CANCELED—Piatigorsky International Cello Festival: Opening Gala Concert at USC

Friday, March 13 at 7:30pm

This is a past event.

Bovard Auditorium (ADM)
3551 Trousdale Parkway, Los Angeles, CA 90089

This event has been canceled due to public health concerns related to COVID-19. Further information about USC policies and plans related to COVID-19 is available HERE.


A limited number of free tickets will be available for USC students. RSVP beginning Thursday, February 13, at 9 a.m.

For more information, visit

The USC Thornton Symphony, led by Carl St.Clair, celebrates the 2020 Piatigorsky International Cello Festival with an opening night gala featuring celebrated cellist Mischa Maisky, together with violist and new USC Thornton faculty member Yura Lee, in a performance of Don Quixote, Op. 35, by Richard Strauss.

The 2020 Piatigorsky International Cello Festival (March 13–22) is the third iteration of this truly unparalleled, 10-day, 42-event festival led by artistic director and USC Thornton strings chair Ralph Kirshbaum. Bringing together masters of the cello and young cellists from around the world, this remarkable celebration of the cello, its music, and musicians will present more than 30 renowned international artists representing 15 countries and four continents.

The 2019–20 season marks music director Carl St.Clair’s 30th year leading Pacific Symphony. He is also the artistic leader and principal conductor of the USC Thornton Orchestras. In April 2018, St.Clair led Pacific Symphony in its Carnegie Hall debut, and the orchestra made its national PBS debut in June 2018 on Great Performances with Peter Boyer’s Ellis Island: The Dream of America, conducted by St.Clair. An advocate of music education for all ages, St.Clair has been essential to the Pacific Symphony’s education and community engagement programs.

Mischa Maisky was born in 1948 in Riga, Latvia, and received his first music lessons there at the Children’s Music School and Conservatory. In 1962 he entered the Leningrad Conservatory. In 1965 his debut with the Leningrad Philharmonic earned him the nickname “Rostropovich of the Future.” One year later, he was a prizewinner at the International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow and began his studies with Rostropovich at the Moscow Conservatory while pursuing a concert career throughout the former Soviet Union. After being imprisoned in a labor camp near Gorky for 18 months in 1970, he emigrated from the USSR.

Ralph Kirshbaum, chair of the strings department, has performed with many of the world’s great orchestras, including the Boston and Chicago Symphony Orchestras; the San Francisco, Pittsburgh, BBC, and London Symphonies; the Cleveland Orchestra; the Los Angeles Philharmonic; London Philharmonia; Zurich Tonhalle; Orchestre de Paris; and Israel Philharmonic. The Texas-born cellist has enjoyed collaborations with such esteemed conductors as Herbert Blomstedt, Semyon Bychkov, Christoph von Dohnanyi, Sir Colin Davis, Andrew Davis, James Levine, Zubin Mehta, Kurt Masur, Sir Andre Previn, Sir Simon Rattle, and the late Sir Georg Solti.

USC Thornton Symphony is one of the premier ensembles of the USC Thornton School of Music. Since its inception in the early 1900s, the symphony has been a visible artistic presence in the Los Angeles music community. Currently led by Carl St.Clair, the symphony has worked with some of the world’s greatest conductors, composers, and musicians, including Henryk Górecki, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Yo-Yo Ma, Michael Tilson Thomas, James Conlon, John Williams, and Joan Tower.

Related Event:
Paths of Glory, Visions of Horror: The Music and Art of World War I
Tuesday, October 29, 2019, at 7:30 p.m.
Bovard Auditorium
For more information, click here.

Presented by the USC Thornton School of Music and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Co-sponsored by USC Visions and Voices: The Arts and Humanities Initiative.

Photo (Mischa Maisky): Reinhold Möller

Event Type

Arts, Music, Conference/Symposia


Students, Alumni, Faculty/Staff


University Park Campus




Visions and Voices: The Arts and Humanities Initiative


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