Von Cello Updates

Von Cello (Aaron Minsky) is constantly playing, composing and recording. For updates check out the About Von Cello section of this site. To really stay current sign up for the Von Cello Newsletter: http://www.voncello.com/email_list.html. Below are updates from the early days of the Von Cello Band and other happenings from those times.

8/08 - YOU TUBE! - check out the Von Cello page for many new Von Cello videos. Click here: http://www.youtube.com/profile_videos?user=voncello&p=r

3/06 - A LOT OF UPDATES! - As I mentioned above, I have not updated this page for about eight months, but each month I have sent the updates out on my email list letter. So please sign up!

Here is some of what you missed:

3/06 - Last month I made a cable TV appearance on the *Filthy Rich Show*. I will also be performing in an Off Broadway version of the show at the Producers Club on March 18th. / I was interviewed by Nerve.com for an article called, Sex Advice From Cellists. / Almost every month I get emails from cellists around the world telling me of performances of my cello etudes and duets. This month I heard about performances of my Three American Cello Duets, in England and America.

2/06 - The college professor of DePauw University, Eric Edberg, lists Von Cello on his page of recommended cello videos: http://www.ericedberg.com/eric_edberg_video.htm / January 27th was the 250th birthday of Mozart. I was fortunate to have spent it playing cello for the 51st Viennese Opera Ball at the Waldorf Astoria. Among the acts was a pianist who played Mozart dressed as Mozart, white wig and all.

1/06 - The Von Cello Band went to prison this month. In the tradition of Johnny Cash, we got a gig in a prison, specifically: the Arthur Kill Correctional Facility of Staten Island. / I found out that someone started a Von Cello fan club! I have no idea who did this, but if you want to join, here is the link: http://www.frappr.com/voncellofanclub / I discovered that several of my cello and viola etudes are in the curriculum of Trinity College in England! Click on this link: http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&lr=&ie=ISO-8859-1&q=%22sailing+down+the+river%22+%22trinity+college%22+minsky Once on the page click the link to download the PDF file.

12/05 - This month I heard from the publisher of the Grateful Dead. He confirmed that he sent a copy of my CD, Excalibur, to Bob Weir, the guitarist of the band. He also requested a copy to send to Bill Kreutzmann, the drummer! I had handed a copy to Phil Lesh, the bassist, several months ago, and a few years ago I handed a copy of Von Cello Rules to Mickey Hart. So now all of the original members of the existing Dead have Von Cello CDs! / Boosey and Hawkes, the famous classical music publisher, is now selling my *Ten American Cello Etudes*. Look at the beautiful webpage they created for my book: http://www.boosey.com/pages/shop/product_detail.asp?id=643001&a= / British cellist David Johnstone is going to be publishing a new set of original cello etudes based on various styles of the 20th century. He will be dedicating one of the pieces to me. This from his book: *One brave notable exception to the frustrating limitations of solo modern cello repertoire mentioned in the introduction is the popular cello pieces of Aaron Minsky… and this dedication is but a small sign of Johnstone's gratitude! Dedication: Aaron Minsky, North-American pioneer cellist.*

11/05 - 40,000 people ran to Von Cello and then ran away! WHY? Because we played for the NYC Marathon! / I got a kick out of this quote about me I just found on a blog: *He manages to take all the soulful and sublime elements of the cello...and throw them out the window!* It reminded me of this quote about Bach from a critic from his time: *By his bombastic and intricate procedures (he) deprived them (the melodies) of naturalness and obscured their beauty*. / As many of you know, I am a D'Addario Artist. Look at the snazzy new page they recently created: http://daddariobowed.com/BOWArtistDetail.aspx?CodaID=4957&ID=0

10/05 - I added a Corrections section to the *Compositions* page at voncello.com. Over the years I have discovered a few mistakes in the printed music of my etudes and ensembles, so I have assembled a list of the mistakes and corrections. / Here is a link from a French site selling my Ten American Cello Etudes: http://www.musicroom.com/fr-FR/se/ID_No/063815/details.html / Here is a list of some of the *rich and famous* people who attended events that I played for this month: Joe Leiberman - Senator, Cindi Lauper - Rock Star, Sam Heyden - CEO of GAF corp., Ira Rennert - Billionaire!

9/05 - I played a concert at David Gage Studios in Manhattan with Cajun celllist Sean Grissom and Japanese Jazz cellist Yoshihiro Kikkawa, called the International Cello Summit. I used this opportunity to give the unofficial world premiere of *Dead Cello*, my as yet unpublished suite of Grateful Dead tunes for solo cello. / Famous English cellist, Sebastian Comberti, recorded one of my etudes for a CD produced by the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music. / David Johnstone (English cellist working in Spain) created a webpage describing two programs that feature my music. http://www.johnstone-music.com/ingles/9_index.html

7/05 - MINSKY GETS PRESSED! - The Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music has released a recording of its exam pieces, including a recording of Minsky cello etudes by famous British cellist, Sebastian Comberti. Minsky and Von Cello are being discussed now in blogs and bulletin boards across the internet.

6/05 - MINSKY'S BRAIN - Aaron Minsky has been included in a book called: 2,000 Outstanding Intellectuals of the 21st Century. He has also been included in a book called: Leading Educators of the World, 2005. This is in addition to his inclusion in Who's Who in America and the International Who's Who, for several years. Minsky was also featured this month in an article called: Von Cello Strikes Again!, in the International Musician.

