TUTTI CELLI CONTENTS -- volume 8, issue 3

Tim Janof, Editor

Message from the Editor

Membership Letters

ICS Exclusive Interview

Feature Article


ICS Featured Website

ICS Forum/Cello/Equipment Chat Board

Activities and Announcements

Music Festival Watch

ICS Library

Other Internet Music Resources


Call me "Tim."

I often chat with non-musicians about what I do for fun and I mention that I am the editor for the Internet Cello Society. I usually say, trying to make a quick connection, "Part of my job is to interview cellists around the world, you know, cellists like Yo-Yo Ma." Without fail, his or her eyes light up, "You've interviewed Yo-Yo Ma?!!!" Grinding my teeth, I reply as I must, my voice trailing off into heart-broken silence, "Well, not him, but cellists LIKE him. But I have spoken with equally wonderful cellists, though, such as Lynn Harrell, Janos Starker, Steven Isserlis, Anner Bylsma ...." Inevitably I get the blank reply, "Oh," and the conversation withers quickly.

So anyway, for those of you who are wondering, yes(!), I've been trying to nab Yo-Yo for over six years now. I've asked him in person, I've spoken with his agent, I've asked Yo-Yo's friends to ask him for me, I've corresponded with his personal assistant, and I've even spoken with his personal assistant's assistant, and still no luck! What's a fella to do?

If I ever do interview him, I'll finally be able to say, " ... cellists, including Yo-Yo Ma." Then I'll rest ... maybe. For now, I guess Yo-Yo is my "white whale."

Tim Janof


>> Music is like life: it moves all the time.

Today Beethoven feels these bars ff, tommorow he feels them pp with crescendo. Who knows? Are you the same all day long? Was he? What is the point of playing "exactly" as the author wished when we know that it is a matter of mood changing day after day, like yours or mine?


>> I am writing from Durban in South Africa. Last year we had the extraordinary experience of hosting Lynn Harrell, who gave performances of the Haydn C major and the Tchaikovsky Rococo Variations.

I certainly had not heard a cello sound like that since hearing Fournier in my youth. What an extraordinary artist Harrell is! He captivated the audience, who would not let him go. He expressed his delight at being received so well on his first visit to the African continent. His reception in Pretoria and Johannesburg was equally enthusiastic.

I believe there is such a thing as the standard cello sound, which most soloists display with varying degrees of quality. Harrell's sound, like Fournier's and, in his own particular way, Casals', sets him apart. He requires no concession for the fact that he is playing the cello, an instrument that is not always accessible to audiences. His sound is so beautiful that one forgets what instrument he is playing and one just hones in on the music.

Thank you for the excellent conversation with him!


>> I have another technique for addressing excessive movement, which my cello teacher, Andy Kolb, taught me while I was a student at WSU. If you have a cello student that moves excessively while playing (I am, or should I say, was one of them), try to put a beanie-baby doll on his or her head. The trick is to try to stay focused and play while sitting still. If the student moves way too much, the beanie baby will fall off!


>> What a terrific article the Neikrug interview is ... full of wonderful information. I can't remember another interview that has been of so much use to me personally. There is something about the way Mr. Neikrug describes the various aspects of the left and right hand, sitting, and breathing that has had an immediate impact on my approach to playing.


>> I have had many private cello lessons with George Neikrug over that past 15 years, and I must commend you on your excellent interview with him! There was so much history that I wasn't aware of, and your discussions of musical and technical aspects of playing were the equivalent of several private lessons with him. Thank you for showing the world what a master teacher Mr. Neikrug is.


>> Kudos to you, as always, for a wonderful site. I have been studying cello for 2 years now, and was so lucky to find the ICS at the beginning of my adventure. I have never for a second taken for granted the time and effort you and others have put into this endeavor for the benefit of so many people.


