For the past fifteen years, I have been enjoying teaching at the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University. The combination of performing and teaching has been a wonderful source of human and artistic inspiration for me.
I feel blessed to have had the privilege of studying with some of the major cellists and artists of the 20th century including Bernard Greenhouse, Boris Pergamenschikow, Laurence Lesser, and Isaac Stern…to name just a few.
When I came to audition for the great cellist and teacher Boris Pergamenschikow in Berlin, I played the Brahms and Prokofiev Sonatas. When I finished, he said: “Excellent playing, you can come to my class when the next spot will be available, BUT…” he continued and I didn’t know what to expect, “First, I would like to get to know you better as a person and see if you are teachable. Also, I would like to give you the opportunity to decide if I’m a good teacher for you.” (Of course, I knew the latter long before my audition.)
“Moreover,” he proceeded, “if you get into my class you will become a member of my family and I would like to make sure that I want you in my family!”
This great humanity, deep care, and concern probably taught me the best lesson of all and informed the approach I take with my own students. Sure enough, I found Pergamenschikow to be one of the best mentors I have ever encountered and those two years with him will always be the most precious for me.
Too young to actually study with or hear the great cellists of the old generation, I was privileged to study intensively with Laurence Lesser, a fantastic teacher who gave me a unique taste of his mentor, the great Gregor Piatigorsky. I also studied with Bernard Greenhouse, a living legacy, a founding member of the Beaux Arts Trio, and a student of the “father of all cellists,” Pablo Casals.
One of my leading duties as a teacher is to pass on the rich tradition and humanity that I was so fortunate to receive from those three masters. As Bernard Greenhouse told me on many occasions, “Amit, it is now your responsibility to pass on the knowledge and musical heritage to the next generation.”
For an in-depth look at my teaching, please visit my Teaching Playlist on my YouTube channel.
Amit Peled is an Ambassador Professor for iClassical Academy, a platform that offers high-quality Master Classes created by music professionals with the intention of allowing access for students and music lovers across the globe.
"The amazing part of iClassical Academy isn’t being online - it is the high level of music instruction that it offers. " -Amit Peled