How Music and Cello Changed My Life

Cello Bello Blog - Tue, 2016-10-04 10:00


By Nathan Chan

Hey CelloBello readers! My name is Nathan Chan and I’ve been playing the cello for over 17 years. Throughout this time period, my relationship with the cello has been an ongoing evolution in the way I see music as an incredibly powerful tool of expression and creativity. What started as a hobby in the beginning of my musical learning initially evolved into a battle for technical mastery and now has begun to blossom as a freeing medium for spontaneity and exploration.

As a child born and raised in the 90s, my parents were very supportive of me. My father, a Hong-Kong born cardiologist who emigrated to the states for college, represented the discipline and detail-oriented leader in my early life. My mother, a Chinese-Canadian who is a Juilliard-educated pianist, was my creative and spiritual guide growing up. They would often put on LaserDiscs (the older ancestor to the DVD) featuring conductors such as Herbert von Karajan, Leonard Bernstein and Seiji Ozawa on this TV we had at home. Using a chopstick as a baton, I did my best in emulating these legends who became my musical heroes. A chance event became an alignment of the stars when as an audience member, then assistant conductor of the San Francisco Opera Sara Jobin (now assistant conductor of the Toledo Symphony) noticed something peculiar in the toddler a few rows ahead of her at an orchestral performance. I must have been conducting from my seat! After a brief introduction to my parents, Sara gave me informal conducting lessons which led me to my debut with the San Jose Chamber Orchestra conducting Beethoven’s 5th Symphony at age 3. So my musical life started then, through the art of conducting.

It was two years later at the age of 5 when my parents thought a more formal musical education in the form of an instrument would help solidify my musical understanding. I initially was drawn to the double bass because I always loved the low sounds of the orchestra. But of course the double bass is huge and I was (and still am) a very small guy. So we settled on the cello! My first private teacher was the wonderful Irene Sharp, with whom I studied for over 11 years. She held monthly studio classes in her home in Palo Alto, which I am so thankful for because they made me so comfortable performing new repertoire every single month. Mrs. Sharp, (who we all affectionately called Reinie) was instrumental in getting me to where I am today.

The thought that the cello could be my career materialized years later at age 11 when I had an epiphany about its intrinsic value as a communication tool. This realization only occurred after I was fortunate enough to be a part of an HBO TV series called “The Music in Me”. I auditioned for the show via video (which I produced myself on iMovie!) and was asked not only to play the cello, but also to speak a bit about myself. I later asked the show’s producer Leslie Stifelman why I was chosen among the 500+ applicants, and she said that I had the ability to inspire others through the communication in my playing instead of scaring off or dominating via technical ability.

“The Music in Me” was premiered in Carnegie’s Zankel Hall on via a huge projector. All of us from the show also performed too! I distinctly remember watching the show for the first time, where I performed and spoke about Camille Saint-Saens’ The Swan and felt absolutely astonished at the way music made me feel and how it could make other feel. Subconsciously, the show also reinforced my attraction to film and video (much like the way video inspired me as a toddler). This would have a great influence on my life when I started to explore music video creation on the internet.

I’ve never been a technical perfectionist at the cello, and while I am always trying to improve my technical ability, I have tried to focus more on how I can communicate a story or an emotion. I once watched an amazing news bit featuring Yo-Yo Ma when he was only 25 years old. In it he said:

You can say ‘I never want to miss a note’, and that can be dangerous in the sense that you can be too careful about what you want to do. If you take a risk… and you miss something, you’ve still communicated something. But if you don’t take a risk and you get it right, you may not have communicated anything except perfection, which… I don’t think is an end in itself. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=emZaPicXie8)

Going to the fantastic high school in San Francisco named “Lick-Wilmerding High School” so changed the way I viewed myself and how I viewed others. The depth and breadth of knowledge my colleagues possessed made a huge impression on me. I suddenly became fascinated with so many things outside of the cello, like film, history, business, table tennis, chess, and even a bit of acting. So, looking towards college it felt natural for me to investigate dual degree programs. My teacher at the time Sieun Lin was instrumental in recognizing my strengths. She had a great ability of honing in on my communication skills as a cellist. But she knew that I needed to up my technical level going forward. So, I eventually settled on the Columbia-Juilliard Exchange, where I would get to experience the magic of New York alongside a cello teacher who I very much look up to named Richard Aaron.

