American cellist Cicely Parnas, praised for her “velvety sound, articulate passagework and keen imagination” (The New York Times), performs recitals, concertos, and educational outreach throughout the country.  Her 2015-2016 season includes recitals on the Salk Science and Music Series in California, at the Cosmos Club in Washington, DC, and at the Chamber Music Society of Palm Beach, as well as appearances with the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, the Victoria Symphony, and the Pensacola and Charlotte Symphonies.

Ms. Parnas has performed at the National Museum for Women in the Arts, the Morgan Library and Museum, University of Florida Performing Arts, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, the Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center, the Buffalo Chamber Music Society, Vanguard Concerts, and the Washington Center for the Performing Arts, and has also appeared with the Long Bay Symphony, the Chamber Orchestra of the Triangle, the Owensboro Symphony, the Southwest Michigan Symphony, the Vermont Symphony, the Longwood Symphony Orchestra, the Rochester Chamber Orchestra, and the Montreal Chamber Orchestra, where she gave the world premiere of Jim McGrath’s Concertino for Cello.

In 2012, Ms. Parnas made her Carnegie Hall concerto debut, performing the Saint-Saëns Concerto with the New York String Orchestra under the baton of Jaime Laredo.  The New York Times raved: “Cicely Parnas, a fast-rising young cellist, was the impressive soloist in a rhapsodic performance.”  She toured France performing the Saint-Saëns Concerto with L’Orchestre National des Pays de la Loire.  Other international appearances include her participation in the 2013 Young Concert Artists Festivals in Tokyo and Beijing.

No stranger to the limelight, Ms.  Parnas was named an inaugural Young Artist in Residence on NPR’s Performance Today in 2011, where she was featured in five broadcasts and an American Public Media video spotlight.  Winner of the 2012 Young Concert Artists International Auditions, she was presented last season in debuts at Merkin Concert Hall and the KennedyCenter to rave reviews.  She was the recipient of YCA’s Mortimer Levitt Career Development Award for Women Artists in 2012. She also captured First Prize in the 2011 Cello Concerto Competition at IndianaUniversity’s Jacobs School of Music.

She also performs in Duo Parnas with her sister, violinist Madalyn Parnas.  Duo Parnas has performed as soloists with the Hudson Valley Philharmonic under Randall Fleisher, the El Paso Symphony Orchestra under Lawrence Loh, and the Albany Symphony Orchestra under David Alan Miller, as well as in many recitals with pianist Peter Serkin.  Duo Parnas has recorded three albums on the Sheffield Lab label, including their most recent CD, entitled Duo Parnas NOW, which includes 21st century works by Lera Auerbach, William Bolcom, Paul Moravec, and Charles Wuorinen.  In 2012, they recorded Brian Fennelly’s Fantasia Concertante on Albany Records, a piece written for Duo Parnas and the digital-instrument Fauxharmonic Orchestra.

Granddaughter of the distinguished cellist Leslie Parnas, Cicely Parnas started playing the cello at the age of four and made her concerto debut at eleven with the Woodstock Chamber Orchestra.  She has studied with cellists Peter Wiley and Ronald Feldman, and earned an Artist Diploma from IndianaUniversity’s Jacobs School of Music, where she worked with Sharon Robinson.  Ms. Parnas performs on a 1712 Giovanni Grancino cello.

PLEASE NOTE:  If you would like to include this biography in a concert program, please contact YCA to make sure that you have the most up-to-date version.


Credit: Christian Steiner

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Credit: Christian Steiner

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Credit: Dario Acosta

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Credit: Dario Acosta

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