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.
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 the past ten years I have been enjoying teaching at the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University. The combination of performing and teaching has been a great joy and a wonderful source of human and artistic inspiration for me.
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 could come to my class when the next spot is available, BUT…” he continued and I didn’t know what to expect, “First, I would like to see you for some lessons in order to know you better as a person and to 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 students. Sure enough, I found Pergamenschikow 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 both Laurence Lesser, a fantastic teacher who gave me a unique taste of his mentor, the great Gregor Piatigorsky and also told me some very funny Jewish jokes. 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."
Amit Peled is Ambassador Professor for iClassical Academy, a music platform that offer high-quality Master Classes and created by music professionals and lovers with the intention to bring access to the best esteemed professors to students and music lovers from all over the world.
"The amazing part of iClassical Academy isn’t being online - it is the high level of music instruction that it offers. " -Amit Peled
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