Paul Katz is known to concertgoers the world over as cellist of the Cleveland Quartet, which during an international career of 26 years made more than 2500 appearances on four continents, in all of the music capitals, great concert halls and music festivals of the world. As a member of this celebrated ensemble from 1969-1995, he performed at the White House and on many television shows including “CBS Sunday Morning,” NBC’s “Today Show,” “The Grammy Awards” (the first classical musicians to appear on that show,) and was seen in “In The Mainstream: The Cleveland Quartet,” a one hour documentary televised across the U.S. and Canada.
Mr. Katz has received many honors, the most recent including Indiana University’s “Chevalier du Violoncelle,” awarded for distinguished achievements and contributions to the world of cello playing and teaching; Chamber Music America’s highest honor, The Richard M. Bogomolny National Service Award, awarded for a lifetime of distinguished service in the field of chamber music; an Honorary Doctorate of Musical Arts from Albright College; and the American String Teacher’s Association “Artist-Teacher of the Year 2003.” Mr. Katz is a passionate spokesperson for chamber music the world over, and served for six years as President of Chamber Music America, the national service organization in the United States that has in its membership virtually all of the country’s 600 professional chamber music ensembles, as well as hundreds of presenting organizations, music festivals and managers. As an author, he has appeared in numerous publications and wrote the liner notes for the Cleveland Quartet’s three-volume set of the complete Beethoven Quartets on RCA Red Seal.
Mr. Katz has appeared as soloist in New York, Cleveland, Toronto, Detroit, Los Angeles, and other cities throughout North America. He was a student of Gregor Piatigorsky, Janos Starker, Bernard Greenhouse, Gabor Rejto and Leonard Rose. In 1962 he was selected nationally to play in the historic Pablo Casals Master Class in Berkeley, California. He was a prizewinner in the Munich and Geneva Competitions and for three summers a participant at the Marlboro Music Festival. Of special interest to cellists are his recordings of the Dohnanyi Cello Sonata for ProArte Records and the Cleveland Quartet’s recording on Sony Classical of the Schubert two-cello quintet with Yo-Yo Ma. The Cleveland Quartet has nearly 70 recordings to its credit on RCA Victor, Telarc International, Sony, Philips and ProArte. These recording have earned many distinctions including the all-time best selling chamber music release of Japan, 11 Grammy nominations, Grammy Awards for Best Chamber Music Recording and Best Recorded Contemporary Composition in 1996, and “Best of the Year” awards from Time Magazine and Stereo Review.
In September of 2001, Mr. Katz joined the faculty of The New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, following five years at Rice University in Houston and twenty years (1976-1996) of teaching at the Eastman School of Music. He has mentored many of the fine young string quartets on the world’s stages today including the Biava, Cavani, Chester, Jupiter, Kuss, Lafayette, Maia, Meliora, T’ang and Ying Quartets. One of America’s most sought after cello teachers, his cello students, in addition to membership in many of the above quartets, have achieved international careers with solo CD’s on Decca, EMI, Channel Classics and Sony Classical, have occupied positions in many of the world’s major orchestras including principal chairs as far away as Oslo, Norway and Osaka, Japan, and are members of many American symphony orchestras such as Buffalo, Chicago, Cleveland, National Symphony, Pittsburgh, Rochester and St. Louis. Mr. Katz has taught at many of the major summer music programs including twenty years at the Aspen Festival, the Yale Summer School of Chamber Music, the Perlman Music Program, the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival in Germany, ProQuartet in France, Domaine Forget, Orford, and the Banff Center for the Arts in Canada, the Steans Institute of The Ravinia Festival, and is a Director of the Shouse Artist Institute of the Great Lakes Chamber Festival. His hundreds of master classes worldwide include many of the major music schools of North and South America, Europe, Israel, Japan and China. Mr. Katz frequently sits on the juries of international cello and chamber music competitions, the most recent ones being the Leonard Rose International Cello Competition and the international string quartet competitions of Banff, London, Munich, Graz and Geneva.
Mr. Katz plays an Andrea Guarneri cello dated 1669.