Grammy-nominated cellist Matt Haimovitz will give a full concert at ETSU Nov. 2 at 7:30 in Culp Auditorium, performing Bach Suite I with an overture by Philip Glass; Suite III and overture by Vijay Iyer; and Suite VI preceded by Luna Pearl Woolf’s commissioned overture.

Haimovitz will also conduct a strings master class Nov. 2 from 9:45-11:45 a.m., in ETSU’s Culp Auditorium. Auditors are welcome. No reservations are required.

Sponsored by Mary B. Martin School of the Arts at ETSU, Haimovitz is starting the month of November taking Bach cello suites to various locations on and off the East Tennessee State University campus. As a culmination of three free mini-concerts Wednesday, the cellist will perform a fourth ticketed full concert Nov. 2.

Haimovitz was born in Israel and grew up on the West Coast, listening to classical music, taking up the cello at 7 and performing as soloist with Zubin Mehta and the Israel Philharmonic by age 13. The prodigy recorded for Deutsche Grammophon for a decade, performed with music legends such as Isaac Stern, James Levine and Pinchas Zukerman and studied music at the Juilliard School and Harvard, graduating with highest honors.The traditional path of a modern classical musician, however, was not for Haimovitz. He wanted to take his music “to the people.” Since the year 2000, the cellist has been alternately playing in concert halls, nightclubs, cafés and on rooftops – to connect with audiences of all ages and walks of life.

“Classical music can’t survive the way it is. It can’t be isolated from the rest of culture …” Haimovitz told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “There are other ways of presenting it. This is such a direct way of taking it to the people.”

At age 32, Haimovitz was already listed “among the world’s finest classical cellists.” He told NPR’s All Things Considered that in his hundreds of concert hall performances, he seldom saw

attendees from his own generation. As a result, Haimovitz decided to go to them, rather than expecting them to come to his, perhaps daunting, big concerts.

So, in 2000, the cellist – and his composer wife Luna Pearl Woolf – “went rogue.”

His first “alternative” performance was at Iron Horse Music Hall in North Hampton, Mass. The response was just as Haimovitz and his wife had hoped. The hall was packed. “There were jazz music lovers, indie rock, people who would never go to the symphony,” he told host Eugenia Zukerman of Noted Endeavors. “There was this incredible electricity. From this experience, I knew we had hit on something … There was a need for something to change the routine and reach out to audiences and just strip away the barriers that had been built up over a couple decades.”

The cellist’s arrangement of the national anthem, which he titles “Anthem,” has special meaning to him as an American artist and native of Israel. “Having the freedom to pursue something as crazy as taking Bach cello suites to the streets …” he told ABC, “This kind of thing is not possible in many parts of the world to have the freedom to try something like that … I feel very fortunate that I can survive doing what I love.”

For more on Matt Haimovitz, visit

For more information about ETSU’s Mary B. Martin School of the Arts or to purchase tickets, visit or call 423-439-TKTS (8587).