5/05 - BEHIND THE SCENES... - There is much going on in the Von Cello world. Some famous rock stars have received copies of Excalibur, including members of the Grateful Dead and Mountain. Performances of Minsky's music are going on in England, Spain, and elsewhere. And a member of Blue Oyster Cult informed Von Cello that he is a fan!

4/05 - EXCALIBUR IS RELEASED! - Von Cello has released its third CD, Excalibur! This CD includes covers of Purple Haze, The Other One, and Dear Prudence, as well as many originals and some great extended jams. Many people have said that it perfects and extends the concepts introduced in the first two CDs. You can find out more on the Audio Clips page of this site.

1/05 - MINSKY GETS THE RIGHTS TO HENDRIX! - Aaron Minsky has obtained the rights from Jimi Hendrix's sister to include his recording of Purple Haze on his new CD Excalibur. These rights are hard to get, so this is a great sign of approval. I think Jimi would have approved too!

12/04 - MINSKY GETS THE RIGHTS TO THE GRATEFUL DEAD! - Aaron Minsky has now obtained the rights from the Grateful Dead's publisher, Ice Nine, and their old record company, Warner Brothers, to transcribe three Grateful Dead tunes into a suite for solo cello! More later...

11/04 - JOEY REYNOLDS RADIO SHOW ALL NIGHT! - Von Cello made his third appearance on Joey Reynold's coast to coast radio show. This time he was on for three hours! During the show he debuted a few cuts from his new CD, Excalibur.

10/04 - VON CELLO WITH BILLY JOEL! - This was an eventful month. Von Cello played at the Locobazooka kick off party in Massacusetts. The concert was simulcast on the internet. He performed solo at CBGB for the MEANY Festival. And he performed at the wedding of Billy Joel!

6/04 - JOEY REYNOLDS RADIO SHOW and DEBUTE OF WILDSTRINGZ! - Von Cello was on the Joey Reynolds Show, a nationally syndicated radio show eminating from WOR in New York. He was on the radio to promote the debute of Wildstringz, a concert with three bands led by electric string players: Joe Deninzon, violin, Martha Mooke, viola, and Von Cello, cello. Aaron and Joe were on the first night for 2 hours. Then Aaron was invited back the second night to sit in with singing greats Keli Smith, Bobby Milano and Claire Barry (of the Barry Sisters). Excerpts will be posted on this site on the Recordings/Radio Interviews page.

Also this month Aaron laid down cello tracks on a recording for the group, The Smash Up, led by guitarist Vincent Alfieri.

4/04 - SPIRITUAL! - Minsky's article, One Composer's Spiritual Journey, was published on the Interent Cello Society Website and newsletter. It also appears on this site and can be accessed from the About Von Cello page.

3/04 - MINSKY WORLD PREMIERES! - The world premieres of two of Minsky's suites for cello happened this month! English concert cellist, David Johnstone, premiered the Three Concert Etudes and the Judaic Concert Suite at the Pablo Sarasate Music Conservatory of Navarra, Spain. The concert, called "Bravo Minsky!", also included a performance of Minsky's Ten American Cello Etudes. Johnstone was interviewed about the music on Spanish national radio, and the concert was discussed in several newspapers. He has included Minsky's music in dozens of other recitals. Bravo Johnstone!

12/03 - OXFORD PUBLISHES MINSKY'S JUDAIC CONCERT SUITE! - Von Cello is known as a cellist who broke the barrier between classical music and rock. Now he has broken the spiritual barrier, the barrier that has kept Jewish spirituality out of classical and rock music. Judaic Concert Suite is a unique set of pieces for solo cello that not only uses Jewish sounding melodies and rhythms but deals with issues of Jewish theology. For more information on the journey that led to the composing of this piece, click here:

http://www.voncello.com/about_voncello_spiritual.html

You can view the press release here:

http://mi2n.com/press.php3?press_nb=60710

12/03 - MINSKY IS A WHO IN THE WORLD! - The Who had a song called Who Are You. But the more important question is, Are you a WHO? Aaron Minsky a.k.a. Von Cello is now a Who not only in America, but in the world: he was inducted this month into the International WHO'S WHO of Professionals! For more information, click here:

http://mi2n.com/press.php3?press_nb=60167

11/03 - AARON MINSKY FACES HISTORY - English concert cellist, David Johnstone, has been playing Minsky's cello etudes in concerts all over Spain. He recently made the following statement about this music's place in history:

"There are a number of works for the cello which, although not apparent in their time, have changed the course of cello writing or at the least have had a telling influence on the next generation of cello literature. We all know about the Bach Six Suites, a great and singular work of about 1720 which although the classical period composers did not 'dare' follow on, has been a major source of inspiration during the twentieth century. The concerto of Dvorak in the 1890's was also a major watershed in cello literature where the cello finally became the almighty king instead of a most promising prince. The Kodaly Solo Sonata of 1915 turned the cello on its head, for the first time being able to free itself from the wonderful melody instrument that it is, calling on even aggressive sounds and being able to obviously accompany itself in a number of ways. And too it's worth mentioning the Prokofiev Sinfonia Concertante which came to its finished state in the post World War II days, where the cello is used in extreme registers, at great speed and with all the technical tricks that a first-class virtuoso violinist would be proud to employ. And now we come to AARON MINSKY. Maybe at the moment less known than his renowned predecessors, I predict that his work for cello may well assume a similar importance."

