30 April 2021, 13:10

Eight cellists play recital for Hereford cows
Eight cellists play recital for Hereford cows.

Picture:
Carsten Snejbjerg / New York Times / Redux / eyevine


These udderly pampered cows have been enjoying cello private recitals in lockdown.

Dressed in full concert attire, seated on a stage of hay, these musicians pick up their instruments every week and play beautiful music for a herd of cows.

Apparently, everyone involved finds it deeply soothing.

Farmer Mogens Haugaard told the New York Times: “Classical music is very good for humans. It helps us relax, and cows can tell whether we’re relaxed or not. It makes sense that it would make them feel good too.”

The regular recitals are organised by Jacob Shaw, a British cello soloist who runs the Scandinavian Cello School in Denmark.

Read more: Classical music increases cows’ milk yield, study finds >

Cellist plays for a bovine audience in Denmark
Cellist plays for a bovine audience in Denmark.

Picture:
Carsten Snejbjerg / New York Times / Redux / eyevine


Shaw soon discovered the school was neighboured by a cattle farm where they rear Hereford cows.

And after getting to know his neighbours, farming couple Mogens and Louise Haugaard, the cellist saw an opportunity for a unique stunt.

Since November 2020, the cows have enjoyed daily serenades through a speaker playing Mozart and other classical melodies.

And now, once a week, Shaw and students from the school come over to perform live for the bovine audience.

The farmyard recitals began as a way to boost the profile of a local music school and its young stars. But they soon turned out to be very popular with audience members, of the two- and four-legged sort.

Cows a-moosed listening to Liszt Hungarian Rhapsodies
Cows a-moosed listening to Liszt Hungarian Rhapsodies.

Picture:
Carsten Snejbjerg / New York Times / Redux / eyevine


As the musicians played Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsody and Edith Piaf’s ‘Hymne de l’Amour’, the musicians were saluted with the odd ‘bravo’ from their four-legged audience. (In cow-speak, of course.)

But after a few concerts, the cows began to develop rather discerning tastes.

One cellist told the US publication: “Did you see how they all left at one point? They’re not really Dvořák fans.”

Perhaps a bit of Pacowbel will do the trick, next time…