The greatest event of my college life occurred magically during the first week of orientation, when I met my cello colleagues and classmates Justin Zhao, Maddie Tucker, Steven Bennett and Corinna Boylan at a casually organized sight-reading party. What first started out as truly joyful musical readings, eventually turned to, “Hey, this sounds pretty good. Why don’t we form a band?” Thus, our 5-person cello ensemble String Theory was born.

String Theory was a great musical experience for me in that I felt we were able to push the musical boundaries of many musical genres and most importantly, make music fun. Because the cello is such a versatile musical instrument we were able to play pop, jazz, classical, rock, movie and even Chinese and Indian music. We first started by playing for many of the student groups across campus. We had such a blast that we recorded and made music videos for our most popular pieces and uploaded them to YouTube. Amazingly, these videos became popular enough to reach other cool communities outside of the Columbia campus. We were invited to perform at places such as Google Zeitgeist, and even a Johnson and Johnson pharmaceutical conference. Being a part of String Theory made me realize the importance of reaching out to all different types of audience in order unite people through music.

While this was all going on, my studies at Juilliard gave me the opportunity to focus solely on improving my technical ability on the cello. Richard Aaron really whipped me into shape over the course of 5 years. For the first time in my life, I learnt how to practice. I used to never know what I was doing whenever I practiced. Richard gave me a plethora of tools and skills to analyze whatever I did and have the self-confidence to get better. In doing this, I challenged myself to always improve my technique. But this also made me lose some of confidence I had, as learning more and more secrets of the cello revealed the errors I never knew I had. Getting the opportunity to study with a different sort of master in my first year of graduate school changed this thinking for me forever.

In 2015, I was fortunate enough to be a participate in the great cellist Gautier Capuçon’s “Classe d’Excellence du Violoncelle” at Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris, France. Studying with Gautier opened my ears to the importance of sound and color. As I traveled back in forth 5 times that school year, I always would put on a huge smile whenever I heard Gautier draw his bow on his Gofriller cello. The hugeness of his sound must be experienced live. His sound affected all 6 of us cellists in his class. We were playing bigger and rounder each visit and I was always inspired by the emotional experience one got when faced with incredible sound.

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve started to regain the confidence in my cello playing with regards to technique. And now, I am most interested in how freely I can be a creative artist when I play. This past summer I got to work with Mike Block in the Silk Road Ensemble’s “Global Musicians Workshop” as a fellow at Tanglewood. In it, I got a chance to explore the farthest reaches of my musical knowledge through Arabic and Bluegrass music. It was an amazing feeling to try and transfer as much of my knowledge in the classical world over to these new genres. It felt great to improvise and learn about microtones and learn new things by ear. It reminded me of the importance of music on a global level as something spontaneous and creative. This is what ultimately makes me tick.

Currently, I am residing in New York and constantly exploring. I am a passionate believer in the power of YouTube and am continuing to make music videos that push classical music to the next level. I am also periodically performing with the St. Louis Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and the Philadelphia Orchestra as a cellist in the section. I am very excited to be performing Brahms Double with Simone Porter and Maestro Laura Jackson in January 2017 with the Reno Philharmonic.

Being a cellist is such an interesting career because you are only limited by your creative imagination. I can’t wait to see where cello takes me next and hope to continue pushing myself to the next discovery!

 

Cellist Nathan Chan made his musical debut at age three conducting the San Jose Chamber Orchestra. He has performed as a soloist with the San Francisco Symphony, the Royal Philharmonic, and the Albany Symphony, among others. In 2016, Chan was a chosen artist for the Foundation Louis Vuitton’s Classe d’Excellence du Violoncelle with renowned cellist Gautier Capucon. Nathan earned his Bachelor’s degree from Columbia University and has a growing internet presence with over 5.6 million views. Nathan studied with Richard Aaron at The Juilliard School, where he recently earned his Masters of Music.

Announcing CelloStream Master Classes 2016 – 2017

Cello Bello Blog - Tue, 2016-09-27 12:08
Streamed live from Pierce Hall at New England Conservatory in Boston

COMING 2016 – 2017:

YO-YO MA
Monday, October 24th 2016
2:00 – 4:30 pm ET

LAURENCE LESSER
Sunday, November 13th 2016
7:00 – 9:30 pm ET

ANDRÉS DIAZ
Tuesday, December 6th 2016
7:00 – 9:30 pm ET

PAUL KATZ
Sunday, February 19th 2017
7:00 – 9:30 pm ET

JOEL KROSNICK
Friday, March 31st 2017
1:30 – 3:30 pm ET

To tune in for a live-viewing of a CelloStream Artist Master Class, please navigate to the CelloStream page at the appropriate time.

