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24 May - 07 June 2023

A run with a concert – and a cello in a baby jogger

'Movement in its purest form is running, and music in its purest form is Bach, says cellist and running enthusiast Toke Møldrup.

Toke Møldrup
Toke Møldrup

On 6 June, the Danish cellist Toke Møldrup will play Bach's formidable Six suites for solo cello and run one kilometre between each movement in what is definitely the most light-footed festival event of the year. The project has been named the Ultimate Bach Movement Marathon.

‘There are so many projects in classical music that become a little too safe, and then the art disappears from them. This project truly sheds new light on old Bach, says Møldrup.

A desire to renew has thus led him to a run with a concert. For Møldrup, this is a merging of two interests that build strong bonds between people.

“It's magic. In reality, incredibly simple but so exciting at the same time”
Toke Møldrup

‘Music is an extremely powerful language that brings people together. So does movement. If you turn on a football match on TV just as someone scores, you immediately feel the electric and great atmosphere, says the cellist.

For him, Bach and running represent music and movement in their purest form.

‘It's magic. In reality, incredibly simple but so exciting at the same time.

He has prepared for the special race in the same way as for the Copenhagen Marathon, which he completed in 2013.

‘This will, of course, be a completely different race, but I feel I am in shape for it now. I have been running for many years; in the beginning, I ran after my three children, he says.

Møldrup will not be the only one with his running shoes on in Bergen. He wants to invite other sporty people to join him but emphasises that this is not a running club.

“Take it easy; any person can join”
Toke Møldrup

‘You do not have to think about how fast or far you can run. I usually run a kilometre in six minutes and will in this instance play after every kilometre. In other words: Take it easy; any person can join, he says.

There is also space for those who just want to cheer and listen from the sidelines. The cellist is curious and excited about who will join and how the project will be received.

Many are wondering how the race will take place, and one of the most frequently asked questions is how he will carry his cello.

‘In a baby jogger! I view it as completely natural that I should have my cello in a running pram, and we have actually managed to borrow one via an article in Bergensavisen. So, I will not mount wheels on the instrument, he says.

This is the first time Møldrup will carry out the Ultimate Bach Movement Marathon, and he is very pleased for it to be happening during the Bergen International Festival.

‘The Bergen International Festival is a great experience every time, precisely because there is room for the visionary and cultural. It is in Bergen you can try something like this!

Møldrup is known for pushing the boundaries of where you can perform classical music and has, among other things, in collaboration with photographer Nikolaj Lund created the photo series #watercello1.0 and #watercello2.0 in which he plays the cello under water (watch a video here).

‘Some people think I pretended to play, but it was real, and you could actually hear the sound under water. It was a great experience. If anyone has any great ideas for #watercello3, feel free to contact me.

And maybe you will swim in Vågen after the race on Monday?

‘That would be fantastic! I’ll keep my fingers crossed for fine weather!

After the world premiere of his concept in Bergen, Møldrup will hold similar events in Bornholm, Copenhagen and Belgrade.

The Ultimate Bach Movement Marathon will take place in the centre of Bergen on Monday 6 June.

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