>> I stupidly left my cello in my hot car all day where it practically baked for 6 hours. To my horror, I realized later after I had unpacked it that the heat caused these tiny bubbles to surface all over the cello in the varnish! Did it damage the sound too? Can I get it re-varnished or something? Is there anything I can do to remedy the situation? I would greatly appreciate any advice or input you have on the situation.

desperately, sadly yours,

Ellen Todd French replies: I'm very sorry to hear about your cello, and I started cringing the moment you mentioned "6 hours in the car." Before I give you recommendations on what to do, I need you to tell me more about your cello. Essentially, varnish repair is expensive and extensive, and you only want to have it done if your cello is quite valuable, otherwise, it might be a better option to purchase another one.

**If you would like to respond to something you have read in 'Tutti Celli', write to editor@cello.org and type "Membership Letter" in subject field. (Letters may be edited.)**



by Tim Janof

Zuill Bailey is an engaging, multi-faceted American artist; a powerful performer who dazzles audiences with his technical and artistic command of the cello. His performances encompass concerts with orchestra, recitals and chamber music in the U.S. and abroad.

The 2002/03 season begins with Mr. Bailey performing with the Chicago Symphony and Itzhak Perlman conducting in the opening weekend of the Ravinia Festival. Other concerto appearances include performances with the National Orchestra de Cuba, Phoenix, South Carolina, El Paso, Illinois, Lexington, Knoxville, and San Luis Obispo Symphonies. Bailey also continues his partnership with pianist Awadagin Pratt in a series of Duo recitals in addition to his recitals in Texas, Nevada, Washington DC, Arizona, Idaho, and Arkansas. An avid chamber musician, Bailey will also be presenting concerts in North Carolina, California, and leading the El Paso Pro Musica Chamber Festival as "Artistic Director" in Texas. Other activities include the revisiting of his role as a murderous cellist in new segments being filmed for HBO's "OZ."

The 2001/02 season began with Mr. Bailey's playing the Beethoven Triple Concerto with the Dallas Symphony as well as chamber music concerts at the Bravo! Colorado Vail Valley Music Festival. Last fall he premiered a work by Lowell Lieberman commissioned for the Perlman/Nikkanen/Bailey trio in concerts and residencies at the Lied Centers in Kansas and Nebraska; and throughout the season he played an extensive recital tour of the U.S., including duo recitals with Awadagin Pratt at the Des Moines Civic Center, Vanderbilt University in Nashville, and the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center at the University of Maryland in College Park. His orchestral engagements included performances of Schumann's Cello Concerto, Popper's Hungarian Rhapsody, Beethoven's Triple Concerto, Brahms' Double Concerto, Dvorak's Cello Concerto and Tchaikovsky's Rococo Variations with symphonies in South Carolina, Arizona, Georgia, Westchester County, Maryland, New Hampshire and Virginia. In addition, Mr. Bailey was appointed as Artistic Director of El Paso Pro-Musica in Texas.

Mr. Bailey led off last season when he stepped in to play Haydn's Cello Concerto in C Major at Ravinia for an indisposed Heinrich Schiff, and subsequently was invited to play a recital on Ravinia's Rising Stars Series. He also made his Carnegie Hall solo debut giving the U.S. premiere of the Theodorakis "Rhapsody for Cello and Orchestra." In addition, he presented recitals at the Manchester International Cello Festival in England, and a performance for national broadcast on NHK-TV in Japan. With his trio partners; Navah Perlman (piano) and Kurt Nikkanen (violin), he was a guest artist at the Lied Center in Nebraska, with the Lexington Philharmonic and with the New York Chamber Symphony conducted by Itzhak Perlman at Lincoln Center performing Beethoven's Triple Concerto. Mr. Bailey also toured the U.S. in recital and in orchestral engagements, including concerts with the Arkansas, Washington Chamber, Napa Valley and New Hampshire Symphonies.

Zuill Bailey is a well-known guest at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., the Kravis Center in Palm Beach and Wolf Trap in Virginia, where he has appeared in concert with his trio. He has also been featured in the summer festivals of Chautauqua (Victor Herbert No. 2), San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara's Musical Academy of the West, Rutgers, the Music Festival of the Hamptons in Easthampton with Lukas Foss, in a series of Parisian music at the Museum of Modern Art's SummerGarden Festival in New York City, and at the Appalachian and Daytona Festivals.

