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Job Title: Director of Development and Communications

Background
Launched in March of 2010, CelloBello.org (a website), has been led by its Founder and Artistic Director, cellist Paul Katz, and Director of Operations Jussi Reijonen, who serves as webmaster and efficiently supervises a small part-time paid staff, volunteers, and 3 work-study students from New England Conservatory. CelloBello seeks a Director of Development and Communications, a dynamic, creative, and highly organized professional to work as a strategic and creative partner with the CelloBello Artistic Director with the goal of short-term growth and long-term financial sustainability. The Director of Development and Communications reports to the Artistic Director with regular written reports to the Board of Directors (e.g. monthly). Our board of Directors is an active and committed group of experts from the fields of law, development, finance, web expertise and prominent professional cellists. 100% of the CB board have given to CelloBello.

This is a unique opportunity for an early to mid-level career professional with growth potential to have a major impact on the continued expansion of an idealistic, socially conscious arts organization. CelloBello is unique among the world’s educational websites for string players, utilizing the cutting edge of today’s technology to advance the very highest musical, artistic and educational standards. CelloBello fosters a global community of the world’s finest artists and pedagogues, offering their expertise to all, regardless of location, level, or economic status. CelloBello is viewed in over 170 countries and had over 110,000 users with 250,000 page views this past year.

CelloBello Vision and Mission
Vision: All cellists, regardless of location, level, or economic status, will have access to the highest level of musical instruction, inspiration, and interaction.

Mission: Nurture and strengthen a global cello community through free online instruction and advice from renowned cellists and teachers.

Job Description

  • Fundraising is the #1 priority of this position. Sustainability of the website is the long-term goal.
  • Report to and work closely with the Artistic Director in policy decisions, fundraising and in the development of a long-term strategic plan, within the context of the current $130,000 operating budget.
  • Develop and manage online fund-drives; build an annual fund program and relationships with leadership donors.
  • Create and manage 2-3 donor cultivation events and one major event a year.
  • Oversee marketing and public relations efforts to increase CelloBello’s internet visibility.
  • Reach out to musicians, luthiers, instrument dealers, and relevant businesses to solicit advertising and corporate sponsorship.
  • Research and write grants and complete all grant reporting requirements.
  • Cultivate potential individual donors and partners.
  • Work with the Director of Operations in the management of staff time allocated to development activities. Communicate fundraising goals throughout the organization and equip team members to reach them.
  • Maintain the donor database; take charge of donor stewardship and acknowledgement; supervise staff in mailing thank you cards and gifts.
  • Strategize with the Artistic Director and Board to devise ways to monetize the website.
  • Boston area residency. Work from home with flexible hours.

Qualifications

  • Experience with fundraising; proven ability to develop positive relationships with constituents and supporters.
  • Some musical training with an understanding of musical terms. Some knowledge of the cello and cellists is desirable, though not required.
  • Bachelor’s degree required; Master’s degree preferred.
  • 3+ years of nonprofit development experience or equivalent experience in sales, marketing or relationship management.
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills, both written and verbal, and a high comfort level meeting/speaking with individuals face-to-face or at social functions and events. Ability to communicate excellently and compel audiences through writing and speaking.
  • Ability to set priorities, manage schedules, meet deadlines, and track the progress of multiple projects simultaneously while maintaining a high-quality of work and strong attention to detail.
  • Knowledge of Excel, Google docs, and Asana (for staff planning/communication)
  • A basic comfort level with computers and the internet. No special skill set required.
  • Commitment to all aspects of CelloBello’s philosophy as expressed in the Mission and Vision statement

Job Summary
This job might be for you if you have an entrepreneurial spirit, dream of transforming a growing, successful, but financially struggling organization into a financially sustainable one, and you know how to actualize your aspirations. The Director of Development and Communications leads, supervises, and oversees all fundraising and marketing functions of the organization. These include, but are not limited to event planning, grant writing, marketing, solicitation of website advertising and corporate sponsorship. The Director of Development and Communication works in collaboration with the Artistic Director, Director of Operations, reports to the Artistic Director and makes timely written reports to the board.

Application
Job Post Date: 5/15/2019
Expiration Date: 7/15/2019
Start date: 8/01/2019
Salary: Commensurate with experience
If interested, send a cover letter and résumé to paul@cellobello.org

Looking to the Future
CelloBello is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization intent on expanding its online offerings, pool of contributors, and global reach, always remaining true to our roots in education and our mission.

What We Provide
CelloBello provides free online resources related to playing the cello and musical interpretation, including lessons, master classes, interviews, and interactive chats with artist-teachers from the solo, chamber music, orchestral, and teaching professions. It also provides articles, information on jobs and competitions, repertoire and book listings, and additional educational, career, and professional resources.

