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Terry King

Terry King
Strings - Cello

Grammy-nominated cellist Terry King is widely regarded as one of the country’s finest cellists. King was a protégé of the legendary Gregor Piatigorsky and served as his assistant in Piatigorsky’s master classes at the University of Southern California. King was privileged to join his celebrated teacher in a duo concert in one of the master’s last concerts.

Terry King is not only a unique cellist, but a musical scholar, chamber musician and conductor. His repertoire features the classic works for cello including unknown masterworks he has found throughout the world. Many prominent American composers have written works for King as well as entrusted him with their premieres, among those being Roy Harris, Aaron Copland, Virgil Thomson, Halsey Stevens, Paul Reale, Paul Creston, Miklos Rozsa, Lou Harrison, Lukas Foss, Otto Luening, and many others. Mr. King is a member of the Mirecourt Trio, and has been on the faculties of the San Francisco Conservatory, UC Berkeley, California State University at Fullerton, Grinnell College, University of Iowa, and is currently teaching at the Longy School of Music and the Hartt School of Music.

King is presently engaged in a recording project of standard and American works for cello on the Music and Arts label. His recording of the complete Mendelssohn works was praised in Fanfare Magazine,”of all versions this is the most consistently thought out and expressively realized…intensely poetic.” and was also the preferred recording mentioned on the nationally syndicated radio program, “First Hearing.” His ground-breaking series “Cello America” has been met with similar praise worldwide. Terry King records for MCA, CRI, Innova, Genesis, Orion, A&M, Music and Arts, Bay Cities, Gasparo, Erasmus, Albany, Sony, Troy, Varese Saraband and TR Records.

Teaching Philosophy

“I believe there is little difference between teaching and learning. Though the student-teacher relationship seems one-sided with regard to vulnerability, I see the connection as fluid and equally rewarding. My payback is witnessing success and independence. I see myself as an older guide, eager for students to eventually be free of me, to become their own teachers.

The love of music is always present at the core of all good work. Motivation to achieve comes through the belief that it can be done; therefore I begin somewhat with the student’s agenda. The agenda will naturally shift to mainstream needs in a very short time; what transpires in between is the building of trust between student and teacher. Advanced students, of course, have more specific needs. Their agenda is hugely varied and custom-made to address need.

I believe that technical needs cannot be hidden – even when one tries! When the student understands what is specifically needed to serve the music and to express oneself authentically, the path becomes revealed. What could have been dismantling – by directly attacking a sizeable shopping list of problems – can now be personally empowering, building the musician from within. Far too often students are defeated before they begin.

The spirit of fascination with how things work- rather than messy annoyances fearfully labored – is a more successful attitude. This state of mind hopefully will make my role as teacher less important over time. I want to see students think for themselves eventually. Granted, one does not reach the ideal state immediately. Within a short time it begins to show, however, with others it will take longer, depending upon the level.

I love teaching. I am captivated with it, and grateful for all the knowledge students have given to me.”

B.M., Mount Saint Mary’s College; M.M., U/Northern Iowa; D.M.A., U/Iowa. Protégé of and assistant to Gregor Piatigorsky at the University of Southern California. Premieres: Roy Harris, Virgil Thomson, Henry Cowell, Aaron Copland, Otto Luening, Paul Creston, Lou Harrison, Lukas Foss, Lalo Schifrin, and Miklos Rosza. Performances worldwide, including appearances with St. Petersburg and Vienna Chamber Orchestras. Former principal cellist with Colorado Chamber Orchestra, San Francisco Ballet, former member of the Casals Festival Orchestra and Mirecourt Trio. Recordings: Music and Arts, “Cello America” series, Sony, MCA, ABC Classics, CRI, Genesis, Bay Cities, Varese Sarabande, Albany. Summer festivals: Quartet Program, Killington Festival, and several Cello Congresses. Faculty: Longy School of Music, Hartt School of Music.