Happy Birthday, Cello Museum!
Scroll down to enter our prize drawing for a chance to win prizes!
How time flies when you’re having fun! It’s hard to believe our website has been going for three years now as an online museum—the first of its kind. Please join us in celebrating by entering our prize giveaway below and reminiscing with us through your comments.
It doesn’t seem that long ago. Just before the pandemic, I remember sitting with Jeremy Montagu at his home in Oxford. The idea of creating a globally-accessible cello museum came to me in a flash, and Jeremy and I discussed creating an online museum. He was one of my two doctoral supervisors, and this felt as if it were my last—and probably my best—tutorial with him. Read about how Jeremy and I had a wonderful exchange of ideas and plans that day.
The Cello Museum is the first of its kind: centered on one musical instrument, and conceived from the start as being completely online. The goal was—and is—to create an internet-based platform with cello exhibitions, articles, and news, and to make this accessible and free to everyone around the world who loves the cello.
The Year in Review
This has been an eventful third year for us. Here are a few highlights:
- Our First Paid Team Member! – Thanks to the generosity of our Founders, we hired our first paid team member, James de Cadiz, in September 2022. With the funds raised during our Founders Campaign, we were able to employ James at the Cello Museum from the end of September through the beginning of 2023. He was an incredible help to us and we are so grateful to him and to those who enabled us to hire him. Thank you! This was our only paid position. (Did you know that everyone else works as a volunteer?)
- Carol of the Bells Around the World Cello Project – Last December, we collaborated with Ukrainian cellist Vlad Primakov to create a Carol of the Bells Around the World cello project. In the summer of 2022, when I met with Vlad via Zoom, he had the idea of creating a second project together to support Ukraine. He arranged the Ukrainian folk melody “The Carol of the Bells” for cello ensemble and asked cellists from around the world to join him in playing this work for peace. This became our Carol of the Bells Around the World Cello Project. At the time Vlad had planned to record his part of the project, Russian forces attacked Kyiv again. Vlad was concerned that he would not be able to play in the project after all. We asked Professor Jennifer Kloetzel for her help, and she and her students sent us wonderful videos—both for the project trailer and the final video. At the last minute, Vlad was able to record, too. Here are both videos. The first is the trailer for the project, and the second is the main video.
- We Launched an Educational Platform – We launched our Cello Guild platform in November 2022. While we’ve had a few technical glitches along the way, we are consistently working to improve our online cello-focused learning platform.
- Cellos for Trees: Cellists Worldwide Unite to Help Change the World – Over spring and early summer 2023, we worked with the wonderful Clíodhna Ní Aodáin on her inspiring Cellos for Trees project. The project continues as cellists around the world come together to raise funds to plant 10,000 trees by the end of 2023.
- Tax-Deductible Donations! – Earlier this year, the Cello Museum became fiscally sponsored, which means that, for those in the USA, your donations to us are now tax deductible!* Thank you so much to everyone who has supported us!
- The Articles Continue – Every week for three years, we’ve had a new article. In addition, through the spring of 2023, we’ve had a weekly listing of online cello concerts and events. As there are fewer online concerts and events, over the summer, we moved to a monthly listing that we update as new information becomes available.
In 2020, we started with a special series, Erica’s Postcards, published on the last week of every month. Her first set featured unaccompanied works by women composers. After a year, Erica’s focus turned to unaccompanied works by Black composers. This year, her focus is Hispanic and Latino/Latina composers.
Now we have several series:
- My Curator’s Corner highlights our planned articles and activities for the month (1st week of every month)
- A collaborative spotlight on New York Women Composers and their works for the cello (2nd week of every month)
- Bow History by Andrew Bellis (every few months)
- Dr. Peter Swanson’s Reger series (every few months—look for a new installment soon!)
- This year we started our Cellos and Animals series, featuring animal encounters and many of our Cello Museum family.
In addition to our regular series, we’ve featured a number of other articles this year.
- A Change in the (h)Air: Bow Making and Climate Change by our bow specialist, Andrew Bellis. This is a special edition, supplementing his bow history series.
- Miranda Wilson: Life, the Universe of Bach, and Everything – Meet Miranda Wilson and learn more about her recent book, published in autumn 2022, The Well-Tempered Cello: Life with Bach’s Cello Suites.
- Inspired by Paola Beals – The Deaf Cellist – Meet Paola Beals whose love of music and refusal to give up on her dreams is profoundly moving.
- Cellist Carolyn Hagler – Cello Discovery – Meet cellist and pedagogue, Carolyn Hagler, the creator of Cello Discovery, a website that helps older beginners learn how to play the cello.
- Award-Winning Cellist Carmine Miranda and His Spectacular New Album – from El Sistema to star solo cellist, professor, recording artist, and electronic dance music composer – meet the remarkable Dr. Carmine Miranda.