CelloBello History
The Founder and Artistic Director of CelloBello is Paul Katz, former cellist with the Cleveland Quartet and current Professor of Cello at the New England Conservatory in Boston. The development of the website began in 2009, (now www.cellobello.org)with fundraising support from the New England Conservatory and then-President Tony Woodcock. In 2010, the CelloBello website was launched in consultation with the Educational Media Foundation of the Public Broadcasting System (PBS) affiliate WGBH Boston, and Rafael deStella of destella.creative. A major redesign was completed in 2017 in collaboration with Blink;Tech, who currently host the site. A small but dedicated team of part-time and volunteer web staff maintain the site. NEC continues to support the site with work-study students, and live streaming of cello master classes, CelloBello.org is an entirely separate organization with no direct business affiliation with NEC.

CelloBello was born out of a passionate desire to maximize the educational potential of the world wide web and offer the highest level of online musical instruction to cellists without access to teachers, to stimulate discussion and exchange, and to foster a global cello community. Site content and instruction are provided by a long list of internationally renowned cellists and professional teachers who donate their time and expertise. We are funded entirely by private donations.

The post CelloBello Seeks to Hire a Director of Development and Communications appeared first on CelloBello.

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Job Title: Director of Development and Communications

Background
Launched in March of 2010, CelloBello.org (a website), has been led by its Founder and Artistic Director, cellist Paul Katz, and Director of Operations Jussi Reijonen, who serves as webmaster and efficiently supervises a small part-time paid staff, volunteers, and 3 work-study students from New England Conservatory. CelloBello seeks a Director of Development and Communications, a dynamic, creative, and highly organized professional to work as a strategic and creative partner with the CelloBello Artistic Director with the goal of short-term growth and long-term financial sustainability. The Director of Development and Communications reports to the Artistic Director with regular written reports to the Board of Directors (e.g. monthly). Our board of Directors is an active and committed group of experts from the fields of law, development, finance, web expertise and prominent professional cellists. 100% of the CB board have given to CelloBello.

This is a unique opportunity for an early to mid-level career professional with growth potential to have a major impact on the continued expansion of an idealistic, socially conscious arts organization. CelloBello is unique among the world’s educational websites for string players, utilizing the cutting edge of today’s technology to advance the very highest musical, artistic and educational standards. CelloBello fosters a global community of the world’s finest artists and pedagogues, offering their expertise to all, regardless of location, level, or economic status. CelloBello is viewed in over 170 countries and had over 110,000 users with 250,000 page views this past year.

CelloBello Vision and Mission
Vision: All cellists, regardless of location, level, or economic status, will have access to the highest level of musical instruction, inspiration, and interaction.

Mission: Nurture and strengthen a global cello community through free online instruction and advice from renowned cellists and teachers.

Job Description

  • Report to and work closely with the Artistic Director in policy decisions, fundraising and in the development of a long-term strategic plan, within the context of the current $130,000 operating budget.
  • Fundraising is the #1 priority of this position. Sustainability of the website is the long-term goal.
  • Develop and manage online fund-drives; build an annual fund program and relationships with leadership donors.
  • Create and manage 2-3 donor cultivation events and one major event a year.
  • Oversee marketing and public relations efforts to increase CelloBello’s internet visibility.
  • Reach out to musicians, luthiers, instrument dealers, and relevant businesses to solicit advertising and corporate sponsorship.
  • Research and write grants and complete all grant reporting requirements.
  • Cultivate potential individual donors and partners.
  • Work with the Director of Operations in the management of staff time allocated to development activities. Communicate fundraising goals throughout the organization and equip team members to reach them.
  • Maintain the donor database; take charge of donor stewardship and acknowledgement; supervise staff in mailing thank you cards and gifts.
  • Strategize with the Artistic Director and Board to devise ways to monetize the website.
  • Boston area residency. Work from home with flexible hours.

Qualifications

  • Some musical training with an understanding of musical terms. Some knowledge of the cello and cellists is desirable, though not required.
  • Bachelor’s degree required; Master’s degree preferred; 3+ years of nonprofit development experience or equivalent experience in sales, marketing or relationship management.
  • Commitment to all aspects of CelloBello’s philosophy as expressed in the Mission and Vision statements.
  • Experience with fundraising; proven ability to develop positive relationships with constituents and supporters.
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills, both written and verbal, and a high comfort level meeting/speaking with individuals face-to-face or at social functions and events. Ability to communicate excellently and compel audiences through writing and speaking.
  • Ability to set priorities, manage schedules, meet deadlines, and track the progress of multiple projects simultaneously while maintaining a high-quality of work and strong attention to detail.
  • Knowledge of Excel, Google docs, and Asana (for staff planning/communication)
  • A basic comfort level with computers and the internet. No special skill set required.