Mr. Bailey enjoys collaborating on projects which encompass several areas of the entertainment industry. At Lincoln Center he played selections from the Bach Cello Suites with dancers choreographed by Igal Perry. On television, Mr. Bailey has been featured on Good Day, L.A. in California and WAVY in Virginia, and has recorded selections on two soundtracks for the NBC drama series Homicide: Life on the Street, which led to his on-screen appearance in several episodes of the HBO drama series, OZ.

A native of Virginia, Mr. Bailey developed his passion for the cello at the age of four and gave his concerto debut at thirteen with the Prince William Symphony Orchestra. A graduate of the Peabody Conservatory and The Juilliard School, Mr. Bailey's principal teachers have included Loran Stephenson, Stephen Kates and Joel Krosnick, cellist of the Juilliard String Quartet. Mr. Bailey plays a 1693 Matteo Goffriller formerly owned by Mischa Schneider of the Budapest String Quartet.

TJ: Your career really seems to be taking off. How did it all start?

ZB: I come from a family of musicians. My father has his doctorate in music and education, my mother (a pianist) received her Masters with Leon Fleisher at the Peabody Conservatory, and my sister (2 years older) is a violinist. My parents wanted to start me on an instrument when I was four, but were advised not to choose the violin, since competition between my sister and me could ruin our experiences. So they started taking me to symphony concerts in the Washington, D.C. area, in order to help me discover what instrument I would like to play. It was at these concerts that I fell in love with the cello.

I was taught by a Suzuki teacher for about 3 years, and then was switched to Loran Stephenson, a cellist in the National Symphony, with whom I studied through the end of high school. Living in Northern Virginia (the Washington D.C. area), there were many performance opportunities, which included competitions and master classes. I participated regularly in the National Symphony's Fellowship Program, which gave me the opportunity to play for most of the soloists that Rostropovich (who conducted the Symphony) brought. These included lessons with Zukerman, Harrell, Starker and Bylsma.

The funny thing, in hindsight, is that I remember assuming that every community had someone like Rostropovich. I did realize that he was important, but I had no idea how important, nor what he represented. I'm still amazed to think how fortunate I was to have grown up in such close proximity to a man who is one of the greatest cellists ever. For instance, I heard him play ten concertos at his 60th birthday celebration, attended his many recitals, and even had the opportunity to play for him.

At age 10 or so, I started venturing out of my state, and attended summer camps and festivals. These included Meadowmount, Interlochen, ENCORE, and the Music Academy of the West. It was in these places that I was able compare myself with other cellists my age. From this, I gained new energy and really began to focus and put much more work into practicing to see where music might take me. I began seizing every opportunity to perform. I entered numerous competitions just to get the opportunity to play. This is where I gained so much of my early experience performing with orchestras.

(Click here for the complete transcript.)




by Charlotte Lehnhoff

As I reported in Part Four, Lewis Lockwood examined seven corresponding passages in the exposition and recapitulation sections of the first movement of the A Major sonata in his study of the Autograph of the first movement and noticed a discrepancy with each set of bars. The contents of these pairs of bars should be parallel and in agreement with each other, but he observed a misfit between the contents of these bars in the Autograph and in printed editions. There are many ways, in terms of harmonies, treatment of thematic materials, and structure, that recapitulation sections can differ from exposition sections, but Lockwood's concern was not over such issues. What drew his attention to these seven sets of bars is the discrepancy:

  1. the music in the bars in the exposition and recapitulation are parallel in print, but in the Autograph the music is not in agreement;
  2. the music in the bars in the exposition and recapitulation are not in agreement in print, but in the Autograph the music is parallel.

These seven passages are:

  1. mm. 25-26 in the exposition and mm. 164-165 in the recapitulation;
  2. mm. 33-34, and mm. 170-171;
  3. mm. 35-36, and mm. 172-173;
  4. mm. 37-45, and mm. 174-182;
  5. mm. 65-76, and mm. 202-213;
  6. mm. 77-78, and mm. 214-215;
  7. mm. 80 & 82, and mm. 217 & 219.

