Paul Katz

About Paul Katz

Paul Katz is known for his 26-year career as cellist of the internationally acclaimed Cleveland Quartet; as a world-renown teacher of his instrument; for his featured role mentoring young cellists in the made for PBS film Talent Has Hunger, directed by Academy Award nominated Director Josh Aronson; 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.

In 2010, with the support of WGBH in Boston and NEC, Katz created CelloBello.org,  “to build a global cello community that serves all cellists and enthusiasts world-wide with the highest level of musical instruction, inspiration and interaction, regardless of location, race, socio-economic status, or ability level”.  Katz’s video lessons are in seven languages and interviews, blogs, live cello chats, streamed concerts and masterclasses are contributed by dozens of the world’s greatest artist/teachers.

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 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, Balourdet, Cavani, Chester, HarlemJupiterKussLafayetteMaiaMelioraOmerParkerT’ang, Verona 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 the Aspen Festival, Marlboro Festival, Bowdoin 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 served as Director of the young artists program at 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, Osaka, Munich, Graz and Geneva.

Paul Katz resides in Boston, MA with his wife, pianist Pei-Shan Lee and plays an Andrea Guarneri cello dated 1669.

Interview with Tiffany Poon, Founder of Together with Classical

CelloBello is very excited to begin a new partnership with Together with Classical, an organization that strives to empower people of diverse musical backgrounds to learn and share their experiences with classical music, through online community engagement, grant-giving, interviews and educational videos. Today we begin with CelloBello founder Paul Katz interviewing the founder of Together with Classical, pianist Tiffany Poon. Be sure to check out the Together with Classical Blog for Tiffany's interview of Paul Katz! PK: Tiffany is the founder of Together with Classical. She's a pianist with a concert career. She's done a lot of playing with cellists, particularly with Jan Vogler but also Guy Johnston and Harriet Krijgh. So, welcome to CelloBello! Let's start by you telling us a little bit about yourself: where were you [...]

Reflections on the 17 Beethoven String Quartets: The Metronome Markings (Part 5 of 5)

Beethoven's Metronome Markings By Paul Katz It’s been a personal joy for me to revisit the album notes I wrote 45 years ago for  the Cleveland Quartet’s recorded Beethoven Quartet Cycle on RCA Victor. The 17 quartets of Beethoven were the core of our 26-year career as we immersed ourselves in research, score study, years of exhilarating rehearsals, two recorded cycles, 30 complete cycles in the major capitals of the world, and literally thousands of Beethoven quartet performances. Musicians generally agree that there is no other music as rewarding or profound  in all of western music. These masterpieces have challenged me as a musician and enriched my life -what a privileged existence! Formed in 1969, the CQ knew only 2 Beethoven quartets for the 1970 Beethoven bi-centennial year, but we joked [...]

Reflections on the 17 Beethoven String Quartets: Some Interpretive Considerations (Part 4 of 5)

Some Interpretive Considerations By Paul Katz It’s been a personal joy for me to revisit the album notes I wrote 45 years ago for  the Cleveland Quartet’s recorded Beethoven Quartet Cycle on RCA Victor. The 17 quartets of Beethoven were the core of our 26-year career as we immersed ourselves in research, score study, years of exhilarating rehearsals, two recorded cycles, 30 complete cycles in the major capitals of the world, and literally thousands of Beethoven quartet performances. Musicians generally agree that there is no other music as rewarding or profound  in all of western music. These masterpieces have challenged me as a musician and enriched my life -what a privileged existence! Formed in 1969, the CQ knew only 2 Beethoven quartets for the 1970 Beethoven bi-centennial year, but we joked [...]

Reflections on the 17 Beethoven String Quartets: The Late Period Quartets (Part 3 of 5)

The Late Period Quartets By Paul Katz It’s been a personal joy for me to revisit the album notes I wrote 45 years ago for  the Cleveland Quartet’s recorded Beethoven Quartet Cycle on RCA Victor. The 17 quartets of Beethoven were the core of our 26-year career as we immersed ourselves in research, score study, years of exhilarating rehearsals, two recorded cycles, 30 complete cycles in the major capitals of the world, and literally thousands of Beethoven quartet performances. Musicians generally agree that there is no other music as rewarding or profound  in all of western music. These masterpieces have challenged me as a musician and enriched my life -what a privileged existence! Formed in 1969, the CQ knew only 2 Beethoven quartets for the 1970 Beethoven bi-centennial year, but we [...]

Reflections on the 17 Beethoven String Quartets: The Middle Period Quartets (Part 2 of 5)

The Middle Period Quartets By Paul Katz It’s been a personal joy for me to revisit the album notes I wrote 45 years ago for  the Cleveland Quartet’s recorded Beethoven Quartet Cycle on RCA Victor. The 17 quartets of Beethoven were the core of our 26-year career as we immersed ourselves in research, score study, years of exhilarating rehearsals, two recorded cycles, 30 complete cycles in the major capitals of the world, and literally thousands of Beethoven quartet performances. Musicians generally agree that there is no other music as rewarding or profound  in all of western music. These masterpieces have challenged me as a musician and enriched my life -what a privileged existence! Formed in 1969, the CQ knew only 2 Beethoven quartets for the 1970 Beethoven bi-centennial year, but we [...]