Job Summary
This job might be for you if you have an entrepreneurial spirit, dream of transforming a growing, successful, but financially struggling organization into a financially sustainable one, and you know how to actualize your aspirations. The Director of Development and Communications leads, supervises, and oversees all fundraising and marketing functions of the organization. These include, but are not limited to event planning, grant writing, marketing, solicitation of website advertising and corporate sponsorship. The Director of Development and Communication works in collaboration with the Artistic Director, Director of Operations, reports to the Board of Directors, and meets regularly with the Chair of the Board.

Application
Job Post Date: 5/15/2019
Expiration Date: 7/15/2019
Start date: 8/01/2019
Salary: Commensurate with experience
If interested, send a cover letter and résumé to paul@cellobello.org

Looking to the Future
CelloBello is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization intent on expanding its online offerings, pool of contributors, and global reach, always remaining true to our roots in education and our mission.

What We Provide
CelloBello provides free online resources related to playing the cello and musical interpretation, including lessons, master classes, interviews, and interactive chats with artist-teachers from the solo, chamber music, orchestral, and teaching professions. It also provides articles, information on jobs and competitions, repertoire and book listings, and additional educational, career, and professional resources.

CelloBello History
The Founder and Artistic Director of CelloBello is Paul Katz, former cellist with the Cleveland Quartet and current Professor of Cello at the New England Conservatory in Boston. The development of the website began in 2009, (now www.cellobello.org)with fundraising support from the New England Conservatory and then-President Tony Woodcock. In 2010, the CelloBello website was launched in consultation with the Educational Media Foundation of the Public Broadcasting System (PBS) affiliate WGBH Boston, and Rafael deStella of destella.creative. A major redesign was completed in 2017 in collaboration with Blink;Tech, who currently host the site. A small but dedicated team of part-time and volunteer web staff maintain the site. NEC continues to support the site with work-study students, and live streaming of cello master classes, CelloBello.org is an entirely separate organization with no direct business affiliation with NEC.

CelloBello was born out of a passionate desire to maximize the educational potential of the world wide web and offer the highest level of online musical instruction to cellists without access to teachers, to stimulate discussion and exchange, and to foster a global cello community. Site content and instruction are provided by a long list of internationally renowned cellists and professional teachers who donate their time and expertise. We are funded entirely by private donations.

The post CelloBello Seeks to Hire a Director of Development and Communications appeared first on CelloBello.

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This will be the final Blog in this series on using the Feuilliard “Daily Exercises” to teach bow technique.

Variations #39 and #40:

       

Variations #39 and #40 address chords over four strings. For #39 we have to use the full bow with the bottom two notes as grace notes. That means that they are played before the beat, with the top two notes on the beat. If playing with a piano, the pianist would probably play on the downbeat with the top of the chords. The string crossing is not too difficult at the frog, but playing the grace notes at the tip and then getting the main notes to sound strong is harder at the tip.

I addressed two other important issues with George in this video: the contact point (higher for the low strings and lower for the high strings), and the number of arm levels (two double stop arm levels).

We also tried two different ways of starting the double-stop grace notes on the low strings. First George played them from the string. Then I suggested trying it from above the string, by “plastering” the bow at the tip. In doing so we get two different kinds of attacks.

No 36 #39 and #40 - YouTube

Variation #41:

This is a tricky variation. It requires doing the chords, as in the previous variations, but after playing the top double-stop one has to leave the D-string note briefly in order to re-articulate it on the way down.

No 36 #41 - YouTube

Variation #42:

This is the very last Variation in the Feuillard bowing series. It returns to the sautillé stroke that we have seen throughout the variations, but requires coordinating the very fast stroke with quick string crossings. It is important to use two different parts of the arm for the two different motions: the upper arm for the string crossings and the wrist for the sautillé . The last time that Feuillard presented the sautillé stroke was in Theme No. 33 (Variations #31 and #32). So, he was expecting the student to let the sautillé  percolate over time so that it becomes “easy” and comfortable to do along with the fast string crossings. George nailed it here in this video, and I asked him to try it a bit faster than he had practiced, which was successful.

No 36 Variation #42 - YouTube

As I mentioned in the video, the next step for the students would be the Sevcik 40 Variations, Op. 3 which involve various virtuosic bow techniques based on the fundamentals that we have worked on in the Feuillard.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank George and all the other students who agreed to be videoed in these blogs (Caroline, Iestyn, Tristan, and Zach). Each of them has made great progress through the process of studying the Feuillard (which they would have done with me anyway!) and by doing the video-taping for these blogs.