I am going to discuss these sets of bars, not in the order Lockwood cited (as they appear in the Autograph) but in order of increasing complexity in terms of Beethoven's revisions and the relationship between the revisions and what is in print. In this article I will discuss two of the sets from the list above, # 3, mm. 35-36 in the exposition section, and mm. 172-173 in the recapitulation section; and # 7, the last set in the list, mm. 80 & 82, and mm. 217 & 219.

(Click here for the complete transcript.)


"Presentation of the BACH.Bogen®on the
occasion of the Concours Rostropovitch in Paris"
October 6, 2001
Auditorium Conservatoire Supérieure de Paris

by Michael Bach

Michael Bach: Bonjour Mesdames, Messieurs.

This is the BACH.Bow [BACH.Bogen®], a curved bow that makes polyphonic and monophonic play possible on a string instrument. There is a lever mechanism at the frog that affects the tension and release of the bow hairs.

I would like to start with a composition dedicated to Mstislav Rostropovich. The title is 3 Pitches, 21 Sounds. I wrote the piece in 1997 and the first performance took place in Jerusalem in 1998.

(Click here for the complete transcript.)


May/June Featured Website:

*** Steven Isserlis ***


This is Steven Isserlis' new website. It appears that you need "Flash" to make it work.

**Please notify Tim Janof at editor@cello.org of interesting websites that you would like to nominate for this recognition in the future. Websites will be selected based on their content, cello relevance, creativity and presentation style!


The following are excerpts from our chat boards. Special thanks to Bobbie Mayer for finding these interesting discussions for our newsletter.

ICS Forum Hosts have been asked to check your posts regularly. In this way, not only the forum hosts, but the entire membership and Internet community see your message! You are still welcome to contact the forum hosts directly. For a complete list of ICS Forum Hosts please see http://www.cello.org/The_Society/Staff.html**

>> New Product: Angled "New Harmony" endpin fitting

Andrew Victor reported on the Instruments and Equipment Board that David Bice has recently developed a modified fitting for the 3/8-inch diameter carbon fiber endpin. This fitting inserts into a cello in the same way as any fitting, but it holds the pin at a 5-degree angle, so that it contacts the floor a little more steeply. Andy said, "I just installed one the other day -- tried playing on it a bit and then did a "sonata session" yesterday. I must say that I like it!

"Bice included a rubber protector on this endpin (I usually play with the bare steel, whenever I can, because the rubber protectors tend to slip on carpet (or floors) at the angle I typically set my endpin). No such problem with this new endpin -- no slipping on the carpet. I can place my cello at the same position, relative to my body, that I used before -- or I can set it a bit higher -- much like it would be with other bent endpins.

"I also noticed that I got a better tone than I had been getting before with this cello (of course it could be that I reset the bridge slightly better after installing the new fitting??). Of course, if you've ever played with a bent endpin, you will know that the angle from your ears to the f holes is a little more favorable for sound with a bent endpin - but this was even more than that.

"The first thing I did after tuning up and trying it was to send David an e-mail ordering another fitting and endpin for my other cello."

Todd French added, "I had the pleasure of meeting David at a tiny regional airport in Show Low, Arizona, where he flew out to meet me (wanted an excuse to fly his plane...) I had the opportunity to try the 5-degree angle endpin then, and loved it. There is quite a bit more strength in that slight angle, probably because the continual plane straight to the floor is broken just ever so slightly by the angle. What I liked best is that it just felt stronger -- I didn't feel as if it were on a pivot, like with the Stahlhammer endpins with their extreme angle. The cello is laterally very secure, perhaps even more so than with a standard endpin. Another great product from David Bice."

The new endpin, which costs about $100 and is available directly from http://newharmonymusic.com or from various retailers, comes in the large diameter (27.5 mm) composite fitting and either 20" or 23" lengths.

>> Cellos in Films

In which films have cellos been part of the scenario?

>> Balancing Practice Time, Family, Work, and Exercise

Question: I would appreciate some insight on balancing practice time vs. family duties vs. full time work vs. exercise time, etc. Thanks!


