1.000 km Cello - Blog

Follow me on a 1.000 km concert tour by bike in the spring.

I will play music that I have composed myself on a cello that I'm currently building myself.

The tour goes along the magical Rhine river, which has been a source of inspiration for artists for centuries.

I hope to meet a muse or two along the route, who will sing me one of their secret melodies.

Along the river I'll play 20 concerts at castles, cafes, schools, churches and campsites, and hopefully meet a lot of fellow bike- and cello-enthusiasts.
- Maybe trade a piece of cello music for local speciality?

Link to high resolution Photos for dowload: Press photos


21/5 2018 - "Dear miss Riegels. Would you like to

play a duet?"
This was the kind request from cellist Marcus Frey.

I think when you play together you get to know each other 10 times faster and deeper as when you talk.
In 41 km we performed two spontanious concerts, and earned enough for a nice lunch.

I can say that for sure there are not many cellists like Mr Frey, and not many cellos like his.
From the first moment he saw it on the wall at his cusin, he knew that this mystical and dark instrument, was his life companion.

If you hear him playing it, you will know how sweet the sound of melancoly can be.


20/5 2018 - Music excange 1

What can you trade for a piece of cello music?

One day I was lucky to meet Werner - a very skilled smith - on the road.
I showed him my 600 EUR Japaneese, brass and titanium endpin, and told him my theory, that stainless steel is even better for this.

Next day I got a message that he had already made an endpin in 'Edelstahl' for me.

We met at this blue lake and traded the endpin for a private open air concert.

My theory was right! Stainless steel makes the deep register even deeper and warmer, with a faster response, and the upper register smooth and elegant. - Thanks a lot Werner.

- If you want to order one yourself, write me an email.

20/5 2018 - Danish radio P1 Kultur - "The biking Cellist"

This is a wonderful program. Michael Bojesen called me while I had a stop over in Strasbourg. The program is in danish.

In the program you can also hear a bit of the sound of my cello.

DR P1 radio


18/5 2018 - On TV with my new cello

The reportage starts at 18.40:










17/5 2018 - SWR 2 Radio reportage 

If you speak german, listen here. Moritz Chelius from german radio biked along for one day and made this reportage from the road and the concert:

SWR 2 reportage

Article SWR





12/5 2018 - My travel mate

The evening before the first concert I made the last adjustment on the cello with a small file in a hotel in Basel.

A cello develops it's character over the first 50 years, but during this first part of the tour, it has already showed a lot of personality. The tone is warming up - so to say - getting more and more colors.

I'm really happy with my charming travel mate. We keep getting to know each other better and better sharing everything from the bike to the hotels and interesting meetings.









11/5 2018 - Making TV

Today I made TV with SWR in Riegel am Kaiserstuhl.

We talked about music as a universal language connecting people across cultures.

In the evening they recorded from the concert I played with the two local musicians - Hanna Heicke and Holger Schröder.









10/5 2018 - For the first time

With Hanna Heike and Holger Schröder my new cello played piano trio for the first time.

The photo says it all.











Post-concert 'hygge' at the terrace by Christoph and Gerhild Lauter.













7/5 2018 - After the concert...

... we had a great party.
This photo was taken around 2.30 AM as most people had gone to bed. The 3 of us couldn't stop though because Christoph Pampuch played one godly piece after another on his harp.
I don't know what it was, but for sure it was how music should be.

Christoph explained the Harp to us.
The box is considered the earth and the curved part above is like the heavens. (Here the strings are tuned)

The strings are like a human being streched between the two dimensions. Yearning for the heavens but bound to the physical world. If they aren't tense, they can't make any sound.

If everything is just cosy, there is no tension and no source of music.

7/5 2018 - What is that?

Palyed a mini performance at Bad Säckingen hairdresser school today.
"What is that instrument you are playing?" Toprak asked. - "Can I try?"

He played it very well for a first time player.







6/5 2018 - Wundertoll

Very soon Thea will be 6 years old, and I was simply very touched when she came to me after the concert and said: 

"It was wundertoll!"

