Participation in master classes are by audition
(no accompaniment necessary). Four cellists will be chosen for each master class. All cellists are welcome to participate in the orchestral excerpts class (no audition necessary). Accepted applicants will be notified by email. Audition requirements are to include: a movement of a standard concerto, a movement of a solo Bach Suite, or
a virtuoso solo piece. All master class videos are to be submitted by October 18th.
Bruce Uchimura is Professor of Cello and Director of the Western Michigan University Symphony Orchestra. He was Associate Conductor of the Augusta (Georgia) Symphony Orchestra from 1985-87 where he developed a highly successful Symphonic Pops and Educational Series. He also formed and conducted the Western String Chamber Orchestra from 1987-1998. In 1998, he took over the Western Michigan University Symphony Orchestra. The WMU Orchestra won the Downbeat Magazine Award for Best College Symphony Orchestra in 2005, and was invited to perform at the Michigan Music Educator’s Conference in 2007 and 2016. The WMU Orchestra was the third place winner in the 2015 “American Prize” media based competition’s Best College Orchestra category.
Mr. Uchimura is in much demand as an educator and clinician and has guest conducted numerous All-State and Honors Orchestras throughout the country. He was trained at the Juilliard School and the Cleveland Institute of Music and is Cellist of the highly acclaimed Merling Trio (with his wife, Pianist, Susan Wiersma-Uchimura and WMU Professor of Violin, Renata Artman-Knific). He has played Cello recitals and given master classes throughout the United States and was a charter faculty member at the ENCORE School for Strings Summer program. He is also on the faculty of the ARIA Summer Music Academy and The International Cello Institute. He was awarded “String Teacher of the Year” by the American String Teachers Association Michigan Chapter in 2010.
Mr. Uchimura’s WMU and private cello students have gone on to impressive university, conservatory and graduate programs as well as securing professional jobs in orchestras and teaching positions. Mr. Uchimura serves as the advisor to the WMU/ American String Teachers Association Student Chapter and is strong advocate of entrepreneurship in music.
Anthony Elliott is in great demand as a conductor, and as a concert cellist. Known for his fluid technique and assured interpretations, he has led numerous professional, amateur, and youth orchestras in prestigious settings around the world. Formerly Music Director of the Dexter Community Orchestra, presently he is Conductor of the Michigan Youth Symphony at the University of Michigan. He has shared podium duties at the Texas Music Festival with Maxim Shostakovich and Christoph Eschenbach, and at the Blossom Music Festival with Leonard Slatkin and Jahja Ling.
Recent performances include reengagements with the Sphinx Symphony at Orchestra Hall in Detroit, the Prince George’s Philharmonic in Washington DC, and the Icicle Creek Chamber Orchestra. On two separate occasions he has led the Sphinx Chamber Orchestra at Carnegie Hall to great critical acclaim. Guest conducting engagements have also included the San Antonio Symphony, the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, the Scott Joplin Chamber Orchestra, and the Vancouver Chamber Players. His conducting repertory includes most of the orchestral classics, as well as newer works
by African American composers Michael Abels, James Lee, Augustus Hill, and Coleridge Taylor Perkinson, American composers Joan Tower, Michael Daugherty, Leslie Bassett, and Evan Chambers, and Canadian composers Robert Turner and Jeffrey Ryan. Fully staged opera performances have included Mozart’s Cosi Fan Tutte, Menotti’s the Consul, and Menotti’s Amahl and the Night Visitors. Choral collaborations have included such works as Britten’s Saint Nicholas Cantata, the Fantasia on Christmas Carols and the Hodie of Ralph Vaughan Williams, the Bach and Rutter Magnificats, and
the Poulenc, Rutter, and Vivaldi Glorias.
As a tireless advocate for music education, he has led the All Northwest Orchestra as well as the All State Orchestras of New York, Texas, Florida, Washington, North Carolina, Alaska, Vermont, Maryland, Alabama, Louisiana, Nebraska, Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota. As Music Director of the Houston Youth Symphony and Ballet, he led a heralded two week concert tour to Holland, Germany, and Austria, and was honored by Houston Mayor Kathryn Whitmire and the Houston City Council. He has given countless free clinics and workshops at inner city schools and community centers around
the country. Recently, he appeared in Detroit with students from the Cornerstone School, Cass Tech High School, the Detroit School for the Arts, and the Marvin L Winan’s Fine Arts Academy.
Anthony Elliot is also a prize winning cellist, being the first person to win the Feuermann International Cello Competition. He has appeared as a soloist with the New York Philharmonic, the Detroit . Symphony, the Minnesota Orchestra, the Vancouver Symphony, and the CBC Toronto Orchestra.
A native of Belgrade, Serbia, cellist Igor Cetkovic enjoys a career as a soloist, chamber musician, orchestra member, and educator. Igor has served with orchestras across Europe and the United States, including the Bergen Philharmonic, Stavanger Symphony Orchestra, the Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra, and as a solo cellist of the Serbian chamber orchestra, “The St. George Strings”. A winner of many national and regional competitions and performance awards, Igor finished his doctoral studies at Michigan State University, studying under the renowned Suren Bagratuni. He also holds degrees from Stavanger University, University of Belgrade and Central Michigan University. Igor’s other principal teachers include his father Relja Cetkovic, Sandra Belic, Liv Opdal and Jamie Fiste.
Currently, Mr. Cetkovic is an artist-in-residence and principal cellist of the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra, principal cello of the Saginaw Bay Symphony, assistant principal cello of the West Michigan Symphony and the cellist for the Burdick-Thorne String Quartet. In addition to his performing schedule, Igor enjoys teaching both college and high-school students, and is current cello faculty for New England Music Camp in Maine. Mr. Cetkovic also served on the faculty at Albion College, and has given masterclasses at the Flint Institute of Music and for MASTA (Michigan chapter of American String Teachers Association).