I first became aware of 2Cellos when a Facebook friend posted this video:
Notice the guys’ raggedy bows, with the horsehair hanging down? Before this video, I’d never seen that before. No self-respecting cellist would perform with his bow in that condition.
Now it’s a trend.
I had the good fortune of sitting in a front row seat when they performed at a local venue a few years ago. They played so fast and so hard that I could literally smell the horsehair on their bows burning. I understand how their bows got that way.
The duo is made up of Luka Šulić and Stjepan Hauser. Hauser, born in Pula, Croatia, and Šulić, born in Maribor, Slovenia, are classically trained musicians. They met while still in their teens. Šulić attended the Academy of Music in Zagreb, and then studied in Vienna. He later entered London’s Royal Academy of Music. Hauser attended the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, after completing his studies at Trinity Laban in London. Before they became partners, the two cellists were sometimes rivals, competing against each other in music contests.
Despite their musical success in the United Kingdom, Hauser and Šulić struggled financially until a friend suggested making the music video cover of Michael Jackson’s “Smooth Criminal.” The duo rose to fame in 2011 after their video became a hit on YouTube, receiving over three million views in the first two weeks.
After Elton John watched the “Smooth Criminal” video online, he personally called Šulić and invited the duo to appear with him on his thirty-one city 2011 summer tour.
2Cellos has recorded four albums with Sony Masterworks.
Though their video covers of pop music have made them famous, they both still perform classically, soloing with major symphony orchestras around the world.