Arkiv Music Holiday Shop

Ralph Kirshbaum


Born: March 4, 1946; Denton, TX  
Ralph Kirschbaum's family was musical: His father was a professional violinist and conductor, his mother a harpist, and his brothers and sisters were a violinist, a violist, and a pianist. Kirschbaum decided on cello and had his first lessons on the instrument from his father. At age 11, he began three years of study with Roberta Gustafeste then went to study with Lev Aronson, a teacher of renown who was the principal cellist of the Dallas Read more Symphony and also was the teacher of Lynn Harrell. When Kirschbaum turned 18, Aronson recommended that he study with the great Gregor Piatigorsky (his own teacher). However, Kirschbaum had seen in his family how difficult it could be to make a living as a professional musician, so he opted to continue academic studies instead, no doubt also prompted by the fact that he had earned a scholarship to Yale University. This was far from a rejection of his cello studies; at Yale, Kirschbaum was able to study with Aldo Parisot, a brilliant cellist who followed the line of Emanuel Feuermann. Kirschbaum never regretted his choice, noting that Aronson instilled great musicality in his students and was especially fine in teaching bowing technique. Parisot had a virtuoso left-hand technique and so concentrated on Kirschbaum's fingering. He has pointed to the benefits of an education balanced between two renowned but different teachers. When Kirschbaum returned to Dallas, even Aronson, who had been disappointed that his student turned down an opportunity to study with Piatigorsky, said that he was satisfied with Kirschbaum's development.

Kirschbaum won a Fulbright Scholarship to study in Europe in 1968. This was in accordance with his goal, which was to start his professional career in Europe (a decision made by many American musicians). However, it was 1968, the Vietnam War was on, and Kirschbaum had received his draft physical examination. Since he might be unable to use it, he suggested the Fulbright trustees award it to someone else. However, a physician found that Kirschbaum had flat feet and would not pass the physical. (To be sure, this doctor, an Englishman who loved music, was the tenth doctor Kirschbaum consulted; the others had all passed him.)

Kirschbaum studied in Paris for a year on a French government grant and in 1970, he won the Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow. As a result, the French extended his grant for another year. Kirschbaum values this two-year period as a great benefit that allowed him to consolidate his technique and musical knowledge. However, he also began concertizing during this period and his London debut was in 1970 at Wigmore Hall. He returned to London to make his first orchestral appearance, playing Tchaikovsky's Variations on a Rococo Theme with London's New Philharmonia Orchestra. Fellow cellist Jacqueline Du Pré generously loaned him her famous "Davidov" Stradivari instrument for that debut. (Subsequently, Kirschbaum acquired one of the great cellos, the "Piatti" cello, built by Montagnana in 1729.)

