Aaron Minsky, one of the world’s most influential string musicians, was already an accomplished rock guitarist and singer/songwriter when his search for a new guitar-sound led him to the cello. His guitar-loving friends could not comprehend his plan for revolutionizing the cello, but undeterred, he took on the moniker, “Von Cello” and began his mission. Years later, he formed the world's first cello-fronted rock-power-trio, also called “Von Cello.” Mr. Minsky is now a distinguished composer, having published over a dozen music books with Oxford University Press, and whose music appears in the syllabuses of the top music adjudication services, and many universities, internationally, and played by thousands of cellists and other instrumentalists each year. His most famous set of cello pieces, “Ten American Cello Etudes,” was premiered by the composter at the First World Cello Congress, University of Maryland, in 1988. Also a dedicated music educator, Mr. Minsky has given masterclasses, workshops and performances in the United States, United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand. An award-winning member of ASCAP, Mr. Minsky is president of Von Cello, Inc., his publishing, educational, and entertainment arm which distributes his most recent compositions through J.W. Pepper.
A Yamaha artist, Aaron Minsky is renowned in the worlds of classical and popular music for pioneering his “celtar” style (pronounced “chel-tar”), which involves playing chords, creating electric-guitar-type sounds, and holding and playing the cello like a guitar, often using a pick. He composed “Dead Cello”, the first classical arrangement of Grateful Dead music ever approved by their publisher. He was commissioned by the London Cello Society to compose, “Legends of Cellandia” which he conducted at the Royal Academy of Music, London. He later conducted the Australian premiere with 70 cellists (courtesy of AUSTA, the Australian String Teachers’ Association). He premiered his concerto for cello and symphony orchestra, “The Conqueror” with the Staten Island Philharmonic, New York. He premiered his concerto for cello and string orchestra, “Summer Haze” with the Taranaki Youth Orchestra, New Zealand. He recently had two online premieres: his choral work, “Kadosh, Kadosh, Kadosh" (Holy, Holy, Holy) with St. John’s Voices (of Cambridge University) and himself as cellist, and a cello and piano duet, “Mr. ASBO (the Anti-Social Swan)” performed in Moscow. Since then Mr. Minsky has published an arrangement of the Brahms Rhapsody Op. 79, no. 1 (for cello and piano), and is preparing for a new rock cello show. Mr. Minsky has been recognized as a Marquis Who’s Who Top Artist, and given their prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award.