October 11, 2020
Renowned as a musical pioneer, cellist Matt Haimovitz is praised by The New York Times as a “ferociously talented cellist who brings his megawatt sound and uncommon expressive gifts to a vast variety of styles” and by The New Yorker as “remarkable virtuoso” who “never turns in a predictable performance.” He has inspired classical music lovers and countless new listeners by bringing his artistry to concert halls and clubs, outdoor festivals and intimate coffee houses – any place where passionate music can be heard. He brings a fresh ear to familiar repertoire, champions new music, and initiates groundbreaking collaborations, as well as creating innovative recording projects. Alongside his relentless touring schedule, Haimovitz mentors an award-winning studio of young cellists at the Schulich School of Music of McGill University in Montreal, in addition to his role as the first ever John Cage Fellow at The New School’s Mannes School of Music in New York City. Haimovitz made his debut in 1984, at the age of 13, as soloist with Zubin Mehta and the Israel Philharmonic and made his first recording with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, for Deutsche Grammophon, at age 17. He has gone on to perform on the world’s most esteemed stages, with such orchestras and conductors as the Berlin Philharmonic, the New York Philharmonic with Zubin Mehta, the English Chamber Orchestra with Daniel Barenboim, the Boston Symphony Orchestra with Leonard Slatkin, and the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal with Kent Nagano. Haimovitz made his Carnegie Hall debut when he substituted for his teacher, the legendary Leonard Rose, in Schubert’s String Quintet in C, alongside Isaac Stern, Shlomo Mintz, Pinchas Zukerman and Mstislav Rostropovich. The solo cello recital is a Haimovitz trademark, both inside and outside the concert hall. In 2000, he made waves with his Bach “Listening-Room” Tour, for which, to great acclaim, Haimovitz took Bach’s beloved cello suites out into the clubs across the U.S., Canada, and the U.K. Haimovitz’ 50-state Anthem tour in 2003 celebrated living American composers and featured the cellist’s own arrangement of Jimi Hendrix’s “Star-Spangled Banner.” He was the first classical artist to play at New York’s infamous CBGB club, in a performance filmed by ABC News for Nightline UpClose. Haimovitz revisited the Bach cello suites in 2015 with the release of The Cello Suites According to Anna Magdalena for the PENTATONE Oxingale series, inspired and informed by an authoritative manuscript by Anna Magdalena Bach and performed on period instruments. This was followed by the 2016 release of Overtures to Bach, six new commissions that anticipate and reflect each of the cello suites, by Philip Glass, Du Yun, Vijay Iyer, Roberto Sierra, David Sanford, and Luna Pearl Woolf. Overtures to Bach, in conjunction with Haimovitz’s “A Moveable Feast” performances – a series of pop-up events in unconventional locations, followed by a concert performance – continues to tour widely across the US, Canada, Germany and Japan. Haimovitz’ recording career encompasses more than 20 years of award-winning work on Deutsche Grammophon and his and composer/producer Luna Pearl Woolf’s own trailblazing independent label Oxingale Records, now in collaboration with PENTATONE, several of which have received GRAMMY® and Juno Award nominations. Recent recordings include ISANG YUN: Sunrise Falling, a centennial commemoration of the Korean composer’s life and music on the PENTATONE Oxingale Series, with Dennis Russell Davies and the Bruckner Orchester Linz; TROIKA, an all-Russian program from Rachmaninoff to Pussy Riot, with his longtime duo partner, pianist Christopher O’Riley; and two performance compilations from the Tippet Rise Arts Center in Montana. This season will also see the release of an album of French music with pianist Mari Kodama for PENTATONE. Haimovitz’ recordings for the Orange Mountain Music label, Philip Glass’s Partita No. 2 for Solo Cello and Cello Concerto No. 2, “Naqoyqatsi,” with the Cincinnati Symphony and Dennis Russell Davies, have been widely acclaimed. In 2006, Haimovitz received the Concert Music Award from ASCAP for his advocacy of living composers and pioneering spirit, and in 2004, the American Music Center awarded Haimovitz the Trailblazer Award, for his far-reaching contributions to American music. Born in Israel, Haimovitz has also been honored with the Avery Fisher Career Grant (1986), the Grand Prix du Disque (1991), the Diapason d’Or (1991) and he is the first cellist ever to receive the prestigious Premio Internazionale “Accademia Musicale Chigiana” (1999). Haimovitz studied at the Collegiate School in New York and at the Juilliard School, in the final class of Leonard Rose, after which he continued his cello studies with Ronald Leonard and Yo-Yo Ma. In 1996, he received a B.A. magna cum laude with highest honors from Harvard University.