Museum open online 24/7. 365 (or 366) days/year

Cellos in the News: Top Stories of the Week – 13 March

Here’s your weekly dose of cello news.

Cello News

A Cello Update on the Little Girl Who Gatecrashed Her Father’s BBC Interview

Remember this? Here’s Professor Robert Kelly and the famous clip with a follow-up:

Now young Marion plays the cello! She was 4 in the original video. Here she is playing the cello. Professor Kelly, please keep us posted on her progress.

Cellos in the News: Top Stories of the Week - 13 March

11-year-old Dylan Heason Plays Cello on the Top of 30-foot Tegness Pinnacle

Although this happened some time back, this video has been making the rounds again this week. Enjoy!

Cellist Gary Hoffman Joins Curtis Institute of Music Faculty

Cellos in the News: Top Stories of the Week - 13 March

Cellist Gary Hoffmann has been named the Nina and Billy Albert Chair in Cello Studies starting in the Fall of 2021.

He said:

“I have enjoyed a rewarding relationship with Curtis and its outstanding students for many years now and it is with feelings of great pride and honor that I expand my role by joining the esteemed faculty.”

Cellist Jesús Castro-Balbi Named Director of Kennesaw State University School of MusicCellos in the News: Top Stories of the Week - 13 March

Cellist and educator, Dr. Jesús Castro-Balbi, has been named the director of the Dr. Bobbie Bailey School of Music at Kennesaw State University. Trained a the Conservatoire National Supérieur at Lyon, Indiana University, the Yale School of Music, and The Julliard School, Dr. Castro-Balbi has taught in Beijing, Paris, Leipzig, and Stuttgart, as well as at The Juilliard School and the Yale School of Music.

Congratulations, Dr. Castro-Balbi!

Cellist-Composer Philip Sheppard Creates a Soundtrack to Your Life through AI in LifeScore

Cellos in the News: Top Stories of the Week - 13 March

LifeScore CEO Philip Sheppard playing the cello. Picture credit: Asa Mathat

Cellist-composer Philip Sheppard imagines a world with a soundtrack.

It may not be as far away as you think. “When we say we want to soundtrack your life, it’s a big ambition,” acknowledges Philip Sheppard, CEO of LifeScore. “But take a movie: when a soundtrack is considered, it is getting under your skin and leading your emotional response.

(Virtually) Holding Their Hands Through Music

Vital Sounds Initiative through Project: Music Heals Us is

“providing over $80,000 in musician support to arts organizations and ensembles around the country in order to lay the groundwork for a sustainable national network of artists united in using the Arts in service of patient rehabilitation, while leveraging collective resources to create a scalable initiative greater than the sum of any individual efforts.  The initiative will address two concurrent sources of desperation affecting two seemingly unrelated groups: COVID patients and their care-givers, and performing artists who have had their livelihoods threatened by the shutdown of live arts programming.”

Learn more here.

17-year-old Cellist Justin Shen is Finalist in Global Science CompetitionCellos in the News: Top Stories of the Week - 13 March

High school senior Justin Shen is exceptional in both his science and his cello studies. He has played in both Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall. Now he is one of 40 finalists in the Regeneron Science Talent Search, a global competition.

Congratulations and good luck, Justin!

Click here to read the full story by Joie Tyrrell and get links to watch the awards announcements and ceremony.

Learn an Instrument in Fundraising Challenge to Raise Money for Instruments for People over 65 in Ireland

Cellos in the News: Top Stories of the Week - 13 March

Rockwell Music Academy founder, Suzanne Buttimer and seven of the Academy’s tutors have committed to learning a new instrument to raise funds to help establish a national bank of musical instruments for people over the age of 65 in Ireland.

The Challenge: learn to play a new (to you) musical instrument between February and April and take the Royal Irish Academy of Music Grade 1 exam in June.

The Goal: Raise money to help to create a bank of musical instruments for use by older people in communities across Ireland.

“Covid-19 has affected everyone. However, for many older people who have had to isolate and cocoon, there is the added impact of separation and loneliness. The Music Network aims to ensure that all older people can become actively engaged in making music, which, is a wholly fulfilling and rewarding experience.”

