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Alan Rafferty

CelloCello Festival

Alan Rafferty has firmly established himself as a preeminent cellist, educator, arts leader and entrepreneur.  In demand as a clinician around the world, Mr. Rafferty is regularly invited to give Master Classes at prestigious conservatories and music schools.  Recent and upcoming master classes include the Royal Danish Academy of Music, University of Michigan, Northwestern University, the University of Texas and the Taiwan National University of the Arts.   He has been a visiting faculty member for the Cleveland Institute of Music, for the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra and makes yearly visits to work with the Fellows at the New World Symphony.  He  currently holds the position of Associate Professor, Educator of Cello at the University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music

A member of the Cincinnati Symphony and Pops Orchestra since 2007, Mr. Rafferty holds the Ruth F. Rosevear Chair for Cello.  In addition to playing over 1000 concerts as a member of the orchestra both in Cincinnati and around the world on tour, he has been a part of over 20 recordings including the Grammy nominated albums “Transatlantic” and “American Originals: 1918”.  He can be heard regularly as a performer on the CSO Chamber Players Series and has narrated CSO Young Peoples Concerts.

As a leader in the arts, Mr. Rafferty cofounded the Cincinnati Young Artists and Ascent Music with Dr. Sarah Kim.  For 12 years, the Cincinnati Young Artists held numerous chamber music and cello festivals throughout the tri-state area, reaching thousands of students not only locally but from all over the world.  When the pandemic struck, CYA was at the forefront of online learning, presenting 4 weeks of Virtual Cello Academy festivals in 2020 with over 200 cellists participating from all over the world.  

In 2022, Ascent Music was founded. Alan serves as Artistic Director for the Ascent International Chamber Music and Cello Festivals, 4 weeks of intensive study committed to guiding young artists to become 21st century musicians, with the ability to thrive in any artistic environment. 

In addition to his position as Artistic Director of the Ascent International Cello & Chamber Music Festivals, Mr. Rafferty is Artist-Faculty at Interlochen Arts Camp and International Cello Institute.  Other summer festival engagements have included Meadowmount, Madeline Island, Green Mountain, Brancaleoni (Italy), Aria, the Aronson Cello Festival, the Sphinx Organization National Alliance for Audition Support Intensive, the Great Wall International Music Academy in Beijing and as artist-faculty for the Festival de Music de Santa Catarina in Brazil.

Current and former students have played as soloist with the Cincinnati Symphony, Louisville Orchestra and Dayton Philharmonic and have been 1st prize winners in the MTNA National Solo Competition, CSYO, Louisville Orchestra Competition, Cleveland Cello Society and Tennessee Cello Workshop.  Former students hold positions in orchestras throughout the US and all over the world including recent appointments to the Cincinnati Symphony, Atlanta Symphony, Columbus Symphony and Berlin Philharmonic Academy.  As Cello/Chamber Music Faculty for the Starling Program at CCM, Alan has coached groups that have won the Junior Division Gold Medal and Silver Medal of the Fischoff Chamber Music Competition among others.

Having made his solo debut with orchestra at the age of 16, Alan has been a featured soloist on numerous occasions since.  Recent solo appearances have included the North American premiere of Victor Herbert’s first published work, the Suite for Cello and Orchestra, Op. 3 and Don Quixote with the CCM Philharmonia.  He can be heard on recordings for Telarc, Sono Luminus, CR and for WGUC Radio Station.  As a chamber musician, Mr. Rafferty collaborates with world-class artists and is regularly invited as a guest artist both in Cincinnati and abroad. 

Mr. Rafferty holds degrees from the Cleveland Institute of Music and Northwestern University.  His primary studies were with Hans Jorgen Jensen, Alan Harris, Merry Peckham, Richard Weiss & Anne Cole.  He and his wife Dr. Sarah Kim, were honored as the 2016 Ohio String Teachers Association Studio Teachers of the Year. ascentmusic.org