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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Portrait of an artist

    Cellist Michael Ronstadt practices for his duet with Aryo Wicaksono tomorrow and Saturday at Crowder Hall. Ronstadt also plays the guitar and the charango, a South American lute-like instrument made from the shell of an armadillo.
    Cellist Michael Ronstadt practices for his duet with Aryo Wicaksono tomorrow and Saturday at Crowder Hall. Ronstadt also plays the guitar and the charango, a South American lute-like instrument made from the shell of an armadillo.

    Who: Cellist Michael G. Ronstadt

    What: “”Rillito Duo,”” his performance Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. in Crowder Hall. Ronstadt will be playing alongside pianist Aryo Wicaksono

    Bio: Ronstadt was born and raised in Tucson. He studied at the UA and graduated with a bachelor of arts in cello performance. He is a graduate student this fall working on his master’s degree in cello performance.

    Wildcat: What inspires you?

    Ronstadt: What inspires me is the ability that music has. Through music, you can express anything and cross any barrier. This is apparent when you play music of composers that were from different countries. The fact that I can bring joy or happiness to an audience and express myself through the music that I play by a composer that is still living, it’s amazing to me how you can do that. It creates something special.

    W: What different composers inspire you?

    R: Bach is one of the geniuses of music that inspires me. His music, every time you approach it there’s something new. He is the father of Western music.

    W: What makes you a unique musician?

    R: What I try to do on the side is write music where I play the cello and sing. I recently released a CD called Motionless Slow. When I go to coffee shops, I play that stuff to have the people relate to that music. A live performance can be amazing too, though. I think the ability that I have to play a wide variety of music, many different styles, makes me unique. Because I play guitar, because I do improvise, I try to bring that to my playing. It’s something fresh and new.

    W: What is your most recent performance?

    R: I’ve been at a cello camp that Yehuda Hanani runs. We just performed in Chadem, N.Y. That was the most recent. Previously when I was back in Tucson I performed with the same duo that is performing Sept. 8.

    W: When did you start playing the cello?

    R: I started when I was in fourth grade. They showed us the instruments at the end of the third year and our teacher sat down to play cello and I chose it because I could sit down and play it. I started learning the basics in fourth grade.

    W: When did your love for the cello begin?

    R: It started quickly because I didn’t take private lessons until eighth grade. It was just me making music with the cello and I had a lot of fun with it. I always knew that I wanted to do music. Starting at the end of middle school, I got really serious with it.

    W: What kind of opportunities did Tucson offer to you?

    R: Tucson gave me the musical opportunities that have brought me what I have today. It’s a huge musical influence. It’s an influence for many different kinds of music. It’s allowed me to be introduced to many different styles of music.

    W: What’s next for you?

    R: As a master student, I have to give a recital every year. That’ll be one of my priorities. I’m putting together a program, starting about now. In October, I have a performance in Northern Kentucky, across the Ohio River.

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