The Brown Farm
Photo by Susan Alancraig

The Cello Seminar is designed to explore music written for the cello by twentieth and twenty-first century composers. The wide range of repertoire, from classics to works on the cutting edge, will include pieces by such composers as Carter, Hyla, Harvey, Mackey, Jolas, Webern, Harbison and Tower. Works for solo cello and cello ensemble are performed at the end of the week in Hubbard Hall, a beautifully restored 19th-Century Vaudeville Hall in Cambridge, New York. Located at the Brown Farm in rural New York, the seminar is open to young professional and professionally-bound cellists. 

The faculty for The Cello Seminar includes my colleagues pianist, Judith Gordon and cellist David Russell. 

Pianist Judith Gordon gave her New York recital debut at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Introductions series. She has been heard as soloist with Boston Pops, ProArte Chamber Orchestra, Civic Symphony of Boston, and Boston Modern Orchestra Project. Among her colleagues in recital and chamber music are violinists Rose Mary Harbison and Andrew Kohji Taylor; violists James Dunham, Cynthia Phelps, and Marcus Thompson; cellists Andres Diaz, Yo-Yo Ma, and Rhonda Rider; vocalists

Lorraine Hunt Lieberson, James Maddalena, and Lisa Saffer; the Borromeo and Lydian String Quartets; and members of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. She has been featured in concerts and on recordings with Essential Music, Boston Musica Viva, and Collage New Music. Gordon has participated in festivals including Charlottesville, Rockport, Santa Fe, Spoleto, and Token Creek. A graduate of New

England Conservatory, Judith Gordon was named Musician of the Year by the Boston Globe in their “Best of 1996 Classical”.

David Russell maintains a vigorous schedule both as soloist and as collaborator in the U.S. and Europe.  He is on the faculty of Wellesley College and serves as the Director of Chamber Music.  Formerly Assistant Principal 'Cello with the Tulsa Philharmonic and on the teaching faculty of Oklahoma City University, David was also a member of the Grammy-nominated Eaken Trio in residence at Dickinson College, Carlisle, PA. A strong advocate and performer of new music, David has performed with such ensembles as Dinosaur Annex, Collage New Music, Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Music on the Edge, Firebird Ensemble and the Fromm Foundation Players at Harvard.  With violinst Rolf Schulte and pianist Geoffrey Burleson, he is in residence at the Composers’ Recording Insitute at Cleveland State University.

Recent projects include performances of concertos by Chen YI (with BMOP) and Ligeti (Ithaca College) the premieres of new concertos by Laurie San Martin (with Fort Worth Symphony) and Derek Hurst (with BMOP), residencies at the University of California-Davis, the University of Illinois and the Icicle Creek Center for Chamber Music and recordings of works by Lee Hyla, Tamar Diesendruck, Curtis Hughes and Eric Moe. 

Daily Schedule

The Cello Seminar cello ensemble (2010)
Photo by Susan Alancraig

The daily schedule will consist of open lessons, rehearsals and masterclasses. Topics will include contemporary techniques andscore analysis from the performer’s perspective, exploration of the tonal and technical range of the instrument, as well as some basics to cello playing such as bow control, ease and security in shifting and practice techniques. Discussions will cover such topics as making a living as a cellist, orchestra auditions, the ins and outs of chamber music groups and programming contemporary music. Participants will prepare approved solo and ensemble repertoire as well as brief introductory talks for a public performance in Hubbard Hall. Participants will be encouraged to take risks, extending their techniques and broaden their concepts.

For more information: visit the Music from Salem website. The Brown Farm offers a vegetarian cuisine prepared from locally grown produce.


A partial list of composers whose works have been performed at the Cello Seminar

Nicolas Bacri

Arthur Berger

Luciano Berio

Harrison Birtwhistle

Benjamin Britten 

Elliott Carter

Yu-Hui Chang

George Crumb

Dominick DiOrio

Morton Feldman

John Harbison

Jonathan Harvey

Paul Hindemith 

Laura Kaminsky 

John Kennedy 

Helmut Lachenmann

Giorgi Ligeti 

Witold Lutoslawski

Steven Mackey

Donald Martino 

Harold Meltzer

Arvo Part 

Samuel Pellman

Andrew Rindfleisch 

Eric Rosenbloom 

Kaaja Saariaho

Mischa Salkind-Pearl

Salvatore Scarrino 

Roger Sessions

Bright Sheng

Igor Stravinsky

Andre Stresser

Mark Summer

Jan Swafford  

Toru Takemitsu  

Joan Tower

Heitor Villa Lobos                                             

Anton von Webern 

Judith Weir

Scott Wheeler


Roger Zahab

Bernd Alois Zimmerman