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"Joshua Halpern approached difficult passages masterfully, with a natural, easy technique and a powerful, projecting tone that left nothing to be desired."

– Westdeutsche Zeitung

About Josh

Joshua Halpern has appeared on stages around the world as a soloist, chamber musician, and orchestral principal cellist. As a chamber musician, he has collaborated with artists including Jonathan Biss, Anthony Roth Costanzo, Roberto Díaz, Viviane Hagner, Gary Hoffman, Kim Kashkashian, Patricia Kopatchinskaja, Anthony McGill, Olli Mustonen, and Itzhak Perlman, and appeared at music festivals including the Ravinia Steans Institute, Music@Menlo, the Perlman Chamber Music Workshop, the New York String Orchestra Seminar, the Taos School of Music, La Jolla Summerfest, Musikiwest, and Krzyzowa-Music, with whom he has also toured extensively. An eager advocate of contemporary music, he has worked personally with composers such as Richard Danielpour, Scott Ordway, Kevin Puts, Dai Wei, Nick DiBerardino, and Kaija Saariaho. During the 2019 season he served as guest principal cello of the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, including on tours to Germany, Taiwan, and China, and in 2020 served as cellist with the Banff Competition-winning Rolston Quartet. In 2023, he appeared numerous times as guest principal cello with the Philharmonia Orchestra in London, as well as guest with the Varian Fry Quartet; the 12 Cellists of the Berlin Philharmonic; and in Greece, Spain, and Germany with Curtis On Tour.

Josh completed his Artist Diploma at The Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, where he performed throughout the United States, Europe and Latin America with Curtis On Tour, and served as principal cello of the Curtis Symphony Orchestra during the 2016/17 season. At Curtis he studied with Carter Brey and Peter Wiley. As an undergraduate at the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University, he studied with Desmond Hoebig and won the school's concerto competition. From 2021 until 2023, he was a member of the Karajan Akademie of the Berliner Philharmoniker, in which he played as a member of the Berliner Philharmoniker and was mentored by Ludwig Quandt.

In 2018, Josh curated a solo tour across Colorado to bring classical music to unexpected places, including the state penitentiary, small-town saloons, bicycle shops, and more. Since then, he has continued bringing music to unique spaces, fostering connection and conversation with all types of people along the way. In 2021, he founded the Cultural Caravan, a Colorado-based organization operating at the intersection of small businesses, social-service nonprofits, municipal organizations, and local artists. The Cultural Caravan has since presented over 70 artists with backgrounds ranging from Zimbabwean Afropop to Venezuelan jazz to Classical Music in dozens of concerts in coordination with over 50 local businesses and community organizations, reinvesting over $200,000 into the community to date.

As a teacher, Josh has presented master classes throughout the United States and South America and has taught at Curtis Summerfest, the Green Mountain Chamber Music Festival, and on faculty at the Brooklyn School of Music. He lives in Berlin.

Josh's Cello

Josh plays on a Neapolitan cello likely by Giovanni Gagliano, circa 1800. The top was replaced roughly 100 years later by a carpenter-turned-luthier named Valentino de Zorzi. De Zorzi usually stamps his work, but in this case left a more discreet message on the top's underside, describing where he found the wood: the roof of the local church, right above where the crypts were kept. The inscription concludes with the line: “After centuries of watching over the dead, it now inspires the living.”

Josh plays on a modern bow by a Swiss maker named Pierre-Yves Fuchs.

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