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Laurence Lesser Cello Masterclass

NEC: Pierce Hall | Directions

241 St. Botolph St.
Boston, MA
United States

The NEC String Department and CelloBello present a masterclass with NEC cello faculty member, Laurence Lesser.

This class will be livestreamed via

A member of the New England Conservatory faculty since 1974, and president of the school from 1983 through 1996 (following a year as artistic director), Laurence Lesser teaches College and Preparatory cello students and brings unique value to the chamber music experience at NEC and in Boston through his artistic direction of the First Monday at Jordan Hall concert series since 1985.

More about Laurence Lesser

In 2010, Bridge records issued Lesser's recording with pianist HaeSun Paik of Beethoven's complete music for cello and piano. The comprehensive documentation embraced by this three-disc collection includes two audio CDs as well as the DVD Behind the Beethoven Project with biographical material, a discussion of this repertoire, and clips from concerts held in Korea immediately following the recording sessions in NEC's Jordan Hall.

Laurence Lesser was a top prize winner in the 1966 Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow and a guest performer in the historic Heifetz-Piatigorsky concerts and recordings. In 1976 he gave the premiere of Menotti’s Fantasia (written for him under a Ford Foundation grant) with the New Japan Philharmonic under Seiji Ozawa; in 1991, he performed the New England premiere with the NEC Symphony conducted by Mstislav Rostropovich. He has been a soloist with the BSO, the London Philharmonic, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and other major orchestras. He has appeared at the Casals, Spoleto, Marlboro, Charleston, and Santa Fe festivals as well as London’s South Bank Summer Music Festival.

In 1994, Lesser was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 2005,he was named a "Chevalier du Violoncelle" by the Eva Janzer Memorial Cello Center at Indiana University, awarded for distinguished achievements and contributions to the world of cello playing and teaching.

Laurence Lesser occupies a teaching chair endowed by the estate of Walter W. Naumburg.



  1. Cassadó: Suite for Cello Solo

  2. Tchaikovsky: Variations on a Rococo Theme

    • William Suh, cello
  3. ​​​​​​​Shostakovich: Cello Concerto No. 1

    • Lev Mamuya, cello
    • Feng Niu, piano
  4. Discussion with Paul Katz and Laurence Lesser to follow masterclass, with audience and online questions welcome through