celloblog

Celloblog2019-10-30T15:51:31+00:00

What Is the Role of the Musician in the Face of Systemic Injustice? – by Paul Katz

I am writing to you from Boston, one of the U.S. hotspots for the coronavirus, and yet another city where large, peaceful protests are rightfully calling for justice following the killing of George Floyd and countless other innocent black people. Music is a calling that absorbs us, floods our hearts and minds and can remove us from the everyday world and its suffering. But as I look today at a world in chaos, I ask myself, what is the relevance of music, the cello, of culture and the arts in general? What is the role of CelloBello at a time such as this? What can/should we be doing as musicians? While I have been blessed by a long career, I have been continually questioning, as a classical musician, how to [...]

Remembering Lynn Harrell (January 30, 1944 – April 27, 2020)

The cello world has been shocked and saddened by the passing of legendary cellist Lynn Harrell. Mr. Harrell’s career as an internationally renowned soloist, chamber musician, and teacher spanned more than five decades. His singularly beautiful sound will be remembered by future generations through the many recordings he leaves behind. All of us at CelloBello mourn his loss and send our deepest condolences to Mr. Harrell’s family and loved ones. CelloBello founder, Paul Katz, reflects on his life-long friendship with Mr. Harrell: It’s hard to believe Lynn is gone. Even with COVID-19 deaths all around us, 60,000 in the US alone in just the last three months, it still doesn’t get easier when it's a friend. This unexpected loss hits hard. Lynn and I first met in the early '60s [...]

By |April 29th, 2020|Categories: Featured, Performance|Tags: , , , |

“Back to the Breath” —Mindfulness for Cellists

While we are all facing a new reality with the Covid-19 pandemic spreading all over the globe, our way of experiencing life has taken on a new reality in the present moment. Each day, we are presented with innumerable challenges, from following the sobering news on TV and social media, being bombarded with worries, anxiety and panic about what is next to come in your country, your city, within yourself and for your loved ones. It is important to create a positive outlet in the midst of this uncertain time. As a musician and cellist, you have a way to create a positive outlet by playing the cello. Another positive outlet is to quiet the mind through breathing exercises and meditation. I created “Back to the Breath” Mindfulness and Visualization [...]

Exiles in Paradise: on the “Hollywood Renaissance” and Finding New Repertoire for the Cello: Part 2

This article is the second installment in a two-part series   As we discussed in part 1,  war and persecution in Europe created an unprecedented gathering of émigré musical talent in Los Angeles in the mid-20th century,  including Jascha Heifetz, William Primrose, Artur Rubinstein, Otto Klemperer, Bruno Walter, and Lotte Lehmann. Of particular interest to cellists, Los Angeles in this era was also home to top cellists including Gregor Piatigorsky, Emanuel Feuermann (for the last several summers of his life), Kurt Reher, Eleanor Aller (Slatkin), Gabor Rejto, Edgar Lustgarten and Ray Kramer, to name just a few, and the hometown of future stars such as Paul Katz, Laurence Lesser and Nathaniel Rosen.   But perhaps most remarkably, Los Angeles was the home of arguably the greatest collection of composers to [...]

By |March 24th, 2020|Categories: Featured, Artistic Vision, In the Practice Room, Repertoire|Tags: , , |

The “Instead” List

While the list of pieces that appear in cello-piano recitals is incredibly short - same 10 pieces keep circulating in different order - we cellists actually have very large repertoire. Orchestras don't program much more than 10 Concertos and apart the Bach Suites there are maybe 5 pieces that make their way to concert programs. There are always multiple reasons for great music falling out of general attention. It may have to do with style, gender, origin, problems of notation, lack of publisher, wrong publisher, fashion, lack of social skill, too keen self promotion or any combination of these. Often the reasons have nothing to do with the quality of the music. And the quality itself is totally dependent on who is the messenger, in the wrong hands most music [...]