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Cellos in the News: Top Stories of the Week – 4 December

Here’s your weekly dose of cello news.

Cello News

Camille Thomas Fills Empty Museums with Music

Camille Thomas says that her performances in empty museums are very symbolic. They represent the loneliness of musicians and museums without the public. She said: “Never give up creating beauty and giving it to the world.”



Composer Philip Venables Wins Ivors Composer Award

Congratulations to composer Philip Venables! Venables received one of the Ivors Composer Awards, previously known as the British Composer Awards. Venables received his award in the stage works category for his two-person opera Denys & Katya, scored for:

  • mezzo-soprano
  • baritone
  • 4 amplified cellos
  • tape and video

The libretto is by Ted Huffman. Here are some highlights from the opera, with the four cellos on the stage with the vocalists:


Interview with Mischa Maisky

Cellos in the News: Top Stories of the Week - 4 December

Image: Keith Saunders

Cellist Mischa Maisky studied with both Rostropovich and Piatigorsky, he has a decades-long career, he’s in his 70s – and he’s still going strong. Read the full interview, “Experience the life, inspirations and iconic recordings of cellist Mischa Maisky,” and listen to some of Maisky’s recordings here.


Strings: Greg Cahill Interview with Cellist Jeremy Tai

As part of their series, “Keep Connected,” Greg Keep interviewed cellist Jeremy Tai, a founding member of the Konpeito Cello Quartet.

Tai’s message is one of hope. He told Cahill:

There has never been a better time to pursue your passion.

One of his two main projects during the pandemic has been Jacob Collier’s “Moon River.” Click here to read the full interview.


Britt Mann Talks to Cellist Ashley Brown in New Zealand

Cellos in the News: Top Stories of the Week - 4 December

Cellist Ashley Brown. Photo: Lawrence Smith

Writer Britt Mann spoke with cellist Ashley Brown, the founding member of NZTrio. He lives in a c.1890 former community doctor’s house and plays a William Forster cello named Liberty – “Libby” for short.

Read the full article here.


Cello Music – A Comfort for Cellist and Listeners Alike

Cellos in the News: Top Stories of the Week - 4 December

Erica D. Parker, cellist with the Signature Symphony at Tulsa Community College

Here is another story of people finding comfort through the generosity of cellists performing for the community during the pandemic. Tulsa cellist Erica D. Parker performed outside for her neighbors.

She said:

When the pandemic hit in March, I retreated into the place I find the most comfort and creativity – my music. As a professional cellist, I’ve used my music for service to others because music is a lifelong friend to me. This friendship is the place I stayed while we sheltered.


Featured in the News this Week: Cellist Ronald Lipscomb

Cellos in the News: Top Stories of the Week - 4 December

Photo by Gino Guarnere

Philadelphia area cellist, Ronald Lipscomb, studied with Paul Olefsky, Bernard Greenhouse, Pierre Fournier, and Pablo Casals, and has performed under Leonard Bernstein, Leopold Stokowski, and Duke Ellington. He now teaches virtually in the Philadelphia Orchestra Community Services Program and at Bryn Mawr Conservatory.


Cellist Shea Kole Makes Moves in the Queen’s Gambit

Cellist Shea Kole, the principal cellist in The Venice Symphony (Florida), recorded cello lines for the score to the Queen’s Gambit.


Cellists Nick Phontinos and Christine Lamprea Appointed to Faculty at the Longy School of Bard College

Cellos in the News: Top Stories of the Week - 4 December

Cellist Christine Lamprea

Cellists Nick Phontinos and Christine Lamprea will join the teaching staff at the school, effective immediately.



Podcast

Gramophone Podcast: French Cellist Christian-Pierre La Marca Talks about His New Album: Cello 360

Christian-Pierre La Marca’s new album Cello 360, the first of five for the label Naïve, focuses on the unaccompanied cello. Listen to the podcast below.

Here is a link to Cello 360. *

* This is an affiliate link. Please see the footer below for more information.



Videos

Bach – Cello Suite No. 5 in C minor Prelude & Fuge, BWV 1011

We recently noticed an Instagram account created by an anonymous cellist – and now this cellist has started a YouTube channel as well. This is not your usual recording. Enjoy.


Cello Cover by Helen Newby – All I Want For Christmas Is You by Mariah Carey

At first glance, we thought – “What is Emma Watson doing playing the cello?!?” No – this is cellist Helen Newby. ‘Tis the season – what’s a quarantined cellist to do? Arrange a Christmas tune and play all the parts herself, of course. Well done, Helen Newby.

Arranged & performed by Helen Newby Video by Pat Swoboda



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