Evangeline Benedetti

Cello

About

Evangeline's Performing Career

In 1967 Evangeline Benedetti was invited by Leonard Bernstein himself to become a member of the New York Philharmonic, the first female cellist and the second tenured woman. She remained an active and integral member for more than 40 years, during which time she played nearly 8,000 concerts and participated in countless recordings and television productions including the renowned Young People's Concerts conducted by Bernstein. Evangeline has toured the world many times over, and played alongside the world's greatest instrumental and vocal soloists, including Artur Rubenstein, Vladimir Horowitz, Isaac Stern, David Oistrakh, Mistislav Rostropovich, Emanuel Ax, Yefim Bronfman, Itzhak Perlman, Yo Yo Ma, Luciano Pavarotti, and Joan Sutherland to name a few. In addition to playing 200 prestigious premiers, her extensive work with celebrated conductors such as Leonard Bernstein, George Szell, Pierre Boulez, Zubin Mehta, Kurt Masur, Lorin Maazel and Alan Gilbert is unique and rare, and makes her a valuable musical resource for students, emerging professionals and professional players alike. In demand as a chamber musician, she has collaborated with celebrated colleagues such as Yefim Bronfman (piano), Stanley Drucker (clarinet), and Philip Smith (trumpet). Evangeline gave her New York solo recital debut to rave reviews, with the New York Times calling her approach to playing as “strikingly similar to Casals” and praising her "technical capacity," her "big, vibrant tone" and her "enormous communicativeness." Evangeline is currently a member of the cello faculty with the iClassical Academy, an innovative master class resource that "connects young musicians with some of the worlds most accomplished teachers." She served for 20 years on the faculty of Manhattan School of Music and is a sought after master clinician and guest artist. She has given master classes in Pyongyang, North Korea, Tokyo, Kyoto, and Shanghai, and at major music schools such as Juilliard, Manhattan School of Music, and Mannes, The New School for Music, as well as with the San Diego Symphony. ​ Evangeline currently lives in New York, where she teaches, continues to perform and serves on the boards of The Bloomingdale School of Music and The Violoncello Society of New York.


Evangeline's Work with the Alexander Technique and Bio-Mechanics

Shortly after joining the New York Philharmonic, Evangeline became a dedicated student of the Alexander Technique as a way to overcome the physical discomforts brought on by her demanding career. Her commitment to the technique, and its measurable results in her own playing, led her to earn a certification as a teacher of the Technique in 1991. She saw that there were concepts of this study that could be applied to cello playing and thus began to revamp her playing based on the Alexander Technique A few years later she met Dr. Mark Gomez, a bio mechanical engineer, who was interested in understanding and solving musicians' physical problems from a bio-mechanical point of view. The two collaborated, and from their work together evolved an approach to playing that is unique, healthy and sustainable. CLICK HERE to learn more about Dr. Mark Gomez

Evangeline's Approach to Teaching and Playing the Cello

Evangeline's approach to playing and teaching is a synthesis of the cellist's thought, knowledge of the dynamic properties of the instrument and bow, and knowledge of one's body to apply ease of movement to playing. In cello playing, this is ideally a perfect synergy of the mind’s musical thought stimulating the hands to manipulate the cello-bow, with the rest of the body integrated into the movement of the hands. These principles can be applied to any instrument, including the human voice, to free you to be as musically expressive as possible. Benedetti is the author of Cello, Bow and You: Putting It All Together, published by Oxford University Press.