Welcome To the Arizona Cello Society!

Dear Friends,

It is with sadness that I inform you of the death of Taki Atsumi.  He suffered a stroke several weeks ago and was unable to recover.
Taki was the cello professor at Arizona State University for 37 years and principal cellist of the Phoenix Symphony for 19 seasons.
During his tenure at ASU, Taki Atsumi founded the Arizona Cello Society, which hosted many of the world's greatest cellists: Pierre Fournier, Janos Starker, Gregor Piatigorsky, Yo Yo Ma, Zara Nelsova, Raya Garbusova, Lazlo Varga, Mstislav Rostropovich and Pablo Casals. Four American Cello Congresses have taken place on the ASU campus, gathering cello devotees from all over the world.

In 1994, Atsumi was awarded the prestigious Chevalier du Violoncelle by Indiana University. After retiring, he was a founding member of the Emeritus College at ASU.

His contributions to the Cello World were acknowledged through a concert which featured the late Bernard Greenhouse of the Beaux Arts Trio, Scott Kluksdahl of the Florida Cello Society, Brian Thornton of the Cleveland Orchestra, the Phoenix Symphony Cello Section and the ASU Cello Choir. The concert concluded with a Cello Orchestra comprised of many friends and former students of Taki.
Donations at the concerts of the Arizona Cello Society have established a growing endowed scholarship for cello study at ASU.  A memorial concert is being planned.


Tom Landschoot, President

The Arizona Cello Society Presents

Your browser may not support display of this image.

Atsumi Scholarship Concert

February 27th, 2010 at 2:00

First United Methodist Church of Tempe

215 E. University Drive


Bernard Greenhouse


Scott Kluksdahl

With the Phoenix Symphony Cello Section, Arizona State University Cello Choir, Grand Arizona Cello Society Cello Choir, and other friends!

Upcoming Master Classes

February 27th

Scott Kluksdahl

Presentation on the pedagogy of Margaret Rowell


Bring instruments 

A native of California, cellist 
SCOTT KLUKSDAHL made his debut with The San Francisco Symphony, and has been heard since as orchestral soloist, recitalist and chamber musician in major metropolitan centers throughout the United States, Europe, Israel and Latin America. In addition to The San Francisco Symphony, Scott Kluksdahl has appeared as guest soloist with the orchestras of Asheville, Bozeman, Kalispell, Marin, Omaha, Richmond (IN), Tampa Bay and Wyoming, as well as Bulgaria’s Sofia Philharmonic Orchestra and Colombia’s Orquesta Filarmónica de Bogotá. He gave the premiere performances of Augusta Read Thomas’Passion Prayers with the Chicago Contemporary Players and the Philadelphia Network for New Music, with whom he subsequently recorded the work, performed Ralph Shapey’s Double Concerto for Cello, Piano and Orchestra with Florence Millet at the Kennedy Center Friedheim Awards, and presented the world premiere of James Lewis’ Doubles Singles Variables. Israel’s Hed Music Center featured Mr. Kluksdahl in premieres of Hanoch Jacoby’s King David’s Lyre, Oedeon Partos’ Yzkor and Mourning Music and Tzvi Avni’s Khaddish, all for cello and orchestra.

As a recitalist, Scott Kluksdahl has been heard throughout the United States, including the major musical centers of New York City, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, San Francisco and Washington, DC. He possesses a special affinity for the unaccompanied cello repertory spanning four centuries, and, following a daring unaccompanied program at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall in New York City, Strings magazine identified him as “a simply superb cellist, playing with consummate technical ease, a beautiful sound, total conviction, authority and dedication to the music.” Mr. Kluksdahl received national attention for his celebrated presentation of the complete Cello Suites of Bach at the Oregon Bach Festival, and he has performed the complete six-suite cycle in venues that include New York City’s St. Bartholomew’s Church, Philadelphia Bach Festival, San Francisco Theological Seminary and Tampa Bay’s historic Springs Theatre.

