CelloBello is thrilled to announce the inaugural CelloBello Audition Preparation Workshop! Drawing on their vast experiences as soloists, chamber musicians, and world-renowned teachers, CelloBello will offer a two-week intensive, featuring multiple master classes led by:

  • Bonnie Hampton (San Francisco Conservatory of Music, formerly of The Juilliard School)
  • Hans Jørgen Jensen (Northwestern University)
  • Paul Katz (New England Conservatory)
  • Astrid Schween (The Juilliard School)
  • Brinton Averil Smith (Rice University)
  • David Ying (Eastman School of Music)

These classes will focus around the standard conservatory audition repertoire, such as the major cello concertos and the Bach Suites, but will be tailored to participants’ specific needs—so let us know what repertoire you would like to have covered!

  • Interactive panel discussions on how to create stand-out prescreening audition videos, how to make the most out of practice sessions, how to practice études and virtuoso pieces, and what conservatories most look for in applicants.
  • Informal Q&As with students from major music institutions (such as the Juilliard School, New England Conservatory, Eastman School of Music, and more), providing an insider’s look on what it is like to be a student at these schools.

Whether you are a high school student planning ahead for upcoming undergraduate auditions, a seasoned teacher looking to help prepare your students, or a parent seeking audition guidance for their child, this workshop is designed to give you tools to demystify the conservatory and music school audition process and to help you play a fantastic audition for the school of your dreams.


The sessions are open only to participants in the workshop and closed to the public.

Saturday, October 24th 2020
9:00 – 10:30am EDT with Paul Katz
Dvořák: Cello Concerto in b minor, Op. 104

11:00am – 12:30pm EDT with David Ying
Bach: Suite No. 5 in c minor

2:30 – 4:00pm EDT with Bonnie Hampton
Tchaikovsky: Rococo Variations, Op. 33
Schumann: Cello Concerto in a minor, Op. 129

Sunday, October 25th 2020
9:00 – 10:30am EDT with Astrid Schween
Bach: Suite No. 1 in G Major

11:00am – 12:30pm EDT with Brinton Averil Smith
Bach: Suite No. 3 in C Major

2:30 – 4:00pm EDT with Hans Jørgen Jensen
Bach: Suite No. 4 in E-flat Major

Saturday, October 31st 2020
9:00 – 10:30am EDT with Astrid Schween
Haydn: Cello Concerto No. 2 in D Major

11:00am – 12:30pm EDT with David Ying
Haydn: Cello Concerto No. 1 in C Major

2:30 – 4:00pm EDT with Bonnie Hampton
Bach: Suite No. 6 in D Major

Sunday, November 1st 2020
9:00 – 10:30 am EST with Paul Katz
Bach: Suite No. 2 in d minor

11:00am – 12:30pm EST with Brinton Averil Smith
Elgar: Cello Concerto in E minor, Op. 85
Schumann: Cello Concerto in a minor, Op. 129

2:30 – 4:00pm EST with Hans Jørgen Jensen
Shostakovich: Cello Concerto No. 1 in E-flat Major
Dvořák: Cello Concerto in b minor, Op. 104

More Details

Meet Our 2020 Workshop Faculty!

San Francisco Conservatory of Music; Formerly of The Juilliard School

Cellist Bonnie Hampton leads an active music life as a chamber musician, soloist, and teacher.

A founding member of the Naumburg Award-winning Francesco Trio, she has also performed as the Hampton-Schwartz Duo with her late husband, pianist Nathan Schwartz. Her solo debut with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra was followed by appearances with orchestras nationally performing the entire standard repertoire and many of the 20th century cello concertos.

Ms. Hampton’s chamber music guest appearances have included performances with the Juilliard, Guarneri, Cleveland, Mendelssohn, Alexander, Budapest, and Griller String Quartets, and concert tours have taken her to Europe and Asia. She has performed in halls throughout the United States, including Davies and the Opera House in San Francisco, Alice Tully, the Library of Congress, the Kennedy Center, Jordan Hall, and many chamber music venues throughout the world. A student of Pablo Casals, she participated for many years in the Casals and Marlboro festivals. She has performed at many festivals including Tanglewood, Ravinia, Santa Fe, Kneisel Hall, and Yellow Barn. Her early studies were with Margaret Rowell, the Griller String Quartet, and Zara Nelsova. Her Francesco Trio Residencies have included Stanford University and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, where she taught for thirty years. Ms. Hampton was awarded an “Excellence in Teaching Award” from SFCM and Indiana University and was a member of the Juilliard School’s Cello and Chamber Music faculty from 2003-2012. In 2018, she was awarded an Honorary Doctorate Degree from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.

Bienen School of Music, Northwestern University

Hans Jørgen Jensen is professor of cello at the Bienen School of Music at Northwestern University. From 1979 to 1987 he was professor of cello at the Moore’s School of Music at the University of Houston. During the summer, he is a faculty member at The Meadowmount School of Music and The Young Artist Program at the National Arts Center in Ottawa Canada under the direction of Pinchas Zukerman. He has been a guest professor at the Thornton School of Music at the University of Southern California, The Oberlin College Conservatory, The Eastman School of Music, The Academy of Music in Sydney, The Royal Academy of Music in Copenhagen, the Tokyo College of Music and the Musashino Academy of Music in Japan, the Festival de Musica de Santa Catarina in Brazil, The Jerusalem Music Center, and the PyeongChang International festival and School in Korea.

