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Congratulations Cellist’s Notebook Composition Contest Winners!

We love all things cello, including books and music, so we were thrilled to offer a composition contest to accompany our July Cello Book Club‘s discussion of The Cellist’s Notebook by Kittie Lambton.

The following video includes highlights from the Cello Book Club meeting with Kittie Lambton, several excerpts read by the author, and all of the winning contest entries.

Learn more about the winning composers and the contest:

Composing the Most Fitting Musical Fragment

The contest was to see who could compose the most fitting musical fragment of Leni’s cello and piano piece that Emily discovers in The Cellist’s Notebook. Author Kittie Lambton describes the work as:

“the little melody that triggers memory and is so very important in my book. This need not be a long-winded music composition but just a fragment. Just enough to be timeless and generational.”

We thank everyone who entered. There were strong entries, as you can hear in the winners’ compositions.

Congratulations to our winner, Kari Juusela, for Reminiscence!

Kari Juusela

Contest Winner: Kari Juusela

Dr. Kari Juusela’s “Reminiscence” is memorable, indeed. Author Kittie Lambton said she found herself whistling it, which is precisely the sort of melody described in her book.

Listen to “Reminiscence” by Dr. Kari Juusela:

About Dr. Kari Juusela

Kari Henrik Juusela is a Finnish/American composer, performer, and educator who recently retired as the Dean of the Professional Writing and Music Technology Division at Berklee College of Music. Prior to his work at Berklee, he served as the Associate Dean, Director of Composition, and Almand Chair of Composition at Stetson University. Not content to fully retire, he currently teaches at Community Music Works, a music program for underserved youth in Providence, Rhode Island, and also teaches music composition and theory for BerkleeOnline.

Juusela’s compositions have been performed around the world in concerts and festivals ranging from the Moscow Autumn Festival to the Shanghai Electronic Music Weeks. His music has won many awards in competitions including the Vienna International Full Length Opera Competition, the International Trumpet Guild Composition Competition, the International Red Stick Composition Competition; Aliénor Harpsichord Composition Contest, and London Chamber Groups “Piece of the Year Competition.

Juusela enjoys performing a wide variety of music and serves as the principal cellist for the Narragansett Bay Symphony and performs in a variety of chamber music ensembles including world music group AfrimandingHis music is recorded and published by MuusJuus Music, Beauport Classical, ERM Media, Lakeside Records, Capstone Records, ISG Publications, and Yelton Rhodes Music.

Congratulations to our first runner-up, Sam Araya, for Melody!

Sam Araya

First Runner Up: Sam Araya

We love Sam Araya’s “Melody.” It feels timeless and yet “vintage” – something that Leni might have written.

Listen to “Melody” by Sam Araya:

About Sam Araya

Sam (he/him) is an American-Swiss cellist of Chilean heritage (él habla español) living in Urbana, IL. He regularly plays, practices, performs, teaches, arranges, and composes Traditional Children’s Songs, Folk Songs, Western Classical Music, and Popular Music. His compositions and arrangements are published on IMSLP and Sheet Music Plus.
His Instagram and Twitter handle is @samscellostudio

Congratulations to our second runner-up, Anna Vienna Ho, for Memories!

Anna Vienna Ho

2nd Runner Up: Anna Vienna Ho

We hope that Anna Vienna Ho will turn her beautiful contest entry, “Memories,” into an entire cello piece that we can play.

Listen to “Memories” by Anna Vienna Ho:

About Anna Vienna Ho

Born in Hong Kong, Anna Vienna Ho is a versatile musician who has worked professionally as a solo pianist, piano accompanist, répétiteur and composer. She has worked with many opera companies and music organizations, including Welsh National Opera, Birmingham Opera Company, Tête à Tête Opera Festival, Opera Novella, London Oriana Choir, and London Gay Symphony Orchestra, among others. She has given solo recitals and performed in various concert venues in Asia and Europe, including Royal Albert Hall, Birmingham Town Hall, Parco della Musica and Hong Kong City Hall. Anna gained an Advanced Postgraduate Diploma and her Master of Music in Piano Performance with distinction from Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, where she received a number of awards and scholarships. She was the winner of numerous international competitions, including International Robert Schumann Klavier Welttbert, Concours International Leopold Bellan, Internationaler Deutscher Irmler-Klavierwettbewerb, Rome International Music Competition, International Music Competition “Таланты XXI века”, International Moscow Music Competition, 5th Propiano International Competition, Quebec International Music Competition, Montpelier Arts Center Classical Recital Competition, London Grand Prize Virtuoso International Music Competition and IYMC Classical Music International Competition, among others.

Thank you!

A big thank you to all of those who entered our contest. Congratulations to our winners!

The Cellist’s Notebook

We love The Cellist’s Notebook and hope that it gets made into a movie. Read our review here.



Your Turn

If The Cellist’s Notebook gets made into a movie, who do you think should play Emily? What about the other characters? Please tell us in the comments.



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