Close Encounters With Music

Yehuda Hanani

Tune into your local WAMC frequency or listen online for
"Classical Music According to Yehuda"

Tune in to the new weekly program "Classical Music According to Yehuda"on WAMC Northeast Radio, Friday's at 11:35 am RoundTable Discussion. In each segment, Alan Chartock, President and CEO of WAMC, poses questions about the world of classical music to cellist and teacher Yehuda Hanani.


Yehuda Hanani’s charismatic playing and profound interpretations bring him acclaim and reengagements across the globe. An extraordinary recitalist, he is equally renowned for performances with orchestras such as the Chicago Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Berlin Radio Orchestra, Israel Philharmonic, BBC Welsh Symphony, Buenos Aires Philharmonic, Honolulu Symphony, Jerusalem Symphony, Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra Kremlin, and Taipei and Seoul symphonies, among others. He has been a guest at Aspen, Bowdoin, Chautauqua, Marlboro, Yale at Norfolk, Round Top (TX), Great Lakes, and Grand Canyon festivals, Finland Festival, Great Wall (China), Leicester (England), Ottawa, Prades (France), Oslo, and Australia Chamber Music festivals, and has collaborated in performances with preeminent fellow musicians, including Leon Fleisher, Aaron Copland, Christoph Eschenbach, David Robertson, Vladimir Fedoseyev, Itzhak Perlman, Vadim Repin, Dawn Upshaw, Shlomo Mintz, Jeremy Denk, Yefim Bronfman, Eliot Fisk, the Tokyo, Vermeer, Muir, Escher, Avalon, and Manhattan quartets, as well as members of the Cleveland, Juilliard, Borromeo, and Emerson. In New York City, Yehuda Hanani has appeared as soloist at Carnegie Hall, the 92nd Street Y, Alice Tully and the Metropolitan Museum. His pioneering recording of the monumental Alkan Cello Sonata received a Grand Prix du Disque nomination, and his other discs have won wide recognition. On CD and in live performances, he has premiered works of Nicolai Miaskovsky, Lukas Foss, Leo Ornstein, Joan Tower, Paul Schoenfield, Osvaldo Golijov, William Perry and Bernard Rands, among other composers. Mr. Hanani has been committed to extending the range of the cello repertoire and to collaborating with performers in many artistic realms, including actors Jane Alexander, Richard Chamberlain and Sigourney Weaver. Professor of Cello at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, he presents master classes internationally at conservatories and for orchestras, including the Juilliard School, University of Indiana at Bloomington, New England Conservatory, McGill University, Peabody Conservatory, Paris Conservatoire, Berlin Hochschule für Music and Hochschule Hanns Eisler, Royal Academy of Music and Guildhall School in London, Tokyo National University, Hebrew University, Central Conservatory of Shanghai and Central Conservatory of Beijing, and the New World Symphony in Miami. In recognition of his distinguished teaching, he was given the title of honorary professor of the Tianjin Conservatory, China; and in 2020 he joins the faculty of the Mannes School. His engaging chamber music with commentary series, Close Encounters With Music, has captivated audiences from Miami to Kansas City, Omaha, Calgary, Scottsdale, the Berkshires, and at the Frick Collection in New York City. A three-time recipient of the Martha Baird Rockefeller grant, Mr. Hanani’s studies were with Leonard Rose at the Juilliard School and with Pablo Casals. His best-selling recording of the Unaccompanied Bach Suites has become a standard-setter, and of his Naxos CD with the National Symphony of Ireland Fanfare Magazine wrote: “Renowned cellist Yehuda Hanani, great virtuoso that he is, handles this with astounding aplomb…This is certainly a splendid release, and should by no means be passed up.” Aimed at outreach for 32 classical music, his weekly program on NPR affiliate station WAMC Northeast Radio, “Classical Music According to Yehuda,” has gained thousands of fans for the direct broadcast and podcast. He is the founder and artistic director of the Berkshire High Peaks Festival, a teaching and chamber music residency. Soloist, chamber musician, master teacher, essayist, and ambassador for the arts, Yehuda Hanani illuminates and enlightens audiences on the essence of music.

