For Students

The Festival’s Educational Mission
With a roster of artists that includes many well-known pedagogues, the Piatigorsky International Cello Festival gives nearly equal time to teaching as well as to performing. Events that serve to instruct and inform include:

  • Twelve master classes with Festival artists, featuring Fellows selected from around the world
  • A specialized workshop geared toward young cellists (pre-college age) (no admission charge)
  • A presentation by stringed instrument experts on how to choose a fine instrument (no admission charge)
  • A second workshop focused on improvisation and its value to classical cellists, given by Festival artist Giovanni Sollima (no admission charge)
  • A lecture by Festival artist Jeffrey Solow addressing the use of urtext editions (admission to lecture is included in purchase of ticket to the Closing Beethoven Gala)
  • A panel on the legacy of the Festival’s namesake, the legendary cellist Gregor Piatigorsky, featuring four of his former students (no admission charge)

Festival Fellows

Accomplished young artists are selected to participate as Fellows based on recommendations from artists and teachers around the world. These students perform in the master classes and the Improvisation Workshop, and are part of the mass cello ensemble. We are pleased to announce the 2016 Fellows:

Sophia Bacelar (New York, New York, USA), Paris Conservatoire (CNSMDP)
Jack Bailey (Sydney, Australia), Royal Northern College of Music
Margarita Balanas (Riga, Latvia), Royal Academy of Music
Michal Beck (Jerusalem, Israel), Hochschule für Musik, Freiburg
Sebastian Bertoncelj (Domžale, Slovenia), Music Academy of Ljubljana*
Konstantin Bruns (Berlin, Germany), Hochschule für Musik Hanns Eisler, Berlin
Manxuan Cao (Shanghai, China), Shanghai Conservatory of Music
Brannon Cho (Short Hills, New Jersey, USA), Bienen School of Music, Northwestern University
Eunghee Cho (Davis, California, USA), Thornton School of Music, University of Southern California
Yoon-Kyung Cho (Seoul, South Korea), Royal College of Music
Hannah Craig (Scarborough, Ontario, Canada), Schulich School of Music, McGill University
Christopher Ellis (Dublin, Ireland), Paris Conservatoire (CNSMDP)
Jonah Park Ellsworth (Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA), New England Conservatory
Zlatomir Fung (Westborough, Massachusetts, USA), Oak Meadow School
Ian Greenberg (Ashland, Oregon, USA), Eastman School of Music, University of Rochester
Alexander Hersh (Chicago, Illinois, USA), New England Conservatory
Jeffrey Ho (Santa Monica, California, USA), Herb Alpert School of Music, University of California-Los Angeles
Russell Houston (Dallas, Texas, USA), Bienen School of Music, Northwestern University
Coleman Itzkoff (Cincinnati, Ohio, USA), Thornton School of Music, University of Southern California
Annie Jacobs-Perkins (Rochester, New York, USA), Thornton School of Music, University of Southern California
Evan D. Kahn (Culver City, California, USA), San Francisco Conservatory of Music
Anastasia Kobekina (Ekaterinburg, Russia), Kronberg Academy Masters
Maciej Kulakowski (Kolbudy, Poland), Hochschule für Musik Franz Liszt, Weimar
KyungJun Lee (Seoul, South Korea), Norwegian Academy of Music
Bingxia Lu (China), Thornton School of Music, University of Southern California
Haran Meltzer (Hod Hasharon, Israel)
Thomas Mesa (Miami, Florida, USA), Manhattan School of Music
Clare Monfredo (Seal Harbor, Maine, USA), Shepherd School of Music, Rice University
Christopher Mui (Sydney, Australia), Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music, Singapore
Cicely Parnas (Stephentown, New York, USA), Jacobs School of Music, Indiana University
Alessio Pianelli (Trapani, Italy), Music Academy Basel
Tatsuki Sasanuma (Tokyo, Japan), Toho University of Music
Charles Seo (Seoul, South Korea), Colburn School Conservatory of Music
Ildikó Szabó (Berlin, Germany), University of the Arts, Berlin
Ben Tarlton (Llantwit Major, Wales, UK), Guildhall School of Music and Drama
Jiaoyang Xu (Beijing, China), Peabody Institute, Johns Hopkins University
Yi Qun Xu (Beijing, China), Juilliard School
*Sebastian Bertoncelj is financially supported by the Therese Kerze-Cheyovich Endowment at the USC Thornton School of Music.

Young Cellists Workshop (Sunday, May 22 at 9:00am)
This workshop, directed by Antonio Lysy (Professor of Cello at UCLA’s Herb Alpert School of Music), will take place on Sunday, May 22, from 9:00-11:00am. Workshop participants will rehearse and perform a short program of cello ensemble music in the Alice and Eleonore Schoenfeld Symphonic Hall at USC. The performance (starting at approximately 10:30am) is free and open to the public; seating is limited, and is available on a first-come, first-served basis (RSVP is not required, but we recommend arriving early for seating).

Pre-college students (through age 18) who wish to participate in the Young Cellists Workshop must submit an audition recording. Click here for full application details about applying for this workshopThe deadline for applying to this workshop is February 18, 2016.

A select number of those chosen for the workshop also will be chosen to participate in the mass cello ensemble performance at Walt Disney Concert Hall on Tuesday, May 17, 2016 at 8:00pm. Mass cello ensemble participants are required to attend rehearsals on Sunday, May 15 from 10:00am-noon; Monday, May 16 from 10:00am-noon; and Tuesday, May 17 from 5:30-6:30pm.

Questions regarding the Young Cellists Workshop should be directed to youngcellistsworkshop2016@gmail.com.

Forum on Fine Instruments (Sunday, May 22 at 11:00am)
Immediately following the Young Cellists Workshop (at approximately 11:00am in the Alice and Eleonore Schoenfeld Symphonic Hall at USC), there will be a forum on finding and purchasing a fine instrument. This forum will include Prof. Lysy and Prof. Kirshbaum (the Festival’s Artistic Director), as well as representatives from Tarisio, Rare Violins of New York, and Reuning and Son. The forum is free and open to the public; seating is limited, and is available on a first-come, first-served basis (RSVP is not required, but we recommend arriving early for seating). 

Improvisation Workshop (Thursday, May 19 at 5:30pm)
This workshop is led by Italian cellist and composer Giovanni Sollima. The goal of the workshop is to help cellists express themselves more fluently through their instruments. The Workshop is free and open to the public; seating is limited, and is available on a first-come, first-served basis (RSVP is not required, but we recommend arriving early for seating).

Panel – Remembering Piatigorsky (Saturday, May 21 at 6:30pm)
Four of Piatigorsky’s outstanding former students—Laurence Lesser, Mischa Maisky, Jeffrey Solow, and Raphael Wallfisch, together with KUSC’s Gail Eichenthal–discuss their teacher’s career and what it was like to study with him. The panel is free and open to the public; seating is limited, and is available on a first-come, first-served basis (RSVP is not required, but we recommend arriving early for seating).

Lecture (Sunday, May 22 at 6:00pm)
Jeffrey Solow, Professor of Cello at Temple University in Philadelphia, uses this lecture to challenge some of the assumptions that musicians make when relying on urtext editions. These editions are meant to reproduce as closely as possible the original intentions of the composer, often based on manuscripts and corrected first editions. Prof. Solow argues that musicians can reach a more informed place of performance through research, logic, and intuition. (Purchase of a ticket to the Closing Beethoven Gala allows access to this lecture.)