2Cellos is a Croatian and Slovenian cellist duo, consisting of classically trained Luka Šulić and Stjepan Hauser. Signed to Sony Masterworks since 2011, they have released four albums and play instrumental arrangements of well-known pop and rock songs as well as classical and film music. The duo performs internationally and has been featured on several US TV shows including Glee and The Bachelor.
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Hauser, born in Pula, Croatia, and Šulić, born in Maribor, Slovenia, are classically trained musicians. They met at a master class in Pula while still in their teens. Šulić—the younger of the two by a year— attended the Academy of Music in Zagreb, and then studied in Vienna. Šulić 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.
The duo rose to fame in 2011 after their cover of “Smooth Criminal” became a hit on YouTube, receiving over three million views in the first two weeks and over twenty-seven million views as of Feb 2018. The creation of the music video was prompted by the cellists’ financial difficulties, despite their musical success in the UK. One of Hauser’s friends in Pula, a director, proposed that they try the pop music market by creating a video to “Smooth Criminal.” The video features Šulić and Hauser facing off alone in a large white room, playing Jackson’s tune. Before they became partners, the two cellists were sometimes rivals, competing against each other in music contests.
In 2015, 2Cellos released their third album, Celloverse, which they also co-produced. The album contains a diverse array of renditions including AC/DC’s Thunderstruck, Avicii’s Wake Me Up, Michael Jackson’s They Don’t Care About Us, Han’s Zimmer’s Mombasa (from Inception), and an original work titled Celloverse, among numerous other covers.
2Cellos uses YouTube to reach out to its fans. In addition to producing music videos of their work, they also post videos of notable live performances, including in Arena Zagreb (2012), Arena Pula (2013), EXIT Festival (2014), and their fifth anniversary concert at Arena di Verona (2016). In February 2014, the pair published their rendition of AC/DC’s “Thunderstruck” to YouTube. The video depicts the duo playing before a Baroque audience, which soon finds out that the song is anything but classical. The video went viral at the beginning of March, gathering 10 million views in the first two weeks. As of May 2018, the video has garnered over 116 million views.
As Šulić told The Sydney Morning Herald, “we love AC/DC as much as Bach.” Hauser added, “both [AC/DC and Bach] are simple and convincing in what they do.”
In 2017, Sulic and Hauser released their album Score, recorded with the London Symphony Orchestra and including a wide array of television and film music. To mark the album’s release, 2Cellos released their official YouTube video for Game of Thrones Medley, which garnered over 1 million views in two days.
On 26th May 2018, 2Cellos performed the UEFA Champions League Anthem ahead of the 2018 UEFA Champions League Final between Real Madrid C.F. and Liverpool F.C.