He is "one of the most polished performers of the post-Starker generation and a consistently expressive artist."
-- The New York Times

“The sonatas came bounding to life in vital interpretations rich in imaginative detail and virile strength. Mr. Hanani was rightly rewarded with cheers from the audience.”
-- The New York Times

"In this era of the cello, Hanani is among the best. His Bach was absorbing, imaginative, beautiful in all respects."
-- San Francisco Chronicle

"He is such a master of his instrument in every way that this critic can only express wonderment at such talent."
-- Der Tagesspiegel – Berlin

"A luminously beautiful performance." (Alkan: Sonate de Concert)
--Stereo Review

“That…he should be considered in the pantheon of great cellists became increasingly evident as the Schumann Cello Concerto unfolded in all its grandeur before Sunday’s large and enthusiastic audience….There are many workmanlike performances of the Schumann and very few definitive ones. Hanani’s is one of the definitive ones."
-- Nevada Events

“Elan and panache…Hanani delivers with commanding assurance.”
--The Strad

“…Joan Tower’s romantically rhapsodic Music for Cello and Orchestra, with the solo part grandly played by Yehuda Hanani.”
-- Los Angeles Herald Examiner

“It was (Joan Tower Concerto) superbly played by Yehuda Hanani.”
-- Boston Globe

“Yehuda Hanani presented an exciting, unconventional programme in which he encapsulated a wide range of idioms, styles and compositional techniques…In all, Hanani spoke a powerful instrumental and emotional language.”
-- Jerusalem Post

“With a remarkable rapport with the orchestra members…Hanani forged a conception of breadth and intimacy (Dvorak Concerto). Hanani submitted a performance in which he let his instrument sing – and sing eloquently. His ample tone, his innate musicianship and his passion focused on the music. The virtuosity was there, but it was never with effort or indulgent. It was always the servant to noble purposes. The music came to vibrant life…characterized by nuance and implacable beauty. Hanani’s instrument was used as an extention of himself. Its tone was pure and supple from the bottom to the top of the scale. One was profoundly affected by music played so intensely and so profoundly.”
-- Bangor Daily News

“Cellist Yehuda Hanani’s innate intensity is ideal for this work (“Schelomo”). Without overdoing it, he completely captured Solomon’s sense of anguished defeat. Omaha is lucky that Hanani, who also serves as artistic director of the Close Encounters chamber music series, has chosen to expend so much of his musical energies here.”
-- Omaha World-Herald

“The remarkable Yehuda Hanani delivered a performance of superb technical agility and hushed reverence. His deeply ruminative cello perorations were the essence of passionate, dedicated music making. Hanani (who performed the work in 1986 at New York’s Lincoln Center and is familiar to South Florida audiences for his Close Encounter With Music series) was the perfect artistic conduit for Kaufman’s unique creative voice….Hanani’s magisterial performance was a memorable tribue to the emotional power of music in the 21st century.”
-- Miami Entertainment News

“Cellist Yehuda Hanani and pianist Walter Ponce serve up the exquisite two-CD set, Beethoven: Complete Music For Cello and Piano (Close Encounters With Music, 2006), recorded last year at the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall.”
-- Albany Times Union

[Virgil Thomson, William Schuman and William Perry concertos (Naxos) are] given intelligent, sensitive, highly musical performances by renowned cellist Yehuda Hanani, conductor Eddins, and the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland….Hanani, great virtuoso that he is, handles this with astounding aplomb…This is certainly a splendid release, and should by no means be passed up.
-- Fanfare Magazine, January 2009

“Native Israeli cellist Yehuda Hanani…studied with Leonard Rose at Juilliard and with Pablo Casals. It should come as no surprise then that he possesses Rose’s tonal amplitude and Casals’s intellectual discipline, breathtaking technique and limpid style….Commanding musicianship.”
-– Fanfare Magazine (January/February 2012)

The cello of Yehuda Hanani is deep and luscious. It sings out beautifully every little note—yet can be raw and rough when needed. This is wonderful cello playing and it is beautifully recorded….The cello of Yehuda Hanani is again the majestic centerpiece….(Naxos: Paul Schoenfield Refractions CD.
-- MusicWeb International

“Yehuda Hanani plays the cello as every composer would like to hear it played—a truly gifted artist.”
--Aaron Copland