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Cellos in the News: Top Stories of the Week – 7 May

Here’s your weekly dose of cello news.

Cello News

Cellist Yo-Yo Ma Performs Bach for India

On the 4th of May, Yo-Yo Ma posted the video above on YouTube (and on Twitter) simply captioned:

For India.

#songsofcomfort

Mr. Ma continues to be a leading voice providing comfort and inspiration during the pandemic.


The Kanneh-Masons Awarded Best Classical Artist in the Global Awards 2021

Cellos in the News: Top Stories of the Week - 7 May

The Kanneh-Masons awarded Best Classical Artist in the Global Awards 2021. Picture: Global

Congratulations to the Kanneh-Masons on winning Best Classical Artist in the Global Awards 2021! The musical siblings are: Isata, Sheku, Braimah, Konya, Jeneba, Aminata, and Mariatu.

“Thank you so much, on behalf of the Kanneh-Masons, for this Best Classical Award,” violinist Braimah Kanneh-Mason said. “We’re so grateful to receive it. It was a real pleasure for us to perform for so many of you over lockdown, through the Facebook Lives and also through the album Carnival of the Animals, which we had so much fun recording.”

His brother, Sheku, added: “Thank you so much for listening to, and supporting, this album. It was such a wonderful opportunity for us to share music as a family, and to you around the world. The support has meant such a lot to all of us.”

Be sure to join us for this month’s Cello Book Club meeting with special guest Kadiatu Kanneh-Mason, the mother of these amazing young musicians and author of House of Music: Raising the Kanneh-Masons.

Cellist and Clinical Psychologist Mia Pixley Interview

In 2020, Dr. Mia Pixley’s collaborated with her husband on a project called Spar Suite: A Musical and Visual Art Call and Response. She blended her two areas of expertise to create music

closely tied to emotion, movement and closeness.

There are four pieces in the suite. She said in the interview that her husband

first created two paintings and let me see them as the process unfolded. As he’s doing that, I’m creating music with his two paintings. Then it was my turn, and I created two pieces, which have lyrics. His visual work changes as he is leading or following and conversely my music changes if I am leading or following. As I’m making those, he’s hearing my process, and he’s making the paintings.

Read the full interview by Eve DeBord here.


16-Year-Old Afghan Cellist Meena Karimi Writes Cello Solo Dedicated to the Women of Afghanistan

Meena Karimi is a student at the Afghanistan National Institute of Music in Kabul. She and her piece were featured this week in the news in a story about the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan. Watch the report by Richard Engel and Saphora Smith here – she appears at 1:08.

Karimi’s piece is dedicated to the women of Afghanistan and represents their struggle for justice, equality, and freedom with the hope that comes with a new dawn. Listen to it here:


Cello Burned to Create Soundtrack

The composer Brian Tyler played the cello, piano, and a number of percussion instruments himself to create

“an array of contrasting thematic tones, such as heartbreak, fear, and hope.”

In addition, he burned a cello!

“I recorded the sound of a burning cello that I set ablaze with lighter fluid and played the strings until it burned to a point where it made no sound. That recording of the burning cello recurs as a sonic presence throughout the entire score,” the composer explained. “It pained me to burn a beautiful instrument like that, but I like to think that that particular cello was sacrificed for a good cause.”

Read the full story by Matt Grobar in Deadline.


Music from a Compostable Cello – Suzette Bousema’s Super Organism

 Visual artist Suzette Bousema has created a multi-media, interdisciplinary project about fungi called Super Organism. The project even includes new music heard on a compostable cello in a collaboration with Rafaele Andrade.

“By creating images, sounds and even a scent, I try to make the hidden fungal network more tangible,’ Bousema says. ‘Despite its size and importance to humanity, most people are unfamiliar with it. It cannot be felt, seen or heard. I wanted to change that. I also want the information my artworks provides to be scientifically correct. That’s why I contacted Nadia [Soudzilovskai].”



Podcasts / Broadcasts / Shows

Showtime Desus & Mero – Yo-Yo Ma & the Bodega Boys Collab on Cellos, DMX & More


Pablo Ferrández “Talking Cello” with Sheku Kanneh-Mason (Episode 20)



Videos

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Foundation for Chinese Performing Arts presents Brannon Cho, cello and Eric Lu, piano


CBC Music: The Intro – Cheng² Duo Rediscovers Their Purpose by Mixing Classical Music with Cultural Heritage


Naji Hakim “Levantine Variations” – Gwendeline Lumaret, cello, and Naji Hakim, piano


Music for Food – 13 Cellists of Natasha Brofsky Studio, The Juilliard School


Toronto Symphony Orchestra – Cellists Marie Gélinas and Edward Hayes Play Bach


Rockford Symphony – Cello Trio

  • Mike Beert, cello
  • Richard Evans, cello
  • Kerena Moeller, cello


Cellist Helen Money – “Many Arms”

Here’s the album:


Oregon Symphony “Minute for Music” – James Shields (principal clarinet) and Trevor Fitzpatrick (cello)

Swedish composer Svante Henryson’s “Off Pist”


Ilse de Ziah – “Ain’t Misbehavin'”



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