The Kennedy Center

Lynn Harrell


Lynn Harrell's presence is felt throughout the musical world. A consummate soloist, chamber musician, recitalist, conductor and teacher, his work in America, Europe and Asia has placed him in the highest echelon of today's performing artists.

A frequent guest of many of the leading orchestras, in recent seasons Mr. Harrell has performed with the Boston and Chicago symphonies, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, Dallas Symphony (whom he guest conducted), the St. Louis Symphony at Royal Festival Hall, the London Philharmonic with Kurt Masur conducting, the Israel Philharmonic with Franz Welser-Möst conducting. Additional highlights include a two week tour to Japan with Vladimir Ashkenazy and Pinchas Zukerman, a three week “Lynn Harrell Cello Festival” with the Hong Kong Philharmonic, and a return tour to Australia.

A special part of Lynn Harrell's life is the Aspen Music Festival, where he has spent his summers performing and teaching for nearly 50 years. In the summer of 1999 he presented a unique recital program called “Songs My Father Taught Me”, a tribute to his father, Mack Harrell, who was one of the earliest members of the Aspen family. Mr. Harrell is also a regular participant at the Verbier Festival in Switzerland.

On April 7, 1994, Lynn Harrell appeared at the Vatican with the Royal Philharmonic conducted by Gilbert Levine in a concert dedicated to the memory of the six million Jews who perished in the Holocaust. The audience for this historic event, which was the Vatican's first official commemoration of the Holocaust, included Pope John Paul II and the Chief Rabbi of Rome. Lynn Harrell also appeared live on the internationally-televised 1994 Grammy Awards Show with Itzhak Perlman and Pinchas Zukerman performing an excerpt from their Grammy-nominated complete Beethoven String Trios recording (Angel/EMI). The trio was the only classical nominee to perform on the show.

Highlights from an extensive discography of over 30 recordings include the complete Bach Cello Suites (London/Decca), two recordings of the Dvorak Concerto (RCA and London/Decca), the world premiere recording of Victor Herbert's Cello Concerto #1 with the Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields led by Sir Neville Marriner (London/Decca), the Walton Concerto with Simon Rattle and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (EMI), and the Donald Erb Concerto with Leonard Slatkin and the Saint Louis Symphony (New World). Together with Perlman and Ashkenazy, Harrell was awarded two Grammy Awards - in 1981 for the Tchaikovsky Piano Trio and in 1987 for the complete Beethoven Piano Trios (both Angel/EMI). He recently collaborated with Stephen Kovacevich in recording the two Brahms cello sonatas and with Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg on Bella Italia: Chamber Music from Aspen (EMI), which includes a performance of Tchaikovsky's Souvenir de Florence . A recording of the Schubert Trios with Ashkenazy and Zukerman (London/Decca) was released in 1998. His recording of the Rosza Concerto with the Atlanta Symphony (Telarc) was released in February 2000. Most recently, his recording with Kennedy, Duos for Violin & Cello, was released to great critical acclaim (EMI, May 2000).

Lynn Harrell's experience as an educator is wide and varied. From 1985-1993 he held the International Chair for Cello Studies at the Royal Academy in London. Concurrently, from 1988-1992 he was the Artistic Director in the orchestra, chamber music and conductor training program at the LA Philharmonic Institute. In 1993, he became head of the Royal Academy in London, a post which he held through 1995. Additionally, Mr. Harrell has taught at the Juilliard School, Cincinnati Conservatory, Cleveland Institute of Music, UCLA, and USC, where he held the Piatigorsky Chair from 1987-1993. Mr. Harrell has also given masterclasses at the Verbier and Aspen Festivals, and in major metropolitan areas throughout the world as part of his annual touring.

Lynn Harrell was born in New York to musician parents. He began his musical studies in Dallas and proceeded to the Juilliard School and the Curtis Institute. Mr. Harrell is the recipient of numerous awards including the first Avery Fisher Award.

Mr. Harrell plays a 1673 Stradivarius and a 1720 Montagnana. He makes his home in London, Scotland and Los Angeles with his family.

September 2001
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