I would also like to thank CelloBello for providing a forum for these blogs. My special thanks to Paul Katz, my teacher and mentor, for his help and support over the years. And thanks to the CelloBello staff – and especially Jamie Clark, who was a joy to work with.

I hope that you have enjoyed this series, and that you have benefited from it. If you would like to contact me, please do so at RJesselson@Mozart.sc.edu

The post The Joy of Feuillard – A Sequential Approach to Teaching Bow Technique (Part 34 – Feuillard No. 36 – Variations #39-42) appeared first on CelloBello.

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Today we will continue with Feuillard No. 36, Variations #30-#38. Most of these variations work on double stops with string crossings, and legato strokes involving the upper arm versus wrist/fingers over four strings.

Variation #30:

This Variation again involves both the Up-bow Staccato and Flying Spiccato strokes, which we have seen before dispersed throughout all the bowing exercises on these pages. It is one more opportunity to review the different ways of producing these two strokes – and George was able to verbalize the technical information required. Even though he had not practiced the Flying Spiccato as fast as I got him to play it here, it is always interesting to me that if one has absorbed the technique it is possible to speed up the tempos easily.

No 36 Variation #30 - YouTube

Variations #31-#33:

   

These variations are all double-stops in triplets, using three of the seven arm levels (C-G level, G-D level, and D-A level). One has to work carefully to get an even sound between the strings. I ask the students to play this in a forte dynamic to make sure that they can sustain the sound throughout. If there is a problem with endurance or any issues with pain then we would need to address those. I would help to make sure that the upper arm is being used correctly, that there are no “kinks” in the arm,  that they are using the “front and back of the hand” correctly, and that they are releasing tension – among other possible issues. George did not have any of these problems – except that I had to remind him to keep his thumb round on the bow (so as not to squeeze) and to use the correct bow distribution. By this time he has worked through most of these issues, so all he needed was a gentle reminder – which we all need from time to time. In my own practicing I am constantly thinking about the most fundamental aspects of playing: bow angle, using the right parts of the arm for different strokes, front and back of the hand, etc, etc. As soon as we stop thinking about these things our technique can start to suffer and problems crop up in our playing.

I remember once turning on the radio in mid-performance of the big cello solo in the Brahms piano concerto #2. I didn’t know who was playing, but I could tell that it was a great cellist because he was shaping the phrases so beautifully. But the sound was not great – it was unfocused and inconsistent. It turned out to be a live performance with Frank Miller and the Chicago Symphony. It was at the end of his career, and I assume that there was some problem with his bow sliding up and down the string because his bow angle was not quite right, thus affecting the sound. Even our great cello heroes are human, and they can lose their intonation or sound if they stop paying attention to the basics.

For these variations I asked George to play just two beats per chord, rather than four. I sometimes ask the students to do this to see how easily they can adapt to a change in the way they practiced it, and to save time in the lesson if they have usually have no problem with concentration or focus.

No 36 Variations #31 33 - YouTube

Variations #34-#37:

                                                  

These variations all involve string crossings over four strings. Variation #34 is a relatively simple arc with the upper arm using four of the seven arm levels.  [We discussed the seven arm levels in an earlier Blog (Feuillard No. 35 Variations #42-51).  The seven levels of the upper arm are: the levels for the four single strings, plus the three double-stops.]

In this video I asked George to tell me how many arm levels we are using, and where the wrist and fingers are involved. Variations #35-37 are all rather complex, and we need to figure out the best way to get from string to string. There are several possibilities for each one of these variations, depending on exactly where we are on the bow and what kind of sound we want. I had to remind George to use the full bow, and especially to use the wrist and fingers at several points.  I did this non-verbally in order not to stop him, but just to remind him while playing.

This is all rather sophisticated French bow technique á la André Navarra and other great cellists of the Franco-Belgium School. The goal is to figure out the best use of the arm vs. wrist and fingers to achieve smooth string crossings without pressing the sound.

No 36 #34 37 - YouTube

Variations #38:

This variation is again staccato, in the middle of the bow, with the upper arm doing the string crossings with four arm levels.

No 36 Variation #38 - YouTube

Next week will be the final blog in this series. We will finish all the rest of the variations in No. 36.

*If you have questions or comments about The Joy of Feuillard, Dr. Robert Jesselson can be reached directly at rjesselson@mozart.sc.edu.

The post The Joy of Feuillard – A Sequential Approach to Teaching Bow Technique (Part 33 – Feuillard No. 36 – Variations #30-38) appeared first on CelloBello.

