What CelloBello Means to Me — by Paul Katz

What CelloBello Means to Me — by Paul Katz

Dear CelloFriends,

Our year-end fund drive is nearly over. And the first thing I want to say is:

Thank you for your support

Your generosity during this season of giving helps tremendously as we work to build and enrich the global cello community and offer the highest level of online musical instruction and advice from renowned cellists and teachers.

I’m overwhelmed by the support the CelloBello community has shown over the past few weeks. If you’re among those who has already given this year—a deep and sincere thank you from all of us on our little team.

If you’ve already given, you understand why your support matters. Today I want to talk to you about what underlies all the other messages we’ve sent, and what’s most important to me, personally:

When I started CelloBello seven years ago, in my late 60s, it was an exciting experiment to explore different ways that the technology of the internet could extend the reach of conservatory-level cello instruction.

My dream, always, was that the site could bring together cellists the world over, at every stratum of ability and economic status. I hoped to foster stimulating exchanges around musical and technical approaches that would provide encouragement, inspiration, and enrichment previously reserved for only the best (and most affluent) musicians.

This was simply a new way to pay forward the education I received. I was blessed in my early cello years to have studied with the greatest: Casals, Greenhouse, Piatigorsky, Rose, and Starker, and I feel a true responsibility to pass along as much as I can of their insights, knowledge, and traditions.

In the course of my own career, I’ve also continued to learn from doctors, dancers, other instrumentalists, and experts in yoga, sports, and martial arts. I’ve spent 50 years fascinated by the physical, emotional, intellectual, and intuitive interactions of what we do, and I believe I have some unique insights to pass on.

While it may sound hokey, I also feel that with so much tragic division in the world, it’s important that we each seize our opportunities to bring people together to enjoy commonalities while celebrating diversity. I believe CelloBello does this. We encourage discussion regarding different viewpoints on playing and teaching, and embrace cultural and generational differences, all under the umbrella of a common love and interest for music and the cello. For me, this communal, unifying element is very real, and has been a tremendous motivation.

I believe we’ve achieved what we set out to do. I’m proud of what CelloBello has become, and indebted to the hundreds of cellists who have supported us with their time, money, and expertise. I also believe in CelloBello’s future, and am deeply committed to ensuring its long-term stability and success.

As you know, tax deductible contributions to CelloBello are currently made through our partners at Fractured Atlas. One of our big goals this year is to obtain 501(c)(3) nonprofit status. Your gift today will help us grow from a scrappy startup into a vibrant young nonprofit organization. With a solid financial foundation, we can welcome new board members who have nonprofit expertise and a passion for our mission, and further develop our organizational capacity in program development, fundraising, and outreach.

We’ve told you about some of the new cello content your gift will make possible. We’ve told you about Nancy and Richard Lubin’s generous triple-matching gift. You are surely aware that Sunday 12/31 is your last chance to make a tax-deductible donation in 2017.

These are all fine reasons to donate to CelloBello, and we hope you find them compelling.

But for me, the most important message I want to leave you with is this:

The CelloBello community is an important chapter in a continuous legacy of learning and love. Your support today keeps that legacy alive.

Thank you so much.




CelloBello Founder and Artistic Director

By |2018-08-15T13:33:50+00:00December 29th, 2017|Categories: Artistic Vision, Technology|

About the Author:

Paul Katz

Paul Katz is known to concertgoers the world over as cellist of the Cleveland Quartet, which during an international career of 26 years made more than 2500 appearances on four continents, in all of the music capitals, great concert halls and music festivals of the world. As a member of this celebrated ensemble from 1969-1995, he performed at the White House and on many television shows including “CBS Sunday Morning,” NBC’s “Today Show,” “The Grammy Awards” (in 1973, the first classical musicians ever to appear on that show,) and was seen in “In The Mainstream: The Cleveland Quartet,” a one hour documentary televised across the U.S. and Canada.

