The Amit Peled Peabody Cello Gang: Closing the Circle — by Amit Peled

Originally posted on As a student, I was fortunate enough to experience the magic of performing music on stage with my great mentors Bernard Greenhouse, Boris Pergamenschikow, and Laurence Lesser, as well as see how each of them balanced their performing and teaching careers. The difference between listening to them explain how to create a phrase and actually forming that phrase with them on stage was huge and significant. Performing with my teachers was a vastly more effective lesson than a one-on-one in a studio, teaching me “on-the-spot” artistic decision-making, amending each performance to fit the energy of the hall. Ever since those transformative and magical moments, I knew that I would become a teacher and pass on the tradition of sharing music with my own students on stage. [...]

What CelloBello Means to Me — by Paul Katz

Dear CelloFriends, Our year-end fund drive is nearly over. And the first thing I want to say is: Thank you for your support!  Your generosity during this season of giving helps tremendously as we work to build and enrich the global cello community and offer the highest level of online musical instruction and advice from renowned cellists and teachers. I’m overwhelmed by the support the CelloBello community has shown over the past few weeks. If you’re among those who has already given this year—a deep and sincere thank you from all of us on our little team. If you’ve already given, you understand why your support matters. Today I want to talk to you about what underlies all the other messages we’ve sent, and what’s most important to me, personally: [...]

By | 2018-02-15T05:55:36+00:00 December 29th, 2017|Categories: Artistic Vision, Technology|

An Amateur Cellist’s Case for CelloBello — by Jenn Dungan

Hey, CelloBello fans. My name is Jenn Dungan. I’m a pretty seriously geeky adult amateur cellist, and a supporter of CelloBello. I want to talk to you a little bit about why I find this site so valuable, and offer a few reasons I hope you’ll join me in supporting CelloBello’s mission. I took up the cello several years ago and will, of course, be learning it for the rest of my life. I’m fortunate to take weekly lessons from an excellent teacher; I’ve also had opportunities to learn from other gifted instructors through master classes and camps. Given how complex this skill is, and how different every teacher’s approach is, I believe all cellists can benefit from receiving instruction from a variety of master players. We live in an [...]

By | 2018-02-15T05:55:53+00:00 December 25th, 2017|Categories: Artistic Vision, Teaching, Technology|Tags: , , , , |

Why CelloBello Needs You Today — by Robert Battey

As a conservatory student back during the 1970’s, I devoured everything related to the cello, but always came to frustrating dead ends in my research.  If you weren’t at a particular concert, you had missed it forever.  If an out-of-print record or piece of music wasn’t in your school library, you were out of luck.  If you couldn’t attend a masterclass, all you had were the varied memories of others.  If you heard an exciting, brand-new piece on the radio and wanted to see the music, you could spend months trying to track it or the composer down.  You maybe heard of some really hot talent at another school, but unless you traveled there and somehow heard him/her play, it was all just rumor.  Your only peers were those in [...]

By | 2018-01-08T00:55:17+00:00 December 14th, 2017|Categories: Artistic Vision, Technology|

On How to Play the Baroque Cello: the Baroque Bow, or What Your Ear Imagines Your Bow Should Do (Part 2) — by Guy Fishman

For the continuation of my brief discussion of the baroque bow, I’d like to begin by listing several descriptions that I believe only faintly hide a prejudice towards it as a primitive tool. “The baroque bow is for speaking, while the modern bow is for singing.” “The baroque bow articulates while the modern bow sustains.” “The baroque bow makes a lean, silvery tone, while the modern bow creates a round, lush sound.” And my favorite, “the baroque bow naturally weakens as it is pulled towards the tip.” Before I continue, a quick reminder of two things I mentioned in my previous post: first, what your ear imagines, your bow should be able to do. That last description is usually left where it ends because in this case, the comparison to [...]