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Today we will continue our journey through Feuillard with No. 36, Variations #10 – #29 on string crossings over four strings. Many of these variations are about sustaining the sound with legato or detaché strokes. As mentioned before it is very helpful to use the left/right motion in order to make it easier to get a big sound in the upper half of the bow. It is also helpful to use the “twist” motion of the upper torso in order to release tension from the arm and fingers, and to keep the vibrato going. Rather than lifting fingers, the twist in the upper body automatically helps to release the fingers.

Variations #10 and #11:

No 36 #10 and #11 - YouTube

Variations #12, #13, and #14

The arm levels that I mentioned here were discussed in a previous blog. There are seven levels for the left upper arm – playing on each of the four strings and the three double-stops.

           

NO 36 #12, #13 and #14 - YouTube

Variations #15 – #19

Here are more variations dealing with detachè and string crossings in various combinations. George was mostly good about using the twist motion to his advantage – for relaxation and vibrato – but I did remind him about it once here.

No 36 Variations #15 19 - YouTube

Variations #20 – #29:

These variations all continue with the same technical issues, so I just faded most of these videos halfway through. I needed to remind George occasionally about having his left arm high enough for the lower strings, but mostly he has absorbed the information about contact point, bow distribution, catch and float, the twist motion, arm levels, etc. and nailed each of these variations in the first iteration during the lessons.

No 36 Variations #20 #29 - YouTube

Next week’s Blog will continue with Variations #30 – #38 working on double stops with string crossings, and legato strokes involving the upper arm versus wrist/fingers.

*If you have questions or comments about The Joy of Feuillard, Dr. Robert Jesselson can be reached directly at rjesselson@mozart.sc.edu.

The post The Joy of Feuillard – A Sequential Approach to Teaching Bow Technique (Part 32 – Feuillard No. 36 – Variations #10-29) appeared first on CelloBello.

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The final Theme and set of bowing variations in Feuillard is No. 36. This page deals with string crossings involving four strings. There are double stops, chords, various bowings, articulation issues, and different strokes. I use No.36 to reinforce many of the concepts from the earlier pages, and especially the “twist motion”. The student should be aware of how the left arm moves in tandem with the string crossings, so that the elbow is higher on the C-string and lowest on the A-string. The student must also be aware that the contact point needs to change when going from the lower strings to the higher strings.  The “rule” is:

“The Higher the String, the Lower the Contact Point”

If we don’t pay attention to the contact point, the intonation will suffer (e.g. what I call “bow intonation”). In other words, the contact point must get lower when going to the higher string. Otherwise the notes may sound like they are out of tune when the real problem might be that the contact point is too high and the bow is bending the string, thus producing a change in the pitch.

I first ask the student to play the Theme of No.36 as chords, paying attention to the intonation.  The bottom double stop is played like a pickup to the top double stop. If a pianist were to play an accompaniment, he would come in with the top part of the chord.

The videos in this blog, and subsequent blogs dealing with No. 36, all feature my student George. He has been my student for two years.

Theme No. 36:

No 36 Theme - YouTube

Variation #1:

The goal in Variation #1 is to use the full bow, with the twist motion helping to make it easier to get weight into the lower strings and to be able to bow out (away from the body)  as we get to the tip, especially on the A-string. One must always find the most relaxed place at the frog, with the muscles releasing tension. The Left/Right Motion is again helpful with getting a good sound at the tip.

No 36 #1 - YouTube

Variations #2 – #4:

   

The goals of Variations #2-#4 are all similar: full bow, twist motion, contact point, core sound:

No 36 #2 4 - YouTube

Variation #5:

This variation, and the next several, all deal with double stops in various ways. One must always monitor the bow angle going to the tip to make sure that the sound is consistent. The most efficient motion of the arm involves going “out”, rather than going “up” to the next higher string. This way the angle is correct, and we are also not fighting gravity. Instead of an “up” motion we use an “out” motion of the arm.

No 36 #5 - YouTube

Variation #6:

Another way to save energy as you go out to the tip is to keep the string vibrating  through “friction” and bow speed rather than using weight. The sound should continue spinning out. However, one must be careful to listen well so that the sound does not diminuendo as you get further out.

No 36 #6 - YouTube

Variation #7: 

These double stops are tricky for the left hand – especially the top parts of the chords.  We must be careful not to press down on the string with the left hand, using arm weight rather than force. The fourth finger is usually the weakest finger, and many people need some isometric exercises to help strengthen it and keep the joints from collapsing. This theme has a lot of 5ths on the top, so it is worth spending some time doing exercises for the fourth finger playing 5ths: e.g. scales in fourths and fifths, and shifts using these intervals.

No 36 #7 - YouTube

Variations #8 and #9:

Needless to say, George plays each one of these variations in its entirety during the lesson. I am just saving time (and bandwidth!) by cutting them short and combining several here, since they all deal with the same issues.

