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Cello Chat with Host Dr. Benjamin Whitcomb and guest Alan Rafferty

About the Episode 

This week I chat with University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music cello faculty member Alan Rafferty.

Meet the Guest

Alan Rafferty has firmly established himself as a preeminent cellist, educator, arts leader and entrepreneur. In demand as a clinician around the world, Mr. Rafferty is regularly invited to give Master Classes at prestigious conservatories and music schools all over the world. He has been a visiting faculty member for the Cleveland Institute of Music, for the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra and makes yearly visits to work with the Fellows at the New World Symphony. He currently holds the position of Associate Professor, Educator of Cello at the University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music A member of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra since 2007, Mr. Rafferty holds the Ruth F. Rosevear cello chair. In addition to playing over 1000 concerts as a member of the orchestra both in Cincinnati and around the world on tour, he has been a regular performer on the CSO Chamber Players Series and narrated Education Concerts. Mr. Rafferty made his solo debut with orchestra at the age of 16 and has been a featured soloist on numerous occasions since. Recent solo appearances have included the North American premiere of Victor Herbert's first published work, the Suite for Cello and Orchestra, Op. 3 and Don Quixote with the CCM Philharmonia. He can be heard on recordings for Telarc, Sono Luminus, CR and for WGUC Radio Station. As a chamber musician, Mr. Rafferty regularly collaborates with the likes of Leon Fleisher, Cho-Liang Lin, Matt Haimovitz and the Miró Quartet to name a few. In the summers, he is the Artistic Director of the Ascent International Chamber Music Festival. Summer of 2023 sees Alan join the faculty of the International Cello Institute and return to the Interlochen Arts Camp. Other summer festival engagements have included Meadowmount, Madeline Island, Green Mountain, Brancaleoni (Italy), Aria, the Aronson Cello Festival and the Great Wall International Music Academy in Beijing. Each January, he goes to Brazil as a core artist-faculty member of the Festival de Music de Santa Catarina. Current and former students have played as soloist with the Cincinnati Symphony, Louisville Orchestra and Dayton Philharmonic and have been 1st prize winners in the MTNA National Solo Competition, Louisville Orchestra Competition, Cleveland Cello Society and Tennessee Cello Workshop. Former students hold positions in orchestras throughout the US and all over the world including recent appointments to the Atlanta Symphony and Berlin Philharmonic Academy. As Cello/Chamber Music Faculty for the Starling Program at CCM, Alan has coached groups that have won the Junior Division Gold Medal and Silver Medal of the Fischoff Chamber Music Competition among others. As a leader in the arts, he has cofounded the Cincinnati Young Artists and Ascent Music with his wife, cellist Dr. Sarah Kim. Additional appointments include as Co-Board Chair for the Aronson Cello Festival. For 12 years, the Cincinnati Young Artists held numerous chamber music and cello festivals throughout the tri-state area, reaching thousands of students not only locally but from all over the world. When the pandemic struck, CYA was at the forefront of online learning, presenting 4 weeks of Virtual Cello Academy festivals in 2020 with over 200 cellists participating from all over the world. In 2022, Ascent Music was founded as a 501c3 non-profit. Alan serves as Artistic Director for the Ascent International Chamber Music and Cello Festivals, 4 weeks of intensive study at the University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music. Ascent Music is committed to guiding young artists to become 21st century musicians, able to thrive in any environment.

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