" - wundertoll?" I asked. "Is that really a word?"

"Yes of course."

"What did you like the best?"

"All of it!" 

Thanks for teaching me a new word Thea. That was the best way to learn wundertoll.



6/5 2018 - So cute

In Mönthal I was warmly welcomed and hosted by  Pfarrer Thorsten Bunz and his family in their house from 1680! (- That is before Bach was born.)

Look what they had at 2nd floor:

Kittens video





5/5 2018 - Sharing the road

Daniel Stotz is a highly experienced cyclist and linguist, who has been almos everywhere with his bike. 

On his last tour he found nothing less than 80 languages within Europe.
Take a look at his blog here:

Daniel Stotz - 80 Languages

For one day we shared the roads and a good deal of thoughts along the Rhine, and he made this super cool video showing that I actually really bike:

Crosing the Rhine Video




4/5 2018 - I can help you

My finger is slowly getting better after a blood poisoning and two operations right before the tour started, but I still don't dare to show it to anybody.

After the concert in Glattefelden Franziska Schlegel arranged the most healing camomille treatment. She made it look very much more like something you can use for playing cello.

Franziska is amazing, an endless flow of creativity and vigor.








4/5 2018 - Horse concert

Classical music is for all!

Look at this video from the horse concert at Eschbach Horsemanship

Horse Concert video







2/5 2018 - I couldn't say no

After the evening concert in Spitzkirche today, I had planned to bike 37 km to Koblenz, to be ready to play in Döttingen tomorrow morning at 9 AM.

It was starting to rain and I knew I would arrive at the b and b after midnight. So, as sent by an angle, Bruno Wälte was there asking if I really wanted to bike, or if I wanted to come with him by car.

Who could say no to that?













30/4 2018 - Meeting Velo-mates

Frohe Radler Lottstetten had invited me to come and play.

We met 10 km before th concert venue and biked together along the river.

There was a full house for th concert and the party went on till 2AM








30/4 2018 - Wisiting two violin makers

In Dissenhofen I met with Martin and Michéle Kuhn in their workshop

They are both violin makers, and wonderful people.

I got some advice for varnishing, and especialy for preparing for the first coat of varnish.
- So now I have to find a vulcano and collect some ash, that I can treat the wood surface with.
- I'm glad the advice didn't include dragon blood.





29/4 2018 - As I woke up

at the Airbnb next to Schloss Glarisegg, there was a cellist doing yoga in the morning sun. 

In the photo he plays Brahms e-minor Sonata on my unvarnished cello.










28/4 2018 - A special invitation

In Salmsach I was generously invited on a boat tour at the Bodensee by Pfarrer Ruedi Bertschi before the concert.

What an ispiring experience!






















24/4 2018 - As I was practicing in a park

... a little group of teenagers came by and decided to coordinate a dance.

This was a great preparation for the concert in St Laurenzen Kirche.

Look at this short video: Dancing and cello






23/4 2018 - She made my day, without knowing

This was a warm spring evening on a square in Chur. I unpacked my cello, sat on a little fontaine and started playing.
On a bench in a corner, a young couple were talking and giggling, aparently on a first date.
Then a family with two kids passed by. They stopped to listen to the music, and after a few wondering looks from the little girl she took off her shoes and started dancing the most wonderful spontanious and innocent dance.

What else could a travelling cellist dream of?


22/4 2018 - A little trick

Went through Ruinalta's huge hills and valleys today.

At this very narrow top with vertical edges, my knees got a bit shaky.
I'm not particularly afraid of heights, but fortunately just enough to use it in a little trick.

If I have a challenging concert, an audition or an exsam - something that is important and makes you nervous - I sometimes go up somewhere high a few days before.
Going up there I exercise my ability to stay calm and focused moment for moment. You could say the ability to keep the adrenalin level as low as possible. - just like in the concert situation.

For me it is a very effective way to prepare.  (- must be better than Betablocker)

Another performance-preperation-element is 'tuning the mind' - but that is another blog-post.








21/4 2018 - Front page story

"Frau mit Freiheitsdrang" - Lady with a taste for freedom.

