Johannes Raab calls a noble sound quality his own everybody should reach for. He is an incredibly talented and promising young musician.
Beaux Arts Trio
The internationally acclaimed cellist Johannes Raab has secured a prominent place in the world of classical music with his virtuosic playing and versatile interpretive skills. Highly praised by the press, he is known for his musical versatility. Professor Daniel Graf describes him as "technically at the highest level," combining "the highest musical intelligence with musical instinct." Bernard Greenhouse, cellist of the Beaux Arts Trio, lauds Johannes Raab's "noble sound quality, every cellist should reach for.“
Former principal cellist of the Frankfurt Museum Orchestra, Professor Graf, also attests that Johannes Raab belongs "among the best interpreters of our time.“
His ability to effortlessly transition between different musical styles is described as "effortless and precise" by the renowned harpsichordist Professor Ludger Remy.
„His cello playing is characterized by the highest technical perfection, paired with elegance, deep musicality, and fascinating tonal colors. Moreover, he exhibits an extraordinary degree of openness, creativity, and versatility, along with an understanding of music that extends beyond his own performance. He is, in the best sense of the word, a music communicator. Those who encounter him, listen to his magnificent cello playing, or engage in musical discussions with him do not question whether classical music still holds relevance in our contemporary world or if there will be an audience for it in the future. His passion and talent for conveying this art form make him the best advocate for music itself.“ Insa Pijanka
As a soloist, his career has taken him on celebrated tours, including a remarkable journey to Mexico in 2023, where he performed with the most prestigious orchestras in the country.
One of the most significant highlights in his career is the countless solo performances in Germany, where he interprets the transcendent Cello Suites by Johann Sebastian Bach. These performances have consistently managed to deeply move and touch the audience with their depth and expressiveness, showcasing Johannes Raab's extraordinary talent and dedication to this music.
His solo program, "PRÉLUDES," which he co-conceptualized with Insa Pijanka, has been met with enthusiastic acclaim from the press. This showcases Raab not only as a cellist but also as a composer. It combines Bach's Cello Preludes with modern solo works and texts from contemporary authors and the Luther Bible. The „Hessische Allgemeine Zeitung“ wrote, "In Raab's interpretation, Bach's Preludes shone brightly. The cellist masterfully shaped the vibrating expansiveness, as well as the crescendos, and delved into the emotions of elation and melancholy. His performance, especially during the trance of the final D-major Prelude, was remarkably effective.“
The fact that Bach's Suites for Cello hold a special place for Raab is evident in the fact that he is currently producing them in a comprehensive film series called "PROJECT SIX." This project has received generous support from Bärenreiter Verlag. The first four films of this six-part series have already been broadcast by various German television stations. These recordings have also garnered significant attention abroad, for example with the G major Suite by J.S. Bach being released by the English broadcaster CLASSIC FM and viewed more than two hundred thousand times on it’s online platforms within the first few hours.
In addition to the solo repertoire for the cello, his special passion lies in chamber music. In order to primarily focus on this genre, he concluded his orchestral career in 2015 and performed for several years in the Abaton Trio and, as a founding member, in the Nichiteanu Trio, embarking on concert tours around the world.
Johannes Raab is exclusively signed with the label Fecit Classics, with whom he has already realized various productions. This includes repertoire from Bach, Vivaldi, Schumann, Kodaly, Weinberg, Rachmaninov, Saint-Saëns, Piazzolla, and Morricone. A new CD featuring three different eras of solo cello literature performed on three distinct Italian instruments, including an Antonio Stradivari cello, is set to be released in 2024.
He places great importance on working with talented emerging artists. He passionately supports several educational projects, including the Theater Youth Orchestra in Kassel, and he also gives international masterclasses upon invitation by the globally active Goethe-Institut.
Moreover, he serves as the artistic director and lecturer at the International Music Academy Germany, known as the "IMAG". In addition to his regular teaching duties, he regularly conducts masterclasses and is responsible for the academy's international education and community projects. As part of this commitment, in the spring of 2023, he held masterclasses in five major cities across Mexico, including a master class hosted by the National Conservatory of Music in Mexico City. During this period, Raab presided as the jury chairman for the 1st IMAG International Cello Competition "Manuel María Ponce.“
His training commenced under the tutelage of Edwin Koch, who was the principal cellist of the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra at that time. At the age of 14, Johannes Raab embarked on his formal studies with Troels Svane in Lübeck, and continued his education in Dresden under the guidance of Konstantin Heidrich and Wolfgang Emanuel Schmidt.
Furthermore, he delved deeper into his studies through participation in international masterclasses, learning from esteemed figures such as Mstislav Rostropovich, Boris Pergamenschikow, Bernard Greenhouse, Miklós Perényi, Wolfgang Boettcher, David Geringas, Alban Gerhardt, Jens-Peter Maintz, Stephan Forck, and Götz Teutsch.
First insights into the informed performance practice of the early music which he dedicated several years of his academic journey to, he achieved through intensive collaboration with Professor John Holloway (baroque violin) and Professor Ludger Rémy (harpsichord).
Johannes Raab's training was rounded off with his role as a substitute with the Dresden Philharmonic and his involvement as a scholarship recipient at the Giuseppe Sinopoli Academy of the Staatskapelle Dresden.
From 2009 to 2015, his career as a solo cellist took him to various orchestras, including the Anhaltische Philharmonie Dessau, the State Orchestra of Kassel. He ended his career as an orchestra player at the Hamburg Philharmonic State Orchestra. Furthermore, he held the position of principal cellist in the Louis Spohr Chamber Orchestra in Kassel and the Camerata Hamburg.
Johannes Raab serves as an official brand ambassador for Thomastik-Infeld, KOKON sleeves, and A-case. Additionally, he holds the prestigious title of Jubilee Ambassador for Bärenreiter Music Publishers.
As for his instruments and bows, Johannes Raab's primary cello is a Carlo Antonio Testore crafted in Milan in 1726. He also plays a Thomaso Carcassi from Florence, dated 1751, and a Giuseppe Marconcini from Ferrara, made in 1840 (on a private loan). In his performances, he utilizes bows from the Arcus company, as well as a gold bow by Eugène Nicolas Sartory from Mirecourt, made in 1920. Furthermore, he uses a Charles François Peccatte, Mirecourt, Paris 1890 and a Hermann Richard Pfretzschner, made in Markneukirchen dating back to 1905.