Texas-born cellist Ralph Kirshbaum is an artist recognized by critics and audiences worldwide for his deeply felt interpretations, musical intelligence, and passionate performances. With repertoire ranging from Haydn to Shostakovitch, Bach to Korngold, he is consistently recognized for a unique and lustrous sound. His distinguished career encompasses the worlds of solo performance, chamber music, recording, and pedagogy and clearly places him "in the highest echelon of today's cellists" (Los Angeles Times).
Mr. Kirshbaum begins the season on a tour with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra to Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen, and Perth with the Barber Concerto. He then returns to the United States for performances of the Haydn D Major Concerto with the San Diego Symphony and Jahja Ling. In October, the Hyperion label will release a recording of the Schubert quintet with Mr. Kirshbaum and the celebrated Takács String Quartet. Mr. Kirshbaum will join the quartet on a tour to include London's Wigmore Hall in May. The season will also include teaching residencies in Manchester and Prussia Cove.
Last season, Mr. Kirshbaum performed in recitals in New York and London and appeared with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, and the orchestras of Spokane, Albany, and Southwest Florida. In honor of the legendary cellist Gregor Piatigorsky, Mr. Kirshbaum led the inaugural Piatigorsky International Cello Festival in Los Angeles in March 2012. This celebration was built on the model of the Manchester Festival he founded in 1988 and directed through to the final festival in 2007 with performances, master classes, and interactive events. The Los Angeles festival was a unique ten day event which celebrated the cello, its music, and its musicians and garnered extraordinary critical coverage throughout the world. Presented by the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music and the Los Angeles Philharmonic in partnership with the Colburn School and the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, the festival was led by "Kirshbaum's tireless spirit" (The Wall Street Journal).
In the span of an extraordinary career, Ralph Kirshbaum has appeared with many of the world's foremost orchestras in North America, Europe, Australia, South Africa and the Far East. He has been a frequent guest of the Boston and Chicago Symphonies, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the San Francisco, Pittsburgh, Houston and Dallas Symphonies in the United States. In Europe he has appeared with the BBC and London Symphony Orchestras, as well as the London, Stockholm and Helsinki Philharmonics, Zurich Tonhalle, Orchestre de Paris and the Israel Philharmonic. Regular tours in Holland, Germany, Spain and Scandinavia have included numerous recital and orchestral appearances, in repertoire ranging from Haydn and Dvorak to Prokofiev and Lutoslawski. He has enjoyed collaborations with such esteemed conductors as Herbert Blomstedt, Semyon Bychkov, Christoph von Dohnanyi, Sir Colin Davis, Andrew Davis, James Levine, Zubin Mehta, Kurt Masur, Andre Previn, Sir Simon Rattle and the late Sir Georg Solti.
Ralph Kirshbaum is a regular guest at prominent international festivals such as Edinburgh, Bath, Verbier, Lucerne, Ravinia, Aspen, La Jolla, Santa Fe, Music@Menlo and New York's Mostly Mozart. His active chamber music schedule regularly includes projects with long-time colleagues and friends. In addition to frequent string trio tours with violinist Robert McDuffie and violist Lawrence Dutton, he enjoys collaborations with pianists Peter Frankl, Shai Wosner and Peter Jablonski. In recent years he has performed with illustrious colleagues including Pinchas Zukerman, Midori, Joshua Bell, Vadim Repin, Lang Lang, Leif Ove Andsnes, and Yefim Bronfman. Recently he performed with the Emerson String Quartet at Wigmore Hall and Queen Elizabeth Hall, London, preceding concerts in Zurich, Munich, Essen and Milan.
Alongside his solo career, Mr. Kirshbaum is a renowned pedagogue who has influenced generations of young cellists as a committed and impassioned mentor. He served on the faculty of the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester for 35 years and remains International Chair of Cello. Currently he holds the Gregor Piatigorsky Endowed Chair in Violoncello at the University of Southern California's Thornton School of Music. He participates annually in seminars at Prussia Cove, where he is Artistic Advisor, and the London Masterclasses, and is sought after for master classes throughout the world.
Bach has long been an integral part of Ralph Kirshbaum's repertoire, with complete cycles of the six cello suites performed around the world. His critically acclaimed recording for EMI/Virgin Classics remains one of the finest available. His many discs have included Gramophone Magazine's Record of the Year world premiere recording of Tippett's Triple Concerto for Philips, the Elgar and Walton Concertos for Chandos, the Ravel, Shostakovich and Brahms Trios for EMI, and the Barber Concerto and Sonata for EMI/Virgin Classics. Also noteworthy is his recording of the Brahms Double and Beethoven Triple Concertos for BMG Classics with Pinchas Zukerman, John Browning and the London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Christoph Eschenbach. Of his recording of William Walton's Concerto, the composer himself wrote "It is most heartening to hear a performance in which everything is just right - it is excellent and moving."
Now residing in Los Angeles, Ralph Kirshbaum enjoys a great love of American football, tennis, and Texan food. His honors include the 2008 Music Award for Concert Series and Festivals at the Gala of the Royal Philharmonic Society - England's most prestigious award for live classical music. He is honorary president of the London Cello Society, and recently served for five years on the US President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities. He has written about music and musicians for a number of journals and periodicals, most recently appreciations of Jacqueline du Pre for The Guardian in London and of his beloved teacher Aldo Parisot for The New York Times. The rare Montagnana Cello that Ralph Kirshbaum plays once belonged to the 19th-century virtuoso, Piatti.
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JULY 2012 - PLEASE DESTROY ALL PREVIOUSLY DATED MATERIALS.