Matt Haimovitz

MATT HAIMOVITZ photo by Stephanie Mackinnon

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Renowned as a musical pioneer, cellist Matt Haimovitz is praised by The New York Times as a “ferociously talented cellist who brings his megawatt sound and uncommon expressive gifts to a vast variety of styles” and by The New Yorker as “remarkable virtuoso” who “never turns in a predictable performance.” He has inspired classical music lovers and countless new listeners by bringing his artistry to concert halls and clubs, outdoor festivals and intimate coffee houses – any place where passionate music can be heard. He brings a fresh ear to familiar repertoire, champions new music, and initiates groundbreaking collaborations, as well as creating innovative recording projects. Besides his relentless touring schedule, he mentors an award-winning studio of young cellists at McGill University’s Schulich School of Music in Montreal.

Haimovitz made his debut in 1984, at the age of 13, as soloist with Zubin Mehta and the Israel Philharmonic. At 17 he made his first recording with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, for Deutsche Grammophon. He has gone on to perform on the world’s most esteemed stages, with such orchestras and conductors as the Berlin Philharmonic with James Levine, the New York Philharmonic with Zubin Mehta, the English Chamber Orchestra with Daniel Barenboim, the Boston Symphony Orchestra with Leonard Slatkin, and the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal with Kent Nagano. Haimovitz made his Carnegie Hall debut when he substituted for his teacher, the legendary Leonard Rose, in Schubert’s String Quintet in C, alongside Isaac Stern, Shlomo Mintz, Pinchas Zukerman and Mstislav Rostropovich.

The solo cello recital is a Haimovitz trademark, both inside and outside the concert hall. In 2000, he made waves with his Bach “Listening-Room” Tour, for which, to great acclaim, Haimovitz took Bach’s beloved cello suites out into the clubs across the U.S., Canada, and the U.K. Haimovitz’ 50-state Anthem tour in 2003 celebrated living American composers and featured the cellist’s own arrangement of Jimi Hendrix’s “Star-Spangled Banner.” He was the first classical artist to play at New York’s infamous CBGB club, in a performance filmed by ABC News for Nightline UpClose.

Haimovitz revisited the Bach cello suites in 2015 with the release of The Cello Suites According to Anna Magdalena for the PENTATONE Oxingale series, inspired and informed by an authoritative manuscript by Anna Magdalena Bach and performed on period instruments. This was followed by the 2016 release of Overtures to Bach, six new commissions that anticipate and reflect each of the cello suites, by Philip Glass, Du Yun, Vijay Iyer, Roberto Sierra, David Sanford, and Luna Pearl Woolf. Both albums were among the credits for David Frost, for his 2016 GRAMMY® win for Best Classical Producer. Overtures to Bach is often heard in conjunction with Haimovitz’s “A Moveable Feast” performances – a series of pop-up events in unconventional locations, followed by a concert performance. “A Moveable Feast” has recently been heard in Berlin, New York City, Montreal, and numerous other US cities, and will continue on to Pennsylvania, New Mexico, Virginia, and Tennessee this season.

In fall 2017 Haimovitz releases a new album, also on the PENTATONE Oxingale series, with his longtime duo partner, pianist Christopher O’Riley. TROIKA is an all-Russian program featuring sonatas by Shostakovich, Rachmaninoff, and Prokofiev, along with new arrangements of Russian-themed music from Paul McCartney to Pussy Riot. This follows the summer release of an album of solo cello music by Philip Glass on his Orange Mountain Music label, which includes the world premiere of Glass’s Partita No.2. The album was launched in June at a special concert with Philip Glass at the piano. This season will also see the release of Haimovitz’s live recording, with the Bruckner Orchestra and conductor Dennis Russell Davies, of the cello concerto by Isang Yun, commemorating the 100 year anniversary of the composer’s birth.

Haimovitz’ recording career encompasses more than 20 years of award-winning work on Deutsche Grammophon and his and composer/producer Luna Pearl Woolf’s own trailblazing independent label Oxingale Records, now in collaboration with PENTATONE. Three recent Oxingale albums have been nominated for Juno Awards and a fourth, BEETHOVEN, Period, a traversal of the Beethoven Sonatas and Variations for Piano and Cello on period instruments with Christopher O’Riley was an Editor’s Choice and one of the top-10 Beethoven albums of recent times, at Gramophone Magazine. Recent releases also include ORBIT, an expansive 3-SACD compilation of Haimovitz’ solo cello work, and reissues of the critically-acclaimed Shuffle.Play.Listen (with Christopher O’Riley), AKOKA (with David Krakauer), and Meeting of the Spirits, which was nominated for a GRAMMY® for Best Classical Crossover Album and won a GRAMMY® for Best Producer of the Year (Classical). Haimovitz’ recording of Philip Glass’s Cello Concerto No. 2, “Naqoyqatsi,” with the Cincinnati Symphony and Dennis Russell Davies, recorded live in Cincinnati, has received universal acclaim.

