Alan Black is in his twenty-fifth season as Principal Cellist with the Charlotte Symphony. His performance experience covers the complete spectrum of music; from classical music including chamber music, solo recitals, and concertos with the Charlotte Symphony, to appearing on stage as a soloist and chamber musician with artists such as Yo-Yo Ma, Lynn Harrell, Bobby McFerrin, Van Cliburn Gold Medal pianist Jon Nakamatsu, and fiddler Mark O'Connor. He has performed all over the Southeast, including chamber music concerts at famed Spivey Hall near Atlanta, the Piccolo Spoleto Festival in Charleston, South Carolina, and the Eastern Music Festival in Greensboro, North Carolina. In addition, he has performed recitals and concerts in Europe with violinist Liviu Prunaru, Concertmaster of the Royal Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, and recording artist and pianist Dana Protopopescu, on the faculty of the Conservatoire Royal de Musique de Bruxelles in Brussels. From 2006-2008 Alan coached and performed with Liviu and Dana in the Corso Internazionale di Musica da Camera in Tuscania, Italy. In December 2006, Alan traveled to Belgium to play a four recital tour with Dana that was sponsored in part by a Regional Artist Project Grant from the Arts & Science Council of Mecklenburg County.
Alan has been actively involved in many highly successful musical projects in North Carolina. He founded Chamber Music at St. Peter's in 1996, and four years ago started a very successful summer Teen Chamber Music Workshop that now resides at Christ Episcopal Church. He also coaches and performs in the Chapel Hill Chamber Music Workshop for Adults each May, previously has conducted and coached the orchestra for the Charlotte Community School of the Arts Band and Orchestra Camp in July, and currently teaches at Gardner-Webb University and Davidson College.
In Charlotte, Mr. Black has received many awards, including the prestigious $5,000 Mecklenburg County Arts & Science Council Fellowship in 1997 and an Emerging Artists Grant in 1990. In 2001 he was honored by the Charlotte Observer's year-end review for his contribution to the arts community as Founder of Chamber Music at St. Peter's, and he also received the 2001 Spirit Award, a yearly award given by the Charlotte Mint Museum and Royal & SunAlliance to recognize those whose involvement and commitment to the arts have made a significant impact on the quality of life in the Charlotte community.
Alan graduated in 1980 from UCLA, and received a Masters Degree from Indiana University in 1983, where he was a teaching assistant to Fritz Magg. Other teachers include former Principal Cellist of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Ronald Leonard, Jeffrey Solow, Gary Hoffman, and most recently, David Hardy, Principal Cellist of the National Symphony in Washington D.C. As a student he also appeared in masterclasses with such notable musicians as Leonard Bernstein, James Buswell, Bernard Greenhouse, and Janos Starker.
Mr. Black performs on a 1995 Moes & Moes cello, originally built for and owned by