Remembering Bernard… Legendary Cellist Dies at 95


Source: Laurinel Owens,

Bernard Greenhouse — great cellist, great teacher, and wonderful human — will be dearly missed. Fortunately, Mr. Greenhouse’s great cello playing and beautiful tone and refined musicianship will be with us forever through his recordings. His music will live forever.

From the NY Times:

Bernard Greenhouse, an internationally acclaimed cellist and a founding member of the Beaux Arts Trio, died on Friday at his home in Wellfleet, Mass., on Cape Cod. He was 95…

Long considered the most eminent piano trio in the world, the Beaux Arts was founded in 1955 by Mr. Greenhouse, the violinist Daniel Guilet and the pianist Menahem Pressler. It was known for its refined musicality and remarkable continuity of personnel: Mr. Greenhouse, for instance, played with the group for 32 years until retiring in 1987…

Mr. Greenhouse began his career at midcentury as a soloist, but he shouldered a triple onus: he was a cellist; a restrained, contemplative player; and, before long, a member of a piano trio.

Though he played well-received solo recitals in the late 1940s, there was scant call for solo cellists then. The instrument was thought capable of little more than ooming and pahing at the bottom of an orchestra, and as a result concert presenters rarely booked cellists. (The situation obtained until the 1960s, when a series of televised master classes by Pablo Casals sent the cello’s popularity soaring.)

What was more, though Mr. Greenhouse had an impeccable command of his instrument, he was by temperament and choice not a flashy player. Unlike the bravura style of many marquee cellists, which typically involves a huge sound, intense vibrato and unbridled emotionalism, his work leaned toward subdued, thoughtful interpretations.

String Visions honors the visionary musician, who passed away in his Massachusetts home overlooking Wellfleet Harbor.

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