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

Here’s your weekly dose of cello news.

Cello News

Ayanna Witter-Johnson Salutes Her Hometown

English cellist, vocalist, and composer, Ayanna Witter-Johnson was featured this week in a piece about her exploration of stories of her home in England “through the lens of her Jamaican heritage.

She said:

“‘In ‘Rise Up’ I created a song with a strong message specifically influenced by my Jamaican heritage . . .  The starting point was a dancehall riddim that informed the main cello riff.”

Witter-Johnson’s music and words are an inspiration. She reminds us that:

“We need to gather personal strength and remain purposeful, inspired and on track more than ever. Now is not the time to give up on your dreams.”


10 Things about Tina Guo

Tina Guo

Tina Guo, 2018. Photo by Binksternet, CC BY-SA 4.0.

This week we saw this article about cellist Tina Guo, originally titled “10 Things You Didn’t Know about Tina Guo,” – but perhaps true fans won’t find any surprises here. Author Camille Moore went so far as to write:

“In some people’s eyes, the cello may not be seen as a “cool” instrument, but Tina is proof that it’s a lot cooler than it gets credit for. Keep reading to learn 10 things you didn’t know about Tina Guo.”

Not on the list, but something we enjoyed was this video she posted of her playing the Saint-Saëns Cello Concerto No. 1 in a minor, Op. 33, at age 13:

Read the full list by Moore here.



R.I.P. Cellists

R.I.P. Dr. Nona Pyron

Nona Pyron

We are very sad to hear of the passing of Dr. Nona Pyron (20 July 1933 – 2 September 2021). Her work as both a cellist and a cello historian inspired us here at The Cello Museum.

Dr. Pyron studied at the Eastman School of Music, the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik in Munich, and the University of Southern California.

She taught at Willamette University and Westmont College, discovered and published a vast quantity of cello repertoire, performed on modern and period instruments, worked with William Pleeth to produce his book, and wrote many articles about the cello. In addition, she was the Founder, Director and Editor-in-Chief, and Early Cello Series Editor of the Grancino Editions.

Read a lovely tribute to her by Jeannot Tihoti Maha’a here. We offer our condolences to her family, friends, colleague, and students. R.I.P. Dr. Pyron.


R.I.P. Carol Van Hoesen

Carol Van Hoesen

Cellist and teacher Carol Van Hoesen (8 November 1929 – 10 August 2021) of Pittsburg, PA, passed away at 91.

She studied cello performance with Luigi Silva and Gabor Reijto at the Eastman School of Music. She taught private cello lessons and played as an orchestral cellist, chamber player, and soloist.

Read more about her life here. We offer our condolences to her family, friends, colleagues, and students. R.I.P. Mrs. Van Hoesen.


R.I.P. Christine Austria

Christine Austria

Cellist and educator Christine Austria (21 October 1949 – 7 August 2021) died at her home in New York, surrounded by family.

Mrs. Austria studied at Boston College and the Manhattan School of Music. She taught music and was a gifted educator, later earning a master’s degree in education. In retirement, she worked with UpBeat NYC, a nonprofit started by her daughter and son-in-law that provides free music education for kids in the South Bronx.

Read more about her here. We offer her family, friends, colleagues, and students our condolences. R.I.P. Mrs. Austria.



Albums

Yo-Yo Ma – Notes for the Future

Yo-Yo Ma has collaborated with many artists on this album. Please see the album details for a list of everyone involved.

Release date: expected 10 September

Here is one track from the new album, “Ha’oud” (I Will Return), performed by Yo-Yo Ma, Mashrou’ Leila, and Narcy, and arranged by Mike Block:


Sheku and Isata Kanneh-Mason – Muse

Release date: 5 November


Imany – Voodoo Cello

Release date: 3 September 2021

This week Imany released a new video, but the one below has more visible cellos. This is one of the works from this album:


Mairi Dorman-Phaneuf – Music Of Broadway for Cello and Piano

Release date: 3 September 2021

Watch a sneak peek from this new album here:


Cellist Wolfgang Emanuel Schmidt – Very British

Released: 20 August 2021

In an interview, cellist Wolfgang Emanuel Schmidt said:

“this is an album posed as if it were a digital concert . . . Listening to the album is like reading a book of little stories or visiting a museum or gallery with beautiful paintings.”

