Hailed by John Williams, Grammy award-winning composer and conductor, as “an outstanding cellist and truly dedicated artist,” American cellist Emmanuel Feldman has emerged as one of the most innovative and expressive cellists of his generation. Strings Magazine wrote of a recent CD release “Feldman’s commanding technical prowess, sense of poetry, and identification with the spirit of the music combines … to create a brilliantly enjoyable performance.” Known for his intense soulful playing and a broad range of repertoire and styles, he enjoys a career as a soloist, chamber musician, recording artist, champion of new music, and educator.
From newly commissioned premieres to collaborations with dance and poetry to performing the great classic cello repertoire, Mr. Feldman has joined forces with such artists as the Mark Morris Dance Group, Rebecca Rice Dance, Aurea Ensemble (poetry and music), and renowned pop and jazz artist Bobby McFerrin, creating a new and unexpected concert experience. He has concertized throughout Europe and North America performing at Carnegie Hall, Symphony Hall, Jordan Hall, The Phillips Collection, Salle Gaveau, Radio France Paris, Franz Liszt Academy Budapest, Altes Rathaus Vienna, and many other venues in Germany, France, and Spain. He has appeared as a soloist with the Boston Pops, Nashville Chamber Orchestra, BMOP, New England String Ensemble, Merrimack Valley Philharmonic, Greensboro Festival Orchestra, and Boston Philharmonic, among others. Following his debut on the Marquee Celebrity Series of Boston, Richard Dyer of the Boston Globe wrote “Emmanuel Feldman was superb in the Bach Solo Suites.”
An accomplished chamber musician, Mr. Feldman has collaborated with pianists Robert Levin, Randy Hodgkinson, Gilbert Kalish, Joy Cline Phinney, Yehudi Wyner, Jorge Bolet; instrumentalists Paul Newbauer, Richard Stoltzman, Jennifer Frautschi, Karen Gomyo, Lynn Chang, Marcus Thompson, Borromeo String Quartet, members of the Lydian String Quartet, and was invited to participate in the Marlboro Music Festival. He recently performed with Rockport Music Festival artistic director and pianist David Deveau in a Rockport opening night performance that is available on Instant Encore as a podcast. As co-founder of Cello e Basso (formerly the Axiom Duo) with French double bassist Pascale Delache-Feldman, they have concertized internationally and have commissioned more than a dozen new works and released their first CD on Synergy Classics in 2002. Mr. Feldman has also recorded chamber works for the Naxos, Arsis, Parma, MMC, and Zimbel labels. His playing on his newly released CD on Delos “Our American Roots” (2013) featuring music of Gershwin, Barber, Walker and Copland was described by Gramophone magazine as “an artist who combines communicative urgency with tonal splendor.”
He has also appeared frequently on radio and television broadcasts including WQXR New York, WCRB and WGBH Boston, Radio France, and local cable television. His discography that includes solo cello works is also strongly represented in chamber music by contemporary and American composers that has brought high praise for his collaborative skills. His CD on Albany Records as soloist in “Rider on The Plains” featuring Virgil Thomson’s Cello Concerto was nominated for a 2008 Grammy award for producer Blanton Alspaugh (producer of the year) and was hailed as an “excellent new recording … the concerto sounds exhilarating in this bracing and confident performance” by the New York Times.
A consummate advocate of new music, he has given the premieres and first recordings of cello works by composers Richard Danielpour, Michael Gandolfi, John Harbison, Aaron Kernis, David Diamond, Gunther Schuller, Charles Fussell, Jan Swafford, Andrew List, Yakov Yakoulov, John McDonald, Gilbert Trout, and many others. Emmanuel’s own musical compositions have been performed by Cello e Basso, the New England String Ensemble, and the Warebrook Contemporary Music Festival.
Mr. Feldman is on the cello faculty at New England Conservatory, Tufts University, and has a busy private studio in the Boston area. He has taught at the Yellow Barn Music Festival, New York Summer Music Festival, Summit Music Festival, Hartwick Music Festival, Chappaquiddick Music Festival, and is on the faculty of the Killington Music Festival and the Heifetz International Music Institute.
The son of Julliard-trained parents, he was born into a large musical family of string players and began studying the cello at age 12. He gave his first solo performances with orchestra at age 14 and soon thereafter won the Minnie Rose Award honoring the wife of renowned cellist, Leonard Rose. He studied the cello with Orlando Cole at the Curtis Institute and chamber music with Felix Galimir, Karen Tuttle, and Jascha Brodsky. After graduating from Curtis he received a Tanglewood Music Center Fellowship and was awarded a scholarship to study at the Paris Conservatoire Supérieur. He later worked with the Philadelphia and Boston Symphony Orchestras as a part-time member and was principal cellist of the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra. Additionally he has studied with cellists Bernard Greenhouse, David Finckel, William Stokking, Stephen Geber, Igor Gavrytch, and Amy Camus.