Director Designate of the Midwest Conservatory of Music
Brian Hoffman, cello, is a two-time 1st prize winner of the North Carolina Music Academy Cello Competition, as well as top prizewinner of the Grimsley Concerto Competition, in which he was soloist in performances of the Elgar and Saint-Saens Concerti in Greensboro. Brian was also soloist in performances of the Dvorak, Haydn, and Shostakovich Concerti at Northwestern University and the Meadowmount School of Music. His awards include the GSYO Armfield-Eichhorn Prize for Outstanding Musicianship, Northwestern University’s Esther Yochim Fellowship, and the Civic Orchestra of Chicago’s Critser Endowed Cello Fellowship.
A 2006 graduate of the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, Brian studied with Peter Rejto and Hans Jensen. His former teachers include Steven Doane, Julia Lichten, Margo Tatgenhorst-Drakos, Peter Howard, Mark Votapek, and Anne Sellitti. He has performed in masterclasses with Joel Krosnick, Alban Gerhardt, the Guarneri String Quartet, Sir Simon Rattle, and Riccardo Muti. In Spring 2008, Brian completed a Master’s degree in Cello Performance at Northwestern University, during which time he served as Teaching Assistant to Professor Hans Jensen.
Brian has served as principal cellist of the Philharmonia of Greensboro, the Oberlin Orchestra, the Oberlin Chamber Orchestra, the Northwestern University Symphony Orchestra, and the Cervantes Orchestra of Chicago. In 2002, Brian served as assistant principal cellist of the National Festival Orchestra, one of 70 musicians selected from around the United States to perform in Carnegie Hall under the direction of Lukas Foss. From 2008-2010, Brian performed with the Civic Orchestra of Chicago under the baton of such conductors as Bernard Haitink, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Sir Mark Elder, Peter Oundjian, and David Robertson.
As a member of Trio Devoto, Brian was a national finalist in the 2004 MTNA Chamber Music Competition. He has performed in numerous chamber music recitals, including performances in the concert series of the Kendall Center (Ohio), the Meadowmount School of Music (New York), the Litomysl Castle (Czech Republic), the Bowdoin International Music Festival (Maine), the Banff Centre for the Arts (Canada), the Gail Borden Library (Elgin, IL), the Chicago Latino Music Festival, the Merit School of Music, and the Pianoforte Salon’s Schubertiade (Chicago, IL). In Fall 2008, Brian performed live on WFMT Chicago Public Radio’s FolkStage with soprano Sally Martin. He has performed in some of Chicago’s most noted venues, including Symphony Center, Millenium Park Pritzker Pavilion, John Hancock Tower Signature Room, South Shore Cultural Center, Navy Pier Grand Ballroom, the Standard Club, St. James Cathedral, and many more.
Brian currently enjoys an active concert career; he also teaches privately and serves as an instrument consultant for the shop of Carl Becker and Son, Ltd. In 2011, Brian presented his debut recording and complete performance cycle of J.S. Bach’s Six Suites for Solo Cello.