Nov 18, 2013

Carter Enyeart, New Cello Specialist

CadenzaOne is proud to welcome Carter Enyeart as head of cello. Carter has been in the cello world for ages both performing and teaching all around the world. Please help us in welcoming him to the CadenzaOne Family. Here is his story.

Carter Enyeart, Cello Specialist
I started playing the cello at age 8 and have never wanted to do anything else. My family had moved east from Chicago to New Jersey and my new elementary school orchestra needed a cello. The fact that my mother had played cello for several years during college years also made the instrument attractive for me. I started private lessons quite soon as there were a number of fine teachers in the New York metropolitan area, and soon began carrying my cello on the bus for weekly lessons a few towns away from Tenafly. I remember one such bus ride on a snowy and messy winter night when a thoroughly chilled Carter got on the bus lugging the big cello case and the driver asked,” Now don’t you wish you played the piccolo?” I think I smiled and said “No,thanks!”

From the beginning, I was enchanted with the sound of the cello, and creating that rich and singing sound is still the reason that I teach and practice almost daily and perform as much as possible. Through a combination of family support and good luck, I was able to study with excellent teachers who all gave me different gifts through their teaching. With rare exceptions, I think that 4 years with any one teacher is enough! My three teachers beginning in my later high school years were Zara Nelsova, Georges Miquelle, and Mischa Schneider. I worked with Nelsova at the Aspen Festival and at my first lesson, she told me that I played “like a pussycat” , and that I needed to learn to play “like a lion!” She had a big career, a wondrous huge tone and a very personal style of playing which I began to emulate due to her magnanimous personality and her intense and exacting teaching in every lesson. We remained friends until her death in 2002, and I thank her every day for what she gave me.

Georges Miquelle was my professor at the Eastman School, and also a magnificent artist. He had been principal cellist with the Detroit Symphony for 30 years before joining the faculty, and his style of playing was almost diametrically the opposite of Nelsova’s. Where he was elegant and relaxed, she was intense. His bow hand was held high and loose, her’s was low and heavy. If you can find their very different but very fine recorded performances of Bloch’s Schelomo, you will hear what I mean immediately. 

Bloch: Concerto Grosso Nos. 1 & 2; Schelomo

They each taught me diverse but very valuable lessons about playing and about music, and I encourage music students to seek out teachers whose performing they are attracted to for whatever reason, since there are many different ways of playing that are valid.
The third major teacher who had great influence on my progress was Mischa Schneider, for 35 years the cellist of the renowned Budapest String Quartet

I was fortunate to study with him for two years in Buffalo where the quartet was in residence teaching and performing the annual Beethoven Cycle. Watching him perform in the quartet, I noticed how often he seemed to be using bowing directions that looked “wrong” but sounded great! I wanted to learn what he knew! The other thing I noticed was the apparent organization of his left hand as he moved expertly up and down the fingerboard. I found out that he was pupil of Julius Klengel who taught in Leipzig for many years, and was known for his organized approach to technique. Students might know Klengel’s name from the scale and scale studies volume that he created and from some of the many cello ensembles he composed.

Technical Studies for Cello Volume I by Julius Klengel

In my work with Mischa, I was able to discover how to organize everything that I had previously learned about left hand technique into a system of navigating the fingerboard in an organized and logical way (More on that in a future blog!). It became an equally important component in my eventual playing style to the relaxed approach I learned from Miquelle and the personal intensity I learned from Nelsova. It was during my work with Mischa and his colleagues, that I realized that chamber music was what I really wanted to do as a career. I am, I think, an amalgam of their three influences, and this is why I encourage all students to work with teachers that have different things to offer, and always try to do exactly what they say while working with them. Later on, you will sort out what works for you and absorb it into your own personal way of playing. An enemy of learning is a closed mind to new approaches, and in today’s world of diverse musical styles, my first responsibility is to be sure that my students have a solid technical foundation for simply playing the instrument well (producing a good tone, navigating the fingerboard accurately) so that no matter what style of music they are involved with, they will know how to make a valid contribution. I am proud that many of them have achieved success as cellists and are making their ways, and their livings, in the world of music.

I look forward to sharing more of my experience with you in future blogs and articles!
A graduate of the Eastman School of Music,Carter Enyeart has enjoyed a distinguished and varied career. His experience as a member of the Pittsburgh and San Francisco Symphony Orchestras, principal cellist of the Dallas Opera, member of the renowned Philadelphia String Quartet and American Piano Trio and his duties as Associate Artistic Director and cellist of the Chamber Music Society of Fort Worth give him strong credentials in the symphonic and chamber music fields. His teaching at Ball State University, Northwestern University, and the University of North Texas preceded his current appointment as Rose Ann Carr Millsap/Missouri Distinguished Professor of Cello at the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory where he also coordinates the String Chamber Music Program. His concert appearances as soloist and chamber musician have been acclaimed in the United States and in the music capitols of Europe, Asia and South America. His first CD on Centaur (#2300) was hailed by John von Rhein in the Chcago Tribune as “one of the year’s best contemporary chamber music albums.” Walter Simmons of FANFARE commented…”an extraordinary performance…a reading of unerring precision and blistering intensity (Muczynski Cello Sonata).” A second CD of Muczynski’s chamber music (Centaur #2634) was released in 2003 and features the first recording of “Gallery”, Suite for solo cello. A pending Naxos CD release will feature the Suite for Cello and Winds by Chen Yi. He composed cello accompaniments for the Popper High School etudes which are published by International Music Company of NYC (IMC #3631), and was engaged as the editor for five new editions of cello etudes and technical studies soon to be published by IMC.

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