This master class is presented as part of the East Coast Chamber Orchestra Residency, co-sponsored by Texas Performing Arts
From the beginning of his work as a performer, cellist Gregory Beaver has been fascinated with the process of growth. This fuels his performing, composing, teaching, and writing with a passion from 18 years of performing internationally with the Chiara String Quartet. It permeates his published writings in Strad Magazine, a book on computer programming, his contributions to the open source programming world and even his personal recipe for guacamole. After the Chiara Quartet concludes its performing activities in 2018, Mr. Beaver will take this passion and devote it to expanding his teaching activities, composing, and solo performing.
Teaching traditionally invokes the image of a staid classroom, clear curriculum and strict rules to be followed. Mr. Beaver is not interested in just conforming to what has been tried in the past. His experience in the bumpy career path of a professional string quartet illustrated quite clearly that a holistic understanding of life, art, and business is more energizing. His students have been on the receiving end of experiments for many years to help them develop the precise skills needed to unlock their true potential, as humans and ambassadors for their music, and not just as cellists. He is the author of several cello etudes called the “Impossible Etudes” and myriad exercises to fine-tune the specific needs of each student.
His writing touches on issues relating to self-awareness, on practicing effectiveness, on connecting to others more effectively in chamber music as well as poetry and larger issues with society and politics. Mr. Beaver writes for his blog, https://gregorybeaver.com, as well as CelloBello, where he is a regular guest on “cello chats.”
Before his professional life in the Chiara Quartet, Mr. Beaver studied with Joel Krosnick at the Juilliard School, and Norman Fischer at Rice University. He had the opportunity to work with great conductors such as Claudio Abbado, Pierre Boulez, Seiji Ozawa, played principal cello of the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra, and won first prize at the Corpus Christi International Competition. He began his cello studies under Char Sherman as a Suzuki student and studied in high school with renowned pedagogue Louis Potter, jr. Mr. Potter studied with Willem Willeke at Juilliard, graduating in 1935. Mr. Willeke had a long and fruitful relationship with Johannes Brahms, perhaps explaining why Mr. Beaver feels an affinity for Brahms. Gregory loves to experience the completeness of things, and has performed cycles of Solo Bach, Beethoven Cello/Piano Sonatas, as well as Brahms, Beethoven, and Bartok cycles with the Chiara Quartet. He lives with his wife, Hyeyung Yoon, 2 daughters and cat in Lincoln, Nebraska.