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Brian Thornton

Cello Festival

Brian Thornton teaches at the Cleveland Institute of Music (CIM) and performs with the Cleveland Orchestra where he has been part of the cello section for twenty-nine seasons. His solo album: Kol Nidrei and Beyond, Lev’s Story, is centered on the vocal qualities of the cello, and is dedicated to the memory of his teacher, Mr. Aronson. Education is also a focus of Brian’s life, and he spends part of his time teaching at CIM, conducting young musicians, as well as traveling to teach in different parts of the world. Brian began playing the cello in the public school system of Chicago, giving him a passion for teaching young musicians and public school outreach programs. On April 28, 2023, Brian Thornton and New Focus Recordings releases Sirventès, an album of 21st century chamber music written by members of the Iranian Female Composers Association – including Anahita Abbasi, Mina Arissian, Nina Barzegar, Niloufar Iravani, Mahdis Golzar Kashani, and Nasim Khorassan.   Sirventès is an exquisite sonic portrait of this group of female-identifying composers who each explore individual themes – of myth, conflict, vulnerability, migration, emotional expression, and growth – connected with the history, art, and complex textures of  Iranian and Persian culture.  He has traveled from Kolkata, India to Osaka, Japan, influencing young musicians not only to play better cello, but to use music to positively affect the world around them. Modern music is of particular interest to Brian, and he has premiered more than a hundred new solo cellos works around the world.