Nationally acclaimed cellist, professor to perform at W&M

  • Neal CaryProfessor of music Neal Cary is a nationally known cellist who will be featured in the William & Mary Symphony Orchestra's performance of Elgar's Concerto on March 2.

    Stephen Salpukas

    Neal Cary
  • Neal CaryProfessor of music Neal Cary is a nationally known cellist who will be featured in the William & Mary Symphony Orchestra's performance of Elgar's Concerto on March 2.

    Stephen Salpukas

    Neal Cary
Music professor Neal Cary has been praised for his performances nationally, and now, he'll be performing in Williamsburg's own backyard. Cary will be the featured soloist in the William & Mary Symphony Orchestra's next concert Tuesday night.  Cary has been teaching music and giving private cello lessons at the College for nearly 20 years.

A native of Wichita, Kansas, and graduate of Julliard School of Music, Cary was the co-principal cellist of the Kansas City Philharmonic, and assistant principal cellist of the Tulsa Philharmonic, San Antonio Symphony, and the Denver Symphony orchestras before being appointed principal cellist of the Richmond Symphony in 1989.

Cary has performed as a soloist with the Eastern Philharmonic Orchestra, the Richmond Symphony, the Williamsburg Symphonia, and the Richmond Philharmonic.

According to the William & Mary department of music's  Web site, "He has given chamber music performances and recitals in the Midwest and on the East coast, including such halls as Alice Tully, and Carnegie Recital Hall (now Weill Hall), and has performed as a chamber musician with world-renowned artists such as Ani Kavafian, Andre-Michel Shub, Gerald Poulet, Andre Grabiec, Julliian Lloy Weber, Franco Gulli, Dmitri Sitkovetsky, Jinny Lin, Michael Tree, Joseph Silverstein, and Charles Castleman."

"I love it. Teaching music is very rewarding, and I never get tired of it," said Cary. 

"Some of my favorite students have been beginners," he noted. "Often times they begin studying music their freshman year and after a couple of years, freshman year, and after a couple of years, they are advanced enough to begin teaching others."

Along with teaching at the College, Cary is a music instructor at the Eastern Music Festival since 1984. The festival takes place in North Carolina and is "one of this country's foremost training programs for aspiring young musicians between the ages of 14 and 22.

"We have students from all over the world. Students of all ages get a taste of what it's like to be a professional musician," Cary noted.

Cary's research includes a new, updated performance edition of the David Popper Etudes.  This project took almost twenty years to complete.  Cary performed all forty etudes from memory in a recital at Ewell Recital Hall at William and Mary in 1994.

Cary is one of the few cellists in the world who knows how to teach all of the Popper Etudes to students. He has created an unpublished companion book which "explains how to perfect cello technique through practice of these etudes." He has also completed an unplublished edition of the Bach Suites for Solo Cello, based on the three surviving copies of Bach's manuscripts.

A review by the New York Times of his New York recital debut included, "Mr. Cary, however, gave a solid account of himself both with his pianist, and as a solo performer...strong musical instincts...Phrasing, articulation and dynamic shadings were admirable, and every piece was shaped with care and sensitivity."

The William & Mary Symphony Orchestra will perform at 8 pm. in the evening in Phi Beta Kappa Hall. Neal Cary will be the featured soloist for Elgar's Cello Concerto.  Edward Elgar's Cello Concerto in E minor is one of the composer's most notable works.

The William & Mary community is welcome to the event. Tickets will be sold at Phi Beta Kappa Hall. Tickets are $2 for students with ID, $8 for general admission and free for children under the age of 12.

"I am very excited about the upcoming concert," Cary said. "Music for so many students is a life-changing experience."