musicians from across europe – music without borders


jacob kellermann

Jacob Kellermann (1984) has established himself as one of the most active Swedish guitarists of his generation. He was born in Stockholm where he began his guitar studies at the age of eight.


He has performed in venues such as the Seoul Art Center, the Prinzregententheater, the Gasteig in Munich and the Brucknerhaus in Linz. His concerts have been broadcast by radio and television in Sweden (P1, SVT), Germany (BR) and South Korea (KBS).


An avid chamber musician, he regularly performs with string players and singers and his programmes often include his own transcriptions.


With the Swedish violinist Daniel Migdal he forms Duo KeMi. They have toured all over Sweden and played there already more than 80 concerts. They have also performed in Germany, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic and South Korea. In march 2010 the Duo won the first prize in the Aschaffenburg Internationalen Wettbewerb für Kammermusik mit Gitarre.


Jacob is greatly interested in contemporary music and has collaborated with many Swedish composers such as Benjamin Staern and Henrik Strindberg. In May 2013 he worked with the Russian composer Sofia Gubaidulina in a project that resulted in a CD recording of her chamber music that has been released on the BIS label in the summer of 2014.


In 2006, Jacob won the National Guitar Competition ‘Stora Jörgen Rörby stipendiet’. Among the many scholarships he has been awarded, Jacob Kellermann received funding from the Royal Swedish Academy of Music on several occasions for excellence as a young musician. Jacob Kellermann has studied in Sweden, Spain, the Netherlands and Germany. He received his Meisterklasse Diplom under prof. Franz Halasz at the Hochschule für Musik in Munich in 2011.


Jacob plays on instruments by the Australian Luthier Simon Marty.

questions & amswers


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Arnold Schönberg:

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Which piece got you interested in new music?

There is not one particular experience. I remember fondly the first time I listened to Schönberg’s Serenade as well as Britten’s Nocturnal for solo guitar. With Schönberg I went from listening to Mahler and earlier Schönberg works to all of a sudden appreciating atonal and dodecaphonic music. Nocturnal amazed me because I didn’t know that it was possible to express such dark and complex emotions on my instrument.


What makes playing new music in the New European Ensemble satisfying and worthwhile?

Coming mainly from playing chamber music in smaller settings, the challenge and inspiration for me, playing in NEuE is to strive for doing the same thing in a larger setting. To really work with the contact between the musicians, to know what the others are doing. Also, as a guitarist, being part of such a group naturally means performing a lot of fantastic repertoire by great composers that I could not perform otherwise. Of course… to play with good friends is also very important.


which non-classical music do you like?

I just adore Leonard Cohen’s texts and if I listen to non-classical music that often is my choice. This is my top 5: Take this Waltz (wonderful melancholic text by Lorca), Anthem, Famous blue raincoat, Who by fire (text based on a prayer from the Jewish Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur), Everybody knows.

jacob’s leonard cohen top 5

New European Ensemble is supported by Fonds Podiumkunsten (from 2017) and the city of The Hague