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The Adventures of a CelloThe Adventures of a Cello

Carlos Prieto


Book published by University of Texas Press


In 1720, Antonio Stradivari crafted an exquisite work of art—a cello known as the Piatti. Over the next three centuries of its life, the Piatti cello left its birthplace of Cremona, Italy, and resided in Spain, Ireland, England, Italy, Germany, and the United States. In 1978, the Piatti became the musical soul mate of world-renowned cellist Carlos Prieto, with whom it has given concerts around the world.

In this delightful book, Mr. Prieto recounts the adventurous life of his beloved "Cello Prieto," tracing its history through each of its previous owners from Stradivari in 1720 to himself. He then describes his noteworthy experiences of playing the Piatti cello, with which he has premiered some eighty compositions. In this part of their mutual story, Prieto gives a concise summary of his own remarkable career and his relationships with many illustrious personalities, including Igor Stravinsky, Dmitry Shostakovich, Pablo Casals, Mstislav Rostropovich, Yo-Yo Ma, and Gabriel García Márquez. A new epilogue, in which he describes recent concert tours in Moscow, Siberia, and China and briefer visits to South Korea, Taiwan, and Venezuela, as well as recent recitals with Yo-Yo Ma, brings the story up to 2009.

To make the story of his cello complete, Mr. Prieto also provides a brief history of violin making and a succinct review of cello music from Stradivari to the present. He highlights the work of composers from Latin America, Spain, and Portugal, for whose music he has long been an advocate and principal performer.

Carlos Prieto is an internationally acclaimed concert cellist who is considered one of Latin America's premier cellists. He has performed throughout the United States, Latin America, Europe, Russia, China, India, and other countries. His many honors include the National Award for the Arts of Mexico, the French Order of Arts and Letters, the Order of Civil Merit awarded by the King of Spain, the Pushkin Medal from the President of Russia, the Eva Janzer Award ("Chevalier du Violoncelle") from the University of Indiana, the Cultural Leadership Citation from the Yale University School of Music, and the Achievement Award of the Mexican Cultural Institute of New York. He has recorded over eighty works, including the complete Bach suites for solo cello, and is the author of seven books.

REVIEWS:

“Music as a great adventure of mind and body: this is what Carlos Prieto gives us in this spirited book." Carlos Fuentes "Like Rostropovich, Carlos Prieto is a true champion of the cello. A creative artist, scholar, and storyteller, Carlos has been a prolific contributor to the flow of music throughout the western hemisphere, premiering compositions of some of the greatest contemporary composers and helping to nurture and develop an entire generation of Latin America's most talented musicians. I am privileged to know him as a colleague and honored to call him my friend.”

—Yo-Yo Ma





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