20-year-old American cellist Cicely Parnas is recognized for bringing ďvelvety sound, articulate passagework and keen imaginationĒ to her performances (The New York Times). As First Prize Winner of the 2012 Young Concert Artists International Auditions, she will be presented this season in debuts in New York in the Rhoda Walker Teagle Concert, and in Washington, DC at the Kennedy Center. Ms. Parnas also gives recitals at the Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center, the Jewish Community Alliance, the Buffalo Chamber Music Society, Vanguard Concerts, and the Washington Center for the Performing Arts, and appears as concerto soloist with the Long Bay Symphony, the Longwood Symphony Orchestra, and the Montreal Chamber Orchestra.
In 2012, Cicely Parnas made her Carnegie Hall debut performing the Saint-SaŽns Cello Concerto with the New York String Orchestra under the baton of Jaime Laredo. Other concerto engagements include the Elgar Cello Concerto with the Vermont Symphony under Jaime Laredo and a tour of France performing the Saint-SaŽns Concerto with LíOrchestre National des Pays de la Loire under John Axelrod. Ms. Parnas performed in the 2013 Young Concert Artists Festivals in Tokyo, Japan, and in the cities of Beijing and Wuhan in China. Winning numerous prizes from the age of thirteen, she won the 2011 Artistic Excellence Award and First Prize in the Cello Concerto Competition at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. She has been heard as the inaugural Young Artist in Residence on NPRís Performance Today Series.
Ms. Parnas frequently performs and records with her sister, violinist Madalyn Parnas, in duo parnas, which has also performed trios with pianist Peter Serkin. duo parnas has performed Saint-SaŽnsís La Muse et le PoŤte with the Hudson Valley Philharmonic under Randall Fleisher, the El Paso Symphony Orchestra at the El Paso Pro-Musica Festival under Lawrence Loh, and the Albany Symphony Orchestra under David Alan Miller, with which they also played Vivaldiís Double Concerto for Violin and Cello. duo parnas has recorded three albums on the Sheffield Lab label. Their most recent, duo parnas NOW! is due for release in Fall 2013 and includes 21st century works by Lera Auerbach, William Bolcom, Paul Moravec, and Charles Wuorinen, among others. In addition, they recently recorded composer Brian Fennellyís double concerto Fantasia Concertante with the Indiana University New Music Ensemble under the artistic direction of David Dzubay for Albany Records. This live performance was included on Fennellyís CD The Other Side of Time, and released in 2012. This season, the duo tours the United States and Canada, and performs at Tannery Pond Concerts, the ShortGrass Music Festival, and the Bravo Music Series in Montreal.
Granddaughter of the illustrious cellist Leslie Parnas, Cicely Parnas started playing the cello at age four and made her concerto debut at eleven with the Woodstock Chamber Orchestra. She has studied with cellists Sharon Robinson, Peter Wiley, and Ronald Feldman, and earned an Artist Diploma from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. Ms. Parnas performs on a 1712 Giovanni Grancino cello.
"In this compact five-movement work, Hindemith probes the celloís full range and technical resources, and provides a measure of emotional heft as well. Ms. Parnas played it with focused intensity, attention to Hindemithís constantly changing textures and an appealing touch of wildness when the music was at its most heated."
-- Allan Kozinn, The New York Times
"...an astonishing mix of pungency and finesse."
-- Berkshire Record
"...possessed of prodigious technique and an Olympic gymnast's poise."
-- Daily Freeman
"This is a technically demanding piece that combines idiomatic lyricism and warmth in its slow passages and fiery passion in its perpetual-motion finale. Miss Parnas accomplished all of these feats with a sensitivity and technique far surpassing her young years."
-- Arizona Daily Sun
"...she played with an impressive drama and phrasing that sounded more mature than her years. Yet she backed these up with a palpable passion and flair for the romantic line."
-- Daily Gazette
"...the display of artistry on the part of the soloists was breath-taking."
-- Cooperstown Freeman's Journal
"...the young players have adventuresome tastes and a meaty sound. ...there's a haunting and sustained intensity to the Ravel Sonata and a classical elegance to the Handel Passacaglia. But the heart of the record is in the opening duos by Zoltan Kodaly and Alexander Tcherepnin. Both works have a gritty intensity that's leavened by the insightful and passionate performances."
-- Joseph Dalton, Times Union