Prior to joining The Philadelphia Orchestra in June 1996 cellist Alex Veltman worked with several orchestras in the northeastern United States. He was a regular substitute cellist for the New York Philharmonic, assistant principal cello of the Hudson Valley Philharmonic in Poughkeepsie, New York, and a member of the New York Symphonic Ensemble, the New Jersey Symphony, and the New Haven Symphony.
Born in Moscow, Mr. Veltman studied at the Central Music School (an affiliate of the Moscow Conservatory of Music) with his mother, who is also a professional cellist. When he was 13 his family immigrated to New York, where he continued his studies with Harvey Shapiro at the Juilliard School, first at the preparatory division and then at the college, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in 1988. He also received a master’s degree from the Yale University School of Music, where he studied with Aldo Parisot.
Among his festival activities, Mr. Veltman has participated in the Bedford Springs Festival in Bedford, Pennsylvania (where he performed as soloist with the festival orchestra), and the Saratoga Springs Summer Festival in upstate New York, and he has attended the Kneisel Hall Chamber Music Festival in Blue Hill, Maine. He has collaborated with such artists are Chantal Juillet, Roberto Díaz, Nikolaj Szeps-Znaider, and Elmar Oliveira.
Since joining The Philadelphia Orchestra, Mr. Veltman has participated in many chamber music performances at the Kimmel Center’s Perlman Theater and the Academy of Music Ballroom, and he performed and taught master classes in China on a tour with The Philadelphia Orchestra. He participates in orchestral coaching and rehearsals in the Orchestra’s joint project with Project 440 and the All City Orchestra of Philadelphia during the school year and also at the All City Orchestra Summer Academy at the Mann Center. He was formerly on the faculty at the Philadelphia International Music Festival, held at Bryn Mawr College.
Mr. Veltman has participated in several recording projects the unique All-Star Orchestra, which is comprised of musicians from many major orchestras in the country and led by conductor Gerard Schwarz, as part of a project for PBS television to produce a series of educational live video recordings of classical orchestral repertoire.
Mr. Veltman has won numerous competitions, awards, and scholarships in the New York area and has given recitals at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall and C. Michael Paul Hall, as well as at St. John’s, Princeton, and Yale universities, among others. He has also made several radio and television appearances, including on WQXR’s Young Artists Showcase in New York.
Photo: Jessica Griffin