To read bios of previous CelloStream master class artists, please see below.

PREVIOUS MASTER CLASSES


JOEL KROSNICK TRIBUTE
Mar 23rd 2016
7:30 pm EDT 

Joel Krosnick has performed as soloist, recitalist, and chamber musician around the world. As a member of the Juilliard String Quartet since 1974, he has performed the great quartet literature throughout North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia. With his sonata partner of more than 30 years, pianist Gilbert Kalish, Mr. Krosnick has performed recitals throughout the U. S. and Europe. Since 1976, they have given annual series of recitals in New York City and in 2007 presented the series “American Milestones of the Last 100 Years” at The Juilliard School.

A dedicated teacher, Mr. Krosnick is chair of the cello department of The Juilliard School and is a member of the faculty of Kneisel Hall Chamber Music Festival in Maine. He has been associated with the Aspen, Marlboro and Tanglewood music festivals, and appeared for the third time as a member of the artist-faculty of the Piatigorsky Seminar at the University of Southern California. A recipient of the Chevalier du Violoncelle Award from the Eva Janzer Memorial Cello Center at the Indiana University School of Music, Mr. Krosnick holds honorary doctoral degrees from Michigan State University, Jacksonville University, and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.

PAUL KATZ
Monday, Jan 25th 2016
4:00 – 5:30 pm ET

Paul Katz is known to concertgoers the world over as cellist of the Cleveland Quartet, which during an international career of 26 years made more than 2500 appearances on four continents, in all of the music capitals, great concert halls and music festivals of the world. As a member of this celebrated ensemble from 1969-1995, he performed at the White House and on many television shows including “CBS Sunday Morning,” NBC’s “Today Show,” “The Grammy Awards” (in 1973, the first classical musicians ever to appear on that show,) and was seen in “In The Mainstream: The Cleveland Quartet,” a one hour documentary televised across the U.S. and Canada.

Mr. Katz has received many honors, including the American String Teacher’s Association “Artist-Teacher of the Year 2003, Indiana University’s “Chevalier du Violoncelle”, Chamber Music America’s highest honor, The Richard M. Bogomolny National Service Award,  and an Honorary Doctorate of Musical Arts from Albright College. Mr. Katz served for six years as President of Chamber Music America. As an author, he has appeared in numerous publications and wrote the liner notes for the Cleveland Quartet’s three-volume set of the complete Beethoven Quartets on RCA Red Seal.

PETER STUMPF
Tuesday, Oct 27th 2015
7:00 pm EDT

Peter Stumpf is professor of cello at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. Prior to his appointment, he was principal cellist of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. A dedicated chamber music musician, he is a member of the Johannes String Quartet and has appeared on the chamber music series at Carnegie Hall, Kennedy Center, the Boston Celebrity Series, the Da Camera Society in Los Angeles, Walt Disney Concert Hall, Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Casals Hall in Tokyo, and at the concert halls of Cologne. He has performed with the chamber music societies of Boston and Philadelphia and at the Casals Festival in Puerto Rico as well as the Festivals of Marlboro, Santa Fe, Bridgehampton, Ottawa, Great Lakes, Ojai, Spoleto, and Aspen. He has toured with Music from Marlboro, the Casals Hall Ensemble in Japan, and with pianist Mitsuko Uchida in performances of the complete Mozart Piano Trios.

Concerto appearances have been with the Boston Symphony, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Boston Philharmonic, the Virginia Symphony, the Vermont Symphony, the Connecticut String Orchestra, the Chamber Orchestra of the South Bay, the American Youth Symphony, and at the Aspen Music Festival. As a recitalist, he has performed at the Universities of Hartford, Syracuse, and Delaware, at Jordan Hall in Boston, and at the Philips and Corcoran Galleries in Washington, D.C. Most recently, he performed the Six Suites for Solo Cello by J. S. Bach on the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society Series and on the Chamber Music in Historic Sites Series in Los Angeles. His awards include first prize in the Washington International Competition, the Graham-Stahl Competition, and the Aspen Concerto Competition and second prize in the Evian International String Quartet Competition.

