Alexander Suleiman, 大提琴

1. What does education mean to you and is education essential for the musicians of the future?
Education in general is a daily challenge. It is an investment in people and their capabilities. My individual approach to teaching has its origins in my own educational background of mathematics, philosophy, and science. These areas of academic inquiry which require disciplined logical analysis as well as an understanding of the human condition, have informed and complimented my own approach to cello playing, and as such have provided me with a great deal of insight into the means of effective communication and teaching. That is what I intend to share. One of the biggest challenges is to not diminish the student's intuition and enthusiasm, so the teaching must not be based on a plain analytical approach. Students have to be enabled to become intelligent and intuitive interpreters of works and have to be guided in a direction that not only serves the music well, but celebrates their own musicality. I am treating each student as an active learner who is pursuing his or her own individual educational path.

2. What made you play the cello?
I played piano before I started playing the cello, which was when I was rather old. I always enjoyed performing concerts in public so I took every possible chance. But there were many good pianists in my hometown, so I only had limited chances to perform. At one point a conductor needed a cello soloist for a Vivaldi concerto and asked who could play the cello. I raised my hand although I had never touched a cello before. I had 8 months to learn the piece (and the cello) and took lessons from a local teacher that did not really have teaching skills as he taught quite a number of different instruments. However, the concert went pretty well, so lots of my school mates were impressed and signed up for cello lesson with that teacher. Because of that he did not have enough time anymore to teach me as well. That's when I started to get my first "real" cello lessons from a exceptional cellist.

3. What is your favorite piece?
The composers that come to my mind right away are Beethoven, Bach, and Mozart, but I think I cannot really pick a favorite piece or composer when performing/making music. I think the most accurate answer to that question is that my favorite piece is the one that I am performing the very moment when being asked that question. I also love contemporary music and am always eager to present and share modern pieces that I am convinced from.

4. What other interests/hobbies do you have?
I am interested in philosophy, chess, Taekwondo, and I am also performing close-up magic as a hobby.