Pablo Casals

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 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 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 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 Zara Nelsova (June, 2000)

Interview by Tim Janof 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 [...]

Conversation with Gerhard Mantel (February, 2000)

Interview by Tim Janof 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 [...]

Conversation with Bernard Greenhouse

 Reprinted from Internet Cello Society 11/28/98 By Tim Janof: TJ: You studied with Felix Salmond who also taught Leonard Rose. BG: When I was 18, I had to choose between entering a pre-med program or trying out for Juilliard. I chose to try for a Juilliard fellowship, which I was awarded, and I began to study with Felix Salmond. He was sort of a funnel for talent from all over the United States, since there weren't many cellists at the time. There were only eight cellists at Juilliard, as well as at Curtis, and each one was a very gifted player. TJ: Did you attend school with Leonard Rose?  BG: No, he was at Curtis, in Philadelphia, though we were quite aware of each other because of our common teacher. I remember going [...]

New England Conservatory Cellist Taeguk Mun Wins Pablo Casals International Cello Competition

Reprinted from Xinhuanet.com Taeguk Mun BUDAPEST, Sept. 13 (Xinhua) — Twenty years old cellist Taeguk Mun of South Korea, winner of the Pablo Casals International Cello Competition was presented with his award in Budapest on Saturday as part of the 48th Budapest International Music Competition at the Hungarian Academy of Music. The presentation was combined with a concert which included performances by Mun as well as second-place finishers Ildiko Szabo of Hungary and Tomasz Daroch of Poland, and third placed Santiago Canon-Valencia of Colombia. Mun performed Schumann’s Cello Concerto in A minor, op. 129. He was accompanied by the Hungarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Janos Kovacs. Daroch played Chopin’s G-Minor Cello Sonata op. 65, with Maria Kovalszki on the piano, Szabo played […]

By |2017-10-30T05:10:12+00:00September 14th, 2014|Categories: Pablo Casals, Performance|Tags: , , , , , |

What Makes a Baroque Cellist — by Guy Fishman

I was once accused of playing like a baroque cellist. It was most certainly an accusation, and I don’t know what the coach was hoping to achieve by framing her opinion of my playing in such terms. Suffice it to say I was insulted, and the funny thing is, I don’t even know why. Okay, I was playing Brahms’s F major sonata, on a cello that had an endpin and two steel strings (the other two were wound gut). My partner was playing a Steinway M. Furthermore, and perhaps most revealing, is the fact that by the time I was being coached on this piece, during my second year of doctoral studies at New England Conservatory, I had already won a position with Boston’s Handel & Haydn Society, the nation’s [...]

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. [...]

Bach Suites and You – by Robert Battey

“In a work of art the intellect asks questions; it does not answer them” -Friedrich Hebbel Few tasks are more daunting than attempting to discern and convey J.S. Bach’s precise intentions for his Cello Suites.  Just playing them is hard enough, but a true and meaningful interpretation of the Suites requires an entirely different heuristic model than that of our other repertoire.  This is because the autograph of the Suites has been lost, and we are left only with several flawed and inconsistent copies.  Since there is no original source, everything, from notes to rhythms to phrasings, must be questioned. With many pieces, one can rely on the fidelity and accuracy of a high-quality edition, prepared either from autographs or composer-supervised prints.  There, you have the simple choice of either [...]

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