We are thrilled to share the following note from Tim Janof, a very fine writer and longtime editor of the Internet Cello Society. His work with John Michel, noted professor and founder of ICS, has brought us over twenty years of first-rate reportage and community forums. We are pleased to continue their work in the worldwide cello community on the web and will be releasing this historic content incrementally on cellobello.org beginning in the new year as cello.org becomes cellobello.org.

CelloBello Inc. needs your support in this monumental endeavor! Please donate now to make this dream a reality.


A Letter from Tim Janof

In 1994, 24 years ago, John Michel, an early adopter of internet technology, had a grand vision, to create a global cyber-community of cellists, for which he spent many all-nighters bringing it to reality.  To this end, he obtained the domain name, cello.org and founded the Internet Cello Society (ICS).  He also edited the Tutti Celli Newsletter until August 1998.  He recruited me to assist with content creation and management and, later, Marshall St. John, a pastor from Tennessee who loved to play with html, to act as our first webmaster.  Over two decades later, the ICS has 26,000+ members in 84+ countries.  This may seem like a minor accomplishment by today’s standard, since the internet has become commonplace, but in 1994 the internet was still fairly new, and its power to unite had not been fully realized.  I didn’t even have email in the beginning, and would snail-mail floppy discs of my articles to John.

John and I dedicated our lives to cello.org for many years.  While John handled the business side of things, and acted as our guiding spirit, I generated or edited thousands of pages of content, including interviews with almost 90 of the world’s greatest cellists and pedagogues, such as Mstislav Rostropovich, Janos Starker, Eleonore Schoenfeld, Bernard Greenhouse, and Paul Katz.  The documents on cello.org are still used as reference material throughout the world for students writing papers, journalists preparing for interviews, authors writing books, and fans who wish to immerse themselves in all things cello.   

We also have active chat boards.  Though the bulk of the membership has migrated to our Facebook group, we still have the remnants of our original chat system, moderated by Robert Battey, who is now active with CelloBello.  In its prime, Cello Chat was THE place to hang out for cellists, including members of the New York Philharmonic and Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

We now believe it is time to hand the reins over to somebody else and CelloBello seems to be the perfect match.  CelloBello has taken things to the next level, with videos and live presentations, in addition to publishing its own wonderful articles by acclaimed artists.  It has been my view for quite some time that CelloBello has taken the baton from the ICS, but now it’s time to make it official.