Cello Festival | Public Relations
March 11, 2020
USC Cancels Piatigorsky International Cello Festival

The University of Southern California has announced the cancellation of the 2020 Piatigorsky International Cello Festival, scheduled to take place March 13-22. The University made the decision as a precaution due to the uncertainty around the COVID-19 virus and its impact on large scale events and gatherings as well as the travel disruption our artists and participants may experience.  

We are heartbroken about the cancellation of this unique celebration of music, held every four years in Los Angeles.  The Festival’s 42 meticulously planned events were to be the culmination of three years of planning, collaboration and visionary programming. 

“We want to thank everyone who has worked so hard to create this extraordinary festival,” said Ralph Kirshbaum, the Festival’s artistic director, “from the musicians here in Los Angeles to those who were set to travel the world to be here, to our remarkably supportive sponsors, and to the dozens of USC staff members who have attended to every detail in order to provide all of us with an extraordinary, seamless experience. If any reassurance of the warmth, affection and generosity of spirit of my beloved colleagues in the cello world was needed, the events of the past 24 hours have amply provided it.  The unanimity of their concern, compassion and encouragement has been overwhelming.”

Among the many delights that would have greeted visitors at the Festival is a very special “Cello Tree,” tracing the pedagogic lineage of cellists at the festival through the generation of teachers that came before them, including Piatigorsky and Rostropovich, to Pablo Casals, and even further back, to the 18th century. We hope you enjoy perusing this remarkable genealogical document.

Four LA Phil concerts at Walt Disney Concert Hall, which were included as part of the festival, are scheduled to take place as planned: March 20 with soloist Laura van der Heiden, March 21 with soloist Kian Soltani and March 22 at 2pm with soloist Ralph Kirshbaum as well as the Colburn Celebrity Concert on March 22 at 7:30 pm. For more information, click here

Kirshbaum added, “We hope everyone, not least our artists, Fellows, patrons and enthusiasts, stays healthy and safe. Know that we will look to create another great cello festival as soon as circumstances permit.”

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