Here’s your weekly dose of cello news.
Yo-Yo Ma in People Magazine: “It’s not about winning, but about sharing.”
With the recent release of his latest album with Kathryn Stott, Songs of Comfort and Hope, Yo-Yo has featured in the news even more than usual. This week Melody Chiu has written an article featuring some wonderful quotes from Yo-Yo Ma. Here are three:
“It’s very easy to feel despondent and discouraged, but we have to keep going.”
“At every stage in life, you have to look for changing motivations.”
“The best thing is there is no best. It’s not about winning, but about sharing.”
There’s also a feature on Yo-Yo Ma and his wife Jill Hornor in the print copy of People this week.
The Strad Tribute to George Neikrug: Memories of a Legend
Cellist George Neikrug (7 March 1919 – 8 March 2019) lived to 100 years. He was a performer, orchestral principal, and teacher. The Strad published a wonderful tribute to him through memories of his students.
Kendall Little of the Miami New Times spoke with cellist Calvin Langman and drummer Luke Davis of The Happy Fits about their best advice for up-and-coming musicians. They focused on the following main points:
- Stay active on social media.
- Play all the live shows you can.
- Keep putting music out.
- “Practice, practice, practice a lot.”
- Experiment with your sound.
- Be open to new opportunities.
- Ask questions!
Klezmer Cellist Helps Save Synagogue in the 11th Hour
Klezmer cellist Francesca Ter-Berg has been campaigning to save the Margate Hebrew Congregation’s Cliftonville Synagogue, raising funds to convert the building into an arts and heritage center.
An auction was scheduled to sell the building but was stopped after the campaign had made significant progress in fundraising.
£300,000 is needed to convert the building into an arts center.
A Cello-Guitar Duo Raises Money to Raise Money for Megan Smith’s Cancer Treatment
The cello and guitar duo, The String of Roses, from Kidderminster, England, has released “Walk on Water (Meg’s Song)” to help raise money for Megan Smith, who needs pioneering cancer treatment in the USA.
All of the proceeds from the sale of the song go to Megan’s fund.
To help, go to the music platform you usually use and download “Walk on Water (Meg’s Song)” by The String of Roses.
Cellist William Bruce Awarded 2020 European String Teachers Association Award
The European String Teachers Association recognized cellist William Bruce distinguished services to string teaching with their 2020 Award. Bruce is the Head of Strings at Junior Guildhall, the Guildhall School’s Saturday School, which offers advanced training to students under 18. He said:
“It is a privilege working with so many young people at Junior Guildhall watching them blossom through such a powerful, joyous and transforming life force.”
The London Symphony Orchestra Bids Farewell to 35-Year Veteran Cellist Hilary Jones
Known for her “eagle ears,” cellist Hilary Jones has retired from the London Symphony Orchestra after 35 years of service. Her fellow orchestra members have provided fond memories and anecdotes on the LSO website. Happy retirement, Hilary Jones!
A Story by Sean Kernan – A $3.5M Cello Nearly Became a Useless CD Case
This is the story of the loss and return of the Stradivarius played by principal cellist of the LA Philharmonic Peter Stumpf. The story is 16 years old, but well told by Sean Kernan, and worth revisiting.
A Sad Tail – Horsehair Theft in North Carolina
The Nash County Sheriff’s Department reports that horsehair is being stolen directly from horses’ tails in Nashville, North Carolina. Are desperate cello bow rehairers working in the area? We don’t know the full tale yet.
Horsehair is used in other products as well, including:
baskets, belts, brushes of all types, carpet, cloth, curlers, fabrics, fishing lines, furniture padding, hats, lariats, fishing nets, jewelry, braided horse bridles, upholstery cloth, . . .whips and wigs, including extensions for humans and show horses, according to the Benton County Enterprise in Warsaw, Missouri, which reported on horse hair theft in 2017.
Why steal horse hair other than out of desperation for a rehair during the pandemic? Apparently, horsehair (from horsetails) sells for as much as $400-$500 per pound.
If you have any information about this crime, please contact the Nash County Sheriff’s Office at 252-459- 4121 or Twin County Crime Stoppers at 252-977-1111.
Playing a Cello Instead of Ringing a Bell
Cellist Dave Filsinger plays his cello instead of ringing a bell this holiday season to raise money for the Salvation Army outside the Post Office in Saranac Lake, New York. Brrr!
Cellist Amit Peled and Pianist Noreen Polera – Beethoven Cello Sonata No.s 3 and 4
We are excited to see the release of this new album by Amit Peled and Noreen Polera.
Felix and Fanny Mendelssohn Complete Works for Cello and Piano
by Cellist Joël Marosi and Pianist Esther Walker
Dead Space Chamber Music – St Kenelm’s: The Sapperton Sessions
The cello features prominently in this album, which reviewer Kate Cherrell described as “dark, choral, folky medieval.” Here’s what reviewer Cherrell wrote about it:
Dead Space Chamber Music have a long-standing relationship with ancient monuments and places of worship, curating festivals in ancient churches and crypts, incorporating art of all mediums into their work with as little ego as possible. The Sapperton Sessions continue in this tradition, recorded on reel-to-reel tape during a two day residency at an isolated medieval church in Gloucestershire. Dead Space Chamber Music are a band out of time, thriving on this disconnect, producing a truly enchanting and magical release.
Dan Schulman’s Never Stand Still – World-Renowned Cellist Yo-Yo Ma on Music as a Cultural Connector
Yo-Yo Ma talks about his purpose as a musician, incremental learning, and how we can:
emerge from the pandemic with an understanding of what we want in our society long-term.
New Sounds: #4316: Music for Cello with host John Schaefer
What a treat! This is an all-cello episode with music by award-winning composer and cellist Hildur Guðnadóttir, Maya Beiser performing music of David Bowie, cellist Ashley Bathgate playing music by Jacob Cooper, and more.
Hear and Now on WBUR – Yo-Yo Ma’s Songs of Comfort and Hope
Yo-Yo Ma talks about his new album with Kathryn Stott on this podcast. Skip to 11′ 34″ to hear the segment with Yo-Yo Ma.
NHPR – All Things Considered – Interview with Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Principal Cellist Rainer Eudeikis
Listen to this interview with Rainer Eudeikis, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra’s principal cellist speak about changes that the symphony has had to make during the pandemic.
Tiny Desk (Home) Concert – Cellist Jan Vogler and Pianist Alessio Bax
- Beethoven: Cello Sonata in A, Op. 69: II. Scherzo
- Beethoven: 12 Variations on a Theme from Handel’s Judas Maccabaeus: Variation XI: Adagio
- Beethoven: Cello Sonata in D, Op. 102: I. Allegro con brio
Venue: Rare Violins of New York
A Holiday Gift from Amit Peled’s Peabody Studio – Bach Gigue Played by 15 Cellists.
Arranged by Mafalda Santos
Cello Ensemble – “Flight of Freedom” by Biljana Bojović
Performed by the UC Davis Cello Ensemble
This new piece, “Flight of Freedom,” by Biljana Bojović, was commissioned through a grant given by the College of Letters and Science at UC Davis. Bojović said of her new piece:
“freedom, as much as it is a gift, requires our constant willingness and effort…. There is never enough freedom; rather it is an endless and breathtaking process.”
UC Davis Cello Ensemble
- Susan Lamb Cook, Director
- Cellists: Alexander Condon, Ananya Narasimhan, Laura Houshmand, and Clio Capaccioli.
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