Featured

Conversation with Anner Bylsma

        Dutch cellist Anner Bylsma received his first lessons from his father and concluded his instruction with Carel van Leeuwen Boonkamp at The Hague Conservatory, when he was awarded the Prix d’excellence. In 1959 he won a prestigious first prize from the Pablo Casals Concours in Mexico. He was solo cellist with the Concertgebouw Orchestra in Amsterdam from 1962 to 1968. He performs regularly around the world as a soloist and recitalist, and has recorded for Das Alte Werk, Telefunken, Decca, Harmonia Mundi, Seon, RCA, Phillips, and EMI. Anner Bylsma is perhaps most famous for his interpretations of the music of Baroque and Early Classical periods. He recently published a book on the Bach Solo Cello Suites, entitled “Bach, The Fencing Master - Reading aloud from the [...]

Remembering Anner Bylsma (1934 – 2019)

With heavy hearts we share the loss of Dutch cellist, Anner Bylsma.  His presence and artistry have made an enormous impact, profoundly influencing the lives of generations of cellists.  Over the course of his career, Bach played a significant role in Bylsma's life as reflected in his performances, writings, and the two sets of recordings of the complete Cello Suites he made in 1979 and 1992.  In fact, his first recording was the first ever to be recorded on gut strings, achieving a significant stride in the period performance movement. Bylsma was a strong believer in the essential accuracy, and therefore sanctity, of the Anna Magdalena Bach manuscript of the Cello Suites.  He accepted there were some mistakes but not that all performance indications were suspect and therefore optional.  In [...]

By |2019-08-10T02:26:34+00:00July 29th, 2019|Categories: Featured, News|Tags: , , , , |

100 Cello Warm-Ups and Exercises Blog 9: Mentalization and Mimes Part 1 — by Robert Jesselson

Although I am in China this week and next, I would like to share these two blogs on mental practice – it’s “mind over matter”. Playing the cello is very much a physical activity. Our ability to play is in many ways governed by how we hold the instrument and the bow. As soon as we take the cello out of the case and sit down our body automatically does what it is used to doing – […]

THINKING IN A NEW WAY—Overcoming Habits (Part 1 of 6): The Value of Quietness — by Selma Gokcen

We can overcome habits of a lifetime in a few minutes if we learn to use our brains. —F.M. Alexander The obstacle is the path. –Zen proverb I offer this six part series of articles to demonstrate how I work with the Alexander Technique to help musicians to overcome deeply ingrained habits. If a quick and easy fix is what is wanted, then the reader won't find it here. The process as I see it is multi-layered—the same habits that affect our cello playing and music-making are also our habits of life, the way we perceive, react and behave, moment to moment. Such observations are at the heart of Alexander's work. Albeit with the help of a good teacher the process of unlearning habits can be easier, there are no shortcuts. [...]

New and Old — by Yeesun Kim

This summer I had two very different experiences performing contemporary pieces. The first piece, as it turned out, had several performances spread over two months. Two concerts included working with the composer prior to the concert. The second piece was set up to be only performed once, without the composer's presence and with only two days of rehearsing. Both pieces were quite difficult in their own ways. The first piece called for virtuosity, stamina and the ability to clearly outline the structure and narrative in order to hold the piece together. The second piece was almost the exact opposite. Short and obsessively detailed in its use of sound effects, it abounded in the use of extended techniques.  It employed extremely soft dynamics and seemed to purposefully obscure perceptible structure in [...]