6. Curtis Institute of Music – Philadelphia, PA
Notable Faculty: Carter Brey, Peter Wiley
A distinguished cello teacher, Carter Brey is currently the principal cellist of the New York Philharmonic, a position he has held for over seventeen years. As a performer, Carter Brey has soloed with many of the most important orchestras, and holds an active teaching and performance career. An interesting interview with him, in which he details his own career as well as a scene from a lesson to one of his students about how to correctly perform a plagal cadence, can be seen on the cello.org newsletter here.
Peter Wiley, cellist of the famed Guarneri Quartet, a quartet that existed from 1964-2009, is also a renowned cellist and teacher. His students are now active clinicians, professors and performers throughout the entire US. Like every other program at Curtis, acceptance to the studio of Peter Wiley or Carter Brey is completely free, making this school one of the most competitive choices for the aspiring young cellist.
Listen to the Faculty: Check Out Carter Brey performing on composer Aaron Kernis’ Colored Field
5. Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University – Baltimore, MD
Notable Faculty: Amit Peled, Alan Stepansky
The highly competitive studio of Alan Stepansky highlights the cello program at the Peabody Institute. Alan Stepansky’s students have been among the most successful cellists of the previous fifteen years, having won positions with the New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, Seattle Symphony, and Montreal Symphony, among others. An extensively-recorded solo artist with Kennedy Center performances and artist-residencies at the worlds most prestigious music festivals, Amit Peled rounds out the Peabody Institute’s faculty as among the most desirable group of cello teaching artists.
4. University of Southern California Thornton School of Music – Los Angeles, CA
Notable Faculty: Ralph Kirshbaum, Ben Hong, Andrew Shulman
Guided by eminent cellists Ralph Kirshbaum, Ben Hong, and Andrew Shulman, the University of Southern California hosts an impressive strings department in the heart of LA. Cellists have the opportunity to perform in the USC Thornton symphonic ensembles under the direction of heralded conductor Carl St. Clair, and in 2012, the school was treated to a cello festival named after the heralded cellist Gregor Piatigorsky. Students who study with the important classical cello faculty here have gone further to impressive careers immersed in music.
Listen to the Faculty: Check out Ralph Kirshbaum performing on his famous recording of the Bach Cello Suites.