GARY HOFFMAN
Sunday, Oct 18th 2015
1:00 pm EDT

Gary Hoffman is one of the outstanding cellists of our time, combining instrumental mastery, great beauty of sound, and a poetic sensibility. Mr. Hoffman gained international renown upon his victory as the first North American to win the Rostropovich International Competition in Paris in 1986. A frequent soloist with the world’s most noted orchestras, he has appeared with the Chicago, London, Montreal, Toronto, San Francisco, Baltimore and National symphony orchestras as well as the English, Moscow and Los Angeles chamber orchestras, the Orchestre National de France, the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, the Netherlands and Rotterdam philharmonics, the Cleveland Orchestra for the Blossom Festival and Philadelphia Orchestra, among many others. Mr. Hoffman collaborates regularly with such celebrated conductors as André Prévin, Charles Dutoit, Mstislav Rostropovich, Pinchas Zuckerman, Andrew Davis, Herbert Blomstedt, Kent Nagano, Jésus Lopez-Cobos and James Levine. In the 2015-16 season he performs Elgar’s Concerto in E Minor with the Baton Rouge Symphony.

Gary Hoffman performs in major recital and chamber music series throughout the world, as well as at such prestigious festivals as Ravinia, Marlboro, Aspen, Bath, Evian, Helsinki, Verbier, Mostly Mozart, Schleswig-Holstein, Stresa, Festival International de Colmar, and Festival de Toulon. He is a frequent guest of string quartets including Emerson, Tokyo, Borromeo, Brentano, and Ysaye. Mr. Hoffman performs throughout Europe with various orchestras: Cordoba, Helsingborg, Warsaw, Stavanger, Budapest, Bodensee Festival, Orchestre National d’Ile de France, Russian National Philharmonic, het Gelders Orchestra, Holland, Luxembourg; and around the world in the United States, Asia, South Africa, in halls such as the Théâtre du Châtelet, Théâtre des Champs Elysées, Auditorium de Dijon, Concertgebouw, and the Kennedy Center. He also plays and gives master classes at the Ravinia Festival, Bloomington, Kobé, Manchester Cello Festival, Kronberg Cello Akademie, Salzburger Mozarteum, Festival de Prades, and Santa Fe.

LLUÍS CLARET
Sunday, Oct 11th 2015
1:00 pm EDT

Born in Andorra, Spain in 1951, from exiled catalan parents, Lluís Claret began his musical studies at the age of 9. His musical future would be strongly marked by his contact with great teachers such as Maurice Gendron, Radu Aldulescu and Enric Casals (Pablo Casals brother) who, though not a cellist, would be his principal musical adviser for many years. His meetings with György Sebök, Eva Janzer and Bernard Greenhouse were also to be decisive for the development of his artistic personality.

First Prizes at the Casals (1976) and Rostropovitch (1977) Competitions helped to project an international career to the principal capitals of Europe, America and Asia. He received invitations from The Washington National Symphony, Czech Philharmonic, English Chamber Orchestra, France National Orchestra, as well as others in cities such as Tokyo, Seoul, Düsseldorf, Stuttgart, Bamberg, Moscow, Madrid, Barcelona, and has played under the baton of Vaclav Neuman, Mstislav Rostropovitch, Pierre Boulez, Karl Münchinger, Dimitri Kitaienko, Sakari Oramo and Georges Malcom among others.

MARCY ROSEN
Tuesday, Sept 22nd 2015
10:00 am EDT

Marcy Rosen has established herself as one of the most important and respected artists of our day. Los Angeles Times music critic Herbert Glass has called her “one of the intimate art’s abiding treasures.” She has performed in recital and with orchestra throughout Canada, England, France, Japan, Italy, Switzerland, and all fifty of the United States. She made her concerto debut with the Philadelphia Orchestra at the age of eighteen and has since appeared with such noted orchestras as the Dallas Symphony, the Phoenix Symphony, the Caramoor Festival Orchestra, the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra in Carnegie Hall, the Jupiter Symphony and Concordia Chamber Orchestra at Alice Tully Hall, and the Tokyo Symphony at the famed Orchard Hall in Tokyo. In recital she has appeared in New York at such acclaimed venues as Carnegie Hall, the 92nd Street “Y” and Merkin Concert Hall; in Washington D.C. at the Kennedy Center, Dumbarton Oaks, the Phillips Collection and the Corcoran Gallery, where for many years she hosted a series entitled “Marcy Rosen and Friends.” In recent seasons she has given Master Classes and appeared on stage in Beijing and Shanghai, China, the Seoul Arts Center in Korea and in Cartagena, Colombia.