10/03 - OF SUNFLOWERS AND HOGS - Chuck's Organic Sunflower Seed Farm was the scene of a wild "Woodstock" type three day music festival this month. Von Cello was the highlight of Friday night, 10/10. Nadav Snir played drums for this show, which had hundreds of people dancing and cheering in the audience. Later this month, on 10/23, Von Cello played at Hogs and Heifers, a biker bar in uptown Manhattan where biker babes are known to dance on the bar. Tony Steele, who played on Broadway in River Dance, debuted on bass. Von Cello proved that it can get the audience going everywhere from a hippie festival to a biker bar.

9/03 - HOLY CELLO BATMAN! - Von Cello played at Le Bar Bat, the famous recording studio turned club on W. 57th St. in New York. For this show Matt Johnson played drums. He was just back from a tour with Grammy winner, John Mayer. With Matt, the band had a mellower, though still energetic sound.

8/03 - CHICAGO! - Von Cello took his act on the road...to Chicago! He played two shows at the clubs: Wise Fools Pub, and Galleria Caberet. He was also interviewed for an hour on WZRD, FM! The clip will be up on the "Von Cello Radio Interviews" page soon. The whole band will be performing at Kenny's Castaways on August 27th, at 9:00, in Greenwich Village, New York City.

7/03 - IN THE GOOD OLD SUMMER TIME - The main event of this month was the start of recording for the third Von Cello CD! More on that later. Another event was Von Cello leading the house band at Oheka Castle, Long Island's most prestigious castle. The band played jazz and rock standards.

6/03 - RADIO LIGHTNING STRIKES TWICE! - Von Cello was interviewed for the second time on WRPI. This time the interview focussed on the spiritual side of the Von Cello experience. To hear the interview, go to the Recordings page and click on the link "Von Cello Radio Interviews".

5/03 - THE WAY LIFE SHOULD BE! - Up in the state of Maine, where the signs say, "Maine, the way life should be", Aaron held his second set of seminars for the Maine Music Educators Association (MMEA). He did two seminars, one demonstrating the Yamaha electric cello and his rock and jazz cello styles, the other, a reading session through his music for string students published by Oxford. It was a lot of fun, and the teachers were very receptive. Aaron was such a trooper, that he gave the seminars despite intense tooth pain. In fact, during the hour break, he quickly ran to a dentist, got a prescription for pain killers, and came back to do the second show without missing a beat! It was a tough situation, but hey, that's the way life should be! :-)

5/03 - VON CELLO MAKES THE SCENE IN WILLIAMSBURG! - Williamsburg, Brooklyn is the new Greenwich Village of New York City. Von Cello was booked for a show in Williamsburg this month, and he was amazed at the new scene there. A few years ago it was a poor neglected neighborhood, but on the Saturday night of the show, the streets were teeming with young people well past midnight. Von Cello went on at 1A.M. and did a set of original hard rock tunes and a few covers. Dear Prudence got the crowd screaming for more. During their last number, Hello Mr. Jutter, the crowd was screaming and making Satan signs, breaking into near insanity. It was great!

4/03 - VON CELLO RADIO! - On 3/06/03 Von Cello was interviewed for an hour on WRPI radio! The show included audio clips of his music with his explanations about each piece. The show can now be heard on the new Von Cello Radio Interviews page on this site. Go to the Recordings page and click on the link "Von Cello Radio Interviews". This interview provides a great introduction to the mellower side of the "Von Cello experience".

3/03 - MINSKY IN MINNESOTA! - This just in from Lawrence Stomberg, cello professor at Oklahoma State University: I wanted to let you know that I just performed ALL 10 of the American Cello Etudes this past weekend in a recital at Saint Cloud State University in Minnesota. This is the first time I have performed all 10 of them in one concert, and they were very well received. It's a workout to play them all back to back in a performance - major double-stop chops needed!
***
Kudos to Professor Stomberg!!

2/03 - DIG VON CELLO - Von Cello dug into the past this month, posting audio clips from tapes from his teens! The tapes go back to when he was a 13 year old rock guitarist. They follow him along to when he invented a new style of cello playing in 1975! They continue through his formative college years, with songs, classical pieces and wild jams. Links to the new pages can be found on the Recordings page. The video pages have now expanded even more, now housing 10 videos! These include 3 television performances, other live shows, and a humorous yet impressive couple of guitar jams from his 20's.

2/03 - VON CELLO SPINS - College radio has discovered Von Cello. Reports have come in from several college radio stations that they have put Von Cello's CD's into rotation. Some have expressed interest in interviewing Von Cello. In addition, each month we discover new sites that link to or mention Von Cello. He is now mentioned on hundreds of web pages!

1/03 - VON CELLO THE WRITER - Von Cello is not only a talented musician, but a talented writer as well. His article, "Trading Licks", was featured this month in the newsletter of the Violoncello Society, the oldest most venerable organization of cellists in America. The article can be found here on the Articles page under About Von Cello. VC also wrote a controversial article called, "Who Was Greater: Hendrix or Beethoven", that was published on Mi2N (Music Industry News Network). It can be seen here on the Musicians Only page.

