Toronto Cello School
Toronto Cello School - Oleg Volkov Toronto Cello School was founded by well-known Russian cellist Oleg Volkov to provide the highest standards of string instruments playing for students of all ages.

In Toronto Cello School you can learn to play cello at the highest level. We also teach violin and viola; give piano lessons for beginners and music theory lessons and provide our students with excellent performance opportunities.

Contact us today for further details about Toronto Cello School and to book your FIRST FREE LESSON:
CALL NOW: 416-951-5417

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Canadian Cellists: Julian Armour

Julian Armour is principal cellist of the Thirteen Strings Chamber Orchestra and is Artistic and Executive Director of the highly successful Ottawa Chamber Music Society.

Excerpts from bio:
...born Missoula, MT, of Canadian parents, 29 Sep 1960... Shortly after birth, moved to Canada... a graduate of McGill University where he was a student of the distinguished Canadian cellist Walter Joachim...

...established the Ottawa Chamber Music Festival in 1993...
...under his directorship, the Ottawa International Chamber Music Festival has grown to become the world's largest chamber music festival...

...was principal cellist of the Montreal Chamber Orchestra (1982-86) and conducted the Purcell Chamber Orchestra (1984-85)...

...heard regularly on CBC radio, both as a soloist and as a chamber musician...

The recipient of numerous awards:
  • The Community Foundation's Investing in People Award
  • The Victor Tolgesy Arts Award by the Council for the Arts in Ottawa
  • Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (Government of France)
  • The Meritorious Service Medal by Her Excellency the Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson, Governor General and Commander-in-Chief of Canada
  • Named one of Ottawa's Top 50 Movers and Shakers (Ottawa Life Magazine)
  • Canada's Meritorious Service Medal
  • The Ottawa Sun's Arts Newsmaker of the Year

The Thirteen Strings:
The Canadian Encyclopaedia:
Chamber Players Canada:

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Cello Rock :: Apocalyptica

Recommended Reading

Cello rock

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Cello rock and cello metal are subgenres of rock music and heavy metal characterized by the use of cellos (as well as other bowed string instruments such as the violin and viola) as primary instruments, alongside or in place of more traditional rock instruments such as electric guitars, electric bass guitar, and drum set.

Cellos, often in groups of three or more, are used to create a sound, rhythm, and texture similar to that of familiar rock music, but distinctly reshaped by the unique timbres and more traditional genres of the cello (in particular) and other string instruments used. The cellos and other stringed instruments are often amplified and/or modified electronically, and often played in a manner imitative of the sound of electric guitars. They are often combined with other elements typical of rock music such as rock-style vocals and drumming.

Current prominent bands include: Rasputina, Apocalyptica, Primitivity, Judgement Day, A Collective of Dirt, Aaron Minsky, Hyperion and Break of Reality.
Cello RockApocalyptica is a Finnish symphonic metal band from Helsinki, Finland, formed in 1993. The band is composed of classically trained cellists and, since 2003, a drummer. Three of the cellists are graduates of the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, Finland. Their music features elements from classical music and neo-classical metal, to symphonic metal and thrash metal. They have sold over three million albums to date.

Apocalyptica was formed in 1993[1] when four cellists, Eicca Toppinen, Paavo Lötjönen, Max Lilja, and Antero Manninen gathered to play Metallica covers at Sibelius Academy. In 1996, Apocalyptica released their debut studio album, Plays Metallica by Four Cellos, which consisted solely of Metallica covers played on cellos. In 1998, Apocalyptica released their second studio album, Inquisition Symphony, which was produced by Hiili Hiilesmaa. Inquisition Symphony once again contained covers of Metallica, but also contained covers of Faith No More, Sepultura, and Pantera. For this album the band also decided to include three original songs written by Eicca Toppinen.

