Hauser, born in Pula, Croatia, and Šulić, born in Maribor, Slovenia, to Croatian father and Slovenian mother, both classically trained musicians, met at a master class in Croatia 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 after their cover of "Smooth Criminal" became a hit on YouTube, receiving over three million views in the first two weeks and over eighteen million views as of May 2016. The creation of the music video was prompted by the cellists' financial difficulties, despite their musical success in the UK. The duo met in Pula, where one of Hauser's friends, a director, proposed that they try the pop music market by creating a video to "Smooth Criminal." The video, originally posted on 20 January 2011, features Šulić and Hauser facing off alone in a large white room, playing Jackson's tune. In fact, before they became partners, the two cellists were sometimes considered rivals, competing against each other in music contests.
2Cellos is currently signed to record label Sony Masterworks, and finished recording their first album in May 2010, which carried the Menart Records name in Croatia. Released on 19 July 2011, their debut eponymous album, includes covers of songs by U2, Guns N' Roses, Nine Inch Nails, Sting, Coldplay, Nirvana, Muse, and Kings of Leon. Hauser told la Repubblica that the album would also feature a cello version of Michael Jackson's "Human Nature." The duo said that they chose songs that could be adapted into covers playable on only two cellos. In anticipation of the release, 2Cellos released their second single "Welcome to the Jungle," a cover of the Guns N' Roses song of the same name. During many of the numbers performed, they are accompanied by the drummer, Dušan Kranjc, who is an occasional member of the group.
Elton John asked the duo to appear with him on his 2011 summer tour, which began in Cardiff, Wales on 8 June. John, who personally called Šulić, said that he had watched the "Smooth Criminal" video and wanted 2Cellos to participate in the thirty-city tour. The two had previously performed on The Ellen DeGeneres Show of 25 April 2011. 2Cellos also performed at the 2011 iTunes Festival in London.
The duo performed an arrangement of "Smooth Criminal" in the third season of the television show Glee. The episode in which they appeared, titled "Michael", aired on 31 January 2012, and was the first time that the series highlighted instrumental musicians. The scene featuring "Smooth Criminal" was set up similar to 2Cellos' original music video for the song. On 4 June 2012 2Cellos performed with Elton John at the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Concert at Buckingham Palace. On 12 June 2012 2Cellos performed in front of full Arena Zagreb.
Although the two record covers of mainly rock songs, Šulić and Hauser say they still play with orchestras and will not abandon playing classical music. The cellists say they would someday like to go on tour with both a classical and a contemporary orchestra. Their second studio album, entitled In2ition, came out early 2013, and featured new twists on a diverse range of classic tracks with a few surprise vocal and instrumental duet partners including Elton John, Lang Lang, Naya Rivera, Steve Vai, Sky Ferreira and Zucchero. The album was produced by Bob Ezrin.
Other tracks include covers of AC/DC's "Highway to Hell" featuring Vai, Coldplay's "Clocks" featuring Lang Lang, Muse's "Supermassive Black Hole" featuring Rivera, an Italian version of "The Book of Love" by The Magnetic Fields entitled "Il Libro Dell'Amore" featuring Zucchero, Karl Jenkins' "Benedictus", and "Oh Well" featuring Sir Elton.
In July 2013, the duo filmed a commercial for the Japanese mobile phone company, Docomo. Their second album, In2ition, debuted at number 1 on the Japanese Albums Chart, in August 2013. As a part of their world tour with Elton John, that included concerts in North America, Europe and Asia, 2Cellos performed at Madison Square Garden two days in a row, in December 2013. In March 2014, they had a solo Japanese tour.
In 2015, 2Cellos released their third album, Celloverse. 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 actively 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 in the beginning of March, gathering 10 million views in the first two weeks. As of January 1, 2017, the video has garnered over 72 million views.
As Šulić told to 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 January 2015, they released their third studio album, Celloverse, which they also co-produced.
In 2017, Sulic and Hauser released their album Score, which was recorded with the London Symphony Orchestra and includes 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.2011: 2Cellos (Sony Masterworks)
2013: In2ition (Sony Masterworks)
2015: Celloverse (Sony Masterworks)
2017: Score (Sony Masterworks)
The Score World Tour (2017)