The Six Suites for Unaccompanied Cello are among Bach's most celebrated works and have been described as some of the most profound and universal music in the Western Classical canon. During my student years I accepted these grandiose statements and superlative descriptions without question, but as young artist it has become essential to find my own reasons for what makes these Suites important in order to develop a meaningful personal interpretation.
Look at the Bach Suites through my lens of a young, professional cellist as we discuss the harmonic trajectory of the Suites/ inherent qualities of key, pulse as related to breath and “spirit,” instrumental vs. musical virtuosity, operating beyond conventional boundaries (instrumental, and subconscious imagination.)
Alan Ohkubo is a third-year Cello Fellow at the New World Symphony. He was a member of the New Haven Symphony Orchestra and served as Principal Cello of the Eastern Connecticut Symphony, with which he appeared as soloist in Dvořák's Cello Concerto.The New London Daypraised Mr. Ohkubo for "technique with a swaggering panache, retaining musicality...robust fullness from lower register...to the top."
Mr. Ohkubo recently completed an artist diploma and a master of music degree at the Yale School of Music under the tutelage of master cellist and pedagogue Aldo Parisot. Prior to Yale, Mr. Ohkubo studied with world-renowned cellist and teacher Janos Starker at Indiana University as a Barbara and David Jacobs Scholar.
An avid chamber musician, Mr. Ohkubo has performed alongside artists such as David Shifrin, ChoLiang Lin and Ko Iwasaki. He has also appeared in solo and chamber recitals in Tokyo and New York City on Charlotte White's Salon de Virtuosi concert series. He took part in a series of concerts in Carnegie Hall while participating in the New York String Orchestra Seminar. In recent summers, he has attended Music Masters Course Japan, an intensive chamber music seminar held in Yokohama.