Mr. Katz has received many honors, including the American String Teacher’s Association “Artist-Teacher of the Year 2003;” Indiana University’s “Chevalier du Violoncelle,” awarded for distinguished achievements and contributions to the world of cello playing and teaching; Chamber Music America’s highest honor, The Richard M. Bogomolny National Service Award, awarded for a lifetime of distinguished service in the field of chamber music; and an Honorary Doctorate of Musical Arts from Albright College. Mr. Katz served for six years as President of Chamber Music America, the national service organization in the United States that has in its membership virtually all of the country’s 600 professional chamber music ensembles, as well as hundreds of presenting organizations, music festivals and managers. As an author, he has appeared in numerous publications and wrote the liner notes for the Cleveland Quartet’s three-volume set of the complete Beethoven Quartets on RCA Red Seal.

Mr. Katz has appeared as soloist in New York, Cleveland, Toronto, Detroit, Los Angeles, and other cities throughout North America. He was a student of Gregor Piatigorsky, Janos Starker, Bernard Greenhouse, Gabor Rejto and Leonard Rose. In 1962 he was selected nationally to play in the historic Pablo Casals Master Class in Berkeley, California and was a prizewinner in the Munich and Geneva Competitions. Of special interest to cellists are his recordings of the Dohnanyi Cello Sonata for ProArte Records and the Cleveland Quartet’s recording on Sony Classical of the Schubert two-cello quintet with Yo-Yo Ma. The Cleveland Quartet has nearly 70 recordings to its credit on RCA Victor, Telarc International, Sony, Philips and ProArte. These recording have earned many distinctions including the all-time best selling chamber music release of Japan, 11 Grammy nominations, Grammy Awards for Best Chamber Music Recording and Best Recorded Contemporary Composition in 1996, and “Best of the Year” awards from Time Magazine and Stereo Review.

In September of 2001, Mr. Katz joined the faculty of The New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, following five years at Rice University in Houston and twenty years (1976-1996) of teaching at the Eastman School of Music. He has mentored many of the fine young string quartets on the world’s stages today including the Ariel, Biava, Cavani, Chester, Harlem, Jupiter, Kuss, Lafayette, Maia, Meliora, OmerParker, T’ang and Ying Quartets. One of America’s most sought after cello teachers, his cello students, in addition to membership in many of the above quartets, have achieved international careers with solo CD’s on Decca, EMI, Channel Classics and Sony Classical.  They occupy positions in many of the world’s major orchestras including principal chairs of orchestras such as Detroit, Los Angeles,  St. Louis, Oslo, Norway and Osaka, Japan, and are members of many American symphony orchestras such as Buffalo, Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Los Angeles, National Symphony, Pittsburgh, Rochester and St. Louis.

Mr. Katz has been a participant at many of the world’s major summer music festivals and schools including twenty years at the Aspen Festival, Marlboro Festival, the Yale Summer School of Chamber Music, the Perlman Music Program, Yellow Barn, the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival in Germany, ProQuartet in France, Domaine Forget, Orford, Toronto Summer Music, and the Banff Center for the Arts in Canada, the Steans Institute of The Ravinia Festival, The Heifetz Institute, and is a Director of the Shouse Artist Institute of the Great Lakes Chamber Festival. His hundreds of master classes worldwide include many of the major music schools of North and South America, Europe, Israel, Japan and China. Mr. Katz frequently sits on the juries of international cello and chamber music competitions, including the Leonard Rose International Cello Competition, the Gyeongnam International Cello Competition in Korea, and the international string quartet competitions of Banff, London, Munich, Graz and Geneva.

Paul Katz currently resides in Boston, MA with his wife, pianist Pei-Shan Lee.

Mr. Katz plays an Andrea Guarneri cello dated 1669.

Cleveland Quartet Homepage
Internet Cello Society (ICS) Interview with Paul Katz
New England Conservatory Faculty Profile
CelloBello on Facebook