A major chamber ensemble was formed when Kirschbaum met pianist Peter Frankl and violinist Gyorgy Pauk. These two players, although they have not achieved household "star name" status, enjoy the highest repute among musicians and other cognoscenti and for years had been recital partners who had been looking for a cellist with whom to form a trio. Despite Kirschbaum's being ten years younger than they were, there was an instant rapport, which they realized as soon as they played together. Their first performance was a concert at the Edinburgh Festival that was broadcast live on the BBC to great acclaim. The British network quickly engaged them to play a series of what would add up to 30 trio performances. Despite all three members enjoying busy concert careers on their own, the Frankl-Pauk-Kirschbaum Trio usually gives 15 concerts each year. In 1976, Kirschbaum returned to his native land to make a debut in New York at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. He has based his career in England, but returns to the United States for major tours every year. He has a teaching position at the Royal Northern College of Music and has made numerous recordings, including the Elgar and Walton concertos and (with Pauk and violist Nobuko Imai) the Triple Concerto by Michael Tippett. Read less
Browse 1-21 of 21 Available Recordings
  • 1.
    Beethoven: Complete Sonatas & Variations for Cello & Piano / Kirshbaum, Wosner
    Label: Onyx   Catalog: 4178 Release Date: 12/16/2016   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Ralph Kirshbaum,  Shai Wosner
    CD: $28.99
    Low Stock
    CD:  $28.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 2.
    Schubert: String Quintet D. 956; Quartettsatz D. 703 / Kirshbaum, Takacs Quartet
    Label: Hyperion   Catalog: 67864 Release Date: 11/13/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Schubert
    Performer:  Ralph Kirshbaum
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Takács String Quartet
    CD: $21.99
    Low Stock
    CD:  $21.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 3.
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 7317512 Release Date: 02/14/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jules Massenet,  Johann Pachelbel,  Gregorio Allegri,  Antonio Vivaldi  ... 
    Performer:  Hans Kalafusz,  Gerald Finley,  Janet See,  Giovanni Scaramuzzino  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner,  Andrew Parrott,  Stephen Cleobury,  Christopher Warren-Green  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Taverner Players,  Europa Galante,  Seminario Musicale  ... 
    CD: $7.99
    In Stock
    CD:  $7.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 4.
    50 Best Adagios
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 57489 Release Date: 06/29/2010   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Tomaso Albinoni,  Johann Pachelbel,  Gregorio Allegri,  Antonio Vivaldi  ... 
    Performer:  Giovanni Scaramuzzino,  Véronique Gens,  David Daniels,  Steven Isserlis  ... 
    Conductor:  Ian Watson,  Andrew Parrott,  Christopher Warren-Green,  Fabio Biondi  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Taverner Players,  Taverner Consort,  Seminario Musicale  ... 
    On sale! $13.98
    CD: $11.99
    In Stock
    On sale!   $13.98   CD:  $11.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 5.
    50 Best Baroque
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 57503 Release Date: 06/29/2010   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  Jeremiah Clarke,  John Dowland,  Henry Purcell  ... 
    Performer:  Crispian Steele-Perkins,  Gérard Lesne,  Susan Graham,  Christopher Robson  ... 
    Conductor:  Stephen Cleobury,  Richard Hickox,  Andrew Parrott,  Emmanuelle Haďm  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Fretwork,  Taverner Players,  Orlando Gibbons Viol Ensemble  ... 
    CD: $11.99
    In Stock
    CD:  $11.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 6.
    100 Best 20th Century Classics
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 64249 Release Date: 07/28/2009   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  György Ligeti,  John Adams,  George Gershwin,  Aaron Copland  ... 
    Performer:  Wayne Marshall,  Ralph Kirshbaum,  Tasmin Little,  Simon Haram  ... 
    Conductor:  None,  Simon Rattle,  Leonard Slatkin,  Christopher Warren-Green  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Artemis String Quartet,  City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra,  St. Louis Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $19.99
    In Stock
    CD:  $19.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 7.
    100 Best Concertos
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 64739 Release Date: 03/24/2009   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Frédéric Chopin  ... 
    Performer:  Mikhail Pletnev,  Jean-Bernard Pommier,  Christian Zacharias,  Francois-René Duchable  ... 
    Conductor:  Libor Pesek,  Lawrence Foster,  Hans Vonk,  Michel Plasson  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Hallé Orchestra,  Dresden Staatskapelle  ... 
    CD: $19.99
    In Stock
    CD:  $19.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 8.
    Tippett: Concerto For Orchestra, Triple Concerto / Sir Colin Davis
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 420781 Release Date: 09/22/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Michael Tippett
    Performer:  Nobuko Imai,  Ralph Kirshbaum,  György Pauk
    Conductor:  Sir Colin Davis
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
    ArkivCD $16.99
    Low Stock
    ArkivCD:  $16.99 Add to Cart

