His instrumental talents were discovered early by his recorder teacher, who also happened to be a cello instructor. Encouraged to take up the cello at the age of eight, Lars-Inge has never looked back since. His immense passion for music brings him great joy when playing chamber music, teaching his students, or performing in a symphony orchestra.

Lars-Inge studied for five years at the Edsberg Institute of Music (Swedish Radio’s School of Music) with Erling Blöndal-Bengtsson and received his diploma in 1978. After spending two years with Ralph Kirshbaum in London, Lars-Inge continued his private lessons with Professor Aldo Parisot at Yale University (USA). Since 1984, he has been working at the Ingesund School of Music at Karlstad University, Sweden, and in 2002, he was promoted to Associate Professor. In addition to Ingesund, Lars-Inge worked as a cello teacher at the Gothenburg School of Music/University for seven years and has conducted numerous masterclasses across Europe and Asia, most recently in Taiwan in November 2019.

For a significant part of his career, he was regularly employed as a first-desk cellist for prestigious orchestras in Sweden and Norway, including the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra, and the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra. He has performed at renowned venues such as Carnegie Hall in New York, Orchestra Hall in Chicago, Boston Symphony Hall, Kennedy Center in Washington, Festspielhaus in Salzburg, Châtelet in Paris, Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, along with venues in Milan, Rome, Lisbon, Beijing, and Shanghai.

Lars-Inge and his wife, Ulrika Hebbe, are devoted chamber musicians and perform together as Duo Sentire. On numerous occasions, they have been selected to represent Sweden at international music festivals in Italy, Portugal, Spain, the Philippines, Mexico, Cuba, and various other places. As Duo Sentire, they have earned particular acclaim for their ensemble interaction, musical temperament, joy of playing, and their ability to blur and transcend musical boundaries.

Lars-Inge has a strong passion for teaching young musicians. For several years, he has been part of the teaching project YOMA (Young Musicians Academy) with specially gifted students from Norway, Sweden, and Denmark. Many of his students now hold important positions as cello pedagogues and orchestra players in Scandinavia. In Lars-Inge’s own words, “I always seek to establish a positive and creative atmosphere in my teaching to help each student achieve their full potential and develop their own unique artistic style and relaxed playing techniques. With each piece of music I teach, I am always eager to promote its character, structure, and the composer’s musical intentions while encouraging students to touch their audience with their personal interpretation, dynamic variation, and expression. Many of my former students have gone on to become prominent cello instructors and members of prestigious orchestras around the globe.” – Lars-Inge Bjärlestam.

Mariss Jansons – Conductor

“Lars-Inge has a pleasant personality and his outstanding playing gives him a natural in the section, as well in the orchestra.”

Erling Blöndal-Bengtsson – Cellist

“Lars-Inge is a brilliant cellist and a real thoroughbred musician in the best sense of the word””