12/29/02 - VON CELLO SOLO IN ALBANY! - Von Cello played a solo concert at the Larkin Inn on Lark St. in Albany, New York. This was a two hour show in which he played the first half on guitar, playing his original songs, and the second half on cello, playing his rock cello songs and arrangements of pop and classical tunes. As one friend put it to Von: "Imagine if James Taylor did a set singing and playing guitar, and then came out in the second set and played the cello like a soloist! Wouldn't that be amazing? People would be freaking out. And YOU do that! But very few people know." So now, a few more people know.

12/02 - VON CELLO EXPANDS! - Not his waistline, but his website! We now have our first video in the video section! It is a great collection of excerpts of a live concert in NYC. We also have a new audio page called: Sgt. Cello's Lonely Hearts Club Date Band. It contains acoustic Von Cello playing classic rock hits. The Von Cello early music history page has also been updated. Enjoy the new expanded site!

9/22/02 - THE ORIGINAL VON CELLO! - For the first time ever, the original line up of Von Cello finally played live! Von Cello, with John DiGuillio on drums and Andy Lowe on bass, made the crowd at Kenny's Castaways go wild! The jams were more extensive than ever and the band premiered some new softer tunes. Pete, the bouncer, who has heard thousands of bands over twenty years said, "If you guys don't get signed, there is something wrong with the music business"! Well...we all know there IS...but Von Cello will keep building a fan base, one fan at a time!

8/17/02 -VON CELLO MAKES CONNECTIONS! - Von Cello attended the Inside Connection music seminar and met several major producers and A&R people. They all were interested in his band, but also in him as a possible side man for future projects with major artists.

8/16/02 -ANOTHER INCARNATION OF VON CELLO! - Returning to it's favorite venue, Kenny's Castaways, in New York's Greenwich Village, Von Cello was the headliner with Andy Lowe on bass and Roy Weinberger on drums. This was Andy's first performance with Von Cello, despite the fact that he was the original bassist with the band. Roy was the first drummer to audition for the band, but was busy with the Door's cover band, The Soft Parade. You could feel his and Andy's excitement to finally perform with Von Cello, making this a highly energetic performance.

7/27/02 -VON CELLO IN BROOKLYN! - Von Cello came back to the borough of his birth, playing at the Nightlight Cafe in Coney Island, Brooklyn, NY. For this gig he was joined by Pearson Constantino on drums. Playing without a bass presented interesting challenges and opportunities. The hard rock songs lost some edge, but the jams were free flowing, as Von was not restricted by a bassist's harmonies.

6/25/02 -VON CELLO ON TV! - The Von Cello Band did a demonstration/performance on "FOX and Friends", the FOX cable network's morning news show. They performed one of their songs and demonstrated the Yamaha "Silent" cello, bass and drums. The show was seen by over a million people in the United States and in countries as far away as Israel, Japan and Indonesia!

6/02 -TOP NEW YORK CLUB DATE CELLIST! - In the last few weeks Aaron has continued playing for gatherings at the highest level of society. He played for a fund raiser on wall street where George and Barbara Bush were the honored guests. He also played at a wedding of the children of two top CEOs on the Connecticut shore , where Senator Joe Leiberman and his wife Hadassa were guests. At one point, Mr. Leiberman looked over at Aaron and said, "Good job". Several months ago Aaron played for another party in Long Island where the guests included former Senator Alphonse D'Amato and Senator Hillary Clinton.

6/3/02 -NEW DIRECTIONS CELLO FESTIVAL! - Once again, Aaron represented Yamaha at the New Directions Cello Festival at the University of Connecticut (June 1st & 2nd). He demonstrated the Yamaha electric cello, performing cuts off his new CD, Von Cello Rules! One cellist, wearing a Jimi Hendrix T shirt said, "Awesome!" Another cellist informed Aaron that she got a teaching job by playing one of his "Three Concert Etudes" for her audition. A good time was had by all.

3/11/02 -VON CELLO STILL LIVE! - The Von Cello Band is in the midst of a series of gigs at Kenny's Castaways. The club really likes the band and we enjoy the opportunity to play long sets and experiment. The first two gigs were on 2/28 and 3/7. The next one is on 3/21. Hope to see you there.

2/22/02 -BOWING WITH BOWIE! - This week, Aaron Von Cello got to meet and play with David Bowie! It was for a run through of a new arrangement of "A Space Oddity". Tony Visconti did the arrangement and conducted. Mr. Bowie seemed quite interested in the concept of rock cello. He happily took a CD from Aaron. He was warm and friendly and a pleasure to work with!

Feb. 2002 -VON CELLO LIVE! - So far we have two gigs for February. Both are very important. The West Virginia gig is at a music industry conference called Kanawhapalooza. We will get a chance to be heard by agents and other industry people. The gig at Elbow Room is important because this is one of the top venues in the city for new rock music. Our goal is to get booked there on Saturday nights when they get very large crowds. Hope to see you there! Here are the details:

Feb. 2, Saturday, 12:00 A.M. (midnight), Sam's, Charleston, West Virginia

Feb. 5, Tuesday, 9:30 P.M., The Elbow Room, New York City (Bleecker just east of Thompson)

12/9/01 -VON CELLO LIVE! - Yes, Von Cello and his power trio are now getting steady gigs around New York City. Come by and check out this hard rock trio in the tradition of Hendrix, Cream, and Nirvana, but with a new sound that combines hard rock, rap and alternative with a touch of classical. Von Cello is truly breaking new ground! Here are the dates:

December 10th, Monday, 9:30 P.M., Acme Underground, 9 Great Jones St., New York City, (212)-420-1934

December 27th, Thursday, 9:00 P.M., Kenny's Castaways, 157 Bleecker St., New York City, (212)-473-9870

January 9th, Wednesday, 7:00 P.M., The Izzy Bar, Ist Ave. and 10th St.


