Performance

How to Find the Right Instrument: The Pitfalls of Cello Shopping

Whether you have the means to buy a modern (starting at € 25.000), an old Italian (starting at something like € 250.000 and up into the sky) or a nice elderly French, German or English (somewhere in between) instrument, you can drive yourself crazy in finding “the right one". Amateurs, students, and professional players face similar problems.   First we hardly ever get to try all the available instruments at the same time. We have to travel to see/try them in different acoustics under different circumstances. This makes it almost impossible to compare them as we rely entirely on our memory, which is awfully subjective and selective. On top of that every space has its own feel and sound, and most players (including the writer) feel different even with their [...]

By |2019-12-04T15:57:57+00:00November 27th, 2019|Categories: Featured, Performance|Tags: , , , |

Conversation with Zara Nelsova (June, 2000)

  The second generation of a distinguished Russian musical family, Ms. Nelsova was born in Canada, educated in England, and is a citizen of the USA. She made her debut with the London Symphony at age 12, and since that time has regularly toured every continent, including her triumphant tour of the Soviet Union in 1966 as the first to  be made by an American soloist.   Zara Nelsova has appeared with virtually every major orchestra in North America including those of New York, Boston, Chicago, and Philadelphia. She has appeared with numerous European orchestras including the Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam, Royal, Berlin, and London Philharmonics, the BBC and London symphony orchestras, and in Warsaw and Poznan with the Amadeus Chamber Orchestra. She has collaborated with such eminent conductors as [...]

Conversation with Sara Sant’Ambrogio (January, 2005)

  Grammy Award-winning Sara Sant'Ambrogio first leapt to international attention when she won the Eighth International Tchaikovsky Violoncello Competition in Moscow, Russia. As a result of her medal, Carnegie Hall invited Ms. Sant'Ambrogio to perform a recital that was filmed by CBS News as part of a profile about her, which aired nationally. Bernard Holland of The New York Times described Ms. Sant'Ambrogio's New York debut as "sheer pleasure." Ms. Sant'Ambrogio has appeared as soloist with such orchestras as Atlanta, Boston Pops, Chicago, Dallas, Moscow State Philharmonic, the Osaka Century Orchestra (Japan), St. Louis, San Francisco and Seattle; she has performed throughout the world at major music centers and festivals including Aspen, Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Hollywood Bowl, Lincoln Center, Kennedy Center, the Konzert Huset in Stockholm, Marlboro, Mostly Mozart, Musikverein [...]

Conversation with Maria Kliegel (September, 1999)

  German cellist Maria Kliegel's international career started in 1981 when she received the "Grand Prix" of the Concours Rostropovich in Paris. She also won first prizes at the American College Competition, the First German Music Competition in Bonn, the Concours Aldo Parisot, and was in the national selection for "Concerts with Young Artists." After the Rostropovich Competition, the international concerts and tours began: she performed in Basel, and played with the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington, D.C., and the Orchestre National de France in Paris -- each time with Mstislav Rostropovich conducting. She has performed at the Konzerthaus Berlin, Stuttgart Liederhalle, Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Weilburger Schloßkonzerte, Gidon Kremer's Lockenhaus Festival, Gubaidulina Festival in West Germany, Risor Kam in Norway, Alte Oper Frankfurt, and Kultursommer Nordhessen. She has toured Europe, the [...]

Conversation with Gerhard Mantel (February, 2000)

  Gerhard Mantel is perhaps best known as the author of the book, Cello Technique -- Principles and Forms of Movement. He recently published his second book, Cello Üben (Cello Practice), which is currently published in German by Schott, and has quickly become a standard text in German-speaking countries; an English version will soon be published as an "e-book" by http://www.rugeri.com. He has published a set of duos for students and teachers called "25 Duettudes," each of which addresses particular technical issues for intermediate students. He has also published a cello method for children, Cello mit Spass und Hugo. He is president of the German chapter of European String Teachers' Association (ESTA). After his studies with August Eichhorn, he continued working with Pierre Fournier, Paul Tortelier, Maurice Gendron, Andre Navarra, [...]

