Hailed by Alex Ross and The New Yorker for his “flawless technique and keen musicality,” cellist Coleman Itzkoff enjoys a diverse career as a soloist, chamber musician, and educator.
Coleman made his professional debut at the age of 15 with the Dayton Philharmonic and has since appeared as soloist with orchestras across the country, most recently the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra, San Jose Chamber Orchestra, and American Youth Symphony at Walt Disney Concert Hall. He has worked alongside conductors including David Allan Miller, Carlos Izcaray, Eckart Preu, and Tomáś Netopil. Gold Medalist in the 2017 International Berliner Music Competition, Coleman was a multiple prize winner at the 2016 Irving Klein Competition and in the 2016 Boulder International Chamber Music Competition. He has also taken prizes at the Fischoff, Johansen, Blount Slawson, and Young Texas Artist Competitions. In January 2013, Coleman was a featured guest artist for a weeklong residency on NPR’s Performance Today, recording interviews with host Fred Child and a full recital program.
Chamber Music is at the heart of Coleman’s musical life, beginning early on with weekly quartet readings with his parents, both professional violinists themselves. At the age of 10 Coleman began attending the Greenwood Music Camp where he began playing with other musicians of his generation and where his love of chamber music deepened. Since that time he has attended a great many summer music festivals including Aspen Music Festival and School, the International Heifetz Institute, La Jolla SummerFest, YellowBarn, and Music@Menlo. Coleman has also had the great honor of collaborating with distinguished artists of older generations, including Pamela Frank, Shmuel Ashkenasi, Cho-Liang Lin, Glenn Dicterow, Lucy Shelton, David Finckel, Johannes Moser, Roger Tapping, Gil Kalish, and Peter Frankl.
Coleman is a passionate proponent of new music and collaboration across disciplines. To this end, he is a core member of the American Modern Opera Company (AMOC), a young ensemble composed of seventeen singers, dancers, and instrumentalists of the rising generation. In AMOC’s inaugural season, the company launched a new festival, the Run AMOC! Festival, at the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge, MA in December; held its first major teaching and performance residency at Harvard University in February; and was Artist-in-Residence at Park Avenue Armory in April. Future engagements with AMOC include performances at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Clark Art Institute, and a second, expanded Run AMOC! Festival at the American Repertory Theater.
Aside from his performing career, Coleman is a devoted and dynamic educator, and has taught and given masterclasses across the US at such institutions as the International Heifetz Institute, the Lev Aronson Cello Festival, Virginia Tech, NYU, and Harvard University. Coleman has also performed outreach concerts in schools, community centers, and hospitals around the county. He has received several grants and awards for these purposes, including the Sviatoslav Richter Grant for Music Outreach from Rice University, the Roman Goronok Fellowship from the 2016 Irving Klein Competition, and, in 2015, the Cleveland Clinic Arts and Medicine Award for his engaging talks and accessible performances for clinic patients. Upcoming projects include an artist residency at the Willie Mays Boys & Girls Club in Hunters Point, San Francisco.
Originally from Cincinnati, Ohio, Coleman was born in 1992 into a musical family and began playing cello at the age of 4. He holds a BM from Rice University and his Master’s Degree at the Thornton School of Music at USC under the tutelage of Ralph Kirshbaum. Coleman performs on a Paul Siefried bow on loan to him from the Maestro Foundation and on a 1730 Gennaro Gagliano Cello, generously loaned to him by the Amatius Foundation of Austin, TX.
Photographer: Philip Holahan