I think the first thing you have to do is commit to a time for practice and then do your best to keep to it. One thing I found was that giving myself the time to be alone, and practice, that is, doing something for myself, was worth the effort.

I'm an adult with a busy life ... professional career, two small children (2 & 5) and a budding teenager at home, 3 hours of travel time a day, and a passion for amateur astronomy. Here's what I do to keep me going. I take my cello to work three days a week as well as my lesson day and play technical practice during the lunch time. At home, the kids and home chores come first, so I don't usually get going till about 9pm in summer if I'm lucky. And here's where the second hour for the day starts....

Another tip (which you probably know already) is to play the kids off to sleep and you can quickly invent hundreds of variations of Brahms Lullaby. The things I don't know how to solve, and maybe somebody else can help us both out here, is how to cope with being tired (most of the time) and what to do when you are sick.

The sentence that adds the most time to my schedule: "I cooked dinner LAST night. Household duties eat a lot of my day without ever seeming to be any more finished than when I started, so if I can convince myself that the practice is really more important, presto! more time.

ousehold duties really do seem to consume time. A folksinging duo called "Reilly & Maloney" recorded a song about precisely that. I believe one of the verses was as follows: Did Beethoven wash the dishes, did Mozart sweep the floor.... To add to the problem of actually finding time is finding the willpower when you are frustrated about playing the cello and have reached a mental block.

I confess that sometimes I view dust as "a protective layer" (like a dust cover, it is removed when I have guests coming around [:)]

As for the frustration -- I know that one well! I keep a daily practice diary, and as well as logging what I play, I also log what I call the "cringe factor" (how much I cringe at what I hear [:)] ) 10 is so bad I have to take a break; 1 = is clean, pure notes (at the moment I swing between 8 and 5 [:)] ) Sometimes my cringe factor is the only way I can see that I'm improving. [:)]

I also have two "go to hell" tunes. These are tunes that I really like to play, no matter how bad I sound, and technique is thrown out the window. Whilst I don't recommend this for everything, for me it's a little motivational/reward thing [:)]

My teacher writes down what to "do" each week in a notebook. But it's really more of a reminder for her... so that when I sit down and conveniently "forget" to put my etude book on the stand, she can hound me about it. I've been known to go a week or two employing this method hoping we'll get wrapped up in things that I've practiced more rather than less.

The first thing that has to go is the housework. I pay a woman to come in once a week to vacuum, dust(break things), clean the kitchen and bathroom. I still get stuck with laundry, cooking, shopping and the all consuming Mom's taxi service. My latest mind game to enhance practice time is to call it exercise. After all, I can work up a pretty good sweat while playing!

I had no problem fitting in lessons and practice when I first returned to music as an adult. But I got a new job, moved to a new state, so, of course, I had to temporarily stop lessons (and not much practice got done either). Now I look at my cello case every night as I'm brushing my teeth because I just really want to get to bed, and I can't figure out how my "new" life can be so different from my "old" life that I don't have as much time to play, let alone drive to lessons, etc. Work schedule's not much different, commute's a little longer, but on the other hand my social schedule's not as full because I haven't really met people yet. I'm beginning to wonder if hours are actually only 55 minutes long here or something!

The Dust Bunnies have a tendency to go hide when I practice. Every now and then, they'll bounce up and down to keep rhythm ... very helpful since my sense of rhythm is not the best!

While sometimes the cello is a source of stress, I think that making music is inherently stress-reducing. I find having a teacher keeps me on track when it comes to practice and learning (even if I am playing hookey from my lesson today!)

I think it is in Noah Adams' book "Piano Lessons" that he refers to the fact that a weekly lesson is when you sit down for an hour with someone who has your well-being and progress as her main concern for that hour, and how therapeutic it can be.