Conversation with Dimitry Markevitch (February, 1999)

  Cellist Dimitry Markevitch's interests cover a variety of areas, including musicology, research into stylistic traditions, and teaching. He is a member of the American Musicological Society and the Société Française de Musicologie. He founded the Institut de Hautes Etudes Musicales (IHEM) in Switzerland. He discovered the Westphal and Kellner manuscripts of the Bach Suites, which had eluded musicologists for decades. He published his own edition of the Bach Suites (in its 3rd edition), which incorporates these manuscripts as well as the Magdalena. In 1964 he presented his edition in recital in Carnegie Hall in New York, playing all six suites in a single concert. He discovered two unknown works by Ludwig van Beethoven: the Sonata for Violoncello and Piano, Opus 64, and the Kreutzer Sonata, transcribed for cello by [...]

By |2019-11-10T18:07:37+00:00October 27th, 2019|Categories: Internet Cello Society Archive, Performance|Tags: , , , , |

Conversation with Stephen Kates (September, 2002)

Stephen Kates studied with Gregor Piatigorsky, Leonard Rose, Claus Adam, Laszlo Varga, and Marie Roemaet-Rosanoff. He was awarded the Silver Medal at the Third International Tchaikovsky Competition in 1966 in Moscow, where he returned as the American juror in 1986. He has made solo appearances with the world's greatest orchestras in New York, Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia, Detroit, Cincinnati, San Francisco, Atlanta, Baltimore, Leningrad, and Los Angeles. He is a former President of the Violoncello Society in New York. For seven summers he was a member of the faculty of the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, California, and has taught at the Peabody Institute in Baltimore for almost 30 years. He has recorded for the RCA, Denon, Melodiya, Orion, CRI, and Bainbridge labels.   Teachers   TJ: You [...]

Conversation with Joel Krosnick (March, 2005)

  Born in Connecticut to a family of enthusiastic amateur musicians, Joel Krosnick has been cellist of the Juilliard String Quartet since 1974. With pianist Gilbert Kalish, his sonata partner for over twenty years, he performs annual recitals at the Merkin and Weill Halls in New York, and has recorded much of the sonata repertoire, including the complete Beethoven and Brahms Sonatas and Variations, and works by Poulenc, Prokofiev, Carter, Debussy, Janácek, Shapey, Cowell, and Hindemith. Mr. Krosnick's principal teachers were William D'Amato, Luigi Silva, Jens Nygaard, and Claus Adam, whom he succeeded in the Juilliard String Quartet. While at Columbia University, he began his lifelong commitment to contemporary music and has performed and premiered many new works, including Donald Martino's Cello Concerto, Richard Wernick's Cello Concerto No. 2, and [...]

Conversation with Marston Smith (March, 2003)

  Marston Smith has introduced audiences of all ages to the infinite possibilities of cello repertoire, venturing into Rock & Roll and Trance Celtic, to High Fashion Euro Funk. His performances are renowned for his creative costuming bordering between Cirque du Soleil, Lord of the Rings, and Road Warrior. He received his Master of Music degree from the renowned cellist Bernard Greenhouse and since has appeared on national television (QVC), and has been a soloist with symphony orchestras, and played in recordings for motion picture soundtracks, record albums, and performances in Las Vegas. He currently lives on a mountain top just outside of Los Angeles with his wife and three children. As a professional cellist working in the recording industry he has recorded with Barbara Streisand, Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, [...]

Conversation with Shauna Rolston (January, 2006)

Having been named "Young Artist to Watch" by Musical America and the youngest recipient of the Pro Musicis International Award, celebrated cellist Shauna Rolston is considered to be one of the most compelling musicians of her generation. She has been praised for the ease and naturalness of her technique, her pure intonation, sheer fearlessness, and her ability to produce a huge tone and to play with great delicacy. According to Classic CD Magazine "…her recording of Elgar's cello concerto is worthy to stand alongside Jacqueline du Pré's classic account. This could be the most remarkable performance of the last 20 years." Following her formative studies at the renowned Banff Centre, Shauna earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art History from Yale University and a Master of Music degree from [...]

