About Joel

Joel Becktell has performed, taught and lectured throughout North America and Europe. His performances have garnered critical and popular acclaim, and he has collaborated with many highly respected soloists and conductors. He is a graduate of the Cleveland Institute of Music, where he received his Bachelor and Master of Music degrees with honors and received the Rubenstein prize for cello performance. Joel has been a member of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, the Nichols Quartet, the Harrington String Quartet, and the Moveable Feast chamber ensemble. From 1995–2002 he served as Principal Cellist of the Austin Symphony Orchestra, and has also been Principal Cellist with the Santa Fe Pro Musica and Assistant Principal Cello with The Santa Fe Symphony. His experience and expertise as an orchestral cellist have resulted in frequent opportunities to perform as a guest in the cello sections of a number of orchestras, including the San Antonio Symphony and the National Philharmonic Orchestra.

Joel appears frequently on Baroque and modern cello and violoncello piccolo with ensembles throughout North America, and has been heard as a soloist with orchestras including the Austin Symphony, the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Santa Fe Pro Musica Chamber Orchestra. Joel has collaborated in solo and chamber concerts with cellists Yo-Yo Ma, Terry King, and Brinton Smith; recorder virtuoso Marion Verbruggen; the Markolivia Duo; pianists such as Leon Fleisher, Michael Lewin, Dena Levine, and Marija Stroke; and violinists Charles Castleman, Nurit Bar-Joseph, David Taylor, and Annette-Barbara Vogel, among many others. He is a co-founder, with Carla McElhaney, of the “classical band” REVEL, an ensemble dedicated to playing concerts in an intimate atmosphere that invites listeners to discard old attitudes about “classical” music and re-enter an earlier time when audiences engaged directly with the musicians in concerts.


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