Nella Hunkins
Cellist
   
         Nella picture

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           Brief biography

 
           Teaching,  
                workshops and
                masterclasses

          Concert schedule

          Solo cello

         The Bach Duo

         The Montpellier Duo 

         The Tivoli Trio
         
             
 Nella and Kneale


   

Originally from New York , Nella Hunkins spent half her life in Berlin, where her two children still live. Coming from a family of professional musicians - her father a prominent cellist and her mother a violinist -  Nella began her studies with her father, whose instrument she now plays. She then studied with Leonard Rose at Juilliard from the age of 14, and went on to complete her Bachelor's and Master's degrees at Indiana University with Janos Starker. She subsequently received a Fulbright Scholarship to study at the Paris Conservatory with Andre Navarra. There she earned the Prix du Conservatoire and fell in love with Europe, determined to move there some day.

Nella’s first major orchestral appointment was as associate principal cellist with the Cleveland Orchestra under Lorin Maazel. During these years she was a regular member of the Casals Festival Orchestra in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Her later orchestral experience includes performances, recordings, and tours as a non-contractual member of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra under Herbert von Karajan from 1980 to 1989, as well as yearly performances at the Salzburg Festival and appearances at other international orchestral festivals in Mexico City, Rome, Italy and Germany

She has been the soloist in concertos in the US, Europe and Asia. She was also a member of the Kreuzberger String Quartet in Berlin, as well as the Berlin Scharoun Ensemble. She can be heard on the Denon recording label with the chamber group, Philharmonia Ensemble Berlin, playing the Schubert Octet with members of the Berlin Philharmonic;  another recording with the same group features Boccherini Quintets. 

Most recently, Nella was principal cellist with the Singapore Symphony Orchestra from 2001 until April 2009; a highlight of this period was playing with Gil Shaham a number of times in the Butterfly Lovers violin concerto, in Singapore and on tour in the USA, Europe and China. (This performance is now available on record, and an excerpt featuring the two 'lovers' is on YouTube. She also has especially fond memories of performing alongside Bobby McFerrin in Vivaldi’s Double Cello Concerto!

In 2009 she moved with her new husband to the English Cotswolds and is now active in chamber music and teaching. She is also enjoying playing jazz with the pianist Kneale Johnson.

Her extensive teaching experience includes membership of many notable faculties including the Oberlin Conservatory, the Cleveland Institute of Music, the University of Louisville and the Berlin Hochschule; recently she was a founding faculty member of the music conservatory at the National University of Singapore. She has also been a performance coach for the Jeunesse Musicale International Youth Orchestra, in Verbier (Switzerland) and in Manila.

For a fuller curriculum vitae, please click here. To listen to some of Nella's playing, please go here.

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