A consummate soloist, Ms. Rosen’s superb musicianship is enhanced by her many chamber music activities. She has collaborated with the world’s finest musicians including Leon Fleisher, Richard Goode, Andras Schiff, Peter Serkin, Mitsuko Uchida, Isaac Stern, Robert Mann, Sandor Vegh, Kim Kashkashian, Jessye Norman, Lucy Shelton, Charles Neidich and the Juilliard, Emerson, and Orion Quartets. She is a founding member of the ensemble La Fenice, a group comprised of Oboe, Piano and String Trio, as well as a founding member of the world renowned Mendelssohn String Quartet. With the Mendelssohn String Quartet she was Artist-in-Residence at the North Carolina School of the Arts and for nine years served as Blodgett-Artist-in Residence at Harvard University. The Quartet which disbanded in January of 2010, toured annually throughout the United States, Canada and Europe for 31 years.

ALISA WEILERSTEIN
Apr 30th 2015
2:30 pm EDT

“A young cellist whose emotionally resonant performances of both traditional and contemporary music have earned her international recognition, … [Alisa] Weilerstein is a consummate performer, combining technical precision with impassioned musicianship.” So stated the MacArthur Foundation when awarding Alisa Weilerstein a 2011 MacArthur “genius grant” Fellowship, prompting the New York Times to respond: “Any fellowship that recognizes the vibrancy of an idealistic musician like Ms. Weilerstein … deserves a salute from everyone in classical music.” In performances marked by intensity, sensitivity, and a wholehearted immersion in each of the works she interprets, the American cellist has long proven herself to be in possession of a distinctive musical voice. As the Los Angeles Times explains, “Weilerstein’s cello is her id. She doesn’t give the impression that making music involves will at all. She and the cello seem simply to be one and the same.”

Weilerstein has appeared at major music festivals throughout the world, including Aspen, Bad Kissingen, Delft, Edinburgh, Jerusalem Chamber Music, La Jolla SummerFest, Mostly Mozart, Salzburg, Schleswig-Holstein, Tanglewood, and Verbier. In addition to her appearances as a soloist and recitalist, Weilerstein performs regularly as a chamber musician. She has been part of a core group of musicians at the Spoleto Festival USA for the past eight years and also performs with her parents, Donald and Vivian Hornik Weilerstein, as the Weilerstein Trio, the trio-in-residence at Boston’s New England Conservatory.

ROBERT deMAINE
Apr 13th 2015
2:00 pm EDT

Robert deMaine is an American virtuoso cellist who has been hailed by The New York Times as “an artist who makes one hang on every note”. He has distinguished himself as one of the finest and most versatile instrumentalists of his generation, performing to critical acclaim as soloist, recitalist, orchestral principal, recording artist, and chamber musician. In 2012 he was invited to join the Los Angeles Philharmonic as Principal Cello.

deMaine has appeared on the stages of Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, the Teatro Colón, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, the Berlin Philharmonie, Vienna Konzerthaus, and Moscow’s Tchaikovsky Hall, among others. He was the first cellist ever to win San Francisco’s prestigious Irving M. Klein International Competition for Strings. The recipient of a career grant from the Helen M. Saunders Foundation, deMaine’s distinctions have included first prizes and awards from numerous competitions. His principal teachers include Leonard Rose, Stephen Kates, Steven Doane, Paul Katz, Ronald Leonard, and Aldo Parisot, among others. Master classes and additional studies were undertaken with Bernard Greenhouse, János Starker, Boris Pergamenschikow, Felix Galimir, and Jerome Lowenthal.


JOEL KROSNICK
Oct 19th 2014
10 am – 12 noon EDT 

Joel Krosnick has performed as soloist, recitalist, and chamber musician around the world. As a member of the Juilliard String Quartet since 1974, he has performed the great quartet literature throughout North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia. With his sonata partner of more than 30 years, pianist Gilbert Kalish, Mr. Krosnick has performed recitals throughout the U. S. and Europe. Since 1976, they have given annual series of recitals in New York City and in 2007 presented the series “American Milestones of the Last 100 Years” at The Juilliard School.