No 36 #8 and #9 - YouTube

Next week we will continue our journey through Feuillard No. 36 with Variations #10 – #29 on string crossings over four strings. Many of these variations are about sustaining the sound with legato or detaché strokes.

*If you have questions or comments about The Joy of Feuillard, Dr. Robert Jesselson can be reached directly at rjesselson@mozart.sc.edu.

The post The Joy of Feuillard – A Sequential Approach to Teaching Bow Technique (Part 31 – Feuillard No. 36 – Variations #1-9) appeared first on CelloBello.

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I am “interrupting” my blog series on Feuillard with today’s post dealing with collé. I usually wait with working on collé in the private lessons until other technical aspects of the bow are internalized and solid. Part of the reason I do this is that I have found that students sometimes get confused by the use of the fingers for the vertical motion in string crossings as opposed to the use of the fingers in the horizontal collé motion.  I find that it is better to solidify the string crossing motion before explaining the collé motion, since they are so similar and yet completely different. I do sometimes teach collé to all the students in my Saturday Pre-college classes. However, that is in a large group situation and I can only address the concept in generalities and am not able to focus on specific students and address their specific problems.

My pre-college student in today’s blog, and in the rest of the videos in this series, is George.

Collé is the French word for “glue”. It is used for marcato and martelé strokes, for the clear beginnings of notes, and also for bow changes. The motions of the fingers are the same as the ones used in string crossings (see Blog #20 with the Five Step process), except that now we pronate the arm slightly so that instead of moving the bow up and down for string crossing, the fingers move the bow to the left and right. Using the fingers alone will move the bow about 1-2 inches; by adding the wrist the bow will move about 4 inches.

No 36 Collé #1 - YouTube

At first it is difficult for some students to move the fingers to create the collé motion. They are so used to having a “square” position for the bow-hold, and to use the fingers for the vertical motion of string crossings,  that it is hard for them to pronate the arm and to use the fingers to move the bow horizontally. Collé comes from the violin world, where the fingers on the bow are more slanted anyway. As a result it is a more “natural” movement for violinists to make.

In the next lesson we spent some more time with the basic motions. I reminded George to have the little finger close to the third finger. We also worked on keeping the palm of the hand flat when the fingers are in the “up” position, and we explored the importance of the flexibility of the thumb in this stroke. It usually takes a few lessons to get collé to start to feel comfortable and natural. These videos are clips of  “real-time” portions of lessons on collé.

No 36 Collé #2 - YouTube

Learning collé is a “process”, and it usually takes several weeks of exercises and study to absorb the motions.  By the third lesson George was starting to internalize the collé motions, and it was beginning to look more relaxed and natural. We started this session with some physical exercises for the finger motions and a focus on the thumb.

No 36 Collé #3 - YouTube

Next we applied the collé stroke to the Duport Etude #7. I use this etude with students after they have gone through Feuillard No. 35 (variations on three strings). We do a variety of bowings, including two and four note slurs, and sextuplets starting up-bow and down-bow, etc. I ask the students to memorize it so that they can focus on their bow hand instead of staring at the music. First we do chords all through the etude, so that they are comfortable with the left hand. With George I am using this etude to explore collé on different strings, with down- and up-bows. We also attached the arm to the cello in order to isolate the wrist and finger motions. Then when we free up the arm the motions seem easier. In this first lesson on the Duport I just demonstrated the “issues” and the ways to practice it using collé.

No 36 Collé #4 - YouTube

In the next lesson George was already doing the motions much better. But we still needed to review some of the elements and do some refinement of the strokes. He also had some good questions about how to do the pronation.

In editing the videos in today’s blog I preserved more of the teaching/learning process than in some of my past blogs. This is in order to show the pedagogical steps that are a necessary part of the process.  Collé is a complicated and sophisticated element of our bow technique, and it takes some time to learn. By the end of this lesson, George was able to play the Duport using collé. Now he will need to continue focusing on this aspect of his bow technique in order to make it “part and parcel” of his playing.

No 36 Collé #5 - YouTube

Finally, I showed George how to use the collé motion in bow changes, combined with playing on the different sides of the strings, and culminating in “bow vibrato”. I discussed this in more depth in an earlier blog.

No 36 Collé #6 - YouTube

In the next blog we will return to the Feuillard “Daily Exercises” with theme No. 36, dealing with string crossings over four strings.

*If you have questions or comments about The Joy of Feuillard, Dr. Robert Jesselson can be reached directly at rjesselson@mozart.sc.edu.

The post The Joy of Feuillard – A Sequential Approach to Teaching Bow Technique (Part 30 – Collé) appeared first on CelloBello.

