Natasha Brofsky

Natasha Brofsky

About Natasha Brofsky

Natasha Brofsky has enjoyed a career in both the United States and Europe. She joined the New England Conservatory cello faculty in 2004, and serves as assistant chair of strings.

As cellist of the Naumburg award winning Peabody Trio, she has performed on important chamber music series throughout the U.S., Canada, and the United Kingdom, at venues including Wigmore Hall in London, Herbst Theater in San Francisco and the Corcoran Gallery in Washington. The trio has been heard on numerous radio broadcasts, including CBC, Radio Canada and WGBH.

The trio has recorded on New World, CRI and Artek. Their recording of the Beethoven Op.70 Trios for Artek was hailed by The Strad as as “some of the most accomplished Beethoven playing I have heard in many a year…” Two more Beethoven Trios, Op. 1, have just been released on Artek.

In addition to her work with the Peabody Trio, Brofsky has performed as guest with numerous ensembles, including the Takács, Prazak, Cassatt and Norwegian Quartets. Upcoming performances include guest appearances with the Jupiter and Ying Quartets.

During nearly a decade in Europe, Brofsky held principal positions in the Norwegian Radio Orchestra and the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra under Iona Brown. The Chamber Orchestra toured internationally, performing at the Proms in London, the Kennedy Center and Carnegie Hall. In addition she was a member of the Serapion Ensemble, performing with them in Germany and Austria, and the string trio Opus 3, which performed throughout Norway for Rikskonsertene, the Norwegian State Concert Agency. She recorded Olav Anton Thommessen’s Concerto for cello and winds for Aurora Records, and was a regular participant at Open Chamber Music in Prussia Cove, England.

A sought-after teacher, Brofsky has given masterclasses at San Francisco Conservatory, Peabody Conservatory, and Boston University, among others. She has taught at Barratt-Due’s Institute in Oslo, the University of Colorado at Boulder and the Heifetz Institute. Since 2001, she has been on the faculty at the Yellow Barn Festival in Vermont.

Brofsky was awarded a Fulbright Grant to study in London with William Pleeth where she won the Muriel Taylor Cello Prize. Bachelor of Music and Performer’s Certificate, Eastman School. Master’s Degree, Mannes College. Cello with Marion Feldman, Robert Sylvester, Paul Katz, and Timothy Eddy. Member of the Peabody Trio. Recordings on Aurora Records.

Practicing What You Preach: Some Thoughts on Balancing Performing and Teaching — by Natasha Brofsky

During my preparation for playing a faculty recital at NEC’s Jordan Hall at the end of March, I found myself thinking a lot about the challenges of maintaining a teaching and performing career.  I always find it the most challenging to play for the “home crowd,” especially students and colleagues, because I hope that I will in some way be able to “practice what I preach.” As a cello teacher my listening is focused on how a phrase could be played in a different, more compelling way, and how technique can serve the music. I find that turning my critical teaching ear on myself can inspire me but also paralyze me, because while I am playing I am hearing all the possibilities for doing it better: all the ways I have taught [...]

Practice Time: Inspiring and Productive? — by Natasha Brofsky

As musicians, a life spent practicing our instruments means that we need to be able to teach and inspire ourselves. The art of practicing well is essential in order to develop our own musical voice. The musical idea is everything. Awaken your musical imagination!! Is the phrase you are practicing lyrical or dancelike? Is it passionate? Melancholy? Stormy? Tender? Does a particular passage inspire a scene in your mind? What kind of a story does it tell? How do you want the audience to experience the music at that particular moment? Experiment! Try different bowings and fingerings for the same passage. What makes the music come alive?Remember that the phrasing and emotional impact of the music affect what techniques we use to play it successfully, so don’t decide on bowings or [...]