By | 2017-10-30T05:06:33+00:00 October 20th, 2014|Categories: Artistic Vision, Baroque, Technology|Tags: , , , , , , , , |

On How to Play the Baroque Cello: the Baroque Bow, or What Your Ear Imagines Your Bow Should Do (Part 1) — by Guy Fishman

  What Your Ear Imagines, Your Bow Should Do. Remember this as you read the following. Here’s another Hallmark-worthy, embroiderable line: The Bow is the Soul of the Violin. By extension, the description applies to the cello, as well. Writer upon writer of numerous treatises from the 1540s to the 1920s describes the bow in exactly these terms. When, in 1924, Carl Flesch declared that the bow was responsible for clearly-defined intellectual tasks, while the left hand (meaning a constantly vibrating left hand) awakened the “deep feelings which subconsciously slumber in our souls,” he was performing a 180-degree turn away from over 450 years of string-playing tradition. He was describing a trend popular with himself and many others, where constant vibrato and a purely instrumental sort of “singing” was displacing [...]

By | 2017-10-30T05:06:21+00:00 October 15th, 2014|Categories: Artistic Vision, Baroque, Technology|Tags: , , , , |

On How to Play a Baroque Cello: Gut Strings (Part 1) — by Guy Fishman

I will now attempt to shift the focus of my series on baroque cello from attempting to define what a baroque cellist is to getting to it and actually playing a baroque cello. Before I do, I would like to point out to the reader that for the vast majority of those of us who play period instruments came to them after we had gained experience on standard ones. Holding the cello between one’s legs, using a baroque bow, minimizing vibrato, and other elements that seem, in the minds of many, to be trademarks only of the period instrument movement therefore often feel as though they are diminishing something we’re used to, almost to the point of deprivation. It’s similar to dieting, in the sense that one often limits what [...]

By | 2017-10-30T05:05:29+00:00 September 22nd, 2014|Categories: Baroque, Self Discovery, Technology|Tags: , , , , |

A String Player’s Guide to the Ivory Ban

If you plan to travel abroad this summer, you may need a passport… for your bow. Horror stories have been circulating about the confiscation of string players’ bows at international borders due to the recent “ivory ban.” On Saturday, May 31st, seven bows belonging to members of the Budapest Festival Orchestra were seized at JFK Airport (these did not have proper documentation, and have since been released). More alarming – a bow owned by a double-bassist in the Bavarian Radio Orchestra has been held at JFK since the orchestra passed through in mid-May, as it was found to contain a piece of bone from […]

Reprint: Two Articles from The Violin Channel — Ivory Bows and US Customs

Below are two recent articles from The Violin Channel regarding traveling players' issues with US Customs over bows containing ivory. Trio Violinists Denied Access to Carry Violins On US Airways Flight [VIDEO] Posted May 27, 2014 in NEWS Violinists Zach de Pue and Nick Kendall, from the string trio Time for Three have today released a fly-on-the-wall YouTube video – after being stopped on the tarmac of the Charlotte Douglas International Airport, by ill-informed US Airways crew members – claiming their violins were impermissible within the cabin. En route to the Artosphere Arts and Nature Festival in Arkansas, the Captain asked both men to exit the plane and wait on the tarmac, so the frustrated musicians took to twitter and their phones: TIME FOR THREE | VIOLINISTS DENIED US AIRWAYS FLIGHT “We were stopped as we entered the plane by the [...]

Hare Krishna, KickStarter and Fundraising in the 21st Century — by Jeffrey Zeigler

Last November, I was driving in my car listening to NPR. I became fascinated by a story by Alix Spiegel regarding the Rule of Reciprocation. Citing the work of Robert Cialdini, an emeritus psychologist at Arizona State University, Spiegel writes that, in a nutshell, the rule of reciprocation is: “If someone passes you in the hall and says hello, you feel compelled to return their greeting. When you don't, you notice it. It makes you uncomfortable, out of balance. That's the rule of reciprocation.” Spiegel goes on to write: “Cialdini noticed a similar phenomenon when he studied Hare Krishnas. In airports, they would…give…people passing by what they described as a gift: a flower, a book, a magazine. Then, after the person had the gift in…hand, they would ask for a [...]