A Native of Spanish Harlem in New York City, cellist Nicholas Tzavaras has quickly become a much sought after chamber musician, soloist and educator across all continents. Reviews in the New York Times have called his playing “richly singing” and “beautifully nuanced.” Since 2000, Mr. Tzavaras has been the cellist of the internationally renowned Shanghai Quartet, playing more than 1300 concerts all over the world.
Mr. Tzavaras has recorded more than 20 albums for the Naxos, Delos, Bis, Centaur, Camerata, and New Albion labels. Recent festival engagements have included the Santa Fe, La Jolla and Taos festivals, the Casals festival in Prades France, the Melbourne Music Festival in Australia and the Marlboro Festival. Since 2009 Mr. Tzavaras has held the esteemed title of guest principal cellist of the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra.
Mr. Tzavaras has also served on the faculty of the University of Richmond and as the coordinator of the String Department and artist in residence at the John J. Cali School of Music at Montclair State University in New Jersey. He is also a guest professor at the Shanghai and Central Conservatories in China. He holds degrees from the New England Conservatory and the State University of New York at Stonybrook where his teachers included Laurence Lesser and Timothy Eddy. Mr. Tzavaras can be seen in the Academy Award nominated documentary “Small Wonders,” the motion picture “Music of the Heart” starring Meryl Streep and with the Shanghai Quartet in Woody Allen’s “Melinda Melinda.”
When he is not with his cello, Mr. Tzavaras is an avid cyclist, occasional triathlete, enthusiastic but unfortunately average chess player and, perhaps most importantly, a challenged father of three children.