Israeli-born American cellist Matt Haimovitz has evolved from a prodigy to one of the most dynamic young musicians on the classical music scene. As a child, Haimovitz was introduced through Itzhak Perlman to cellist Leonard Rose, who was amazed by the young artist's ability and helped foster his education. Haimovitz played his first concert at Carnegie Hall at the age of 13 and accepted his first major honor, the Avery Fisher Career Grant, atRead more that time. In 1990 Haimovitz made his debut recording for Deutsche Grammophon, and for most of the decade his career trajectory followed the usual course one would expect for a classical artist, playing the concert hall circuit and teaching.
Around 2000, Haimovitz faced up to the growing realization that the audiences he was playing for did not seem to bring around very many of the people his age. He diagnosed this condition to concert halls themselves, and henceforward resolved to meet the desired audience where they felt comfortable, in the ordinary coffeehouses, bars, and nightclubs where young people hang out. This loosening of the collar as it applies to one's place of venue also opened up his music, and in 2003, Haimovitz launched his "Anthem" tour, playing the works of living American composers in 50 different states. His recordings, mostly on Oxingale, such as Lemons Descending and Anthem, also serve to expose young listeners to music from their own time. Response to Haimovitz's about-face in terms of performance spaces and repertoire may be mixed coming from critics, but audiences are pleased, and are attending, which is what Haimovitz wants. Haimovitz's efforts in bringing classical music to people who would normally be scared off by the formality of it all was recognized by the American Music Center, which presented him its Trailblazer Award in 2005. Read less
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