Johann Sebastian Paetsch

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Johann Sebastian Paetsch
Paetsch and his cello
Background information
Birth name Johann Sebastian Paetsch
Born (1964-04-11)April 11, 1964
Origin Colorado Springs, CO, U.S.
Genres Classical music
Occupation(s) Concert cellist
Instruments Cello: Matteo Goffriller 1730
Years active 1976–present

Johann Sebastian Paetsch (born in Colorado Springs, U.S. on April 11, 1964) is an American cellist and musician.

Early musical education[edit]

Paetsch began his cello studies with his father, Günther Paetsch (who was also a cellist), at the age of 5, and gave his first recital when he was 6 years old. His extensive experience in chamber music began early in childhood with his large and talented family of 9. His three sisters Phebe, Michaela and Brigitte and his three brothers Christian, Englebert and Siegmund all learned string instruments. He learned and performed almost the entire chamber music repertoire for strings with his family The Paetsch Chamber Music Ensemble in many concerts throughout the U.S.

Formal musical education[edit]

Paetsch studied at Butler University with the principal cellist of the Indianapolis Symphony, Arkady Orlovsky, where he received his bachelor's degree Cum Laude. He then furthered his cello studies at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut with the famous cellist and teacher Aldo Parisot, where he earned his Certificate of Music Degree and later his master's degree in Music. He then went on to study in Germany at the Musikhochschule Lübeck with David Geringas where he received his ‘Konzertexamen’. He has participated in masterclasses with cellists such as Yo-Yo Ma, Mstislav Rostropovich, Janos Starker, Greenhouse and Mischa Maisky. As a member of the ‘Yale Cellists,’ he took part in the recording of two world- famous CD’s.

Awards and recognition[edit]

A recipient of numerous prizes, Paetsch was awarded a top prize in the Emmanuel Feuermann Competition and the first place in the Young Musicians Foundation Competition in Los Angeles, CA. He was also highly successful in the ARD Competition, Munich, in the prestigious Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow and in the Rostropovitch Competition, held in Paris.

Paetsch has performed regularly in Japan, Europe and the Americas. He has collaborated with artists such as Vadim Repin, Gidon Kremer, Jean-Bernard Pommier, Eduard Brunner and the Wilanow Quartet.

Life and career[edit]

Mr. Paetsch is married to violinist Yoko Miyagawa since 1994. They have three children, Raphaela, Valentina and Dominic.

As soloist, he has taken stage in many capitals of the world, performing concertos by Haydn, Dvořák, Shostakovich, Prokofiev, Schumann, Tchaikovsky and others. His performances and recordings of the Double Concerto (Brahms) in collaboration with sister and violinist Michaela Paetsch, have taken place in the USA, Canada, Switzerland and in Germany. He has been featured soloist with the Orchestra della Svizzera Italiana in performances and recordings of great pieces such as Boccherini, Camille Saint-Saëns, Kabalevsky and the two Haydn Concertos, as well as Don Quixote (Strauss) with conductor Alain Lombard.

Since 1992 Paetsch has served as First Solo Cellist of the Orchestra della Svizzera Italiana in Lugano, Switzerland. With the Trio Ceresio, he performs regularly.

Critical reception[edit]

Paetsch's work has been well received by a music critics worldwide. A writer from the Lübecker Nachrichten wrote "...a brilliant virtuoso piece which demanded all the finesse of everything that one could imagine from a cellist, delighted the audience and brought them to a thundering applause." A review in The Strad magazine applauded his cellistic abilities, saying he was "A CELLIST of extraordinary flair...His playing is at once stylish and communicative and of virtuoso stamp." In addition, a music critic from The New Haven Register wrote that "Paetsch brought great intensity and depth of understanding to this complex work.... the second movement was exquisitely eerie. His multiple-stop work stood out both for its lyrical beauty and technical excellence."[1]

Compositions and transcriptions[edit]

In 2013, Paetsch transcribed Franz Liszt's Piano Sonata in B minor, S.178, for cello. This has been published by the Hofmeister Musikverlag in Leipzig.[2]

"3 Pieces from BWV 565, 903, and 1004" by Johann Sebastian Bach were transcribed for solo cello and published in 2015. This includes the Toccata and Fugue, the Chromatic Fantasia and the Chaconne from Partita No. 2.[3]


  1. ^ A collection of reviews of Paetsch's music on his website
  2. ^ Leipzig: Friedrich Hofmeister Verlag, FH 2487, Sonata in H-moll, 2014, (Editor/Arranger - Johann Sebastian Paetsch), ISMN: 9790203424871
  3. ^ Leipzig: Friedrich Hofmeister Verlag, FH 3021, 3 Pieces from BWV 565, 903, 1004, Leipzig 2015, (Editor/Arranger - Johann Sebastian Paetsch), ISMN: 9790203430216

External links[edit]

Johann Sebastian Paetsch pages maintained by the Internet Cello Society: