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Cellos in the News: Top Stories of the Week – 2 October

Cellists in the News

The Madison Symphony Orchestra Features Young Artist, Cellist Grace Kim

Artist Story, Home Is Where the Art Is, Young Artist Series, Cellist Grace KimMeet cellist Grace Kim, a young artist featured by the Madison Symphony Orchestra.

Grace performs two works. The first is “Londonderry Air,” an Irish folk song. The second piece is an excerpt from the 4th movement of Edward Elgar’s Cello Concerto.

Read more and hear her performance here.


An Online Exhibit of Principal Cellists of the Boston Symphony Orchestra

Since the BSO’s founding in 1881, fourteen cellists have held the seat of principal cello for the BSO.

BSO Principal Cellists Exhibit

See photographs and read about the lives of these leading cellists in this online exhibit.


R.I.P. Cellist Francesco Strano

Cellist Francesco Strano

Cellist Francesco Strano

Francesco Strano, the well-known teacher and principal cellist of I Musici, passed away at the age of 80.

Read more here.


New Cello Movie on Amazon Prime Video: Nishabdham

Today Amazon Prime Video released the movie Nishabdham, which is translated as “Silence.” The plot centers around a haunted house where a world-renowned cellist is found dead.

Nishabdham is touted to be a suspense thriller revolving around a speech and hearing impaired artist (played by Anushka), her celebrity-musician husband, and the strange disappearance of her best friend.

Watch the trailer here:

 Read more about the film here.


Interview with Branden James – Featuring His Husband, Cellist James Clark

Gay classical crossover artist, Branden James discusses his book, Lyrics of My Life: My Journey with Family, HIV, and Reality TV.

Read more here.


Remembering Naya Rivera, Afro-Latina Pioneer

Naya Rivera of Glee fame, who passed away in a tragic accident in July, is remembered in this tribute. Rivera appeared on the show with the 2Cellos in this version of “Smooth Criminal”:

Rivera’s inimitable Santana Lopez was the emotional center of the series, forging a new model of queer Afro-Latina representation onscreen and making a striking mark on young Hollywood.

Read the full article here.


Taiwan Cracks Down on Pop Celebrities for Doing Publicity Tracks for China’s National Day

One of the performers is cellist Ouyang Nana.

Read more here and here.


R.I.P. Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Here is a wonderful video of cellist and U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg discussing women in music.

Joyce DiDonato is joined by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Donna Leon for a conversation on the role of music in finding peace.

Watch the full event here.


Shostakovich Cello Concertos

Recorded in 2018 and released last month, here is a new recording of the Shostakovich cello concertos, performed by cellist Alban Gerhardt and the WDR Sinfonieorchester conducted by Jukka-Pekka Saraste.

If you already have Rostropovich’s 1975 studio recording, Alban Gerhardt’s Cologne performance may surprise, his first movement noticeably swifter than we’re used to. In Gerhardt’s words, “Shostakovich very clearly marked the tempo as crotchet=100, and I’d be the first to ignore that marking if it didn’t work. But, at least for me, it made all the sense in the world, because the whole rhythmical structure suddenly makes so much more sense.”

Read more here.


Music for Cello and Humming by Cellist and Composer Judith Hamann

Release date: 30 October

Nomadic Australian cellist and composer Judith Hamann presents two collections of her sonic inquiries into shaking and humming. Her CD, Music for Cello and Humming, features two pieces for cello and humming written specifically for Hamann by composers Sarah Hennies and Anthony Pateras alongside Hamann’s own “Humming Suite” and “Study for Cello and Humming.”

Read more about the album and preorder here.


Kol Nidrei by Alan Stepansky and His Students at Peabody

Thank you for this beautiful video, Professor Stepansky and students!

Arranged for cello ensemble by David Johnstone.


Bloch: From Jewish Life Performed by cellist Manou Magdalena Chakravorty and Pianist Yoon Lee

Enjoy this beautiful performance from the Heifetz International Music Institute by cellist Manou Magdalena Chakravorty and Pianist Yoon Lee.


Online Performances

Below are upcoming, online events. Be sure to click on the original source link for exact details of times, time zones, and ticket prices.

For even more concert listings, here’s a Classic FM concert round-up.


Replay from 17 September

Isata and Sheku Kanneh-Mason perform at the North Wales International Music Festival (Online)

View the concert for free (and donate) here.


Replay from 27 September

Leonard Elschenbroich and Alexei Grynyuk – Live from Wigmore Hall

A program of Beethoven and Brahms.

Donate here.


2 October 7 PM (CST), Livestream

Dacamera Gala Opening Night featuring cellist Sonia Wieder-Atherton, followed by jazz pianist James Francies

Free event. Registration required.

Read more about the performance here.

Register here.


3 October, Video-on-Demand Available for 24 Hours

Part of the Fall 2020 New Jersey Film Festival, the short romantic comedy Thin Walls

focuses on an aspiring novelist who moves in next door to a cello player who likes to play at all hours of the day.

Read Al Nigrin’s interview with the director, cellist Nick Canellakis.

General Admission: $12

Get tickets here.


4 October 3:30 PM (PDT), Livestream

Moon Festival Melody Cello Concert

Kai Chen, cello

Irene Chen, piano

Experience the vibrant, classical works by master composers such as Johannes Brahms, Frédéric Chopin, Giacomo Puccini, and Luting He – live from your home!

This is a free event made possible by Bellevue Arts program and Artist Trust Grants for Artist Projects.

Link to more information and livestream here.


8 October 6:30 PM (EDT), Streaming

Limoncello: Cello and Double Bass Duo

2020 has brought loads of lemons. Join us for a night of LimonCello — a tart blend of music and laughter with America’s No. 1 cello/double bass comedy duo, Low & Lower, as they present A Series of Unfortunate Musical Events. Low & Lower are Winston-Salem Symphony principal cellist Brooks Whitehouse and principal double bassist Paul Sharpe.

Tickets from $50

More information here:


10 October 7 PM, Virtual

Virtual Discovery Concert: Ifetayo Ali-Landing

Join the Harriman-Jewell Series as we introduce cellist Ifetayo Ali-Landing to Kansas City via live stream video in a free Discovery Concert performed at Kansas City’s 1900 Building without an in-person audience. Ifetayo Ali-Landing started out as a violinist, but at the ripe age of four she decided to switch to cello. Ali-Landing’s already astounding career at 18 has proven she made the right decision.

More information here:


23 October – 1 November

CelloBello Audition Preparation Workshop

Whether you are a high school student planning ahead for upcoming undergraduate auditions, a seasoned teacher looking to help prepare your students, or a parent seeking audition guidance for their child, this workshop is designed to give you tools to demystify the conservatory and music school audition process and to help you play a fantastic audition for the school of your dreams.

Different levels of participation available.

Get more information and the link to sign up here.