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Aldo Parisot, The Cellist

The Importance of The Circle

Susan Hawkshaw
March 30, 2018

210 pp.

24 illustrations

ISBN: 978-1-57647-309-2


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The only extant biography of renowned cellist Aldo Parisot, this book includes extensive interviews with him as well as contributions from established colleagues that give a first-hand explanation of his performing and teaching style. It is a serious work of scholarship, yet written in a lively and engaging style that captures the drama of Parisot’s life as well as his colorful personality and extraordinary talent. The book takes a chronological and complete approach, focusing on his extraordinary solo career, and is based on newspaper and magazine articles, reviews, and concert programs from all over the world. His extensive repertoire included demanding modern works such as the Schoenberg/Monn Cello Concerto and Martino’s Parisonatina, named and written in Parisot’s honor, as well as revival of older music. With regard to his teaching, one critic has termed his master classes an “object of pilgrimage.” Encounters with famous contemporaries such as Janos Starker, Heitor Villa-Lobos, Paul Hindemith, and Dave Brubeck are found throughout the book. Starker wrote, “I consider Aldo to be the best cello teacher of our time.” Prominent composers comment about works they dedicated to Parisot. A separate chapter describes his career as an abstract painter working in a sometimes whimsical style with vibrant color, and there are many photographs that highlight his collaboration with well-known colleagues.


Susan Hawkshaw:


March 26, 2019

ALDO PARISOT, THE CELLIST Susan Hawkshaw PENDRAGON PRESS The name Aldo Parisot has always loomed large in the consciousness of cellists throughout the 20th century up to the present day. The Brazilian cellist, who retired last year as Professor of cello at Yale University at the age of 99, is an iconic figure. An internationally recognised soloist, Parisot gravitated towards teaching and has imparted his wisdom to generations of cellists, many of whom such as Jian Wang and Ralph Kirschbaum have become today’s leading cellists. Janos Starker wrote, “Parisot is the best cello teacher of our time”. This book celebrates a very interesting life and reads like a who’s who of musical greats from the last hundred years. Upon coming to America, Parisot enjoyed a wide range of musical influences from the composer Hindemith to Leonard Bernstein and even the American jazz great Dave Brubeck whose music was later arranged for Parisot’s cello ensemble, the Yale Cellos. Parisot championed the music of contemporary composers, especially that of fellow Brazilian Heitor Villa-Lobos; cellists no doubt have Parisot to thank for writing extensively for the cello. While this book is fascinating, it can however be quite challenging to read as it is crammed with so much detail of numerous conversations with colleagues and clippings from concert programmes that the broad outline of Parisot’s life is sometimes overwhelmed. More a serious academic work than a traditional biography, musical scholars on the other hand will no doubt welcome these highly detailed insights. Warrick Dobbie


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