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Sophia Bacelar

FlagUnited States, San Francisco California NoteCello

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Biography

Cuban-Chinese cellist and interdisciplinary artist Sophia Bacelar (b. 1996) has been acclaimed for her expressive musicianship and disruptive, exploratory spirit. Her work has been featured in renowned venues ranging from Carnegie Hall, Le Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, and The Berliner Philharmonie to La Fondation Louis Vuitton, The Tel Aviv Museum of Art, and nightclubs and art galleries worldwide.

Highlights of the past season include appearances as soloist at Alice Tully Hall, The Tonhalle Zürich, St. Martin-In-The-Fields, Festival Napa Valley, and Peter Jay Sharp Theater. Additional stages on which she has appeared include Victoria Hall, Le Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, Cité de la Musique, The Chicago Cultural Center, The Greene Space, Le Poisson Rouge, and SubCulture NYC amongst others. Her solo performances have been broadcast by The Violin Channel, WQXR, Medici.tv, Radio France, and WFMT.

As the awardee of The Juilliard School’s 9th Annual Leo B. Ruiz Recital, she will give her Carnegie Hall Debut in 2021. Other accolades include 2nd Prize at the Berliner International Competition (2017), 2nd Prize at the Janigro International Competition (2016), and the Mondavi Center’s Career Development Award (2015). Often recognized for her idiosyncratic and fluid style, she has been dressed for events and performances by various global luxury brands including Harry Winston, Pomellato, and Morgane Le Fay. As a GEWA Official Artist, she custom painted a cello case for her partnership.

Sophia began playing the cello at age two and was accepted to The Juilliard School’s Pre-College division when she was ten years old in the class of Minhye Clara Kim. After graduating high school at age 15, she continued her studies with Philippe Muller at Le Conservatoire National Supérieur de Paris, completing her bachelor’s degree two years later. In 2016, Sophia was chosen as a laureate of Gautier Capuçon’s “Classe d’Excellence de Violoncelle” and worked under his mentorship for one year at La Fondation Louis Vuitton while simultaneously pursuing her graduate studies at the Hochschule für Musik Hanns Eisler Berlin under the tutelage of Nicolas Altstaedt. She currently holds a Celia Ascher Fellowship at The Juilliard School, where she is completing her Artist Diploma. Other close musical mentors include late cellist Bernard Greenhouse of the Beaux Arts Trio, composer Kendall Durelle Briggs, and pianist Noreen Polera. She currently performs on a 1914 Giulio Degani restored by her father, luthier Alejandro Bacelar.

Concurrent to her solo cello work, Sophia is conversant in various artistic disciplines, including dance, fashion, film, photography, and visual art. In addition to her training as a classical cellist, she minored in composition during her PreCollege studies at Juilliard, studied art at The Museum of Modern Art (NY), and film at Columbia University (NY). Her multimedia projects and collaborations have been featured at The Museum of Modern Art (NY), The Fashion Institute of Technology (NY), and other galleries in Europe and the United States. As a recipient of 2019 and 2020 Project Grants from The Juilliard School’s Entrepreneurship Center, she is currently planning the production of a multisensory, interdisciplinary performance art experience, as well as directing and producing a documentary film based on the Kübler-Ross model of the five stages of grief.

Sophia’s unique, multicultural background ties her to multiple diverse communities with whom she works closely to promote expression through the arts. Known for her multilingual and communicative skills, she regularly interacts with her growing, global audience of followers online and frequently engages in outreach programs throughout the world. She has also volunteered and donated work to multiple organizations to raise funding for free and accessible arts education and currently serves artist ambassador for The Grammy Music Education Coalition.

Sophia is an avid reader, podcast junkie, and health and fitness enthusiast. She and her Havashu, Cuba, split their time between New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles.

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