Jonah Ellsworth
. cello


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.”

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.”

Jonah Ellsworth

. cello

Quote | Boston Classical Review . April 2015

Boston Classical Review | Saint-Saëns Cello Concerto No. 1 | Boston Philharmonic | April 2015

“The cellist boasts a remarkable technique, and the concerto’s fiery passages showed him in nearly flawless fingerwork that took him all over the instrument.

But the most impressive quality of his playing is the tenderness he draws from his cello, and it was the lyrical passages in the concerto that featured Ellsworth at his most brilliant. His tone is thoroughly song-like, laced with a hint of silver, and manages to resonate deeply in its full range. His cello sang beautifully in the concerto’s many cantabile passages, and he handled the waltz-like theme that comes mid-piece with charming and affectionate tone.”

Quote | The Boston Globe . April 2015

The Boston Globe
Saint Saëns Cello Concerto No. 1
Boston Philharmonic | April 2015
“…the solo part is a challenging one, and Ellsworth was equal to it. His tone is dark and he conveys feeling without straining. What particularly stood out was the authority of his phrasing in the slow sections, where he emerged as a kind of unrepentant Tannhäuser.”

Quote | The Boston Intelligencer . April 2015

The Boston Intelligencer
Saint Saëns Cello Concerto No. 1
Boston Philharmonic | April 2015
“Jonah Ellsworth played the solo with fearless energy and a complete range of expressive richness. This concerto makes more prominent use of the lower strings, I think, than do many other concerti that feature upper-register expression on the A string, and it was good to hear the expressive resonance of the lower register carefully balanced with the orchestra. On the evidence of this fine performance, Ellsworth is certainly ready to be called a modern professional; he is an accomplished soloist, but he also plays in the cello sections of BPO and plays chamber music at Marlboro, and that adds up to a busy and enriching career.”

Quote | Clevelandclassical.com . January 2015

Clevelandclassical.com | Dvořák Cello Concerto No. 1 | Akron Symphony | January 2015
“Jonah Ellsworth looked both relaxed and eager as he took the stage for what has become one of the most important solo cello works in the repertoire. His winning tone and excellent intonation were fine vehicles for Dvorak’s lyrical solo lines, and he projected well over the orchestra even when textures grew thicker and the emotional temperature rose. He’s definitely a player to watch.”

Quote | The Boston Musical Intelligencer . May 2014

The Boston Musical Intelligencer | Strauss’s Don Quixote | Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra | May 2014
“Another Zander protégé is the phenomenally gifted cellist Jonah Ellsworth. There is unmistakable, and frankly uncanny, maturity in his playing.…Don Quixote himself would have been proud to have been as nobly and exquisitely depicted as he was by Ellsworth. It was altogether stunning, a performance I will long remember.”