Cellist Mihail Jojatu will join Maestro Bruce Hangen and the Orchestra of Indian Hill on Sunday March 1st to perform Ernest Bloch’s “Schelomo: Rhapsodie Hebraique for Violincello & Orchestra.” Former Principal Cellist of the Orchestra, Jojatu has been a member of the Boston Symphony Orchestra since 2001, and is a founding member of the acclaimed Boston Cello Quartet. He spent a few minutes with us to talk about playing under Maestro Bruce Hangen, what’s next for the Boston Cello Quartet, and why kids should study music.
Before you joined the Boston Symphony Orchestra, you were Principal Cellist of the Orchestra of Indian Hill. What is it like to play under Maestro Bruce Hangen?
I was Principal Cello of OIH for about two seasons before joining the BSO. I was a student then in Boston. I had a great experience with the Orchestra — and most important was working with a first class conductor. Maestro Hangen made the whole musical experience easy and fun for me. I do have quite a relationship with OIH and Maestro Hangen – we played some wonderful repertoire together, such as Dvorak’s Cello Concerto, Brahms’s Double Concerto, and R. Strauss’s Don Quixote.
Tell us about Bloch’s “Schelomo” and what excites you about the piece.
“Schelomo” is one of my favorite cello pieces from the solo repertoire. It is a very complex piece with an amazing orchestration and a beautiful, very well written cello dialog.
Your group, Boston Cello Quartet, with three other BSO cellists, is getting attention for performances and recordings of classical, jazz, and other diverse styles. You’re the first group of its kind to come out of the BSO. How has the response been so far from the music community?
We are simply having a GREAT TIME! We are getting very busy and we’re about to record our second CD. Some of our 2015-16 season projects include: a two-week tour in Ireland, playing with Yo-Yo Ma at Tanglewood in the very interesting “Distant Mirror” project, and a commissioned concerto by Michael Gandolfi. Our music is so diverse — we try to reach to everyone and leave our audience in a great mood! No matter what kind of music you like, you will hear something you will enjoy. Our spring schedule is online at www.bostoncelloquartet.com
You and your wife, Ala, and two children live in nearby Acton. What is great about raising your children here?
Ala is a violinist with the Boston Symphony, and she was previously Concertmaster of the Orchestra of Indian Hill. We have made our home here for the past 13 years.
We love the community and the school system! Our kids, Maria (10), a violinist; and Gabriel (5), a cellist, have full schedules with lessons and other activities that they enjoy. They spend their summer in the Berkshires where mom and dad relocate with the BSO to beautiful Tanglewood.
Why should kids study music?
We think it’s extremely important for kids to play an instrument at an early age, because not only is it a discipline, but it also develops your communication abilities. Music is a language!
See Mihail Jojatu perform Bloch’s “Schelomo” with Maestro Bruce Hangen and the Orchestra of Indian Hill on Sunday, March 1 at 3:00 pm at the Littleton High School Performing Arts Center, 36 King Street, Littleton, MA.
CONCERT TICKETS: $20-35-50 ($15/students); all seating is reserved. Call 978-486-9524 x116 or order online. (Online service available until noon on concert day.) The concert is at 3:00pm; there is a pre-concert talk at 2:00pm with Maestro Hangen; plus, a post-concert Stage Talk. This concert is sponsored by Circle Health, and supported by Curry Printing and Bamboo Fine Asian Cuisine. Media Sponsor is GateHouse Media New England.