If you tell us that you came due to seeing this, we will give you a free copy of the new Von Cello CD, Von Cello Rules! See you there!

11/2/01 -PROFESSOR VON CELLO? - Von Cello was offered a professor of cello position at the State University of New York at Potsdam, Crane School of Music! It would have been a one semester position while the full time professor was on sabbatical. He did not accept the position, though he felt very honored by the offer! So the next time you see Aaron rocking out on his cello like an adrenaline crazed kid, remember, he could have been Professor Von Cello!

11/2/01 - VON CELLO CROSSES THE HUDSON! - Yes, right over the George Washington bridge into New Jersey, went Von Cello, to give two seminars for the American String Teachers Association (ASTA/NSOA)! These were particularly fun because they were mostly for students. The kids came from all over the Garden State. Aaron demonstrated how the cello could be used in rock music. Then he organized a reading session through some of his Oxford music ensemble books. Around fifty of the students signed up for the email list. The response was so positive that Von Cello was offered other clinics. The message is spreading. Stay tuned.

10/10/01 - 10/14/01 - THE VON CELLO BENEFIT TOUR! - Less than a month after the 9/11 Attack on New York, Von Cello headed south for a tour, in part, to benefit the survivors of that act of terrorism. First stop Nashville, where the band played at the club Springwater. They premiered Von Cello's new song about those who gave their lives, "Let's Hear It For The Heroes". The following day, Von Cello opened an outdoor concert to benefit the victims, playing the Star Spangled Banner (with Phil Carnevale on drums). He also donated CD's with all proceeds to go to the fund. They were so well received that they were asked to stay and play the Anthem again, which they did a few hours later. It was a long hard trip, but well worth it!

10/01 - MINSKY GOES ON RECORD! - The first public recording of Minsky's etudes has just been released (year 2001). The Ten American Cello Etudes are on a CD called, The American Cello, which includes works by Minsky, Crumb, Siskind and Sessions. The performer is Lawrence Stomberg of Oklahoma State University. We are happy to say that Mr. Stomberg signed a licensing agreement with Oxford, so this is an approved recording. May this be the first of many recorded releases of the published music of Aaron Minsky! Who's next?

9/6/01 - NO SLEEP FOR BROOKLYN! - As the song lyric says, their was no sleeping at Peggy O'Neils Bar in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn as Von Cello played a rousing set. This was particularly fun for Aaron because he grew up in Brooklyn. The band was booked by the same agent who books the famous Johnny Maestro and the Brooklyn Bridge. The older Irish soundman came up to Aaron at the end of the show and in his heavy Irish accent said , "Me boy, I think you're going places!"

8/13/01 - TEACHING TEACHERS AT THE NYSSMA SUMMER CONFERENCE! - NYSSMA, the New York State School Music Association, is the state organization of music teachers in New York. At their summer conference in Albany, Aaron gave a Yamaha sponsored clinic about the growing use of strings in popular music and how his music books and CDs are helping to propel that revolution forward! Aaron also performed his Hendrix inspired rendition of the Star Spangled Banner and was honored with the opportunity to conduct the NYSSMA Directors' Orchestra in a performance of his "Pacific Northwest Suite" (published by Oxford University Press)!

7/31/01 - 8/9/01 - VON CELLO IN CALIFORNIA! - Von Cello took a ten day trip out to California to lay the ground work for a future tour. He saw concerts and networked with agents in L.A. and took in the inspiring views from the Beverly and Hollywood hills. For contemplation and songwriting he spent several days in the Sequoia, Kings Canyon, and Yosemite Parks, ending the trip in the city by the bay, San Francisco. It was just a taste, but now he is California dreamin' and looking forward to coming back with the Von Cello Band!

7/30/01 - PICTURESQUE PAGES! - This site is the proud parent of two new pages. Go the the Pictures page and click on the Family and Friends link or the Humor link. These pages are lot's of fun and add a lot to this site. Also see the updated Von Cello Photo History on the Pictures page and the updated Publicity Hound page.

7/9/01 - LINK OF A LINK IF EVER A LINK THERE WAS! - Check out the Links link at the bottom of this page and link to the new and improved links page for this site. We now have around 100 links related to Von Cello on the page. You'll find everything from other Von Cello sites, to audio and video clips, press releases, related music sites, and dozens of search engines that list him first under rock cello!

5/31/01 - 6/2/01 - VON CELLO AT THE AMERICAN CELLO CONGRESS - Representing Yamaha, Von Cello attended the the Sixth American Cello Congress at the University of Maryland. It was a great networking opportunity. Here are some of the highlights: an article will be written for the Kindler Cello Society of Maryland about Von Cello’s use of the Yamaha Silent Electric Cello in recordings and performance, Strings Magazine will do a review of his CD "Breaking the Sound Barriers", several famous cellists now have copies of his etudes including Ronald Leonard, soloist and professor at the University of Southern California, and Mark Summer of the Turtle Island String Quartet. Von Cello also met Ken Finch, cellist of the Oregon Symphony who reported performing "October Waltz" from Aaron’s "Ten American Cello Etudes". Aaron premiered several pieces from that set at the University of Maryland thirteen years ago at the First World Cello Congress. Things have come full circle!