  • 9.
    Bach For My Baby
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 89585 Release Date: 06/05/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Bob van Asperen,  Marion Verbruggen,  John Holloway,  Paul Goodwin  ... 
    Conductor:  Bob van Asperen,  Wolfgang Gönnenwein,  Andrew Parrott,  Sir Philip Ledger  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Melante Amsterdam,  South German Madrigal Choir Stuttgart,  Taverner Players  ... 
    CD: $12.99
    In Stock
    CD:  $12.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 10.
    Best Bach 100
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 83765 Release Date: 02/06/2007   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  J. F. Ludwig Thiele
    Performer:  Lionel Rogg,  Monica Huggett,  Gustav Leonhardt,  Alison Bury  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Philip Ledger,  Wolfgang Gönnenwein,  Philippe Herreweghe,  Andrew Parrott  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment,  English Chamber Orchestra,  South German Madrigal Choir Stuttgart  ... 
    CD: $19.99
    In Stock
    CD:  $19.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 11.
    An Introduction to Edward Elgar
    Label: Chandos   Catalog: 2021 Release Date: 09/19/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sir Edward Elgar
    Performer:  Ralph Kirshbaum
    Conductor:  Sir Alexander Gibson,  Norman Del Mar
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Scottish National Orchestra,  Bournemouth Sinfonietta
    CD: $11.99
    In Stock
    CD:  $11.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 12.
    Bear Essentials - Great British Orchestral Classics
    Label: Chandos   Catalog: 2428 Release Date: 09/20/2005   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Sir Arthur Bliss,  Sir William Walton,  Malcolm Arnold,  Sir Edward Elgar  ... 
    Performer:  Ralph Kirshbaum,  Michael Davis
    Conductor:  Rumon Gamba,  Jan Latham-Koenig,  Sir David Willcocks,  Sir Neville Marriner  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $18.99
    In Stock
    CD:  $18.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 13.
    Tippett: Orchestral Works
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 470196 Release Date: 05/20/2002   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Michael Tippett
    Performer:  Faye Robinson,  Paul Cann,  Philip Cave,  Caryl Kelly  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti,  Nicholas Cleobury,  Howard Snell,  Sir Neville Marriner  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra,  Oxford Schola Cantorum Choir,  Philip Jones Brass Ensemble  ... 
    CD: $24.99
    In Stock
    CD:  $24.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 14.
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 67728 Release Date: 01/08/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Douglas Major,  Andrei Gavrilov,  Christopher Parkening,  Frank Peter Zimmermann  ... 
    Conductor:  Wolfgang Sawallisch,  Wolfgang Gönnenwein,  Sir Neville Marriner,  Robert Irving  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra,  Empire Brass,  South German Madrigal Choir Stuttgart  ... 
    CD: $11.99
    Low Stock
    CD:  $11.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 15.
    Barber: Cello Concerto, Cello Sonata, Adagio / Kirshbaum
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 59565 Release Date: 05/01/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Samuel Barber
    Performer:  Roger Vignoles,  Ralph Kirshbaum
    Conductor:  Jukka-Pekka Saraste
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Scottish Chamber Orchestra
    ArkivCD $16.99
    In Stock
    ArkivCD:  $16.99 Add to Cart

  • 16.
    Bach: Cello Suites / Ralph Kirshbaum
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 61609 Release Date: 02/01/2000   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Ralph Kirshbaum
    On sale! $29.98
    ArkivCD $24.99
    Special Order
    On sale!   $29.98   ArkivCD:  $24.99 Add to Cart

  • 17.
    Walton: Belshazzar's Feast, Symphony No 1, Etc / Willcocks
    Label: Chandos   Catalog: 2410 Release Date: 05/18/1999   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Sir William Walton
    Performer:  Sherrill Milnes,  Ralph Kirshbaum,  George McPhee
    Conductor:  Sir Alexander Gibson,  Sir David Willcocks
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Scottish National Orchestra,  Scottish National Chorus,  Scottish Festival Brass Bands  ... 
    CD: $18.99
    Low Stock
    CD:  $18.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 18.
    Beethoven For Relaxation
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 63328 Release Date: 03/09/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Phillip Moll,  James Galway,  Serge Edelmann,  Michael Schade  ... 
    Conductor:  André Previn,  Sir Colin Davis,  Christoph Eschenbach,  Günter Wand
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $8.99
    Back Order
    CD:  $8.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 19.
    Pinchas Zukerman Plays & Conducts Haydn / Kirshbaum, English CO
    Label: Rca Victor Red Seal   Catalog: 62696 Release Date: 07/12/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Joseph Haydn
    Performer:  Ralph Kirshbaum,  Gordon Hunt,  Pinchas Zukerman,  Robin O'Neill  ... 
    Conductor:  Pinchas Zukerman
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Chamber Orchestra
    ArkivCD $16.99
    In Stock
    ArkivCD:  $16.99 Add to Cart

  • 20.
    Elgar: Cello Concerto, Falstaff / Kirshbaum, Gibson
    Label: Chandos Collect   Catalog: 6607 Release Date: 10/25/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sir Edward Elgar
    Performer:  Ralph Kirshbaum
    Conductor:  Sir Alexander Gibson
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Scottish National Orchestra
    CD: $11.99
    In Stock
    CD:  $11.99 Add CD to Cart