Cello at Cornell University

At Cornell University, there are many opportunities for cellists to pursue their passion.  Cornell’s Music Department hosts the Cornell Symphony Orchestra, the Cornell Chamber Orchestra, as well as faculty coached chamber music ensembles which change membership and repertoire from semester to semester.  String players interested in learning more about “Historically Informed Performance” or “Performance Practice” may participate in the Viola da gamba consort or “Les Petits Violons,”  the University’s baroque orchestra in which participants perform on instruments with gut strings and period bows.  In many cases, students who don’t own a baroque instrument or bow may borrow one from Cornell’s extensive instrument and bow collection.  Senior Lecturer and Artist-in-Residence cellist John Haines-Eitzen hosts the Cornell Cello Ensemble which performs each year in Cornell’s beautiful Sage Chapel — the acoustics are as stunning as the architecture, and our end of year Cello Fest there is a popular favorite!  Check out these Cornell Cello Ensemble performances from recent seasons on Youtube:

The Cello Ensemble also had the opportunity to perform the world premiere a new cello quartet by composer Niccolo Athens. This was a special privilege! Currently living in China where he teaches at the new Juilliard branch campus, Nicco is one of the most talented young composers on today’s new music scene.

We’ve enjoyed lots of terrific solo and chamber music performances by Cornell students in recent years, and look forward to hearing back from these terrific cellists as they embark on careers in wide range of fields! During her time at Cornell,  Irene Jeong (below) won the Cornell concerto competition with an exciting rendition of the Shostokovich Concerto, and is joined by Charis, Theo, and Tiffany, here, for a year-end program of cello quartets.

Cellists also perform regularly in Cornell’s student chamber music concerts in Barnes Hall. Here is a sample performance from that series of Theo Lee-Gannon (Human Biology, Health and Society major, Class of 2020) and Andy Sheng (Music, Math, and Physics major, Class of 2020) playing two movements of the Prokofiev Sonata.

For more information about opportunities for cellists at Cornell University, please contact John Haines-Eitzen at jah242@cornell.edu