Avery Waite

Avery Waite

About Avery Waite

Originally from California, Avery Waite has appeared in concert in Avery Fisher Hall, The Kennedy Center, Alice Tully Hall, MOMA, Carnegie Hall and has performed solo in Poland, Italy and France. Avery has been a featured performer on Sesame Street and was also recently selected to perform in concert with Itzhak Perlman at the 2012 Perlman Music Program Chamber Music Workshop.

In May 2010, Avery represented Oberlin Conservatory at The Kennedy Center, performing the solo works of Elliott Carter as a part of the Conservatory Spotlight Project. He was also recently selected by The Cleveland Orchestra as an Artist-in-Residence Fellow during cellist Alisa Weilerstein’s residency. Avery participated in the 2008 and 2009 New York String Seminar Program at Carnegie Hall with Maestro Jaime Laredo. A proponent of contemporary music, Avery has collaborated with many composers, including George Crumb and Charles Wuorinen, and has been featured on the Summergarden New Music Series at MoMA. A great lover of chamber music, he has studied chamber music with members of the Cleveland, Guarneri, Juilliard and Takacs String Quartets.

Avery has received grants from both Oberlin Conservatory and The Juilliard School to pursue social outreach and cultural diplomacy projects in Europe and North America. Teaming up with violist Fitz Gary, Avery also founded Music Feeds Us, a concert series designed to promote hunger relief and awareness.

Avery completed his undergraduate studies at Oberlin Conservatory in 2010 and received a Masters degree from The Juilliard School in 2012. In September 2012, Avery moved to Kabul to join the faculty at the Afghanistan National Institute of Music.

Afghanistan National Institute of Music

Enharmonically Equivalent: Greetings from Kingston! — by Avery Waite

What a month is has been! It has been an absolute whirlwind of teaching, cultural discoveries, new friends, new landscapes and rainy October downpours. Despite the consuming teaching schedule, I've been able to absorb different aspects of Jamaica bit by bit. From the breathtaking views of mountainous junglescapes, to stunning sunsets, to torrential thunderstorms, the natural beauty is both staggeringly vivid and refreshingly wild. But, it's a place of extremes and contradictions. The downtown area in which I teach five days a week is definitely tough and worlds away from the well-guarded mansions that dot the mountain-sides above the city. One of the schools, St. Andrews Technical High School, is bordered by a maximum security prison and several violent ghettos. There is a constant turf war in these neighborhoods as rival gang-lords called "dons" [...]

A Cellist in Kabul (Part 2) — by Avery Waite

After three months in Kabul I feel ready to write honestly about the challenges of teaching here. The thing is it’s almost impossible to separate everything about Afghanistan from my experience as a music teacher; it’s just such a complicated and bewildering place. And the weirdest thing is that the longer I’m here, the harder it is to write about my life. I suppose the overall experience itself is so consuming that I can’t properly distance myself enough to document it. But I will try my best to cover the challenges that I face on a daily basis. The most daunting challenge is teaching in a difficult foreign language. What I didn’t realize at first is that the language of music pedagogy is tremendously complex. It can be very simple [...]

A Cellist in Kabul (Part 1) — by Avery Waite

On September 4th, I packed up my things, hopped in a taxi and drove to JFK airport. My destination, Kabul. My job, the new cello teacher at the Afghanistan National Institute of Music. When I first heard about the opportunity to teach in Kabul, I knew deep down that I had no choice but to go. Something drew me to it. I applied for the job without really thinking it through completely. But when I was actually offered the position, I had to really take a step back and give it some serious thought. In fact, it took me almost three months to fully accept the decision I had made to go. Some days I would be thrilled and excited, and other days I would be scared out of my [...]