Internet Cello Society Archive

Conversation with Karine Georgian (November, 2004)

Interview by Tim Janof Born into a family of musicians in Moscow, Karine Georgian began her cello studies at the age of five under her father, later studying at the Moscow Conservatoire under Rostropovich. After taking the First Prize and Gold Medal at the Third Tchaikovsky International Competition, she launched an international career that has spanned all the countries of the former Soviet Union, Eastern and Western Europe, the Far East, and the United States, starting with the American premiere of Khachaturian's Cello Rhapsody with the Chicago Symphony conducted by the composer (her recording with the composer and the Moscow Bolshoi Radio Symphony Orchestra has recently been reissued by Melodiya/BMG Classics). Today, Karine Georgian is a seasoned performer with a vast experience on concert platforms across the world, having appeared [...]

Interview with Eva Heinitz (December, 1997)

Interview by Tim Janof Honored by Janos Starker as La Grande Dame du Violoncelle for her lifetime contributions to cello and cello teaching, Eva Heinitz is also known throughout the world for her pioneering work with the viola da gamba. She has performed in solo and chamber music concerts throughout Europe and North and South America, appearing as soloist with the Chicago, Pittsburgh, Seattle, and Vancouver Symphonies. She is Professor Emeritus of Cello at the University of Washington. Eva Heinitz is the most powerful presence I have ever met, ever. At 91 years old, she has more fire in her soul than most 20 year olds. Her opinions are strong and passionate, and she states them with a disarming confidence. Born in Berlin in 1907, she grew up in one of the greatest musical centers of [...]

Conversation with Jeffrey Solow (May, 1995)

Interview by Tim Janof Jeffrey Solow is currently Associate Professor of Music at the Esther Boyer College of Music at Temple University. He is a renowned performer, cello pedagogue, and author. Two of his articles were recently voted to be in the top 10 of the last ten years in American String Teacher magazine. TJ: How did you get started on the cello? JS: It was from familial influence. There are three kids in my family, of which I am the youngest. When each of us reached about 7 years old, my parents asked us what instrument we wanted to play. My older brother had played cello for awhile and somehow that stuck with me when it was my turn to decide. So I emulated him and picked the cello. [...]

Conversation with Matt Haimovitz (July, 2003)

Cellist Matt Haimovitz has established himself as one of classical music's most adventurous artists, equally at ease playing the masterworks for his instrument in solo, chamber, and concerto performances in leading concert halls as he is bringing classical music to new listeners in surprising new venues. A teacher, a record label entrepreneur, and a celebrated performer, Haimovitz manifests his love of music not only in the seriousness with which he approaches his work but also with his warm demeanor and the natural expressiveness of his playing. Haimovitz has made headlines with his path-breaking performances of Bach's 6 Suites for Cello Solo. He struck a nerve in the music world with his unprecedented Bach "Listening-Room" Tour, taking Bach's beloved cello suites out of the concert hall and performing them in intimate [...]

Conversation with Julian Lloyd Webber (July, 2004)

Interview by Tim Janof Widely regarded as one of the most creative musicians of his generation, Julian Lloyd Webber has collaborated with an extraordinary array of musicians, from Yehudi Menuhin, Lorin Maazel, Neville Marriner, and Georg Solti to Stephane Grappelli, Elton John, and Cleo Laine. Julian's twenty-year partnership with Philips/Universal Classics has produced many outstanding recordings, including his Brit-Award winning Elgar Concerto, conducted by Yehudi Menuhin (chosen as the finest ever version by BBC Music Magazine), the Dvorák Concerto with Vaclav Neumann and the Czech Philharmonic, Tchaikovsky's Rococo Variations with the London Symphony under Maxim Shostakovich, and a coupling of Britten's Cello Symphony and Walton's Concerto with Sir Neville Marriner and the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, which was described by Gramophone magazine as "beyond any rival." Julian [...]

Conversation with Frances Walton (June, 1999)

Interview by Tim Janof Sitting third chair in Philharmonia Northwest, one of the best community orchestras in the Seattle area, is 71 year old cellist Frances Walton, one of the most radiant musical souls I have ever met. "I'm 71 and I love it. As long as I can move without arthritis, the world is good." One wouldn't necessarily expect to find such a powerful musical force in a place like Shorecrest High School auditorium, the orchestra's concert venue, but there she enthusiastically plays. As I watch her, I can't help but wonder if anybody realizes just what she has done for classical music -- formed and conducted two orchestras, conducted a third, founded a music camp, co-founded a music library, formed a statewide concert tour, and inspired countless musicians [...]

Conversation with Bion Tsang (July, 1997)

Interview by Tim Janof Bion Tsang has appeared as soloist with the New York, Moscow, and Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestras, the National, American, Atlanta, and Pacific Symphony Orchestras, the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra, and the Taiwan National Orchestra. Mr. Tsang's career as a chamber musician has been equally distinguished, marked by numerous collaborations with violinists Cho-Liang Lin and Pamela Frank, frequent appearances as guest artist of the Boston Chamber Music Society, and performances at festivals such as Marlboro Music, the Portland and Seattle Chamber Music Festivals, and the Laurel Festival of the Arts, where he serves as Artistic Director. TJ: You studied with some illustrious musicians- Leonard Rose, William Pleeth, and Aldo Parisot. What were they like as teachers? BT: I didn't study long enough with Leonard Rose or William Pleeth [...]

