Carol Honigberg received her master's degree in Piano Performance, at Northwestern University and her bachelor's at Roosevelt University. A few of her significant teachers and mentors include former teachers Rudolph Ganz, Cecile Genhardt, and Marguerite Long in Paris, France. She was formerly a Professor of Piano at Roosevelt University, and is currently the Artistic Director of the Pilgrim Chamber Players.
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Steven Honigberg, hired by former Music Director Mstislav Rostropovich, joined the National Symphony Orchestra in 1984. That same year he presented his New York debut recital in Carnegie Recital Hall and performed Strauss's Don Quixote with the Juilliard Orchestra in Alice Tully Hall. In 1988, rave reviews accompanied the world premiere of David Ott's Concerto for Two Cellos performed with the National Symphony, Rostropovich conducting. The NSO programmed the work on two subsequent United States tours.
Mr. Honigberg is a graduate of the Juilliard School of Music where he studied with Leonard Rose and Channing Robbins. Other mentors include Pierre Fournier and Maurice Gendron. In Chicago (his home town) he has appeared at the Ravinia Festival, and as soloist with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Ars Viva Orchestra, Lake Forest Symphony, and New Philharmonic Orchestra among others. He appeared most recently as soloist with the National Symphony Orchestra in 2008 in a performance at the Kennedy Center of Erich Wolfgang Korngold's Cello Concerto.
From 1990 to 2009, Honigberg was principal cellist and chamber music director of the Edgar M. Bronfman series in Sun Valley, Idaho, where he was featured as soloist with the summer symphony in concerti by Barber, Bartok, Bloch, Boccherini, Dvořák, Elgar, Goldschmidt, Haydn, Korngold, Popper, Saint-Saëns, Schumann, Shostakovich, Tchaikovsky, and Walton. In the summer of 2014, Mr. Honigberg was professor of cello in an International Course of study in Valbonne Sophia Antipolis, France. Honigberg is a member of Gerard Schwarz's All-Star Orchestra, which in August 2012 convened in New York City to record 8 one-hour programs for PBS television. He is also a member of the Smithsonian Chamber Society, the Phillips Camerata, and VERGE ensemble. As an author, in 2010 his first book was Leonard Rose: America's Golden Age and Its First Cellist. Honigberg performs on a Lorenzo Storioni cello made in Cremona in 1789.
Ellen Zwilich conceived her Symphony No. 2 to "exploit the
artistry and virtuosity" of the cello section of a modern symphony orchestra.
In the score program note, the composer wrote, "To me, the cello is the
quintessential singer among string instruments, encompassing, as it
does, the entire human vocal range from the lowest bass voice to the
highest soprano. Another aspect of the cello that fascinates me is the
enormous range of expression, so I wanted to explore a wide gamut of techniques
and dramatic moods. Additionally, I find the sound of multiple cellos
thrilling. For these reasons, I decided that I would combine concepts of
symphonic development with a concerto attitude." She continued, "The
work bears the subtitle Cello Symphony because it is a symphony in which
the cello section is the protagonist. In fact, the piece is virtually a
concerto for the cello section, calling for highly virtuosic playing and
exploring the full range and scope of the instrument. The first movement
even has a cadenza for the cello section!"
The work was composed in 1985 on a commission from the San Francisco Symphony. It was first performed on November 13, 1985, by the San Francisco Symphony under the direction of Edo de Waart, to whom the piece is dedicated. The symphony has a performance duration of roughly 24 minutes and is cast in three movements in the traditional fast-slow-fast concerto form.
© 1993 Bruce Duffie
This conversation was recorded in Chicago on November 15, 1993. Portions were broadcast on WNIB the following year, and again in 1997, and on WNUR in 2005, 2009, and 2017. This transcription was made in 2021, and posted on this website at that time. My thanks to British soprano Una Barry for her help in preparing this website presentation.
To see a full list (with links) of interviews which have been transcribed and posted on this website, click here. To read my thoughts on editing these interviews for print, as well as a few other interesting observations, click here.
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Award - winning broadcaster Bruce Duffie was with WNIB, Classical 97 in Chicago from 1975 until its final moment as a classical station in February of 2001. His interviews have also appeared in various magazines and journals since 1980, and he now continues his broadcast series on WNUR-FM, as well as on Contemporary Classical Internet Radio.You are invited to visit his website for more information about his work, including selected transcripts of other interviews, plus a full list of his guests. He would also like to call your attention to the photos and information about his grandfather, who was a pioneer in the automotive field more than a century ago. You may also send him E-Mail with comments, questions and suggestions.