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Today’s Blog will deal with the last variations on this page of Feuillard’s theme No. 35. Although Feuillard indicates these to be played in the middle of the bow, I prefer to use Variations #52 – #57 to work on a heavy spiccato stroke at the frog. This involves using an active upper arm and a “passive” wrist to create a brushy off-the-string stroke with a very ringy sound. A light version of this stroke might be used in Mozart symphonies or quartets, while the heavier version might be in Wagner or many contemporary works.

Variation #53:

The model for these variations is #53 with its two arm levels, and I like to have the students play this before going sequentially through the other variations (see below).

No 35 Model for Variations #52 57 - YouTube

This stroke is obviously still a “work-in-progress” for Zach – trying to find the relationship between the upper arm and the wrist, and finding the evenness of the stroke.

Variation #52 – #57:

The basic stroke for these variations is the same as for #53. The main technical issues for this stroke are:

  • active upper arm, passive (“floppy”) wrist
  • close to frog
  • “brushy off-the-string” stroke (a heavy spiccato)
  • a very ringy sound
  • attention to the bow angle (most students will have the tip of the bow pointed too far up at first)
  • start above the string, but make sure the bow is on the string before the bow moves
  • finding the right height of the stroke so that it is even. If the height varies then the stroke will be un-even because it will take a different amount of time to come down from the air onto the string.
  • Variations #52 and #57 require 3 arm levels (upper arm), while the others require only 2 arm levels.
No 35 Variations #52 57 - YouTube

Variations #58 and #59:

   

These are the final two variations in No. 35. They are three-note chords. Variation #58 is played with all down-bows as two double-stops, or they can be arpeggiated more slowly. However the top note(s) should be on the beat.  The bottom notes are played as almost grace-notes before the beat. In other words, if one were playing with a piano, the pianist would play on the downbeat with the top notes of the chord. For example, the opening chords of the Elgar concerto are played this way.

If the chords are played quickly then there isn’t much time to change the contact point (higher c.p. for the lower strings; lower c.p. for the higher strings), but the bow angle should be quite acute so that the contact point is lower on the upper strings. Otherwise the sound will not be good on the A-string.

Variation #59, the last variation on this page, can be executed in two ways:

1) starting both the down-bows and the up-bows from above the string – which means lifting slightly and re-articulating the up-bows so that the articulation is identical with the down-bow. In this case the bow must still be “on” the string a split-second before moving – otherwise it won’t catch the string.

2) starting both up- and down- bows from the string. Both versions require a “figure-eight” in the arm.

Zach demonstrated both versions in the video.

No 35 Variations #58 and #59 - YouTube

With this Blog we conclude the Theme and Variations No. 35. I would like to thank Zach for having agreed to be featured in these videos as he worked on these variations.

Next week’s offering  will feature a blog on teaching collé, before starting the last page of Feuillard exercises. I often wait with teaching collé because students are sometimes confused between using the fingers for the vertical motion of string crossings as opposed to using them for the horizontal motion of collé.  Feuillard No. 36 will be dealing with string crossings over four strings. My pre-college student George will be working on collé and then on Feuillard No. 36 with the associated variations.

*If you have questions or comments about The Joy of Feuillard, Dr. Robert Jesselson can be reached directly at rjesselson@mozart.sc.edu.

The post The Joy of Feuillard – A Sequential Approach to Teaching Bow Technique (Part 29 – Feuillard No. 35 – Variations #52-59) appeared first on CelloBello.

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I am posting today some thoughts regarding my upcoming performance of all the cello suites of Bach, in Barcelona, next October 6th.

A “3 hour conversation with Bach,” by which I mean playing all the 6 Suites in one evening, is a rare privilege, and at the same time, an opportunity to devote months of work gazing, probing, until their is transparency in this greatest of all music given to us by the Kantor of Leipzig.

In this period of reflection, the performer’s goal and intention should be to imbue his own spirit into the depths of the pieces, and become inspired and elevated by this music of such extraordinary dimensions.

After a concert a few years ago, somebody who had never heard my playing said,  “I can feel the voices of many persons in your sound!”.  I believe he was right, because each of us has a sound that comes not from only our own individual voice, but is also the product of many admired and beloved people in our lives, including those who taught and influenced us.

Performance of this music is the mirror of our life, our experiences, our feelings. For this reason, when I play Bach, which for me is the purest and most direct voice, the music should speak from the deepest place within us.

But how do we make the voice of Bach  speak as well– not only our feelings? Maybe that is what makes Bach so difficult and why every version of the Suites so personal. His music, with its almost supernatural balance and a perfection where it is impossible to add or remove a single note, is the ideal medium to give ourselves the chance to speak directly through the musical content and communicate its meaning.