I guess it's a matter of priorities. My Dad died last summer, and I reexamined my life, looking at things I had been putting off. I said for years that someday I would learn to play the cello. I decided I'd better not put it off any longer (mortality was raising its ugly head). I have two teenagers, a full-time professional career, and a husband who works in another city during the week, and a house that is halfway renovated. Between kids' lessons, building and painting, and work, there isn't much time for other stuff. Right now, cello is the priority because it's for me. I shut myself in my (new) bedroom and play every evening. What doesn't get done is much housework (just enough to stay healthy!). The kids take the bus whenever they can. Exercise usually consists of running (literally) errands at lunch. So the short answer is, fitting in cello depends on how much of a priority it is to you, and what other things you can do without! First things first....

>> Talent

What do you think "TALENT" really means?

This question, asked on the Cello Chat Board, generated a ton of replies, which have been excerpted here. (Apologies to anyone who wanted a credit for the opinion, as I've edited out names, and more apologies to anyone I left out altogether!)

I think talent is the capability to free yourself of all fears and just give in ... I think everyone is talented ... what do you think?

Don't most humans have a natural sense of rhythm, can feel a melody, and can train themselves to have very accurate relative pitch? Sure a tiny percentage are tone deaf and can't feel rhythm, but I think most can learn to play a musical instrument and very well if they work hard enough at it.

Talent = patience, practice and perseverance.

Talent is the "spark of life" Some people just play pretty music. But, when other people perform, there is a "spark," an intensity, an emotional involvement that they are able to bring to life, and to move listeners. That's talent.

I think talent is an individual's potential ability to combine the elements of technical and musical skill, musical interpretation, creative inspiration and personal integrity to produce something beautiful.

I just picked up a book entitled Kindling the Spark: Recognizing and Developing Musical Talent (Oxford University Press). It's author, Joanne Haroutounian obviously believes that the word "talent" is important -- enough to write a pretty substantial book about it. She has a Ph.D. and is the executive director of the MusicLink Foundation as well as a piano faculty member of George Mason University.

Even though I'm not sure what talent is myself, my gut tells me it has to do with sensitivity, perceptiveness, responsiveness, ability to synthesize, to remember, to recapture, to expand upon, to make new and on and on.

My initial reaction to your question reminds me of the twinges of irritation I feel when I hear various University music faculty try and quantify talent. (e.g. so-and-so is a nice person, but not very "talented") More often than not, I feel this shows a lack of teaching ability, or at least a limited understanding of potential.

That said, I believe it is difficult to define talent. I instinctively want to believe there's something to all the fuss but I'm also wary of over-emphasis.

I remember my pedagogue class once discussed this very issue. The teacher suggested we approach the issue by identifing what makes great performers so amazing. She then asked if there were any traits on our list that couldn't be taught. Of course there were none.

In my opinion, the most important aspects of talent are confidence (not arrogance) and the ability to move an audience in a way that most can't. By this I mean you don't only play expressively, but the audience can feel the emotion you are trying to convey. We have our entire lives to develop technique, but you have to be born with the ability to move people emotionally.

Even the teachers that recognize my potential are not able to do for me what I must do for myself to mold any talent I might have into something meaningful and useful for others. The people who know what to do with what they have and take the discipline to work through it display their abilities the most brilliantly.

As a teacher of budding writers and as an evaluator/editor of professional writers, I'd have to say that if you consider the "excellence" connotation of talent, then we may not know how people come to have it, but it's blatantly obvious when we see/hear them that they do. I think this aspect of talent is also just as readily apparent in musicians. It's something about being in command of the material, being able to take it exactly where you want it to go and to affect your audience in very subtle ways that you are obviously in control of.

Can this be taught? Well, we who've been and are teachers certainly try, but I instinctively feel that native ability probably plays a greater role than pedagogy, even though few would question that pedagogy is a necessary ingredient.

While there has been lots of discussion about how talent relates to beauty, musicality, and expression, I think it's important to mention that there is also a purely technical aspect to it. As a middle-aged orchestral cellist, and as someone who has always strived for technical excellence, it frustrates me to no end to hear the Hilary Hahn's of the world, who can play a Beethoven concerto 4 times in one weekend and maybe play 5 or 6 notes slightly out of tune the whole weekend. Even if I had practiced 12 hours a day from the time I was 2-and-a-half years old, I could not have achieved the same sort of accuracy and consistency by the time I was 19. People who are the caliber of Yo-Yo and Gil Shaham and others like that are simply born with a certain amount of this technical ability. Now, before everyone jumps on me for saying that, I should say of course, they have to develop their technique step by step just like the rest of us, but I believe that a certain amount of it has to be simply "talent."