“By giving older people in the community access to musical instruments, we hope that it will help them acquire new skills and discover new interests. Music has such a positive impact in so many ways. It builds confidence, relieves stress, improves cognitive functions and generally leads to feelings of well-being and calm.”

Dom O’Driscoll, a teacher at Rockwell Music Academy, has started cello lessons, and so far the academy has raised €1,500 for the Music Network.

You can participate, too. Sign up here.

Please let us know if you are a cellist participating or you are learning the cello as part of this challenge so that we can follow your progress and cheer you on through your exam.

Cellist Barbara Bogatin Answers the Question: “Why do you need a conductor?”

Cellos in the News: Top Stories of the Week - 13 March

Barbara Bogatin

San Francisco Symphony cellist Barbara Bogatin has published an article answering the questions: “Why do you need a conductor? What do they actually do anyway?”

She tells us:

This is a topic I know something about, having played with at least a thousand different conductors starting in my Philadelphia elementary school orchestra shortly after I began the cello in third grade, continuing through youth orchestras, conservatory training, and a decade freelancing in New York. For the past 26 years I’ve played with the San Francisco Symphony, where we typically see about 20 guest conductors per year. That’s a lot of arm-waving.

R.I.P. Cellist Anna Shuttleworth

Cellos in the News: Top Stories of the Week - 13 March

Cellist Anna Shuttleworth (2 May 1927 – 2 March 2021) has died at age 93. A former professor at the Royal College of Music, she taught many notable cellists.



J.S. Bach: Cello Suites Asier Polo

From the sales page on Amazon:

“The six Suites are today the musical bible of cellists, the work with which they touch the sky, the limit which marks their arrival to absolute maturity. And this is how Asier Polo also approaches it. His interpretation goes to the essential. It is modern and made from the knowledge of historicist criteria. It puts music and its author before the performer.”

Julian Lloyd Webber: The Singing Strad (A 70th Birthday Collection)

Release date: 9 April 2021. Available for pre-order.

Blutt – A New Album by Cellist Patrick Belaga

Release date: April 2021. Available for pre-order.

Next month, cellist-composer Patrick Belaga is releasing a new album inspired by the music he heard on the Gallipoli peninsula.  The album, called Blutt, employs Belaga’s field recordings, as well as panpipes, violin, and cello.


Mike Maino: Conducting Conversations – Cellist Zan Berry

Cellos in the News: Top Stories of the Week - 13 March

​Here is an interview with Zan Berry, teacher, singer, and cellist. He talks about the many programs he’s involved in and presents some music.

Click here to listen.

Mariann Yip: The City Confessions – Zoé-Daphnée Gagne

Cellos in the News: Top Stories of the Week - 13 March

Here is the podcast description:

In this episode, we talk about how Zoé-Daphnée Gagne discovered her passion at an early age, the highlights of her career thus far as well as the challenges along the way and the power of having a positive mindset and journaling. We also dive deeper in topics including definitions of success and happiness, how fear and excitement coincides with one another and why she prioritizes finding magic in everyday moments.There is also a teaser of her music so be sure to have a listen to the end!

Click here to listen.


Alexander Hersh and Victor Asuncion Play I. Langsam from Weber’s Two Pieces for Cello and Piano

Cellist Áron Petrus Bölöni and Pianist Brigitta Taraszova – Recording Session

Works of György Kurtág, J.S. Bach, C.P.E. Bach, Robert Schumann, Sergei Prokofiev

Dr. Tim Holley: NC Cello Society Cello – Cello Music by African American Composers

Live presentation 7 March 2021

Cellist Luca Paccagnella Plays Part of Bach Suite No. 1 in the Santuario Madonna della Salute di Monteortone

The Happy Fits – The Garden

White Room – Apocalyptica, featuring Jacoby Shaddix

Simply Cello Cover of Steve Winwood’s Valerie

The Queen’s Gambit – Cello and Piano Cover by Zoé-Daphnée Gagne

See also the podcast interview with Zoé-Daphnée Gagne above.

Your Turn

Have cello news you’d like included? Please get in touch.