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Curator’s Corner: March 2021

March at The Cello Museum

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


Thank you for joining us at The Cello Museum! It’s March, and we are celebrating both Women’s History and Irish-American Heritage Month. We also welcome a new member of our Cello Museum team: Dr. Yuriy Leonovich, Cello Music Editions Specialist.

Celebrating the Life of Cellist Margaret Moncrieff Kelly

Margaret Moncrieff Kelly c. 1944/5

Margaret Moncrieff Kelly c. 1944/5. From her memoir, Worlds Apart, p. 111.

Last month cellist, teacher, and author, Margaret Moncrieff Kelly (6 February 1921 – 12 November 2008), would have been 100 years old. She studied with Ivor James at the Royal College of Music and with Pierre Fournier.

Although not famous today, she had a distinguished career as a soloist, chamber musician, and professor of cello at the Royal College of Music.

This month, as part of our Women’s History Month celebrations – and as a tribute to her in the year of her 100th birthday – we will feature this wonderful, multi-talented cellist.

Cellist-Composer Victoria Yagling

Victoria Yagling

Victoria Yagling

Continuing our Women’s History Month celebrations, in the third week of March, Dr. Leonovich, our new Cello Music Editions Specialist, will discuss the life of the talented Russian cellist and composer, Victoria Yagling (14 May 1946 – 1 August 2011), and her First Suite for Solo Cello (1982).

He will tell us more about this all-but-forgotten figure who was “a major force in the Soviet musical world.”

Featuring Cellist Elsa Hilger

Elsa Hilger

Elsa Hilger in her youth.

Later this month, our intern, Jonathan Simmons, is bringing us a wonderful article about the life of Elsa Hilger (13 April 1904 – 17 May 2005), the first female cellist and one of the first women in a Big Five orchestra.

Said to have been “a genius on the cello” by Pablo Casals, she joined the Philadelphia Orchestra in 1935 at the invitation of Leopold Stokowski. She also taught at the Philadelphia Conservatory of Music.

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

In the last week of 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 Daijana Wallace, Eleanor Alberga, and Dorothy Rudd Moore. We are looking forward to Erica’s new postcards at the end of the month.

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.

Meet Dr. Yuriy Leonovich, Our New Cello Music Editions Specialist

Yuriy Leonovich

Professor Yuriy Leonovich

We are pleased to welcome cellist, composer, music editor, and scholar, Dr. Yuriy Leonovich to our team as our Cello Music Editions Specialist! Look for his articles about the music of different composers on the third week of every month.

Dr. Leonovich was born in Kyiv, Ukraine, and immigrated to the United States with his family. He is an active proponent of Eastern European music, new music, as well as rarely played cello repertoire. He holds the Assistant Cello Professor position at Bob Jones University in Greenville, SC.

Read more about him here.

Welcome aboard, Dr. Leonovich!

March Cello Book Club Selection

With this month’s Cello Book Club selection, we are celebrating both Women’s History and Irish-American Heritage Month: Maureen O’Carroll: A Musical Memoir of an Irish Immigrant Childhood by Maureen O’Carroll and Leora O’Carroll.

Be sure to join us for our meeting on 28 March 2021 at 2 PM PDT. We are thrilled to have co-author Leora O’Carroll joining us. This session will also be of interest to anyone who has considered writing a memoir or collaborating with a family member.

Read our review here.

There’s Still Time to Enter the Contest

Rain Worthington Title contest

Composer Rain Worthington has a new composition for unaccompanied cello, and it needs a title. We thought it might be fun for one of our Cello Museum family members to help her name the piece, so we are making the process into a contest.

Click here to learn more and enter the contest.

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