With a talented student, the smallest amount of explanation of a concept causes the light of understanding to dawn in the mind, and immediately solves whatever problem was addressed. The comprehension is quick, clear, and almost intuitive. Teaching a talented student makes a teacher feel guilty, as if they are not teaching at all but merely observing and guiding the unfolding of what is already inside the student.

Non-talented students simply have to work much harder to achieve the same results.

I don't think talent is the same as the spark of genius. Talent is natural aptitude, but the spark is divine expression. I also do not believe that everyone is or can be talented. It is simply not true.

What is Talent? What is Art? What is God? Here we are drifting into the realms of philosophy again......perhaps we ought to establish a new forum 'The Vienna Coffee Shop ' were we can all have a stab at being intellectuals. As an abstract concept, Talent is unquantifiable and indescribable.

My partner has just added "The most important attribute of talent ... is the ability to convince others that you have it! - A Talent in itself."

I think that some people are born with an innate "talent" for certain things: music, sports, art. I think that this manifests itself physically: people who can run 10 second 100 yard dashes are just physically built to do that. People like Yo-Yo who can play fantastically well from an early age do have an innate physical ability and understanding of the instrument. But I do think there is a difference between someone who is physically talented and someone who can be musically expressive.

I'll take ability over talent ANY day. After all, I was once considered quite talented. I was even "good for my age."

You know what IQ tests show? Whether or not you're good at IQ tests. You know what auditions show? Whether or not you're good at auditions.

On the other hand, a cello professor may consider "talent" to the extent that when two more-or-less equal students vie for one position in the prof's studio, the teacher will choose the student that is presumed to be the most likely to improve over the next four years. In this context I would propose that talent is unfulfilled potential.

"There is no such thing as talent. Only time."

Asking what is talent is like asking how blue is blue or what is or isn't jazz.

Another term that I find useless is Artist. As soon as someone says "I'm an artist" my eyes start to squint a bit. No one ever arted anything and I would rather hear people described as brilliant cellists, marvelous painters, skilled flower arrangers etc.

Talent is impossible to quantify and often remains hidden. Everyone has a unique personality and has something special to say through music just because of who they are and their life experience, and that is really what matters.

I think it is 'need' that ultimately determines how talented an individual outwardly appears. It is 'need' that elevates one's awareness in practice sessions; 'need' that motivates. I am referring to an inner desire to improve and to grow. And, yes, I think even that desire can be taught.

Talent is the ability to teach oneself.

I'm not talented, despite the fact that I grew up to be a professional cellist. I'm just an average kid who grew up in a musically-aware household, and learned at an early age that lots of practice can make you good at things you like to do. I was dissuaded from pursuing a cello career in high school and college, as I seemed like a floater at the time. But these same people who dissuaded me also told me that maybe enough practice would help a lot, and it did.

Despite my lack of talent, I spent a whole year practicing the Bach 2nd suite, and learned it inside out. Finding the notes with the left hand, and making them sound with the right hand are no problem. I've listened to almost every recording made. However, I don't play it like any of these recordings, even though I've stolen lots of good musical ideas from them, because of my lack of talent. I just put the notes together in a way that makes sense to me, and feels right. Maybe that's what talent is -- just being able to put on a nice show of a piece in your own fashion.

I'm not talented. I'm hardly a musician. I'm just a craftsmen, who has happened to pick the cello for his trade.

I think talent is a natural ability. I see it in my daughter. She has studied the violin for several years and practices every day, but she just isn't very good. Last Fall she started with the piano with the same teacher -- each lesson is half violin and half piano now. She is already better on the piano than on the violin, despite a 4 year head start on the violin. I believe she has a natural "talent" for the piano and doesn't for the violin. If Yo-Yo had taken up the clarinet instead of the cello he might be just another hack in a community band.