Reflections on the 17 Beethoven String Quartets: The Early Period Quartets (Part 1 of 5)

The Early Period Quartets By Paul Katz It’s been a personal joy for me to revisit the album notes I wrote 45 years ago for  the Cleveland Quartet’s recorded Beethoven Quartet Cycle on RCA Victor. The 17 quartets of Beethoven were the core of our 26-year concertizing career as we immersed ourselves in research, score study, years of exhilarating rehearsals, two recorded cycles, 30 complete cycles in the major capitals of the world, and literally thousands of Beethoven quartet performances. Musicians generally agree that there is no other music as rewarding or profound  in all of western music. These masterpieces have challenged me as a musician and enriched my life -what a privileged existence! Formed in 1969, the CQ knew only 2 Beethoven quartets for the 1970 Beethoven bi-centennial year, but [...]

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 [...]

By |2024-07-24T19:26:15-04:00June 3rd, 2020|Categories: Ethics, Artistic Vision|Tags: , , , , , |

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: [...]

By |2018-08-15T13:33:50-04:00December 29th, 2017|Categories: Artistic Vision, Technology|

CelloBello Launches an All-New Website

Welcome to the All-New CelloBello!  We are thrilled to finally unveil this classy new website; more beautiful, more versatile, and more flexible than we ever imagined possible. Seven years of growth necessitated a move from CelloBello's original digs to a roomier and more updated new home. We are certain that you will enjoy the dazzling graphics, mobile friendly layout, and all of the many new lessons, master classes, interviews, and substantive new content of this site. Please take a self-guided tour through all sections, and familiarize yourself with the layout and navigation. The website is now mobile friendly, and will conform to your smart phone or tablet screen, making it easier than ever to take it into a practice room and keep it next to you as an educational resource as you work. [...]

By |2017-01-24T19:37:06-05:00January 23rd, 2017|Categories: News|

Happy 100th Birthday Bernard Greenhouse – Born January 3. 1916

By |2016-01-03T20:19:55-05:00January 3rd, 2016|Categories: Bernard Greenhouse|Tags: , , , , |

Bernard Greenhouse: From Teacher to Colleague, Friend, and Always My Inspiration — by Paul Katz

Welcome to Bernard Greenhouse Tribute Week: December 25-January 3rd Paul Katz Artistic Director/Founder CelloBello.com It is Christmas Day 2015! Hearty Holiday Greetings to you from myself and my wonderful CelloBello staff (Jussi, Elana, Clare and Stella)! January 3, 2016 is the 100th Birthday of Bernard Greenhouse, and in celebration of this event, it is an immense personal pleasure to be bringing you Bernard Greenhouse Tribute Week on CelloBello. From today, December 25, 2015 to January 3, 2015, we have scheduled ten days of CelloBlogs, CelloChats, seven never-before seen video conversations between myself and Bernie, photographs, Greenhouse recordings, the opportunity to ask questions online to his former students, colleagues, and daughter, Elena Delbanco… and more! Bernie was one of my true cello heros and a man I loved and admired. Those of you [...]

János Starker Remembrance Week: Presenting My Mentor with His Honorary Doctorate in 2006 — by Paul Katz

It is a privilege for me to be able to use my website,  CelloBello.com,  to honor my former teacher, colleague, and friend of many decades, the legendary János Starker, July 5, 1924 – April 28, 2013. In May 2006, the New England Conservatory of Music presented János Starker with an Honorary Doctor of Music, and I was asked to introduce him. To speak publicly of him was an emotional and gratifying moment for me, and as we celebrate him in the year 2015, it feels appropriate for me to share my words of nine years. János Starker Receiving His Honorary Doctorate at the New England Conservatory New England Conservatory of Music Commencement on Sunday, May 21, 2006 "It is my honor and great personal pleasure to present to you János [...]

Amtrak Charging for Cellos? – by Paul Katz

Amtrak Charging for Cellos? - by Paul Katz The joys of a musical touring career continue! An Amtrak official recently stopped me from boarding a train to Boston in New York's Penn Station, telling me that I must buy a seat for my cello!" I've been traveling Amtrak for 50 years and never once have I had to pay for the cello," I protested. "I don't make the rules, and I don't know what trains you've been riding, but it's on our website, so there is no way you can get on until you get a ticket." The train was leaving in 15 minutes, so what the hell - furious and furiously, I ran to the ticket window and bought a second seat! But later I checked Amtrak's website and [...]

Top Cellist’s Bow is Damaged by US Airport Security — by Paul Katz

Here is the latest travel outrage! Personally, I have never let a security agent handle my instrument and have developed a standard speech that so far, has always worked: "Sorry sir/madam, this instrument is extremely valuable and fragile and that is why I don't check it in baggage. I'm glad to open and close the case for you and let you inspect it thoroughly. But I will hold the instrument for you. If you need to touch the wood, please take off your ring, and be careful your fingernails don't scratch the varnish." That seems to impress them enough that they behave! —Paul Katz Top Cellist's Bow is Damaged: Alban Gerhardt Calls Airport Security Staff "Brutal and Careless". Reprinted from The Strad - Friday, 08 February 2013 Photo: courtesy [...]

Best Public Response Letters to WestJet Bumping the Cello — by Paul Katz

I want to thank the 200 or so people who have emailed me in support of my dispute with WestJet Airlines and I apologize if your comments were not used below. Don't want this blog to be too, too long! Only 1 email was critical of me and I include it below. The responses are worth reading...illuminating, useful...and a couple are  hilarious! —Paul Katz ------------------------------ Dear Paul, I felt absolutely sick when I read your story. I am a flight attendant for  XXX Airlines and my husband a Captain of 32 years. I am dumbstruck by the stupidity of airline staff and ultimately airline management when it comes to the handling of priceless instruments on flights. Our twins, a cellist and violinist, experienced similar treatment at the Canadian National Music Competition in [...]

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