Conversation with Laszlo Varga (November, 2002)

Hungarian-American cellist Laszlo Varga has an international reputation as soloist, recording artist, and master teacher. He served as the Principal Cellist of the New York Philharmonic for 11 years under Dimitri Mitropoulos and Leonard Bernstein. Mr. Varga has appeared as soloist with orchestras across the USA, Europe, Japan, Australia, South America, and the former Soviet Union. He has been the featured soloist, chamber musician, and master teacher at the Aspen, Chautauqua, and Shreveport festivals, among others for over 40 years. He is highly praised for his numerous recordings on the Vox, RCA, Columbia, Decca, CRI, Period, and MusiCelli labels. Mr. Varga has premiered numerous pieces for solo cello and is eagerly sought after by composers to present their works. As cellist with the Borodin Piano Trio and former Professor at [...]

Remembering Anner Bylsma

I play early music on period instruments because of the great Dutch cellist Anner Bylsma, who passed away on July 25 at the age of 85.  When I was 14 I entered the classical music section of a Tower Records store where Bylsma’s recent release of arrangements of music for unaccompanied flute and violin by J.S. Bach, performed on his son’s 7/8ths-sized cello tuned like a violin, was being played.  I didn’t pay much attention to it until Bylsma hit the final note of the prelude to the E major Partita, BWV 1006. It ended a driven but, as I realized much later, subtly nuanced and very “spoken” performance. It seemed the energy stored by what had preceded the note was fully released by it: powerfully, beautifully, emphatically, and most [...]

By |2019-10-31T15:41:59+00:00August 28th, 2019|Categories: Performance|Tags: , , , |

The Bach Suites as You Have Never Seen Them Before — by Antonio Lysy

Hundreds of scholars have studied and written about the Bach Suites, yet we can only speculate about how or when they were first performed. The original manuscript is lost, leaving us with various facsimiles to decipher, and there are no written accounts by Bach’s contemporaries. The one advantage of this predicament is the wide spectrum of artistic decisions on which a cellist is compelled to ruminate, in order to make them “their own.” Apparently the suites were not intended to be performed as a cycle, although this approach has become increasingly common in the last couple of decades. My current perspective, developed over many years of performing and teaching the suites, is that each of the six tells a distinctive story. And, like a series of books or films, each [...]

Behind the Scenes with Brannon Cho

We are thrilled to introduce you to Brannon Cho, First Prize Winner of the 2018 Paulo International Cello Competition.  In this conversation Brannon takes us behind the scenes offering insight into his preparation, mindset, and aspirations.   Blogmaster: Can you give us insight as to how the competition felt for you?  Did you play as you aspired to? Brannon Cho:  The competition was quite exhausting.  As opposed to other competitions I’ve done in the past there was almost no time to rest between rounds. In some ways I appreciated it because it was similar to the concert schedule of a touring soloist.  As a soloist, every two days you have a big concert. In contrast, in Belgium last year I would sometimes have a week before I played the next [...]

Isang Yun International Cello Competition Announces 2018 Prize Winners

Isang Yun International Cello Competition Winners Announced! Christine Jeong Hyoung Lee of Korea and Sang Eun Lee of Korea share the First Prize in the 2018 Isang Yun International Cello Competition. When the scores of an international jury of nine were tallied, the two received mathematically identical scores. Each received  $25,000. Lev Sivkov of Russia received Third Prize and $10,000 for his performance of the Dvorak Concerto. Christine Jeong Hyong Lee performed the following program in the three rounds: First Round Program J. S. Bach: Prelude and Sarabande from Suite for Cello Solo No. 4 BWV 1010 Benjamin Britten: Suite for Cello Solo No. 1 Op. 72 (7th, 8th and 9th movements only) Isang Yun: Glissees for Solo Cello (1970) Second Round Program Isang Yun: EspaceⅠ(1992) L. v. Beethoven: Sonata for Cello [...]

By |2018-11-03T21:11:38+00:00November 3rd, 2018|Categories: Competition, News, Performance|Tags: , , , |