Conversation with Raphael Wallfisch (July, 2004)

Interview by Tim Janof Raphael Wallfisch was born in London in 1953 into a family of distinguished musicians, his mother the cellist Anita Lasker-Wallfisch, and his father the pianist Peter Wallfisch. At an early age, Raphael was greatly inspired by hearing Zara Nelsova play, and, guided by a succession of fine teachers, including Amaryllis Fleming, Amadeo Baldovino, and Derek Simpson, it became apparent that the cello was to be his life's work. While studying with the great Russian cellist Gregor Piatigorsky in California, he was chosen to perform chamber music with Jascha Heifetz in the informal recitals that Piatigorsky held at his home. At the age of twenty-four he won the Gaspar Cassadó International Cello Competition in Florence. Since then he has enjoyed a world-wide career playing with such orchestras [...]

Conversation with Robert Cohen (December, 2000)

Interview by Tim Janof British cellist Robert Cohen is firmly established as one of the world's leading soloists. His career takes him on major tours of the USA, Europe, Eastern Europe, Scandinavia, Australia, New Zealand, Japan and the UK, performing with conductors such as Abbado, Jansons, Marriner, Masur, Muti, Rattle, and Sinopoli. Cohen made his concert debut at London's Royal Festival Hall playing a Boccherini concerto at the age of 12. His prodigy was nurtured by the great pedagogue William Pleeth. He also took part in classes with Jacqueline du Pré, André Navarra, and Mstislav Rostropovich. At the age of 19, after winning several major international competitions, he made his recording debut -- Elgar's cello concerto with Del Mar and the London Philharmonic -- which received several awards and has [...]

Conversation with Steven Doane (August, 1994)

Interview by Tim Janof Mr. Doane is on the faculty of the Eastman School of Music. TJ: At what point did you decide that you would dedicate your life to music? SD: When I was in my second year in high school, I told my parents that I wanted to train to be a professional cellist. They asked my cello teacher if he thought I would be able to make it. He said, "I don't know if he'll be another Piatigorsky, but he should be able to make a living." Of course I was disappointed that he didn't say I was going to be another Piatigorsky, but my parents were reassured. I ended up studying with Richard Kapuscinski at Oberlin. Then I went to Stony Brook for a couple of [...]

Conversation with Wendy Warner (June, 2000)

Interview by Tim Janof The international music world first took note of Wendy Warner when she won First Prize in the Fourth International Rostropovich Competition in Paris in 1990. Later that year, Ms. Warner made her debut with the National Symphony Orchestra and Mstislav Rostropovich, and the next year she was the featured soloist on their North American tour. Rostropovich also engaged her for a tour of Germany with the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra in 1991, making her debuts in Frankfurt, Stuttgart, Koln, Dusseldorf, and Berlin. For Rostropovich's 70th birthday celebration concert in Kronberg, Germany, she was invited to perform in recital and with orchestra, and later played the Vivaldi double concerto with him at Reims, France. In addition to her tours with Rostropovich, Ms. Warner toured with the Moscow Virtuosi [...]

Conversation with Laurence Lesser (January, 2001)

Interview by Tim Janof Laurence Lesser, president emeritus of the New England Conservatory (NEC) has enjoyed a multi-faceted career as a concert artist, teacher and arts administrator. He served as president of NEC for 13 years, from 1983 to 1996. He was a top prizewinner in the 1966 International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow, and a participant in the historic Heifetz-Piatigorsky concerts and recordings. He has been soloist with many orchestras including the Boston Symphony, London Philharmonic, and the New Japan Philharmonic. He has performed under the batons of Ozawa, Rostropovich, and Tilson Thomas, among others. He was the first to record the Schoenberg Cello Concerto, and in 1966 was the first to perform it with orchestra since its 1938 introduction by Emanuel Feuermann. As a chamber musician Laurence Lesser has [...]

Conversation with Orlando Cole (June, 2002)

Interview by Tim Janof Orlando Cole, now 94 years old, has helped produce a generation of cellists which includes Lynn Harrell, David Cole, Ron Leonard, Owen Carman, Daniel Lee, Lorne Munroe, Marcie Rosen, as well as principal cellists in a dozen leading orchestras. In 1927 he was a founding member of the Curtis String Quartet with whom he performed extensively throughout America and Europe for 50 years. He has also held master classes in the United States, Europe, and the Far East. Mr. Cole has been a faculty member of Curtis since graduating from the class of Felix Salmond in 1934. In 1986 he received an honorary "Doctor of Music" from Curtis, and in 1990 was honored by the American String Teacher's Association as "Teacher of the Year." Mr. Cole [...]

Conversation with Natalia Gutman (October, 1999)

  Interview by Tim Janof Natalia Gutman was born in Kazan, Russia, and started to play the cello at the age of 5. In 1964, having already won the International Tchaikovsky Competition, she entered the Moscow Conservatory to study with Mstislav Rostropovich. Her First Prize in the 1967 Munich ARD Competition marked the beginning of her international career. Since then she has performed with the leading orchestras of the world, and with conductors such as Sawallisch, Muti, Abbado, Haitink, Svetlanov, Temirkanov, Celibidache, and Masur. She regularly appears with the most important summer festivals in Europe.   Oleg Kagan and Sviatislov Richter were among Ms. Gutman's regular chamber music partners until their recent deaths. Richter once expressed his admiration for her by saying, "… she is an incarnation of truthfulness in [...]

Cello Esprit de Corps

In 1994 I started up the Internet Cello Society. I was the director for 12 years, after which Tim Janof continued to lead ICS. During the recent process of gifting the Internet Cello Society (cello.org) to the wonderful CelloBello organization, Paul Katz asked that I write a few words about ICS and its humble beginnings.  During this pandemic, I first dismissed the idea as a personal nostalgic indulgence; however, as with all history, there are things past that inform our present state of affairs.  So, if you will allow, here is a brief recount… In 1994, when I first browsed the internet on a Mosaic browser app, the first word I typed into the search was “cello”.  I was ecstatic to get 4 hits!  Two entries mentioned the cello as [...]

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