5/28, 5/29, 5/30/01 - THE VON CELLO BAND GETS AROUND - In conjunction with the Just Plain Folks networking organization, Von Cello just played three mini gigs in three days in New York City at the Lounge, the Baggot Inn and the Parkside Bar and Grill. All were successful bringing many connections and new fans.

5/24/01 - GEORGE BUSH IS FOLLOWING ME! - After spending some time in Maine last week gawking at the Bush family residence, I ended up playing for George and Barbara Bush tonight at a fund raising dinner on Wall Street! I mentioned this coincidence to the bassist on the gig. He said it was a sign that Von Cello would play at the White House. This brings to two, the former Presidents for whom I have played. The other was Ronald Reagan. Recently I played for some other celebrities such as Martha Stewart. I also played on the Regis and Kelly Show on ABC television. In that case I played cello and also had my national debut on violin!

5/18/01 - MINSKY IN MAINE - I gave a clinic for the Maine Music Educators Association representing Yamaha which included a demonstration of the Yamaha Silent Electric Cello using my original music published by Oxford University Press. I also had a reading session through some of my ensemble music with some of Maine's finest music teachers. The attendees were very warm and receptive. Having driven all the way up to Maine, I also enjoyed hiking in some of the parks and took a drive to Kennebunkport, the home of Ex-President George Bush. (See posts in the Guestbook for more details.)

4/1/01 - AUDIO CLIPS ADDED TO VON CELLO MP3.COM SITE - The Von Cello site at mp3.com has just been expanded to include a "History of Von Cello"! The clips include: Von Cello's creation of a new style of cello playing in 1975, songs, jams, classical and rock groups of which he was a member, and compositions in many genres. To check it out, click on this link: http://www.mp3.com/voncello

3/31/01 - VON CELLO GETS TIGHT WITH SLIPKNOT! - Slipknot, Boston's premiere Grateful Dead tribute band, have been together for twenty five years and have played with several Dead and Allman Brothers members. The following is a description of a very special event: On Saturday night (3/31/01) Slipknot opened with a few original tunes and it became clear that this was a great band with a lively sound. Then Perry Seigle came to the mike and introduced that "famous New York cellist Von Cello." From the first notes the audience knew that they were in for a treat. Shouts emanated from somewhere in the back. College kids were swirling and twirling to the music. People were getting goose bumps and the band was feeling like Von Cello had been playing with them for years. Of course he had played with Perry for years, and everyone on that stage had jammed countless times on Dead tunes, so it was like slipping into a comfortable pair of slippers. In reality it was anything but comfortable to listen to, it was more like riding waves of energy! Highlights included "I Am The Walrus", made all the more intense with the cello lines and the audience screaming, "woo" after each lyric. The band in total space mode traveled into some Pink Floyd, Dark Side of the Moon and wandered in and out of Mountain Jam, The Music Never Stopped, Dark Star and other classics. At 2 A.M., which became 3 A.M. because of the start of daylight savings time, the band ended with their encore, One More Saturday Night, and the screaming transfigured masses filed out into the crisp March Boston air! (This account was made up of various peoples' impressions.)

2/26/01 - THE BREAKING THE SOUND BARRIERS CD CONTEST RESULTS - The results are in for the Von Cello CD contest! Over a thousand people hit the contest page. See Visitor #5 in the Visitors' Corner to see the winning entries, and to see Von Cello's responses to some selected entries (interesting reading!).

12/30/00 - MINSKY MAKES IT TO COLLEGE! - Speaking of links, I just went to the site for the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music, U.K., and found that pieces from my Ten American Cello Etudes are now included in their curriculum for college level students! Previously, I found other pieces included in their high school level curriculum. (See my Links page.) The Associated Board gives music adjudication exams to 500,000 music students, in 80 countries, each year!

12/29/00 - LINKS GALORE! - Check out my Links page. In the past few months I have found dozens of sites that mention Von Cello or Aaron Minsky. Some are quite surprising.

12/28/00 - VON CELLO CD CONTEST! - How would you like to win a prize worth $100 just for listening to my CD and writing a few sentences? Just go to the following link and enter by 1/31/01.
http://musicdish.com/contest.php3
Here is some of what you'll find at that link:In a controversial move, the NARAS classical committee just took a CD that was entered in this year's Grammys in the Classical Crossover category and moved it into the Pop Vocal category! The CD was rock cellist Von Cello's CD, "Breaking The Sound Barriers." Von Cello intentionally created a CD that would break the traditional barriers between classical music and rock. It was therefore entered under Classical Crossover, but the classical committee said no!

12/27/00 - VON CELLO NEEDS YOU! - Von Cello the band is going through some growing pains. We need a new bass player. Good singing and rock attitude a must. Good chops and professionalism go without saying. If interested go to Musicians Only for the email link.

11/3/00 - VON CELLO MAKES SOLOWS' LIST! - Von Cello's music book "Ten American Cello Etudes" has just been included in Jeffrey Solow's "A Guide to the Standard Cello Repertoire"!

