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Supporting New Music for Cello Students

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To expand cello student repertoire with the commission of new pedagogical concert works and etudes representing diverse musical styles and cultural backgrounds.

Cello Teaching Repertoire Consortium exists to support the creation of new music for cello students by expert string players, to organize masterclasses connecting perfomer-composers with teachers and students, and connect cello students to a living tradition of contemporary music that helps them to grow as cellists and musicians.

CTRC aims to support creating intermediate- to early advanced-level teaching pieces that help students to build core techniques of perpetual motion, lyrical playing, thumb position, shifting, vibrato, double stops, and advanced bowing patterns. Rather than introducing new, unidiomatic challenges, or primarily challenges of interpretation, these works will challenge students to master their instruments with core instrumental techniques in diverse musical styles. The commissioned pieces will be written by composers with advanced knowledge of cello technique and appropriate pedagogical sequencing in order to create works that can supplement or replace historical pedagogical stand-by pieces, and give students and teachers fresh compositions they can share in recitals and at contests.

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This year we are commissioning Bianca d'Avila Do Prado and Jon Silpayamanant to each write one 5-7 minute concert etude for cello at an intermediate level.

Bianca d'Avila Do Prado will write a small suite (5 or 6 movements) for cello solo featuring preparation for skills needed in Suzuki Book 4 and some interesting Latin American rhythms.

Jon Silpayamanant will write a two-movement piece targeting ASTACAP Grade 5, Suzuki 5/6. The first slow movement will include many ornaments specific to Thai Classical Music string playing. A faster second movement in an  Isaan Mor Lam style will incorporate more double stops and be reminiscent of Western fiddle styles.

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March 1-July 16: Commissioning partner drive 

June 21: Draft piece delivered to CTRC leaders for editing period

June 26-July 15: Selected participants of the Eastman Cello Institute preview the pieces for editing and pedagogical effectiveness

August 1-September 30: Premiere Period

October 1: Post-Premiere Period


CTRC 2023 Commissioned Composer

Jon Silpayamanant is a cellist, composer, researcher, and music educator, based in the greater Louisville and Kentuckiana area. His recent compositions include scores for productions by Teatro Tercera Llamada, a Spanish Language theater company and Kasari Dance Modern Dance company: both based in Louisville. He is currently working on a commission for the Manchester Symphony Orchestra in collaboration with the Mikautadze Dance Theatre, and is currently working on a Global cello method book series which will include compositions from diverse composers all around the world and music from different global cello performing traditions in addition to his own compositions.

He has been commissioned by Juilliard’s Music Advancement Program (MAP) to compose a collected series of cello etudes that builds on their efforts to embrace and build a more representative world of classical music. The goal of the etude book commissioning series is to create a body of work uniquely suited for the development of young musicians in their formative years.

Mr. Silpayamanant was host of a three-part feature for BBC Radio 3 called “A World of Classical” which aired in July 2022 and has a book chapter in Voices for Change in the Classical Music Profession published by Oxford University Press in March 2023.

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CTRC 2023 Commissioned Composer

Brazilian cellist and pedagogue Bianca d’Avila do Prado is faculty at the Music Institute of Chicago and online instructor for the University of Idaho Preparatory Division. At MIC she recently started the Third Coast Suzuki Cello Outreach Program for the Hispanic community.

She holds a Master of Music in Cello Performance and String Pedagogy degree from Illinois State University, where she was as a Graduate Assistant for their String Project and was the ISU Symphony Principal Cello.
Ms. Prado has been working on making Brazilian music for strings more well-known and performed in the US. Her article, "Teaching Diversity: Four Brazilian Pieces for String Orchestra," was published in The Scroll Magazine. Another article, titled "Viajando Pelo Brasil I, Suite for Strings: A Fun way to Explore the Richness of Brazilian Culture and Music," was published in the American String Teacher Magazine.
Her composition “Brazilian Habanera” will be published as part of the beginning level volume of the Celebrating Diversity in String Music Anthology, promoted by the University of Tennessee-Knoxville.

Ms. Prado's work for CTRC 2023 will target the following level: Suzuki Book 4, ASTACAP level 4
Features: Mixed bowing patterns and bow strokes; Some double stops and chords; Increased velocity and/or develop lyrical playing, plus some syncopated rhythms work; Bass Clef, some tenor clef; Natural harmonics, pizzicato, percussion; Mainly in 1 st  to 4 th  position, with eventual 5 th , 6 th , 7 th  position use; Balance technical challenges (executive skills) and musicianship challenges (rhythmic, melodic materials, style)
Repertoire: Suzuki Book 4 pieces; Beethoven-Stutschewsky: Sonatina in D; Gabrielli: Ricercar No. 1; Popper: Fond Recollections, Op. 64 no.1; Romberg: Sonata in E Minor, Op. 38; Schumann: Traumerei, Op. 15

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