As a result, the more I go into this music, the more freedom I feel.

Music, and particularly Bach, should lead each of us, through our own personal talent, to an understanding of the composer’s deepest meanings, where we become free of our ourselves and don’t need to “demonstrate” anything. As the great pianist György Sebök used to say, ” I forget my ego and I try to be the composer for a while…”

Only once before have I performed all the Bach 6 Suites in one evening:  It happened 10 years ago. So I decided that now, on the occasion of my 60th birthday, that it would be a good occasion for a renewed interpretation. In these last 10 years many “new voices” have been added to my sound. And I want to let those voices that I have admired and who have since left us, speak once again.  All these inside voices help me to pass on Bach’s message. I do it with a sense of enormous gratitude and I feel priveleged  to devote myself to this music that Casals called “A Miracle”…of course he is right… it is the miracle of Bach!!

The post The Bach Suites, A Deep Mirror — by Lluís Claret appeared first on CelloBello.

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Hundreds of scholars have studied and written about the Bach Suites, yet we can only speculate about how or when they were first performed. The original manuscript is lost, leaving us with various facsimiles to decipher, and there are no written accounts by Bach’s contemporaries. The one advantage of this predicament is the wide spectrum of artistic decisions on which a cellist is compelled to ruminate, in order to make them “their own.”

Apparently the suites were not intended to be performed as a cycle, although this approach has become increasingly common in the last couple of decades. My current perspective, developed over many years of performing and teaching the suites, is that each of the six tells a distinctive story. And, like a series of books or films, each component is woven into a broader narrative. Presenting these works in chronological order highlights this overall structure as well as Bach’s astoundingly fluent compositional style. He begins, in the first suite, with youthful simplicity, and after choreographing an array of preludes and dances with heavenly sophistication, ends with the glorious, life-affirming sixth suite. It is as if the cycle is an etched outline of life itself, in one continuous brush stroke.

Embarking on this project to perform the Bach Suites cycle at The Broad Stage a year ago, allowed me to further explore the possibilities of presenting traditional classical music in a fresh light, while making every attempt to preserve its pure, aural integrity.

The performance’s visual component, a combination of projected photography, video, and lighting, stemmed from my experience producing the multimedia show Te Amo, Argentina. The projected backdrops became stimuli for reflection on an imagined narrative, and offered an inspired ornament to the setting, transporting the public to fantastical concert venues. Mark Swed of the LA Times eloquently described a similar concert experience: “to transform the space in which the music is performed through projections that alter one’s perception of space, place, and just maybe, sound.”

The virtual venues chosen by me and my production assistant Chloe Knudsen were: for the first Suite, an Antelope Valley cave, illuminating the stunning strata within, and the genesis of time; for the second, the Vatican’s Sistine Chapel, in all its glory, allowing the audience to quietly and slowly survey some of its most celebrated frescoes; the third, the magnified lit-up interior of a cello, with light pouring in from the F holes—a glimpse into its soul; the fourth, a series of colorful and intricately decorated cupolas from Muslim temples (a tribute to tolerance of diversity in our country, right after the shooting in San Bernardino); the fifth, grand rooms of abandoned buildings, conveying the message of the futility of war, via the dark and dramatic qualities of this C minor Suite; and finally the sixth, celebrating the natural wonders of our earth, depicting fjords, salt deserts, the Giant’s Causeway, and in the final Gigue, a time-lapse explosion of the magical, dancing Northern Lights.

The most conspicuous feature of that afternoon’s performance, however, was my cello. The audience did not see the golden varnish of my three hundred year old Italian cello (a Carlo Tononi), but rather a gleaming, modern, Luis and Clark carbon fiber cello, made in Boston in 2014. This cello is light and quick to respond, which among other benefits, facilitates surprising physical freedom. That relative release of effort allows for remarkable surprises in tackling the Suites, from choices of fingerings, articulations of the bow, sound concepts, and a general psychological sense of liberty that encourages an improvisatory quality.

Performing the cycle on this cello taught me a great deal, and pushed me further to research the boundaries of interpretation, juxtaposing the contemporary and the ancient, and to strive to make a compelling case for interpreting Bach’s Suites on what preconceived notions would consider hardly a cello. It was risky, as for many it verged on the sacrilegious! No rotten tomatoes were thrown at me however, and by all appearances it was a success—the sold-out theater saw the audience on their feet after the closing bars, apparently not for a mad rush to the exit. I am now very curious about how such an instrument will change in time, and affect the evolution of performance practice in classical music!

To hear more from Antonio Lysy, click HERE.

The post The Bach Suites as You Have Never Seen Them Before — by Antonio Lysy appeared first on CelloBello.

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