In 2006, Haimovitz received the Concert Music Award from ASCAP for his advocacy of living composers and pioneering spirit, and in 2004, the American Music Center awarded Haimovitz the Trailblazer Award, for his far-reaching contributions to American music. Born in Israel, Haimovitz has also been honored with the Avery Fisher Career Grant (1986), the Grand Prix du Disque (1991), the Diapason d’Or (1991) and he is the first cellist ever to receive the prestigious Premio Internazionale “Accademia Musicale Chigiana” (1999). Haimovitz studied at the Collegiate School in New York and at the Juilliard School, in the final class of Leonard Rose, after which he continued his cello studies with Ronald Leonard and Yo-Yo Ma. In 1996, he received a B.A. magna cum laude with highest honors from Harvard University. Matt Haimovitz plays a Venetian cello, made in 1710 by Matteo Gofriller.

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Matt Haimovitz Discography:

ANGEL HEART, a music storybook (2018)

ISANG YUN: Sunrise Falling

Tippet Rise OPUS 2017: Daydreams



Philip Glass: Partitas for Solo Cello

Tippet Rise OPUS 2016: DOMO

MEETING of the Spirits (PENTATONE Oxingale Series)

AKOKA: Reframing Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time (PENTATONE Oxingale Series)


SCHUBERT Arpeggione Sonata and String Quintet

The Cello Suites According to Anna Magdalena



Akoka: Reframing Olivier Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time

Angel Heart, a music storybook

Rumi Symphony


Matteo: 300 Years of an Italian Cello

Meeting of the Spirits


Odd Couple

J. S. Bach: Goldberg Variations

VinylCello – CD & limited edition 12″ LP

After Reading Shakespeare

David Sanford & the Pittsburgh Collective: Live at the Knitting Factory

Après Moi, le Déluge

Mozart the Mason 



Please Welcome… Matt Haimovitz
Compilation of Oxingale releases in SACD Surround Sound format
Released 2004


Hyperstring Trilogy

Haydn Mozart
Matt Haimovitz, cello
Orchestre de Bretagne / Stephan Sanderling
Haydn: Cello Concerto in C Major, Hob. VIIb. 1
Haydn: Cello Concerto in D Major, Hob. VIIb. 2
Mozart: Cello Concerto in D Major, K. 285 d arranged by George Szell
Released 2003
Transart Live TR121

The Rose Album

Lemons Descending

J.S. Bach: 6 Suites for Cello Solo

Eileen Clark, soprano, Matt Haimovitz, ‘cello
Luna Pearl Woolf: The Orange and the UnderTree
Limited edition CD
Released 1999
Oxingale Records

Portes Ouvertes: The 20th Century Cello Volume 3
Matt Haimovitz, cello, Philippe Cassard, Piano
Reger: Suite for Solo Cello in a minor, op. 131c no. 3
Webern: Three Little Pieces for Cello and Piano
Dutilleux: 3 Strophes sur le nom de Sacher
Debussy: Sonata for Cello and Piano
Britten: Tema “Sacher” for Solo Cello, Sonata in c for cello and Piano, op. 65
Released 1999
Deutsche Grammophon 457 584-2

The 20th Century Cello Volume 2
Matt Haimovitz, cello
Britten: Second Suite for Cello, op. 80
Davidovsky: Synchronisms No. 3
Harbison: Suite for Solo Cello
Perle: Hebrew Melodies for Unaccompanied Cello
Sessions: Six Pieces for Violoncello
Released 1997
Deutsche Grammophon 453 417-2

The 20th Century Cello
Matt Haimovitz, cello
Kodaly: Sonata, op. 8 (1915)
Britten: Suite No. 3 for Solo Cello, op. 87
Berio: Les mots sont allés. . .”Recitativo” pour cello seul
Henze: Cappriccio per violoncello solo
Released 1995
Deutsche Grammophon 445 834-2

Trios with Rob Wasserman
Matt Haimovitz improvises with Joan Jeanrenaud and Rob Wasserman. Other featured artists include Brian and Carnie Wilson, Neil Young, Bob Weir, Bruse Hornsby, Branford Marsalis, Edie Brickell, Jerry Garcia, and Elvis Costello.
Released 1993
GRP Records MGD-4021

Suites and Sonatas for Solo Cello
Matt Haimovitz, cello
Britten: Suite No. 1 for Solo Cello, op. 72
Crumb: Sonata for Solo Cello
Ligeti: Sonata for Solo Cello
Reger: Suite No. 1 for Solo Cello, op. 131c
Released 1991
Deutsche Grammophon

Haydn, C.P.E. Bach, Boccherini: Cello Concertos
Matt Haimovitz, cello
English Chamber Orchestra / Andrew Davis
C.P.E. Bach: Cello Concerto in a minor, Wq. 172
Boccherini: Cello Concerto in Bb major, G.482
Haydn: Cello Concerto in c major, Hob. VIIb: 1
Released 1990
Deutsche Grammophon

Saint-Saens, Lalo: Cello Concertos, Bruch Kol Nidrei
Matt Haimovitz, cello
Chicago Symphony Orchestra / James Levine
Bruch: Kol Nidrei, op. 47
Lalo: Cello Concerto in d minor
Saint-Saens: Cello Concerto No. 1 in a minor, op. 33
Released 1989
Deutsche Grammophon 427 323-2