- Making Connections – Meet Cellist Ovidiu Marinescu – Meet cello soloist, composer, conductor, and educator Dr. Ovidiu Marinescu and learn about his marvelous new album: London Cello Connection.
- A Guide to Cello Facebook Groups by our wonderful intern, Jonathan Simmons. This article explores the types of Facebook groups available to cellists, along with some representative examples and suggestions for getting the most out of these communities.
- Cellist Sarah Freiberg: Have Cellos, Will Travel – Meet fabulous cellist, early music specialist, professor, and writer, Dr. Sarah Freiberg, and learn about her recent album with cello duo partner, Colleen McGary-Smith. Now Sarah has joined us here at the Cello Museum as an author. See her article below about the cello maker, Joseph Merlin.
- Cello Music for Holocaust Remembrance Day -To commemorate Holocaust Remembrance Day (Yom HaShoah), we looked at a new album of works by composer Laurence Sherr, which includes beautiful pieces for the cello. We also talked to one of the cellists featured on the album, Dr. Inbal Megiddo.
- The Cellist Formerly Known as Prince (of Wales): King Charles III – cellists are taking over the world.
- Mystery Cellist at Polesden Lacey – a summer mystery from Polesden Lacey, a National Trust site in Surrey, England.
- The Magic of Merlin – Find out what an iconic mechanical silver swan, rollerskates, and Sarah Freiberg’s cello have in common in this article by our newest author here at the Cello Museum, Sarah Freiberg. Welcome, Sarah! We’re so happy you’re here.
Since our founding, we have published over 500 articles, news roundups, and events listings. Here are ten of our articles from the first three years:
- A Tribute to Jacqueline du Pré — Jaqueline du Pré was one of the greatest cellists of the 20th century despite her tragically short career.
- Yo-Yo Ma – Making Connections — Yo-Yo Ma is one of the greatest cellists alive today and arguably the most famous.
- House of Music – Celebrating One of the World’s Most Musical Families — Did you know that cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason is one of seven extraordinarily talented and hard-working musical siblings? Now fans can learn more through his mother’s beautifully written memoir. Dr. Kadiatu Kanneh-Mason’s House of Music: Raising the Kanneh-Masons offers an inside look at one of the world’s most musical families.
- 7 Ways Bernhard Romberg Influences the Cello World Today — A Beethoven contemporary, Bernhard Romberg was a famous, touring, virtuoso cellist.
- Vlad Primakov: Ukrainian Cellist Returns Home to Help His Family and Country — What is it like to be a cellist caught in the war in Ukraine? At the start of the war, we spoke with Ukrainian cellist Vlad Primakov to find out.
- Ukrainian National Anthem Cello Project — There is a long tradition of cellists working for peace. The great cellist and peacemaker Pau Casals once said, “The cello is my only weapon.” Continuing this tradition, we created the Ukrainian National Anthem Cello Project so that cellists of all levels could help work for peace and show support for Ukraine. See the final video here.
- Queen Elizabeth II and the Cello — A tribute to Her Majesty and her life of service with a focus on the cello.
- Charlie Chaplin: Passionately Fond of the Cello — Charlie Chaplin, the iconic, world-famous comic actor who built his career in the era of silent films, also played the cello.
- James Bond, the Sniper, and a Stradivarius Cello — A Bond film from the 1980s is a delightful romp with a fictional Stradivarius cello in tow.
- A Cello Helped Launch One of the Most Popular TV Shows of All Time — A specially modified Vaudeville cello helped launch I Love Lucy, one of the most popular TV shows of all time.
Whether you’re new here or have been with us since the beginning, we appreciate you being part of the Cello Museum. Running this museum is a dream come true for both my co-curator, Erica Lessie, and me.
A Chance to Win Prizes!
Thanks to everyone who helped us celebrate by entering our random prize giveaway. This giveaway is now closed for entries. However, you can continue to help us celebrate by purchasing an item from our limited-edition product line. These will only be available through the end of October 2023. Every purchase helps support the Cello Museum.
Please Help Us Continue
While this online museum is completely free to visitors, we would be grateful for your help in keeping our website running.
Please tell your friends, students, family, and colleagues about us, too.
*The Cello Museum is a sponsored artist with The Performance Zone Inc (dba The Field), a not-for-profit, tax-exempt, 501(c)(3) organization serving the arts community. Contributions to The Field earmarked for The Cello Museum are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law. For more information about The Field contact: The Field, 225 West 34th Street, Floor 9 | New York, NY 10122, phone: 212-691-6969. A copy of our latest financial report may be obtained from The Field or from the Office of Attorney General, Charities Bureau, 120 Broadway, New York, NY 10271.