Gavriel Lipkind, an iconoclastic 34-year-old Israeli cellist, will make his Taiwan debut at the National Concert Hall in Taipei next Friday. He will play a program of five unaccompanied cello works, including Baroque composer Johann Sebastian Bach’s Suites for Unaccompanied Cello No.3 and No. 6 as well as works by 20th century contemporary composers Gaspar Cassado, Paul Ben-Haim, and Gyorgy Ligeti. At a separate event held as part of the 2012 National Taiwan University (NTU) Azalea Festival, Lipkind will give a free lecture concert about his life as a musician with a cello demonstration at the NTU Center for the Arts in Taipei next Wednesday at 7pm.
In his Taiwan debut, Lipkind will play an Italian cello called the “Zihrhonheimer” cello and labeled “Aloysius Michael Garani (Bologna, 1702).” The cello was built some time between 1670 and 1680. Besides his virtuoso technique and pure tone, Lipkind will incorporate his philosophy of musical analysis into his interpretation. Using his cello, he wants to show audiences that there are more voices simultaneously present and internally heard within one melodic line.
Lipkind, who started playing the cello at the age of six, demonstrated his musical ability at an early age. By the age of eight, he was already studying at the Rubin Academy of Music at Tel Aviv University under world-renowned Israeli cello professor Uzi Wiesel. Lipkind had his Israeli military service waived at 18 and pursued further music studies at the Frankfurt University of Music and Performing Arts in Germany and the New England Conservatory in the US. Lipkind has received numerous international awards, including the Rostropovich International Cello Competition in Paris in 1994, the Leonard Rose International Cello Competition in Washington in 1997 and the Grand Prix Emanuel Feuermann in Germany in 2002. He has performed as a solo artist with some of the most prestigious orchestras in the world.
In 2002, at the pinnacle of his career, Lipkind withdrew from the concert stage for three years to focus wholly on the innermost development of his musicianship and rethink his way of playing. During this time, he devoted himself to practicing the cello, studying chamber music, and learning sound engineering. After returning to the stage, Lipkind founded the Lipkind Quartet, which was praised by the Thuringer Allgemeine in Germany as being “well capable of stepping into the footprints of the Alban Berg Quartet.”
Lipkind has made many recordings of the highest quality under his own label Lipkind Productions, including J. S. Bach: Suites for Cello Solo (Single Voice Polyphony I), Miniatures & Folklore, featuring 23 challenging pieces for cello and piano, and Cello Heroics, featuring various cello concerti. Lipkind’s albums are available at Min’s World Classical Music on the ground floor of the National Concert Hall. Samples of some of his recordings are available on Lipkind’s personal Web site (www.lipkind.info).
Unlike the standardized album notes in classical music albums, Lipkind writes his album notes in the form of a long essay, which gives the public the impression that he is not only a fine cellist, but also an erudite music scholar. Late cellist Bernard Greenhouse, founding member of the Beaux Arts Trio, praised Lipkind as “the finest cellist playing today.” Given the fact that Lipkind constantly looks for new ways to make music even better, he is likely to use his own compositional voice to present his in-depth musical interpretation in front of Taiwanese audiences. Tickets are available through NTCH ticketing.