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Bartlett, Eric

He is a cellist born one of five children in Marlboro, Vermont, who began in music by singing in French and German with his family who were taught by his mother. He started learning the cello when he was eight years old and became a member of the Green Mountain Fiddlers, which was put together by the Vermont Symphony Orchestra for teaching young performers.

In 1973 he studied at the University of Massachusetts, staying there for two years, and went on to receive full scholarships to the Juilliard School of Music and the Curtis Institute of Music.

Working as a soloist and ensemble member he became co-principal cellist of the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra in 1984 and stayed with them for around thirteen years, leaving in 1997. That same year he joined the New York Philharmonic and in 1998 was made Acting Associate Principal there.

In 1990 he took the position of Artist-President with Speculum Musicae, which he still holds, and in 1996 became principal cellist for the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra. Often seen performing with other ensembles he has featured with the Columbia String Quartet, the Group for Contemporary Music and the New York Music Ensemble to name a few.

He has also taken part in many national music festivals and recitals, both nationally and internationally, and performed with orchestras such as the Aspen Orchestra, Anchorage Symphony, the Hartford Chamber Orchestra and the Juilliard Orchestra. He has taken part in nearly 100 premiere performances and commissioned several new works for cello, and in 2000 was the soloist on “Triduum” by James McMillan.

Winning several awards during his career he was given the Special Performance Award by the New England Conservatory when he was a finalist in 1987 and the National Endowment for the Arts honoured him the Solo Recitalist’s Award.

No stranger to the recording studio he can be heard on On The Transmigration of Souls by John Adams , River of Ponds by Larry Bell, Best Of…by Marcus Miller , A Set of Pieces: Music by Charles Ives by the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra , Clarinet alla Cinema by Charles Russo, Music by Emerging Composers by Speculum Musicae, The Girl With Orange Lips by Dawn Upshaw, and The Music of Elliott Carter, Vol. 5 which was nominated for a Grammy for its “Oboe Quartet“.

In the field of musical education he has been a faculty member of the University of Massachusetts and, most recently, Queens College and Columbia University. His wife is the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra violist, Sarah Clarke.

Orpheus Chamber Orchestra recordings
Adagio in G Minor (Tomaso Albinoni /Remo Giazotto)
Deutsche Grammophon 429 390-2 GH (CD: Albinoni: Adagio, Pachelbel: Canon)

Here he is with Carter Brey on Alternating Cellos..