Read the full interview by Susana Castro here. Here is one of the tracks from the album:


Cellist Liliana Kehayova and Pianist Kristina Miller – Nikolai Myaskovsky Cello Sonatas and Rimsky-Korsakov Serenade

Release date: June 2021

Here is one track from the album:


Cellist Dai Miyata – Piazzolla

Release date: February 2022

Album to be released 2022: Piazzolla by Dai Miyata



Podcasts/Broadcasts

BBC Sounds – BBC Proms 2021 – Guy Johnston: Saint‐Saëns: Cello Concerto No. 1 in a minor, Op. 33

This is the entire concert. The cello concerto segment starts at 23:12.

Released: 2 August 2021
Available for a limited time.

Guy Johnston - BBC Proms 2021

Click here to listen.


BBC Sounds – BBC Proms 2021 – Johannes Moser: Elgar: Cello Concerto in e minor

This is the entire concert. The cello concerto segment starts at 18:07.

Released: 9 August 2021
Available for a limited time.

Johannes Moser - BBC Proms 2021

Click here to listen.


BBC Sounds – BBC Proms 2021 – Abel Selaocoe: Africa Meets Europe

Released: 15 August 2021
Available for a limited time.

Abel Selaocoe: Africa Meets Europe - BBC Proms 2021

Click here to listen.


BBC Sounds – BBC Proms 2021 – The Kanneh-Masons at the Family Prom – Animal Magic

Released: 9 August 2021
Available for a limited time.

The Kanneh-Masons at the Family Prom - BBC Proms 2021


The Radio 3 Documentary – Cristiani and Her Cello

The Radio 3 Documentary - Cristiani and Her Cello

Dr. Kate Kennedy explores the life of pioneer 19th-century cellist Lise Cristiani and investigates the profound bond she developed with the instrument she called “husband.”

Click here to listen to the podcast.


The Cello Sherpa Podcast – “The Secret to Motivation” – An Interview with Saeunn Thorsteinsdottir, Associate Professor of Cello and Chamber Music at the University of Washington in Seattle

The Cello Sherpa Podcast

The Cello Sherpa Podcast Host, Joel Dallow, interviews Saeunn Thorsteinsdottir, Associate Professor of Cello and Chamber Music at the University of Washington in Seattle. She shares the story of her journey to this faculty position, her teaching philosophy and her secrets to staying motivated.
For more information, visit Saeunn’s website www.saeunn.com

Click here to listen to the podcast.


Cellist Grainne Hope Brings Music to Care Homes

Cellist and founder of Kids Classics, Gráinne Hope, is allowing people living in residential care homes in Meath, Ireland, to reconnect with their loved ones through music. She has set up the “Tea, Chat, and Tunes” series in association with Meath County Council which is proving very successful.



Videos

Yo-Yo Ma – #SongsofComfort: Lakes of Pontchartrain

Yo-Yo Ma with Aoife O’Donovan, Chris Thile, Edgar Meyer, and Stuart Duncan


Amit Peled and the Mount Vernon Virtuosi CelloGang – “The Hill We Climb” by John Clayton

Poem by Amanda Gorman


Tina Guo – “Moonhearts in Space”

with Serj Tankian

This is from her album released in July 2021, Dies Irae:


Jonathan Swensen – Khachaturian’s Concerto Rhapsody

with the Armenian State Symphony Orchestra and conductor June-Sung Park


Prague Cello Quartet – “How Deep is Your Love”


Daniil Bulayev and Antons Trocjuks – Vivaldi’s Summer


Diane Chaplin – Jean Sibelius’s Theme and Variations


From the Top Daily Joy – Daniel Dorsey: George Crumb’s Sonata for Solo Cello (III. Toccata)


hi cello – David Popper’s “Dance of the Elves



Your Turn

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



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