America’s foremost cello teacher has died at 100

The legendary Aldo Parisot, who retired last summer after teaching for 60 years at Yale, has not spent long in retirement. Music was his life.

His students include Ralph Kirshbaum, Jian Wang, Roman Jablonsky, Shauna Rolston and Carter Brey.

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  • Parisot made some lovely recordings for the Counterpoint/Esoteric label — unfortunately the label was indeed esoteric and they are now hard to find LPs; to my knowledge the mastertapes have not been reissued on CD.

    • Aldo Parisot’s Counterpoint LP with Kodaly and Bach Suite no. 5 for solo cello has been reissued as a cd. Used LPs of Counterpoint and other recordings by Aldo Parisot can be found on eBay or Amazon.

  • A true renaissance human being, Mr. Parisot was infectious with his passion for the cello, chamber music, teaching, and painting. Devoted to nurturing his pupils to grow and flourish as outstanding individuals, he also welcomed many talents to live (including myself, and Nai-Yuan Hu; both violinists!) in his own house!

    His masterclasses and chamber coaching were simply marvelous; his advice was truly priceless; and his kindness, ubiquitous.

    I first met Mr. Parisot at age 7 in Brazil. Since then, he’s been a major influence in life, my family and my music making. I will miss you forever!

  • Having written a biography of Emanuel Feuermann many years ago, I always knew that Parisot played Feuermann’s Stradivarious, and that several years ago the Nippon Foundation bought the instrument. Steven Isserlis first played it but I never knew what had happened to the Vorin bow. By chance, a few years ago, I met Jian Wang when I was reviewing his wonderful performance of the Dvorak concerto with the China Symphony Orchestra at the Barbican. I told him I had written about Feuermann. ‘Oh’, he said, ‘ I use his bow’.

  • When I was at Yale (graduated 1984) I knew some of Aldo Parisot’s cello students. They loved him, but he had a reputation for being kind of capricious and touchy, quick to take offense at a trifle or at an unintended, or imagined, slight, and never ever forgiving whomever he had taken offense against. Paraphrasing Ben Bolt: his people wept with delight when he gave them a smile, and trembled with fear at his frown.

    (An exception was the late Mark Tanner, who has been a subject of a Slipped Disc article before, see Slipped Disc December 22, 2017. Mark is the cellist who was lost at sea after making an emergency ocean landing while piloting his private airplane. When he was at Yale, Mark thought himself immortal; he feared no man, including Parisot, and no law, including the laws against theft and against monkeying with the university’s power lines and causing blackouts. He almost got expelled for that. We were all quite certain that Mark would EITHER become a billionaire, OR end up serving a very long prison term for some devious crime, OR die in an accident.)

  • I attended YSM between 1983-85 and one of my roommates was a Parisot student. He suggested, if I could find a seat, to attend one of Parisot’s weekly masterclasses, mostly open to anyone. After the first occasion I went as often as I could. I consider them to have been as formative as any other experience at YSM. And I won’t drop names, but some heavy hitters were there. Amazing stuff — many of them are now international soloists. RIP Maestro Parisot.

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