A dedicated teacher, Mr. Krosnick is chair of the cello department of The Juilliard School and is a member of the faculty of Kneisel Hall Chamber Music Festival in Maine. He has been associated with the Aspen, Marlboro and Tanglewood music festivals, and appeared for the third time as a member of the artist-faculty of the Piatigorsky Seminar at the University of Southern California. A recipient of the Chevalier du Violoncelle Award from the Eva Janzer Memorial Cello Center at the Indiana University School of Music, Mr. Krosnick holds honorary doctoral degrees from Michigan State University, Jacksonville University, and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.

MARCY ROSEN
Sept 28 2014
2:30 – 5:15 pm EDT 

Marcy Rosen has established herself as one of the most important and respected artists of our day. Los Angeles Times music critic Herbert Glass has called her “one of the intimate art’s abiding treasures.” She has performed in recital and with orchestra throughout Canada, England, France, Japan, Italy, Switzerland, and all fifty of the United States.

A consummate soloist, Ms. Rosen’s superb musicianship is enhanced by her many chamber music activities. She has collaborated with the world’s finest musicians including Leon Fleisher, Richard Goode, Andras Schiff, Mitsuko Uchida, Isaac Stern, Robert Mann, Sandor Vegh, Kim Kashkashian, Lucy Shelton, Charles Neidich and the Juilliard, Emerson, and Orion Quartets. She is a founding member of the ensemble La Fenice, a group comprised of Oboe, Piano and String Trio, as well as a founding member of the world renowned Mendelssohn String Quartet.

GARY HOFFMAN
April 8 2014
2 – 5 pm EST 

Gary Hoffman is one of the outstanding cellists of our time, combining instrumental mastery, great beauty of sound, and a poetic sensibility. Mr. Hoffman gained international renown upon his victory as the first North American to win the Rostropovich International Competition in Paris in 1986. A frequent soloist with the world’s most noted orchestras, he has appeared with the Chicago, London, Montreal, Toronto, San Francisco, Baltimore and National symphony orchestras as well as the English, Moscow and Los Angeles chamber orchestras, the Orchestre National de France, the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, the Netherlands and Rotterdam philharmonics, the Cleveland Orchestra for the Blossom Festival and Philadelphia Orchestra, among many others. Mr. Hoffman collaborates regularly with such celebrated conductors as André Prévin, Charles Dutoit, Mstislav Rostropovich, Pinchas Zuckerman, Andrew Davis, Herbert Blomstedt, Kent Nagano, Jésus Lopez-Cobos and James Levine. View video of Gary Hoffman masterclass

PIETER WISPELWEY
Tuesday, 11 February 2014
7:00 – 9:30 pm

Pieter Wispelwey is among the first of a generation of performers who are equally at ease on the modern or the period cello. His acute stylistic awareness, combined with a truly original interpretation and a phenomenal technical mastery, has won the hearts of critics and public alike in repertoire ranging from JS Bach to Schnittke, Elliott Carter and works composed for him. View videos from previous Pieter Wispelwey master classes

RALPH KIRSHBAUM
Tuesday, 21 October 2013
7:00 pm-9:30 pm

Ralph Kirshbaum has appeared with many of the world’s great orchestras, including the Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, Pittsburgh, BBC and London Symphonies, Cleveland Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Philharmonia, Zurich Tonhalle, Orchestre de Paris and Israel Philharmonic. He has collaborated with many of the great conductors of the time such as Herbert Blomstedt, Semyon Bychkov, Christoph von Dohnányi, Andrew Davis, the late Sir Colin Davis, James Levine, Kurt Masur, Zubin Mehta, Sir Antonio Pappano, André Previn, Sir Simon Rattle, and the late Sir Georg Solti. Ralph Kirshbaum has appeared frequently at such prominent international festivals as Edinburgh, Bath, Verbier, Lucerne, Aspen, La Jolla, Santa Fe, Music@Menlo, Ravinia, and New York’s Mostly Mozart.

