Performing Faculty, cello
Email Roger Lebow
Cellist Roger Lebow has taught at Pomona College since 1993. His concert life—whether solo and chamber performances, or with LA Opera—embraces repertoire from the 16th century to pieces whose ink would still be wet, if composers still used pens. A high school fling with the viola da gamba led to a lifelong love affair with early music, which he performs on both viol and Baroque cello. At the same time, thanks to his parents' schlepping him to LA's celebrated new music series Monday Evening Concerts as a teenager, he maintains an appetite for new music which has led him to commission, premiere, and otherwise champion numerous cello works, and to help form the LA new music collective XTET, which has been together since 1986.
Mr. Lebow’s own teachers were either students of Gregor Piatigorsky or Pablo Casals—Laurence Lesser and Robert Sayre in the first camp, Gabor Rejto and William van den Burg in the second. Having such illustrious cellistic forebears has redoubled his sense of purpose and urgency in passing along to new generations this precious and irreplaceable tradition. Lebow was formerly the cello teacher at Chapman University and Occidental College, and has also been on the guest faculty of CalArts, UC Irvine, and UC Bjoerling.
In the realm of chamber music Mr. Lebow was the founding cellist of the Armadillo String Quartet and the Clarion Trio, and he spent several waterlogged years swaddled in Gore-Tex® in Seattle with the Philadelphia String Quartet. Lebow has chamber recordings on the Delos, New World, Water Lily Acoustics, Spectral Harmonies, and Albany labels.
For a decade the principal cellist of the LA Mozart Orchestra, he has also appeared as soloist and chamber artist at the Oregon Bach Festival and Cabrillo Music Festival. A former mainstay of the LA studio scene, you enjoyed him on the soundtrack of hundreds of your favorite movies, and on albums by such period acts as ELO, Kim Carnes and Alanis Morissette.
Lebow dwells in a small cottage in Sierra Madre with librarian Wendy Schorr and Eudoxa the cat. Their son Theo is an opera tenor based in New York City.