That is the desciption of the project in Südostschweizer newspaper today.

I was very impressed with the journalist Ruth Spitzenfeil and the photographer Maco Hartmann - he even brought a drone with a camera.

I'll link to the video he made here, when I get better Wifi connection.






























20/4 2018 - A duet with 'Vater Rhein' at the first flowing part of the river

It was a joy to play the opening concert here in the clearest air and brightest sunlight.

While I was playing a duet with the flowing water, in this snowy landscape, two butterflies were playing around with each other just around the cello.

- What a wonderful concert venue!








































19/4 2018 - Crossing through Luzern

I'll have to find an excuse to come back here some time, it is so picturesque.

Anybody living in Luzern interested in a conert? - let me know.
















18/4 2018 - Cello premiere

In the hotel in the evening before, I finished the last details with a mini file i brought.

I could only practise for 20 min because of my operated finger on the bow hand, but that was enough to get an impression of the sound of this brand new instrument.

I think both I and the audience enjoyed the warm and friendly sound of this one-day-old-cello in the huge Elisabethen church in Basel.













16/4 2018 - Südostschweiz Zeitung 




26/3 2018 - Louis-Hansen Fonden

Louis-Hansen Fonden supports big projects like 'Statens Naturhistoriske Museeum', 'Experimentarium', 'SMK' and 'Concerto Copenhagen'.

- And now they also support this one-man project, that aims to bring classical music as close to the listeners as possible.

It means a lot to be supported. Among other things it means that I don't have to bring a tent.

I'm honored!

19/3 2018 - Statens Kunstfond supports the tour 



Danish Arts Foundation supports: "Danish professional musician's international transport expenses for concerts abroad".
I am very grateful they have chosen to support my project about bringing classical music to the doorstep of the listeners.
- Now I can book the train ticket to Tschamut (the source of the Rhine).

15/02 2018 - is it sold out?

I planned for 20 concerts, but now there are 30 or more.

I'm starting to wonder, how many concerts one can play in two months, and still have time to bike 1000 km.

Check out the tourplan here: Tourplan





19/01 2018 - EuroVelo interview

It occurred to me, that I have never biked 1000 km with my cello along the Rhine river to play concerts. 
So I though - I better do it!
EuroVelo asked me some clarifying questions, like: "Why do you want to do that?"

EuroVelo asked me some clarifying questions about the tour, like: "Why do you want to do that?"

Interview: EuroVelo routes are just perfect for biking concert tours!







08/01 2018 - I'm very happy to announce:

The date and venue of the opening concert is found.

The first place where the Rhine has flowing water in April is just outside of the village Tschamut.

If you happen to be in the area, come by (and bring your own chair if you need one).

Cordinates: 46.653530"N - 8.702982"E 

Opening concert:
April 20th at 16.00
Entrance: free


06/01 2018 - When it is finished, I'll take it on an adventure

A short video about the project:

1000 km Cello - Eine Konzertreise mit dem Fahrrad

1000 km Cello - A concert tour by bike




01/12 2017 - Biking and well-being

There are innumerable studies showing that biking improves both your physical and mental well-being.

I think well-being is essential to creativity.
I always enjoy biking and a lot of the music I have composed is invented on my bike.




25/11 2017 - I feel lucky

The foundation 'Frimodt-Heineke Fonden' supports both environmental and artistic purposes, and I'm very grateful that they have decided to support this "cultural-environmentally-friendly" project.

Now I can start arranging concerts!



22/11 2017 - The music for the tour

This is a music video of one of the pieces for the tour:

Capriccio Rosso, Ida Riegels

Bach will also be on the program:

J.S. Bach, Prelude in G-major


20/11 2017 - The cello for the tour

As you can see it is not finished yet, but almost all the music is ready.

You can follow the making of the cello here:

Building a cello Blog





18/11 2017 - The route

This is the route. 
The Rhine starts in the Swiss Alps and ends after 1233 km in Holland where it meets the North Sea.

For generations artists have been inspired by the muses along this mythical river. I hope to meet some...