A renowned pedagogue, he served on the faculty of the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester for 38 years, and in 2008 accepted the Gregor Piatigorsky Chair in Violoncello at the University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music. He serves as artistic advisor of IMS Prussia Cove, and is Founder/Honorary president of the Pierre Fournier Award as well as honorary president of the London Cello Society. He recently served for five years on the US President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities. View videos from previous Ralph Kirshbaum master classes

LLUÍS CLARET
Thursday, 26 September 2013
7:00 pm-9:30 pm

Born in Andorra in 1951, from exiled Catalan parents, Lluís Claret began his musical studies at the age of 9. His musical future was strongly marked by his contact with great teachers as Maurice Gendron, Radu Aldulescu and Enric Casals (Pablo Casals’ brother), who, besides not being a cellist, was his principal musical adviser for many years. His meetings with György Sebök, Eva Janzer and Bernard Greenhouse were also decisive for the development of his artistic personality.

He founded the Barcelona Trio (1980-1993), performs regularly with the pianists Josep-Maria Colom and Benedicte Palko and collaborates very often with other prestigious musicians at festivals like Kuhmo, Naantali, Ernen, l’Epau, Pablo Casals (Prades), Granada, and Seoul.

His great interest in contemporary music brought him to a close professional collaboration with Henri Dutilleux, Witold Lutoslawski, Kristoff Penderecki, Joan Guinjoan, Iannis Xenakis and Pierre Boulez.

Master classes from earlier years

 

Sistema Fellowship Resource Center Report

Exploring El Sistema - Tue, 2016-09-20 15:54
NEC’s decision to reinvest in the fifty alumni of the Sistema Fellows Program created an exciting opportunity to deepen the relationships that had begun on campus. The creation of the Resource Center also presented me with an opportunity to learn the stories of the Fellows from the first three classes... Sistema Fellows Program

Center for Professional Development and Performing Arts Leadership

Exploring El Sistema - Mon, 2016-09-19 07:00
Welcome to Exploring El Sistema! Dating back to 2012, this blog documents many of the experiences of NEC's Sistema Fellows Program. Since the completion of the five-year program, the blog has continued to serve as a platform for the Fellows to share reflections on their work and new ideas with... Sistema Fellows Program

Wednesdays at Kroger

Exploring El Sistema - Mon, 2016-09-12 10:21
Laura Jekel, Sistema Fellow '11 and founder of MyCincinnati, has been experimenting with creating opportunities for broad community engagement by showing up with her cello on Wednesday afternoons at the Price Hill Kroger. Read about her project by enlarging the image below. Sistema Fellows Program

Playing for Their Lives

Exploring El Sistema - Mon, 2016-09-12 10:17
Eric Booth, Senior Advisor to the Sistema Fellows Program, and Tricia Tunstall, author of Changing Lives, have jointly produced a new book about how the global El Sistema-inspired movement is exploring the intersection of music education and social change. Available on Amazon beginning September 13. Sistema Fellows Program

International Conference of Music Perception and Cognition

Exploring El Sistema - Thu, 2016-08-04 07:24
On July 5th, four students from UNC Charlotte performed, and I presented at a special session of the International Conference of Music Perception and Cognition in San Francisco. ICMPC accorded us an exceptional honor, providing airfares for the students (my participation was supported by NEC's Sistema Fellowship Resource Center) and... Sistema Fellows Program

Briefly on Senior Year

Penguin - Mon, 2015-11-02 15:58
by ELIZABETH WENDT 4th Year – BM Voice     Another year full of excitement is budding here at NEC. For me, this year is unlike any other…It’s my senior year! I honestly thought that this day would never come – that it would be forever before I would have to face the idea of moving […]

The NEC Team

Penguin - Mon, 2015-11-02 15:48
by ALEX STENING 2nd Year – MM French Horn     For those of you returning to Boston and NEC, welcome back! And for those who are starting their first year, welcome to the team! Last year, I remember sitting in Jordan Hall with the pipe organ towering above and being surrounded by a sea of students […]

Composers in the Kitchen

Penguin - Mon, 2015-11-02 15:40
By SARAH ATWOOD 2nd Year – MM Violin       Rumor has it that Niccolo Paganini was a virtuoso in the kitchen, as well as onstage. He has a famous ravioli recipe to prove it. Although Jean Sibelius did not compose during the latter part of his life, he did take the time to concoct […]

THERE ARE NOTES BETWEEN NOTES, YOU KNOW. SARAH VAUGHAN