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Cellos in the News: Top Stories of the Week – 15 January

Here’s your weekly dose of cello news.

Cello News

What Would Yo-Yo Ma Do?

Reuters asked celebrities, including Yo-Yo Ma, what they would do first if they were made U.S. President. His answer:

“I would take every step that’s necessary to make sure that all of the people in my country are safe.”

Watch the celebrities’ answers here (see Yo-Yo Ma at 1:22):


Ágnes Keleti, Cellist and World’s Oldest Surviving Olympic Champion, Celebrates 100th Birthday

Agnes Keleti Turns 100

Happy birthday to Ágnes Keleti!

Hungarian Olympic gymnast and professional cellist, Ágnes Keleti, née Klein, won 10 medals for Hungary in the Olympics. She might have won more had she not had to go into hiding after her gymnastics club expelled her for being Jewish during World War II.

Read more about her here.

Ski Music – Bach at 14,000 Feet

Cellos in the News: Top Stories of the Week - 15 January

Joy Adams and Andy Reiner enjoy the existential and technical challenge of performing while skiing down mountains. Photo: Colin McKinley

Cellist Joy Adams and violinist Andy Reiner, playing together in their band called “Half Pelican,” are working on a project of playing all 36 movements of the Bach cello suites on mountain tops in the Rockies. They also play while skiing. Catch them at Fiddle Hell in April.

Cellist by Day, Potter By Night: Ken Freudigman

Ken Freudigman, the principal cellist in the San Antonio Symphony, has started a second career as a potter.

R.I.P. Cellist David Darling

Cellos in the News: Top Stories of the Week - 15 January

Cellist David Darling passed away on 8 January 2021. He was 79. A musical pioneer, he started in an academic and symphony career and learned to play jazz when Paul Winter asked him to join The Paul Winter Consort.

Masked Musicians Play On

Cellos in the News: Top Stories of the Week - 15 January

Henry Frank, 15, plays the cello during practice for the Quad-City Symphony Youth Philharmonic Orchestra, held at Bettendorf High School. In a year unlike any other, the orchestra association has changed everything but the music. Photo: Jessica Gallagher.

Here is a photo story from the Quad-City Symphony Youth Orchestra showing kids continuing to rehearse and make music together during the pandemic. They are socially distanced and wearing masks. These photos wonderful photos by Jessica Gallagher give us hope.

Charlotte Cellist Robert Moore Keeps on Playing

Cellos in the News: Top Stories of the Week - 15 January

Cellist Robert Moore moved from Florida to Charlotte, making his living playing for special occasions. With all of his gigs canceled, he took to the streets to keep playing for people.


Plaisirs Illuminés – Cellist Sol Gabetta and Violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja

with the Camerata Bern

Along with violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja, cellist Sol Gabetta is featured in the double concerto for violin, cello, and chamber orchestra by Francisco Coll, Plaisirs Illuminés. 

Wilhelmina Smith – Works for Solo Cello

Wilhelmina Smith performs works by Danish composers Per Nørgård and Poul Ruders.

Click here to read a review by Jed Distler.

Michael Peter Olsen – Yearning Flow

See below, under videos: “7 Days.”

Tender Central – The Garden 

Cellos in the News: Top Stories of the Week - 15 January

Cellist India Bourne.

Tender Central is a collaboration of cellist India Bourne and guitarist Ben Howard. Their album, The Garden, will be released on 22 January via Hello Friendly Recordings.

Here is a track they released this past week, “Galloper”:

Read more about the album on Clash. 


Thistle and Shamrock with Fiona Ritchie – Cellist Ofra Harnoy

Cellos in the News: Top Stories of the Week - 15 January

The cello begins to appear in the show at about 9:25. Enjoy this New Year’s show!


Cellist Tsuyoshi Tsutsumi Performs “Tsutsumu” by Dai Fujikura at the Kirishima International Music Festival

Steven Isserlis and Mishka Rushdie Momen at Wigmore Hall

Rebroadcast from June 2020. Concert free, but donations to Wigmore Hall encouraged. Donate here.


  • Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) – Cello Sonata in F Op. 5 No. 1
  • Robert Schumann (1810-1856) 3 Romances Op. 94
  • Gabriel Fauré (1845-1924) Cello Sonata No. 1 in D minor Op. 109
  • Encore Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) Ich ruf zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ BWV177

Michael Peter Olsen – 7 Days

Michael Peter Olsen released this video today, one of the tracks on his debut album, Yearning Flow. Olsen stated:

“‘7 Days’ is a piece for Modular Synth and Electric Cello featuring Film and Television composer Todor Kobakov. An expansive exploration of sonic landscape and mood, ‘7 Days’ evokes contemporary electronic composition of the 1960s and 70s.”

Read more about the album here.

Your Turn

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