Mr. Jensen has performed as a soloist in the United States, Canada, Europe, and Japan including solo appearances with the Danish Radio Orchestra, the Basel Symphony Orchestra, the Copenhagen Symphony, and the Irish Radio Orchestra under the baton of conductors such as: Simon Rattle, Mistislav Rostropovich and Carlo Zecchi. He has given numerous workshops and masterclasses across the United States, Canada, Europe, Japan, Brazil, Korea, Australia, and Israel.

Jensen studied at the Royal Academy of Music in Denmark with Asger Lund Christiansen at the Juilliard School with Leonard Rose and Channing Robbins and pursued private studies with Pierre Fournier, also appearing in his master classes.

New England Conservatory; founding member of the Cleveland Quartet

Paul Katz is known for his 26-year career as cellist of the internationally acclaimed Cleveland Quartet; as a world-renowned teacher of his instrument; for his featured role mentoring young cellists in the made for PBS film Talent Has Hunger; and as Founder and Artistic Director of CelloBello.org, the world’s leading online resource center for cellists. As soloist Katz has played throughout North America, Europe and China. Of special interest to cellists is the Cleveland Quartet’s recording of the Schubert Quintet for two cellos with Paul Katz and Yo-Yo Ma.

The Cleveland Quartet were the first classical artists ever to appear on the Grammy Awards Telecast (1973); performed at the White House; were subjects of a major documentary, “In the Mainstream-The Cleveland Quartet”; and made 70 major label recordings, many of which received distinctions including Best of the Year Awards from Time Magazine and Stereo Review, 11 Grammy nominations and 2 Grammy Awards.

In 2010, with the support of WGBH in Boston and NEC, Katz created CelloBello.org, building a global cello community and serving all cellists and enthusiasts world-wide with the highest level of musical instruction, inspiration and interaction.

A student of Gregor Piatigorsky, János Starker, Bernard Greenhouse, Gabor Rejto and Leonard Rose, he played in the historic 1962 Pablo Casals Master Class in Berkeley, California.

Since 2001, Katz has taught at the New England Conservatory, where he is on the cello and chamber music faculties and is Director of NEC’s Professional String Quartet Training Program.

The Juilliard School

Cellist Astrid Schween has gained a rich following and enjoys a varied career as a soloist, chamber artist and teacher. Since joining the Juilliard String Quartet in 2016, she has appeared at many of the world’s great concert halls including Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, the Vienna Musikverein, Berlin Konzerthaus, Wigmore Hall, Tokyo’s Yamaha Hall, at Lincoln Center, The 92nd Street Y, Ravinia, Tanglewood, the Kennedy Center, and in Hong Kong, Singapore, Greece, China, Spain, Holland, Denmark, Norway and throughout Canada and the US.

At the age of 16, Astrid Schween made her concerto debut with the New York Philharmonic and conductor, Zubin Mehta, who also arranged a special invitation for her to study privately in London with the legendary cellist, Jacqueline DuPré. With degrees from the Juilliard School, Schween received her primary training under the guidance of Leonard Rose, Harvey Shapiro, Channing Robbins, Ardyth Alton and Dr. H.T. Ma, with additional studies under Bernard Greenhouse and Eugene Moye. She performed in masterclasses for Philippe Muller and William Pleeth, and also participated in the Marlboro Music Festival.

Astrid Schween maintains a lively solo performance schedule in addition to her extensive touring with the Juilliard String Quartet. She recently performed the Elgar Concerto with the Boulder Philharmonic and received recital and masterclass invitations from Tanglewood, the Eastman School of Music, Boston Conservatory, Violoncello Society of New York, Cleveland Cello Society.

A dedicated and passionate teacher and mentor, Astrid Schween is a member of the Cello Faculty at Juilliard and the Perlman Music Program. She is represented by Thomas Gallant.

Shepherd School of Music, Rice University

Critics have described American cellist Brinton Averil Smith as a “virtuoso cellist with few equals.” Gramophone praised Smith as a “hugely eloquent, impassioned soloist,” in his debut recording of Miklós Rózsa’s Cello Concerto with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Smith’s North American engagements have included performances at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and recital and concerto engagements throughout the country. His live concert performances on Youtube have been viewed nearly a million times.

Mr. Smith joined the Houston Symphony as principal cellist in 2005. Prior to this, he was the first musician chosen by Lorin Maazel to join the New York Philharmonic and the principal cellist of the San Diego and Fort Worth Symphony Orchestras. Devoted to expanding the cello repertoire, Mr. Smith performs a wide variety of violin, piano and vocal transcriptions and gave the North American premieres of rediscovered cello works of Jean Sibelius and Alexander Zemlinsky and the world premiere of Castelnuovo-Tedesco’s 1951 Sonata for violin and cello.