Scott Kluksdahl is widely esteemed as an ardent advocate of the music of our own time, and he continues to commission, premiere and record works from a widening spectrum of composers, including Elliott Carter, Robert Helps, Bernard Rands, Augusta Read Thomas, David del Tredici and Richard Wernick. Recent cutting-edge recordings - “Lines for Solo Cello” (CRI) and American Piano Trios (Centaur) - have garnered widespread acclaim. Mr. Kluksdahl’s latest CD, “Sound Vessels” (Centaur), features cello-piano works of Elliott Carter, Robert Helps, Augusta Read Thomas and Richard Wernick. The recipient of the Tanglewood Music Center’s Leonard Bernstein Fellowship and prizes in the 1990 Walter W. Naumburg International Cello Competition and the Washington International Competition, Scott Kluksdahl holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English and American literature from Harvard University and a Master of Music Degree from The Juilliard School. His principal teachers were Margaret Rowell, Joel Krosnick, William Pleeth and Leonard Rose.  A dedicated teacher, himself, Scott Kluksdahl is the Theodore and Vennette Askounes-Ashford Distinguished Scholar at the University of South Florida and also serves on the faculties of Vermont’s Killington Music Festival and California Summer Music. He has been an invited soloist and guest faculty member at Indiana University and, with the Lions Gate Trio, was in residence at The Hartt School of the University of Hartford. Mr. Kluksdahl’s commitment to teaching prompted renowned cellist Zara Nelsova to remark, “It is rare to find a cellist who is equally at home as a concert artist as well as a great pedagogue. In my opinion Scott Kluksdahl has one of the great talents of his generation.”

February 28th

Brian Thornton

Cello Excepts Master Class

Sunday Feb. 28 10:30-12:0

Recital Hall

Brian Thornton is currently in the middle of his eleventh season with the Cleveland Orchestra.  His cello studies began in a public school orchestra program in Chicago.  After moving to Dallas, Mr. Thornton began study with Lev Aronson at the age of 14.  He continued studying with Mr. Aronson while at Southern Methodist University.  Mr. Thornton then studied with Lynn Harrell at the University of Southern California, John Sharp at Northwestern University and Stephen Geber at the Cleveland Institute of Music. He has been a featured soloist in Dallas, Los Angeles, Chicago and Cleveland, in addition to soloing several times at the White House.  Brian plays a Vuillaume cello that was made in Paris, France in 1856.  Mr. Thornton lives in Cleveland Heights with his wife, Jennifer Woda, a mezzo-soprano, and their 16-month-old daughter, Maya.

March 1st

Bernard Greenhouse

Cello Master Class

Monday March 1, 4:30-6:30 pm

Recital Hall 

Bernard Greenhouse (born January 3,[1] 1916) is an American cellist and one of the founding members of the Beaux Arts Trio.

He was born in Newark, New Jersey,[2] and started his professional studies with Felix Salmond at Juilliard when he was eighteen.[3] After four years of study with Salmond, Greenhouse proceeded to move on to studies with Emanuel FeuermannDiran Alexanian, and then became one of the very few long term students ofPablo Casals, studying with him from 1946-1948.[3]

After finishing studies with Casals, Greenhouse went on to pursue a solo career for twelve years. He struggled with this however, as the cello was not a very popular solo instrument at the time. During this period he encountered violinist Daniel Guilet, who invited Greenhouse to record some Mozart piano trios with pianist Menahem Pressler. In 1955 they met in New York City, the first meeting of what was to become the Beaux Arts Trio.[3]

In 1958, Greenhouse acquired the "Countess of Stanlein", also called the "Paganini Strad", one of 63 Stradivarius celli, and as of 2008 he has played it ever since. [4]

In 1987, he left the trio, and was replaced with cellist Peter Wiley.[5]

During his career, he has taught at the State University of New York at Stony BrookManhattan School of MusicNew England ConservatoryRutgers Universityand the Juilliard School.[3] A series of videos of his master classes were produced in 1993 by Ethan Winer.[3][6]

Though retired from institutional teaching, Greenhouse as of 2008 still gives master classes throughout the United StatesCanada,China,Korea, Japan and Europe.[3][7]

Interviewed as the farewell concert of the Beaux Arts Trio on August 21, 2008 approached, he said he practices every day and is considered "the old man of the cello", with other ageing cellists being surprised that he still performs at the age of 92.[4] Greenhouse will also remain the oldest of those who have played in the trio, until at least 2015, Daniel Guilet (who was born about a week short of 17 years earlier) having died at the age of 91,[8] and Isidore Cohen having died at 82.[9] . To this day Bernard Greenhouse is passionate about passing on his deep love of cello playing and a life in music.