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Curator’s Corner: February 2021

February at The Cello Museum

What’s happening this month at The Cello Museum? Find out here.

Februrary with heart-shaped candy and a student cello

January seemed to fly by and February is here. Thank you for joining us at The Cello Museum. We’ve got lots going on this month.

Featuring Cellist Donald White

To celebrate Black History month, we remember cellist Donald White (9 July 1925 – 31 July 2005). White was the first African American member of the Cleveland Orchestra – and the first in the Big Five orchestras of the USA.

Drafted in 1943, White served in the Navy band, playing bass tuba and peck horn. Later he studied with Leonard Rose and Luigi Silva and played in several orchestras before successfully auditioning for George Szell in Cleveland.

Ice Cellos by Bill Covitz

Bill Covitz Making an Ice Cello. Photo: Emile Holba

Bill Covitz Making an Ice Cello. Photo: Emile Holba

Later this month we are featuring the work of ice artist Bill Covitz, who has been making ice instruments, including ice cellos, for 15 years. He creates entire ice ensembles and ice stages on which they are played.

Covitz’s cellos are marked by creative freedom in design. He works with each musician to create a custom shape, and no two of his ice cellos are identical.

In the meantime, learn more about his work here and in our online exhibition, Innovations in Cello-Making Materials.

If you have or know of any cellos or cello-related materials that you think should be included in this or future exhibitions, please contact us.

We are aiming to open our next exhibition in April 2021.

The Unique Audio Landscape of Stijn Kuppens

Toward the end of the month, we will showcase the work of Belgian composer-cellist-producer, Stijn Kuppens. Intellectually and musically complex, his pieces open up a unique world of sound.

Kuppens has been corresponding with us at The Cello Museum since before we launched our online museum, and we are thrilled to be able to share his work with you this February.

That’s What She Said . . . Unaccompanied Works for Cello by Women Composers

Every month cellist and women’s music specialist Erica Lessie features three pieces in the form of short, digital postcards. These postcards are for cellists in search of new repertoire and for listeners eager to discover new pieces.

Last month Erica featured works by Ilse de Ziah, Reena Esmail, and Grażyna Bacewicz. In her February postcards, Erica will be celebrating Black History Month with works by Eleanor Alberga, Dorothy Rudd Moore, and Daijana Wallace.

If you haven’t seen them yet, be sure to check out the previous installments of “That’s What She Said.” Interested in having your piece featured? Please contact us.

Cello Book Club

Last month we started our Cello Book Club with Life, Death and Cellos and had a wonderful meeting with cellist author Isabel Rogers.

Our next book is Maureen O’Carroll: A Musical Memoir of an Irish Immigrant Childhood by Maureen O’Carroll and Leora O’Carroll. We are thrilled to have co-author Leora O’Carroll meeting with us on 28 March 2021 at 2 PM PST.

Read our review here.

Meet Our New Intern – Cellist Jonathan Simmons

Jonathan Simmons

We are pleased to welcome cellist Jonathan Simmons to our team as our very first intern! Jonathan is working on our online cello concert and event listings. He is already hard at work, and you may have noticed his first byline last week.

Jonathan is an Artist Diploma student at Columbus State University’s Schwob School of Music, studying with Professor Wendy Warner. Learn more about him here.

Welcome aboard, Jonathan!


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