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Eric Kutz Appointed Assistant Professor of Cello

Tue, May 05, 2015

We are pleased to announce that Eric Kutz has been appointed Assistant Professor of Cello at the UMD School of Music. Mr. Kutz will join our faculty in the fall of 2015.

Cellist Eric Kutz has captivated audiences across both North America and Europe. He comes to the University of Maryland School of Music from Luther College, where he served on the faculty since 2002. He is active as a teacher, a chamber musician, an orchestral musician, and a soloist. His diverse collaborations cut across musical styles, and have ranged from cellist Yo-Yo Ma to jazz great Ornette Coleman. Mr. Kutz is also a founding member of the Murasaki Duo, a cello and piano ensemble that has been in residence at Luther College.

The Murasaki Duo, which consists of Mr. Kutz and Canadian pianist Miko Kominami, toured Scandinavia in 2005. Advocates for new music, the Duo actively commissions new works, in addition to performing the classics. The Duo’s second CD, “Duo Virtuoso,” will be released in May 2015 on the Delos label and features several show pieces as well as Brahms E minor Sonata.  The Duo’s debut compact disc appeared on the Centaur Records label; this disc was reviewed by the Journal of the Atlanta Audio Society as “ebullient” and “brilliant throughout.” The Duo’s next recording project, entitled “The Commissions,” will include five works commissioned and premiered by the Murasaki Duo, all written during 2007-2012. 

The Duo has performed at leading festivals, such as the Niagara International Chamber Music Festival, the Icicle Creek Music Center, Malibu Friends of Music, and Lutheran Summer Music, and it has repeatedly been broadcast on Iowa Public Radio’s program, “Know the Score.” Hailed by New York Concert Review as having “an easy virtuosity, and an unusually high level of ensemble playing,” after its Weill Hall debut, the Duo regularly performs on chamber music series throughout the nation.

Prior to his appointment at Luther College, Mr. Kutz was the cellist of the Chester String Quartet for four years.  The Quartet, called “one of the best and brightest of the country’s young string quartets” by the Boston Globe, was in residence at Indiana University South Bend.  The Quartet gave two tours of Europe during Kutz’s tenure, and performed from coast to coast. 

As an orchestral musician, Mr. Kutz summers in Chicago as a member of the Grant Park Orchestra’s cello section. He has also appeared in the section of the New York Philharmonic, the Minnesota Orchestra, and the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. He has been principal cellist of the Houston Grand Opera Orchestra and the Juilliard Orchestra, and he has performed under the batons of Sir Georg Solti, Kurt Masur, and Seiji Ozawa.

In 1997 Mr. Kutz traveled to the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow as a visiting artist, performing new chamber works by American composers. Other performance highlights include a tour of Germany and a concert in New York’s Avery Fisher Hall as part of Lincoln Center’s Mozart Bicentennial celebration. Mr. Kutz has premiered over two-dozen works, and has been broadcast live on WQXR and WNYC, both of New York City, WFMT Chicago, as well as nationally on PBS television’s Live from Lincoln Center.

Mr. Kutz received his Bachelor of Music degree magna cum laude from Rice University; his Master and Doctoral degrees are from the Juilliard School in New York City. He performs on a cello by Raffaele Fiorini (Bologna, 1877), and a bow by F.N. Voirin (Paris, 1880).