Read the full article here:

Listen and watch on YouTube:
Hall of The Mountain King
From 'Apocalyptica: The Life Burns Tour DVD'

Do not forget to listen to the original sound, clean from metallic noise:
Edvard Grieg's "In the Hall of the Mountain King" performed at the Musikfestspiele Potsdam Sanssouci by the Deutsches Filmorchester Babelsberg under the direction of Scott Lawton.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

History of Cello in Canada

Recommended Reading:

The Canadian Encyclopedia
Encyclopedia of Music in Canada
Cello. The bass of the violin family ('basso di violino') was made in the early 1600s, but it was not until the 18th century that it was recognized as a potential solo instrument, ideal string quartet bass, and orchestral instrument. By the late 18th century, the growing popularity of string quartets and quintets by composers such as Boccherini, Haydn, Mozart, and Pleyel created a demand for cellists. George Gibsone, Narcisse Hamel, J. Harvicker, and Adam Schott were worthy cellists active in Canada from the late 18th to the mid-19th centuries. Two professionally trained French cellists arrived in Canada mid-century - Antoine Dessane in 1848 in Quebec City and Paul Letondal in 1852 in Montreal. At a recital in 1854 Letondal performed works by the cello virtuoso Auguste Franchomme, as well as a fantasy of his own composition.

Read the complete article here:

Friday, April 2, 2010

Free sheet music for Cello @ IMSLP

List of Compositions Featuring the Cello

This is a list of public domain compositions that feature the cello and that have been uploaded to IMSLP. These include cello solo works, cello sonatas, cello concertos, transcriptions and even chamber music pieces that feature the cello.

Michelle Kyle - Cello, Toronto

Recommended reading:

The autobiography of cellist Michelle Kyle

...a visiting music teacher asked us all to demonstrate separating our second and third fingers while keeping our first and second, and our third and fourth, together...

...I began playing cello in the orchestra of the local high school before I was old enough to attend that school...

...In my first year at Brandon, I excelled. I won full tuition scholarships, additional string performance scholarships and academic scholarships, and I won the local music competitions...

...I had the rare musicality needed to be a soloist, but didn't know how to focus my practicing to develop my technique...

...After one year of Gisela's teaching approach..... I changed my major to piano...

...Ironically, when I was working on my own with no cello teacher, I won the Edward Johnson Music Competition as a cello soloist...

...I moved to Toronto to study law at Osgoode Hall...

...I auditioned to play cello in the Toronto subway, and won a licence to play that helped me pay my law school tuition. I played in the subway for a few years while I was in law school, and I still meet people who remember hearing me play there!..

...My string trio plays music by Ennio Morricone, Journey, U2, Aerosmith, Coldplay...

Thursday, April 1, 2010

April Fool's Cello

Here is a short collection of cello jokes for the April 1st, 2010.
Jokes borrowed and slightly adapted from
Pictures - from

Did you hear about the cellist who bragged that he could play 32nd notes? The rest of the orchestra didn't believe him, so he proved it by playing one.

A violinist noticed at the end of each rehearsal break, one of the cellists would look at the inside flap of his jacket before he sat down to resume rehearsal. This continued for several decades, and the violinist became quite curious about it.

One day, during hot weather, the cellist took off his jacket and went off on break. The violinist waited until everyone was off the platform, looked around, and sneaked over to the jacket. He pulled back the flap and saw a little note pinned on the inside......
It read: "Cello left hand, bow right."

Q: Why can't you hear a cello on a digital recording?
A: Recording technology has reached such an advanced level of development that all extraneous noise is eliminated.

A group of terrorists hijacked a plane full of cellists.
They called down to ground control with their list of demands and added that if their demands weren't met, they would release one cellist every hour.

Q: What's the difference between the first and last desk of a cello section?
A: A semi-tone.

A noted comic was recently flying to Toronto. He decided to strike up a conversation with his seat mate.
"I've got a great cellist joke. Would you like to hear it?"
"I should let you know first that I am a cellist".
"That's OK. I'll tell it real slow!"

Q: Why do so many people take an instant dislike to the cello?
A: It saves time.