In order to fully explore an issue, you need to examine it from many points of view. It is this exploration that leads to knowledge.

Talent is a combination of innate ability, supportive environment, a commitment to do the work and an ability to communicate.

Prodigies are talented kids with supportive/knowledgeable/aggressive parents. Once the props are taken away, they even out with their equally talented peers.



** Members can submit announcements or news to editor@cello.org **

1. Steven Isserlis dot-com'd

Steven Isserlis has created his own website. Of the many items on this site, it will feature his own articles. Check it out regularly!


2. The Music of Jacob Klein

For those looking for new repertoire, don't forget to look back in history too. There are some relatively unknown cello works by Dutch composer Jacob Klein (1688-1748), a contemporary of Bach and Locatelli, that definitely deserve our attention. Cellist Frank Wakelkamp and Harpsichordist Rien Voskuilen have just a released a CD of Jacob Klein's sonatas for solo cello and continuo. Check it out! http://jhklein.wakelkamp.com/

3. Rostropovich Honored

Mstislav Rostropovich recently received Azerbaijan's highest honor, the "Order of Independence."

4. More Rostropovich News

According to Strad Magazine, Rostropovich has talked about returning to his Russian homeland, where he intends to be buried. He has also announced a stop to his commissions for the cello (yikes!).

5. Prize Winners


Here�s a list of the festivals I know about in 2002:

The New Directions Cello Festival
The New Directions Cello Festival will take place May 31-June 2, 2002 at the University of Connecticut in Storrs. www.newdirectionscell.com.

Feuermann Competition
The Grand Prix Emanuel Feuermann -- The First International Cello Competition will take place November 17-22, 2002 in Berlin. http://www.gp-emanuelfeuermann.de.

Kronberg Festival
The 6th Cello Festival in Kronberg, Germany will be a memorial to Pablo Casals, starting on the 30th anniversary of his death. The dates are October 22-26, 2003. http://www.kronbergacademy.de .

Manchester International Cello Festival
The next Manchester (U.K.) International Cello Festival has been advertised for May 2004. In future this event will take place every three years instead of every other year.

World Cello Congress IV
Plan ahead! World Cello Congress IV will take place May/June 2006 at Towson University, Baltimore, Maryland. Cello Congress V is also listed on their website - May/June 2010! (There are also rumors that World Cello Congress IV will take place in 2003 in Israel. If anyone knows, could they contact me?) Also promised is a "Gala Benefit Performance" in 2003 to raise funds for WCC4. "Many of the greatest stars of the music world will join forces to present a one-of-a-kind event not to be missed." Concerts, recitals, masterclasses, workshops, symposia, exhibits, receptions. http://www.towson.edu/worldmusiccongresses.

For those who attended World Cello Congress III, videos are now available at $30 (includes shipping): http://www.towson.edu/worldmusiccongresses/video.html.

** If you know of any other cello events happening around the world,
please send word to Roberta Rominger, roberta@rominger.surfaid.org **


**Sarah Dorsey, official ICS librarian at sarah_dorsey@uncg.edu.

(Please do not abuse this valuable service; check local libraries and resources before contacting Sarah.)

If you know of newsletters, teaching materials, references, lists or articles that should be added to ICS Library, please send data to michelj@cwu.edu. (Library contents will be available to all Internet users; please include author and written statement of release for unlimited or limited reproduction.)**


** ICS NET Resource Editor: Tim Janof at editor@cello.org **

1. Steven Isserlis


2. The Music of Jacob Klein


3. petals.org


4. CelloShop


5. Elgar


6. Rasputina


7. The Joy of Cello Playing


8. Spicatto Bows


9. Schumann Cello Concerto


10. Yo-Yo Ma's Suite Dreams


Copyright © 2002 Internet Cello Society

Direct correspondence to the appropriate ICS Staff
Webmaster: Michael Pimomo
Director: John Michel
Copyright © 1995- Internet Cello Society