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New Cellist for the Garth Newel Piano Quartet

With great excitement, Garth Newel Music Center announces that cellist Isaac Melamed will join the Garth Newel Piano Quartet effective May 1, 2014.  Melamed is Californian and graduate of the Manhattan School of Music and his Garth Newel debut performances will be during the “Archduke Weekend,” Friday, Saturday and Sunday (May 2, 3 and 4.)

“The search has been extensive,” says Chris Williams, the Music Center’s Executive Director.  Isaac will be only the third cellist ever appointed to serve full-time in the position, following long tenures by Garth Newel’s co-founder Luca Di Cecco and cellist Tobias Werner, who served from 1999 to 2013.”  

“Filling such big shoes and finding the right musician to serve as a member of the Quartet and as a Co-Artistic Director of the Music Center has been quite a challenge.  We accepted resumes from more than a hundred cellists and followed up with in-person auditions and interviews with nine extremely qualified and talented musicians.  We considered on-stage skills and musicality, off-stage demeanor, and administrative acumen in our deliberations.  We’ve taken our time and I’m thrilled with the results.”

‘I am so excited to be joining Teresa, Evelyn and Genevieve as part of the Garth Newel Piano Quartet.” says Melamed.  “In the short time that I’ve known them, it’s become apparent that they are not only incredibly talented musicians but fantastic people as well.  I got a taste in January, from board members Philip [Deemer] and Margo [Clegg] and their spouses, of the remarkable support there is for music in this community.   Add the passion, commitment and overwhelming positive energy that Chris brings as Executive Director, and Garth Newel strikes me as a pretty amazing place to be a part of.  If I make it across the country in one piece (I’m driving!), I hope to take the lead from all of these wonderful people.’

 “We are all very excited to welcome Isaac to Garth Newel and to the Quartet, and to introducing him to our many loyal patrons” says Evelyn Grau, the Quartet’s Violist and Music Center’s Co-Artistic Director. “I think he’ll be a hit!” 

“We’ve had many wonderful guest cellists filling in for the past year, but there is a greater depth to the work and to the music-making when there is stability within the ensemble.   We eagerly look forward to beginning our work with Isaac,” Grau adds. 

Mr. Melamed’s musical endeavors connect him to some of the greatest musicians and teachers of our time.  A San Francisco native, Isaac studied with Grammy Award-winning cellist Antonio Lysy in Los Angeles, where he enjoyed solo engagements with the UCLA Philharmonia and Symphony Orchestras, and the Los Angeles Youth Orchestra.  

As a chamber musician, Isaac collaborated and performed with Lysy, Ettore Causa, Neal Stulberg, Movses Pogossian, Gary Gray, Amos Yang and Juliana Gondek.  While studying in Manhattan with Alan Stepansky and David Geber, Isaac participated in Manhattan School of Music’s prestigious Orchestral Performance program, including multiple performances in Carnegie Hall. 

In Amsterdam, Isaac studied under Dmitri Ferschtman and Daniel Esser of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra.  Recent international engagements include Montepulciano, Italy, where he performed chamber music with the Virtuosi dei Rencontres Musicales Camerata Lysy; Santo Domingo, where he played with the National Orchestra of the Dominican Republic; and Nice, France, where he performed under the Baton of Maestro Philippe Entremont. 

Isaac joined the New Century Chamber Orchestra in 2012.  As one of the world’s premier conductorless string orchestras, the group has toured across the country and performed extensively throughout the Bay Area under the direction of violinist Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg.  Isaac is also a member of the Marin Symphony and the Berkeley Symphony, and has been on the cello faculty at The Crowden School in Berkeley for the past year and a half.  He and his fiancĂ©, violinist and pianist Ting-Ting Yen, will be relocating to Hot Springs later this month.

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