Brian Thornton, cellist of the Cleveland Orchestra, is launching a new project as a tribute to his teacher, cellist-composer Lev Aronson. Titled The Lev Aronson Project, this CD is being funded through a campaign on, you guessed it, Kickstarter! You can click here or on the bottom link for more details and to donate.
Brian talked about his experience with Lev.
“Lev was an incredible teacher because he taught individuals. Everyone was treated and talked to differently, and thy makes a lot of sense, because everyone comes from offering backgrounds. Especially parenting backgrounds. And he always spoke about speaking and singing in lessons. It always had to do with singing or telling a story, and that’s what I think about primarily.
Also, Lev passed the idea to his students that one had to give 200% all of the time, because music meant so much to him. Music was life, and it could give life to one who was open to it. He used to say that music was his bible”.
The crowd-funded CD will feature both classics Brian learned for the cello from him as well as works written by Aronson. “These are pieces that I worked on with Lev: Bach’s Cello Suite #1, Rachmaninov’s “Vocalise”, Bloch’s “From Jewish Life”, “Kol Nedrei”, and Lev’s own works: “Hasidic Dance”, “Kinereth”, “Mi Pnei Mah”, and a new piece by Patrick Zimmerli called Sonata for Solo Cello, which is based on “Kol Nedrei”
There is a book about Mr. Aronson that I would encourage people to seek out titled The Lost Cellos of Lev Aronson that tells his story.
I asked Brian what he’d like people to remember most about Lev.
“I would love Lev to be remembered for his contribution to cello playing and musicality. He had the most beautiful, singing sound which he passed down to his students, which can be heard on recordings by Lynn Harrell and Ralph Kirshbaum, among others.”.