Nathaniel Rosen

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Nathaniel Rosen
Born (1948-06-09) June 9, 1948 (age 67)
Altadena, California
Genres Classical
Occupation(s) Cellist, instructor
Instruments Cello
Years active 1960's-present
Labels North Star, John Marks Records, Naxos
Notable instruments
"Mighty Venetian" Domenico Montagnana 1738
"Ex-Servais" Domenico Montagnana 1738

Nathaniel "Nick" Rosen (born June 9, 1948 in Altadena, California) is an American cellist, former gold prize winner at the International Tchaikovsky Competition, and former faculty member at the USC Thornton School of Music and the Manhattan School of Music. [1]

Early life[edit]

Rosen grew up in a musical household, his father being an amateur violist.[2] At the age of six, Rosen began studying with Eleonore Schoenfeld, professor of cello at the University of Southern California. At age 12, his teacher encouraged him to move on, first intending to study with Gabor Rejto; but, when it was announced that Gregor Piatigorsky was joining USC, Rosen auditioned and was welcomed into his studio and the newly created Institute for Special Musical Studies at the age of 13. Growing up, he also studied chamber music with other renowned teachers who joined Piatigorsky and the institute including Jascha Heifetz and William Primrose.[3] He graduated from John Muir High School in the Class of 1965, and was active in the John Muir orchestra while in Grades 10, 11, and 12.

He soon, however, began to branch out into the musical profession. While a student at the University of Southern California, he became a founding member and eventually principal cellist of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra.[2] He also studied with Laurence Lesser. By age 22, the same year he graduated from USC, he had also become Piatigorsky's assistant — a post he maintained for five years. In 1977, at the age of 30, he became principal cellist of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra as well, under André Previn.[2]

Nathaniel Rosen won the coveted Naumburg Competition for cello, and presented recitals in London and New York.

Tchaikovsky Competition[edit]

Although he first entered the prestigious International Tchaikovsky Competition in 1966 at the age of 17 and actually was a prize winner, Rosen became only the second-ever American gold prize winner after pianist Van Cliburn at the Tchaikovsky Competition in 1978.[1] He is still the only American cellist to take first prize at the competition. The victory thrust him into the forefront of the classical music circuit.


He taught at the University of Illinois for six years. He has been a member of the faculty at the Manhattan School of Music [1] and also enjoys engagements with the Thomas More College of Liberal Arts in Merrimack, New Hampshire and Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas.

He has soloed, among other orchestras, with the New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Czech Philharmonic, London Symphony Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra, and Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra. He has also played at numerous chamber festivals including the Sitka, Park City, Manchester (VT) Music Festival and Casals Festivals.

Since 2011 he lives in Japan with his Japanese wife and daughters. In 2013 he has moved from Matsuyama to Yamanakako.

His important and historical cello was crafted in 1738 by Domenico Montagnana, the "Mighty Venetian." One of the instrument's previous owners was Adrien-Francois Servais (1807–1866), the man who invented the endpin.



  1. ^ a b c Manhattan School of Music faculty biography. Retrieved March 22, 2007.
  2. ^ a b c Los Angeles Times: "An Artist Finally Gets It on Record" by Daniel Cariaga. Retrieved March 22, 2007.
  3. ^ Internet Cello Society: "Interview with Nathaniel Rosen" by Tim Janof. Retrieved March 22, 2007.

External links[edit]