Jeffrey is a famous cello soloist and the editor of the Violoncello Society Newsletter, an organization that includes many of the worlds' greatest cellists. This is one more indication that this book will get passed down through the generations! "Ten American Cello Etudes" is one of Vons' twelve books published by Oxford University Press under the name Aaron Minsky.
For more information, see Compositions. To see the relevant part of Solow's list, go to the Visitors' Corner, and see #2.

10/24/00 - VON CELLO - THE BAND! - It's official: after months of auditions and trying differnet combinations of instruments, the band Von Cello appears to be set. We are a power trio in the tradition of the Jimi Hendrix Experience and Cream! The instrumentation is cello, bass and drums. Though we are three, with the use of foot pedals, electronic drums and vocal harmonies we can sound like many more. We are planning to make a demo soon and then start gigging. I'm really looking forward to finally getting out there after these years of learning computers, cutting a solo CD, and developing an internet presence. Stay tuned!

10/20/00 - VON CELLO FEATURED ON THE WEB - I am now being featured on a couple of websites:


9/29/00 - YAMAHA CLINIC AT POTSDAM - I took a trip all the way up state almost to the Canadian border to the State University of New York at Potsdam. There I gave two clinics for music students and faculty. I demonstrated the sounds that I get from my Yamaha electric cello, and had a reading session using my ensemble music. The students were great. Many joined the email list. One highlight was meeting the viola professor, Ken Martinson, who said he was interested in transcribing some of my cello etudes for viola! Another highlight was the drive I took along the northernmost road in New York state. My favorite landmark was a store called, "Groceries, Guns and Guitars"! The fall foliage was fantastic.

8/17/00 - D'ADDARIO ARTIST - VON CELLO - Von Cello has just joined the ranks of Santana, Joe Satriani, Bruce Springstein, Jean-Luc Ponty, Al DiMeola, Pat Metheny, John McLaughlin, Kevin Eubanks and others as an official endorser of D’Addario Strings! This brings his official endorsements up to four: Yamaha, Gallien-Krueger, PegHeds and D’Addario. What a winning hand! Check out the press releases at the following links:
http://mi2n.com/press.php3?press_nb=11968
http://www.newmediamusic.com/ps/daddario_9600.html

7/17/00 - WHO'S WHO? VON CELLO, THAT'S WHO! - It's now official: Von Cello has been accepted into the year 2000 edition of Who's Who In America! The edition will be printed in October. To see press releases about it, go to the following links:
http://www.mi2n.com/press.php3?press_nb=10305
http://www.newmediamusic.com/musicianspr/voncello.html

7/4/00 - CD FOR SALE - Reading through the updates, I just realized that I never made it official: the CD, Breaking The Sound Barriers, is now for sale on this site in the Store. Next comes the hard part: publicizing the CD and the website. On another track, I started auditioning musicians for Von Cello, the band. I'm getting top professional candidates. I will keep you informed.

6/30/00 - ASCAP AWARD - ASCAP (American Society of Composers And Publishers) has just informed Aaron that he has been chosen to receive a grant for uncollected royalties for performances of his music around the world. The award was given by the Popular Music Panel of the ASCAPLUS Awards Program. This recognition, by his esteemed colleagues at ASCAP, confirms his growing reputation as a composer of popular music!

6/22/00 - NEW DIRECTIONS CELLO FESTIVAL REPORT - As announced, I appeared at the 6th New Directions Cello Festival at the University of Connecticut, representing the Yamaha electric cello (working with Yamaha reps. Mike Schraner and Phil Carnavale), and it was another great opportunity. Other electric cellos were represented at the festival and the Yamaha compared very favorably.

Though this was a much smaller festival than the World Cello Congress, it was made up entirely of people with an interest in new styles of cello playing. I found out that Mary Lou Rylands, the cello professor at the University of Connecticut, is an avid user of my Oxford cello etude books! I gave her, and several other cellists, who are leaders in the new directions cello movement, copies of my Three Concert Etudes. All were very pleased. I also performed a movement of the suite, receiving many compliments. I think the time is ripe for this piece to gain in popularity, like the Ten American Cello Etudes, and receive a premiere by a major concert cellist in a major concert hall! (Anybody listening?)

I was also able to sell CD's, perform my rock-cello tunes, and publicize the name Von Cello to cellists who only knew me as Aaron Minsky. One highlight was a jam session that I had with Jeff Chen, an up and coming new directions cellist, who has been a fan of mine since my concert at the 4th New Directions Cello Festival. Another highlight was meeting Shirley Wright, a cello teacher from Prince Edward Island, Canada, who uses my pieces. (I always enjoy finding out that people in different corners of the globe are enjoying my music!) Other highlights included listening to several outstanding performances in various genres that are all new to the cello.

A touching moment came when I was speaking to a young cellist who expressed joy at being exposed to so many alternative cello styles in one setting. He seemed surprised when I told him that when I was coming up, none of this existed. It just shows how times have changed! A cellist from Harvard, who is doing a thesis on cello festivals asked me if I thought there was anyone out there who could finally bring the cello into main stream popular music. I said, "Yes...me! "

Chris White, who leads the festival should be commended for another great gathering of new directions cellists!

6/7/00 - WORLD CELLO CONGRESS III REPORT - My appearance at the World Cello Congress III, performing on the Yamaha electric cello worked out great in several ways. Many cellists got to try the cello, including some world famous cellists. I played the cello several times a day at the Yamaha exhibit, often attracting a large crowd. My music books and CD's were on display and attracted much attention. Many well known cellists told me that they are using the books, such as Paul Katz, professor of cello at Rice University, Houston, and former member of the renowned Cleveland Quartet.

This was my first opportunity to sell my CD. What a great way to start a buzz! Due to the international attendance at the congress, cellists from many countries purchased CD's. The CD's will find new homes in Australia, England, Holland, Canada, France and many parts of the United States.

There were many highlights for me. I will mention some of them: a) Selma Gokcen, a cello teacher from England brought three English cello students with her. One student, upon seeing my book Ten American Cello Etudes, exclaimed that she played the piece, Broadway, for her audition for the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music Exam, level 8. You should have seen her face when Mike Schraner of Yamaha pointed out to her that the composer was standing next to her! b) I played my Train Whistle etude as a duet, along with Marilyn Harris, who played it in recital in 30 locations throughout the U.S.! It sounded really full that way. I enjoyed Marilyn's interpretation, which is a little more involved than mine. I enjoy seeing how my music is reflected through other people's prisms. c) I gave out copies of my Three Concert Etudes to a select group of famous cellists: Tsuyoshi Tsutsumi, Timothy Eddy, Ko Iwasaki, Laurence Lesser, Paul Katz, and teacher Selma Gokcen. All were pleased. I am still waiting for a major concert cellist to premiere the suite in a major concert hall! d) I got to try several cello related products and received some offers for endorsements. I will post the names when the deals are finalized. e) My personal favorite moment came in the lobby of the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall. After a concert featuring Yo-Yo Ma, I was approached for an autograph by a teen age cellist who had heard me play at the Yamaha booth. Surprised, I said, "After seeing Yo-Yo Ma you come to me for an autograph?" He said, "Anyone who can make the cello sound like Jimi Hendrix, I want his autograph!"

5/26/00 - NEW DIRECTIONS CELLO FESTIVAL - It"s official: Von Cello will represent Yamaha for all three days of the New Directions Cello Festival, June 16th - 18th!

5/18/00 - WORLD CELLO CONGRESS III - Von Cello will be representing Yamaha at the World Cello Congress III in Towson University, Baltimore, Maryland, May 31st - June 1st in the exhibition area! This will give him the chance to play for hundreds of people including many of the world's most famous cellists. Hope to see you there. He also plans to attend the New Directions Cello Festival, University of Connecticut, on June 16th to celebrate the release of his CD! More news coming soon.

5/17/00 - ARTICLE PUBLISHED - I recently wrote an article about the dangers of internet music distribution. It was first published in the New York City musicians' union paper. As word of the article spread through the national union body, I received requests and gave permission for it to be reprinted in the musicians' union papers of Los Angeles, CA, Eugene, OR, and Vancouver, BC. Next it will appear in an updated version in the International Musician, the paper of the national musicians' unions of the United States and Canada. It is reprinted in it's entirety in the Musicians Only section of this web site.

4/9/00 - NEW DIRECTION - While I have been working on this site and getting Breaking The Sound Barriers ready for release I have also been composing rock cello tunes. I have been moving in the direction of the new hard rock (ex. Creed, Nirvana and Metallica) which in many ways is a continuation of classic hard rock, before it was so rudely interupted by disco. I also like the 60's retro sound (ex. Smashmouth) and the sparser sounds of groups like the Red Hot Chili Peppers, as well as the way Kid Rock and others are mixing elements of rap, classic rock and modern rock. Now add a touch of classical music to the mix and my friends, we have a new direction!

3/19/00 - MIXING AND MASTERING CD - I spent the fall and winter completing the recording of my CD. The mixing was done by Edward Douglas and myself. The mastering was done at the legendary Sterling Sound Studios with Ed, myself and mastering engineer Paul Angelli. In response to the many questions I've been getting about my music, I recently wrote several articles to explain my musical background and concepts which will soon be included in this site. My next step is to get my CD duplicated and to offer it for sale on this site and elsewhere. This should be accomplished by the end of April. Stay tuned.

8/30/99 - YAMAHA TELEVISION APPEARENCE - My first television appearance as a Yamaha Artist was with Reuters Television on 8/19/99, with two other musicians. Reuters has an international feed that gets picked up world wide. Impressed with my "Hendrix" style of playing, Yamaha's media consultants arranged a solo appearance of myself for Associated Press on 8/21/99. This was done as a tie in to the thirtieth anniversary of the Woodstock Festival. We did a two hour shoot at Kenny's Castaways, Bleeker St., NYC. Associated Press also has an international feed. Mr. Kenny was so impressed that he offered an open invitation for me to return. A most fun appearance followed on Good Day New York, with Gordon Elliot. This very popular New York City morning show had me playing at full volume at 7:00 A.M. in the middle of an intersection in New Hyde Park, Long Island. Soon people were dancing in the street. The segment was so enjoyable that they returned to us ten times!

8/15/99 - INTERACTIVE MUSIC XPO - I played at the Interactive Music XPO at the Javits Convention Center, N.Y., on 8/9/99 & 8/10/99 for the John Lennon Songwriting Contest, representing Yamaha, with drummer Dino Foggan. We played my rock cello songs and some covers. Our rendition of the Star Spanngled Banner stopped people dead in their tracks! (After all, many people know me as "the guy who plays the cello like Hendrix.") Other highlights were my song "Something True" and Lennon's "Revolution." Even though it was just the two of us, we were very well received and many contacts were made.

 

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