Led by world-renowned Brazilian cellist Aldo Parisot, the Grammy-nominated musical group “Yale Cellos” will perform their annual concert at Sprague Hall Wednesday evening.
Formed in 1983, Yale Cellos is an ensemble comprised of students enrolled in Parisot’s cello course as part of the School of Music’s graduate curriculum. Every year, the class brings together a small group of talented students hoping to learn from Parisot, said Vincent Oneppo MUS ’73, who assists Parisot. Wednesday’s show will feature performances of “The Entertainer,” Shostakovich’s first cello concerto, Tomaso Albinoni’s Adagio in G minor and Bach’s “Air,” Sarabande from Suite No. 6 in D Major and Chaconne in D minor. The show will also include the world premiere of a three-movement piece written by School of Music faculty composer Martin Bresnick, “Parisot,” which was commissioned especially for the show. In addition, the concert will feature projections of the cellist’s own paintings.
“Aldo Parisot has a genius for building excitement around these concerts,” Oneppo said. “The most attractive aspect of the concerts is, of course, the extraordinary richness and beauty of the ensemble’s sound. Add to this the virtuosity of featured soloists, the display of hundreds of Parisot’s dazzling paintings on the big screen and new music commissioned for the group, all presided over by a charismatic and legendary artist, and you’ve got quite a show.”
The show serves as a sort of musical portrait of Parisot, Bresnick said, mentioning both the eponymous work and the cellist’s paintings.
In order to prepare, the Yale Cellos’ group of 13 students spend two and a half hours playing together every week, Parisot noted. During these weekly rehearsals, he explained, all 13 cellos perform in an ensemble, adding that this arrangement is particularly unusual for cello performances.
“What makes [Yale Cellos] more interesting is the fact that it is part of their education to play in an ensemble. It is very rare to see 13 cellos taking a course together,” Parisot said.
Oneppo added that he thinks the group’s uniqueness is further augmented by its ability to attract talented cellists from around the world, who come to the School of Music to study with Parisot and play in the group.
Further, Oneppo said, Yale Cellos remains unique among student ensembles in its number of commercial recordings.
“There is no other ensemble on campus quite like the Yale Cellos,” Oneppo noted.
The concert will take place in the Morse Recital Hall in Sprague Memorial Hall on Wednesday, April 13.