Quote | Florida Times Union

The Florida Times Union | Schumann Cello Concerto | Jacksonville Philharmonic | January 2016
“The challenges of playing Robert Schumann’s Cello Concerto are many and the work was once considered by cellists to be a thankless task. The concerto was composed within a two-week time period during 1850 but was never performed during Schumann’s lifetime. Today it is played with some frequency. The issues of performance are interpretive because Schumann’s fragile mental state is displayed in his writing. Guest cellist Jonah Ellsworth met these compositional quirks straight on. The quick changes between the very confident and the very fragile Schumann, those happy moments disappearing in an instant were completely under this young cellist’s emotional control. Ellsworth took his seat, cocked his head to his right shoulder, placed his chin, as it were, on the fingerboard and wowed the audience. His bow technique, his articulation in virtuosic passages, and the melancholy singing of his cello in the second movement brought the audience to its feet.”

Quote | Worcester Telegram & Gazette

“The second piece, Schumann’s cello concerto in A minor, featured soloist Jonah Ellsworth, a young, world-class virtuoso of remarkable gifts. Ellsworth leaned into the music so quickly and thoroughly that he seemed inside Schumann’s intentions, however evanescently rational those might have been. Schumann revised the piece several times in an asylum before madness shortly consumed him. There was melting poignancy to Ellsworth’s playing of the tender second movement and wonderful energy to the conclusion.”