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American Cellist Leonard Rose Was Born

His students included Yo-Yo Ma, Lynn Harrell, John Sant’Ambrogio, Matt Haimovitz, Fred Sherry, and Myung-Wha Chung


Celebrated American cellist and pedagogue Leonard Rose was born on this day in 1918 in Washington, D.C. 

Rose served as section cellist of the NBC Symphony Orchestra and principal cellist of The Cleveland Orchestra and New York Philharmonic — positions he began at ages 20, 21, and 26, respectively.

His musical training began with his father as a child, who gave him his first lessons. Rose studied with Walter Grossman at the Miami Conservatory, Frank Miller — the principal cellist of the NBC Symphony Orchestra, and later studied with Felix Salmond at the Curtis Institute of Music.

In 1952, Leonard Rose, along with Isaac Stern and Eugene Istomin, decided to form a trio — later becoming the Istomin-Stern-Rose Trio. The trio toured and recorded together for 28 years while maintaining their careers as esteemed soloists. 

Rose also held a distinguished teaching position on faculty at The Juilliard School and was Head of the cello department until his death. Leonard Rose's performance career began with orchestral playing before closing his chapter as a soloist, chamber musician, and recording artist — he encouraged many of his students to do the same.

As a dedicated teacher, his students included Lynn Harrel, Yo-Yo Ma, Stephen Kates, John Sant’Ambrogio, Matt Haimovitz, Fred Sherry, Myung-Wha Chung, and more.

Rose passed away in 1984 from leukemia, aged 66.


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