top of page

Travelling with a Cello through Siberia
The Adventurous Life of Lise Cristiani (1827-1853) & her Stradivariuscello (1700-now)

By Rene de Vries

Travelling with a Cello through Siberia

Rene de Vries (1946) has a degree in Medicine, and worked in Suriname for 3 years. He returned to Leiden for further study, specialising as an internist. He is the co-author of approx. 300 publications and received several prices for his research.


His most important hobby is music. He has played the cello from the age of 11. 

The fascinating story of a young Cellist and her unforgettable and courageous journey through 19th-Century Russia.


In Leipzig (1845) Felix Mendelssohn hears a French cellist, only seventeen years old, play het cello. He is so impressed that he composes Lied Ohne Worte for cello and piano, and dedicates this to her. Her name is Lise Cristiani and she is the first female to play the cello in public. She made her debut a year before in Paris, and shortly after became internationally known.


The following year Lise successfully performs more than 20 concerts in Germany and Scandinavia, after which she continues to travel to St-Petersburg and Siberia, all the way to Irkutsk. While there, she learns that the Governor-General of East Siberia is planning an expedition to the Pacific Coast. She is granted permission to travel with him taking along her Stradivarius.


After this adventurous journey, Lise travels back from Irkutsk to Moscow, all the time playing her cello, and giving concerts. In Moscow she discovers that she has tuberculosis, forcing her to rest. Then she continues her tour, together with a pianist to the Ukraine. From there her travels take her to the Caucasus and after more than six years she finally decides to return home. Unfortunately Lise never gets there. In Novocherkassk she contracts cholera and dies within a day. She is only 25 years old...



Additional Information:

Published 2014, 2nd Edition 2015 (Dutch) - Part English translation

168 pages - Paperback - Rights: World

bottom of page