An active teacher, Mr Smith has been a faculty member of the Shepherd School of Music since 2006, and of the Aspen and Sarasota music festivals. He regularly gives master classes throughout the United States.

Admitted to Arizona State University part-time at age 10, Smith took courses in mathematics and German and, by age 17, completed a B.A. in mathematics. While a student of Eleonore Schoenfeld at the University of Southern California, he completed work for an M.A. in mathematics at age 19. He subsequently relocated to New York to study with cellist Zara Nelsova at The Juilliard School, where he received a Doctor of Musical Arts degree.

Eastman School of Music

David Ying, as cellist of the Ying Quartet and faculty member of the Eastman School of Music, has had the good fortune of a life of musical adventure and opportunity. The Ying Quartet has performed extensively, both in well-known concert spaces from Carnegie Hall to the Sydney Opera House, and in non-traditional venues from hospitals and factories to the White House. Their recordings range from the classic repertoire of Schumann and Beethoven to new works commissioned by the quartet, and have earned the quartet wide recognition and awards including a Grammy award and four Grammy nominations.

As a teacher, Mr. Ying serves on the cello and chamber music faculty of the Eastman School of Music. He is also co-artistic director and faculty member at the Bowdoin International Music Festival. He is privileged to have shared in the growth and achievements of many students over the years, including those who are now teachers themselves in universities, community schools, and private studios; chamber musicians; orchestral musicians in major orchestras; the solo cellist Alisa Weilerstein; as well as others in artistic administration, and the legal profession. With the Ying Quartet he has also held artist-in-residence positions at Harvard University and Northwestern University.

As a solo cellist, Mr. Ying was prizewinner in the Naumburg International Cello Competition, and the Washington International Competition. His studies were at the Eastman School of Music and the Juilliard School, and his teachers have included Leonard Rose, Channing Robbins, Ardyth Alton, Paul Katz, Steven Doane and Robert Sylvester.

Professor of Cello at the Mannes School; former cellist of the Kronos Quartet

Acclaimed for his independent streak, Jeffrey Zeigler has commissioned dozens of works, and is admired as a potent collaborator and unique improviser. He is the recipient of the Avery Fisher Prize and the Polar Music Prize, among several other high distinctions. His multifaceted career has led to collaborations with a wide array of artists from Yo-Yo Ma and Tanya Tagaq to Philip Glass and Hauschka, and many others. He was the cellist of the internationally renowned Kronos Quartet for eight seasons, and is currently the Co-Chair of the String Department and Professor of Cello at Mannes School of Music. Additionally he is on faculty at the Bowdoin International Music Festival.

Cellist of the North Carolina Symphony; professional recording engineer

Nathaniel Yaffe, cellist and recording engineer, joined the North Carolina Symphony cello section in 2013, and has served as its archival recording engineer since 2016. He is a founding member of the Oak City String Quartet and Cello Fourum, a cello quartet. He maintains a small private teaching studio and coaches chamber music with the North Carolina Chamber Music Institute. Each summer, Yaffe performs and teaches at the Wintergreen Summer Music Festival and Academy in Virginia.

Yaffe has engineered and produced recordings that have been broadcast on WCPE and WUNC. His recording of the debut album of cellist David Requiro was released to critical acclaim.

Yaffe holds a double bachelor’s degree in cello performance and audio recording, and a master’s degree in cello performance from the Cleveland Institute of Music. He continued his education at the University of Minnesota in cello performance. He has performed with the Minnesota Orchestra, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, and New World Symphony, as well as at the Aspen Music Festival and School.

Guest Faculty: EMILY TAUBL
Principal Cellist of the Springfield Symphony, University of Vermont, Founder and Director of the Conservatory Audition Workshop

Cellist Emily Taubl’s playing has been described as “sheer poetry” (Rutland Herald). She currently serves as the Principal Cellist of the Springfield Symphony (MA), on the faculty of the University of Vermont, and maintains a busy schedule of solo, chamber music, and orchestral performances.

Emily has appeared as a concerto soloist with the Hartford Symphony, Boston Virtuosi, Nashua Chamber Orchestra, Vermont Philharmonic, the University of Vermont Symphony Orchestra, among many other ensembles. She has performed recitals at the University of Vermont, Amherst College, Dartmouth College, and Williams College.

She performed as a soloist at the Piatigorsky International Cello Festival and on the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s Prelude Concert Series. She performs regularly on Vermont Public Radio, and was a featured performer for The Colors of Claude Debussy: A 150th Birthday Celebration on Boston’s WGBH that was broadcast internationally. She has also performed chamber music at the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, Lake Champlain Chamber Music Festival, Scrag Mountain Music, Faulkner Chamber Music Festival, and Capitol City Concerts.

In addition to teaching at the University of Vermont, Emily founded the Conservatory Audition Workshop – an annual summer program that prepares top string students from around the world for auditions at elite music schools. Her articles about audition preparation and pedagogy been published in Strings Magazine.

Having studied at the Juilliard School, Yale School of Music and the New England Conservatory, her major teachers include Paul Katz, Aldo Parisot, and Ardyth Alton. Emily is based in Burlington, VT and performs on a cello made by Tetsuo Matsuda in 1984.