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Robinson Recitals Week 2: Benedict Kloeckner

One of Germany’s most acclaimed young cellists, Benedict Kloeckner performs with renowned orchestras such as the Royal Philharmonic, German Radio Philharmonic Orchestras, the NDR and Leipzig Radio Symphony Orchestras, the Kremerata Baltica, Slovak Radio Orchestra and the Russian and Polish State Philharmonic Orchestras, alongside conductors such as Christoph Eschenbach, Howard Griffiths, Ingo Metzmacher, Michael Sanderling, Karl Heinz Steffens, Christoph Poppen, and Heinrich Schiff.  Championed by maestros such as Daniel Barenboim and Sir Simon Rattle, he performs across Europe, North and South America, and Asia. Learn more at

Watch Benedict’s Robinson Recital:

Benedict’s recital, titled “Song of the Birds” is inspired by the great cellist Pablo Casals and begins with Saint Saëns’ iconic “The Swan.” He then performs Casals’ favorite encore, Song of the Birds, Giovanni Sollima’s virtuosic Lamentatio, and Johann Sebastian Bach’s Cello Suite in D Major No. 6, from the set of suites which Casals transformed from practice exercises to famous concert works.

Thoughts from Our Week 2 Curator:

Derek Kwan, Executive Director
Lied Center of Kansas

“It is an honor to participate in this very important initiative that helps to create a sense of community and belonging in retirement and nursing homes while also supporting incredible classical musicians. With the social distancing measures currently in place, residents of these homes are unable to meet in person with family and friends due to health concerns. Music is an incredible force that can create a vibrant sense of hope and community. 

At the Lied Center of Kansas, we aim to program a series of diverse, relevant, and world-class artists which activates our community to strengthen its connection with the arts. Now more than ever, humanity needs music and the arts to unify and lift our collective spirits. Like so many other performing arts organizations, we have had to cancel the remainder of our season, but we are still trying to contribute to this temporary “new normal” by creating opportunities for social connection via initiatives such as the Robinson Recitals. While we are physically apart, it has never been more important to socialize meaningfully. Classical music in particular has the opportunity to play a powerful role in creating a real sense of belonging in retirement and nursing homes.

Kudos to Ariel AVANT for bringing this innovation to our world!”

Derek Kwan became the Executive Director of the Lied Center of Kansas in January, 2014. He previously served as Vice President of Concerts & Touring for Jazz at Lincoln Center and Executive Director of Interlochen Presents.

Public Health Sponsors

The first three weeks of Robinson Recitals have been sponsored by three doctors at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health: Dr. Caroline Buckee, Associate Director of the Center for Communicable Disease Dynamics and Associate Professor of Epidemiology; Dr. Satchit Balsari, Assistant Professor in the Department of Global Health and Population; and Dr. Yonatan Grad, Melvin J. and Geraldine L. Glimcher Assistant Professor of Immunology and Infectious Diseases. 

About Robinson Recitals

The Robinson Recitals initiative is an innovation competition for “live” social distancing video concerts specifically designed for retirement and nursing homes, hosted by Boston-based classical music management firm Ariel Artists.

Weekly winners of the Robinson Recitals competition receive a $500 prize and will have their concerts distributed widely to the retirement home and nursing home communities nationwide, where residents, their family members from afar, staff, and others can enjoy them as they are able to during their days. Family members and their mothers, fathers, grandmothers, and grandfathers living in retirement homes can watch the same live concert video together at the same time at their own convenience, from their separate residences, and in that way, share a live performance in real time.

Applications are open on a rolling basis. Winning concerts will be distributed every Thursday for as long as funding lasts.

Past Winners

Week 1:
Danae Dörken’s 30-minute recital, which she calls “A Musical Journey” and narrates along the way, includes works by Grieg, Schubert, the Greek composer Manolis Kalomiris, and Béla Bartòk. She performs from her living room in Berlin, Germany.