Cuban-Chinese-American cellist Sophia Bacelar is quickly gaining recognition as one of classical music’s young rising stars. Recent seasons saw her debuts as soloist at renowned venues such as The Berliner Philharmonie and The Tonhalle Zürich, a series of six concerts broadcast by Medici.tv at the auditorium of La Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris as one of the laureates of the prestigious “Classe d’Excellence de Violoncelle” of Gautier Capuçon, and various solo performances throughout North America, South America, and Europe.
Sophia has performed at Carnegie Hall, The Berliner Philharmonie, The Tonhalle Zürich, Le Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, Victoria Hall, Cité de la Musique, and Alice Tully Hall, among others, and has appeared in several renowned festivals, including Festival Napa Valley, The Seiji Ozawa International Academy, The Mendelssohn Festival, and The Piatigorsky International Cello Festival. She has also been a laureate of several international competitions, with most recent prizes including 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).
Sophia is passionate about promoting classical music to a new, younger generation of listeners, as well as bringing it to less-reached communities throughout the world. After being inspired by the positive response of audiences during her experiences performing in South America and after concerts broadcast online, Sophia decided to aim to broaden the reach of her music by introducing it in alternative venues and through contemporary mediums. Among her past and current projects include a series of live-streamed concerts in cooperation with Classeek Music, community outreach projects and concerts with children in South America, performances in nightclubs such as Le Poisson Rouge, and collaborations with musicians outside the traditionally classical sphere, including Jazz pianist/composer Dan Tepfer and various electronic musicians. In addition, she maintains an active social media presence on her Instagram account, @sophiabacelar.
Born in 1996 in the United States, Sophia began her musical studies at the age of two. At age ten, she was accepted to The Juilliard School, where she studied under the tutelage of Clara Kim for six years. After graduating at age 16, Sophia went on to further her studies at Le Conservatoire National Supérieur de Paris in the class of Philippe Muller, from which she graduated two years later. During the 2016-2017 season, she also worked under the mentorship of Gautier Capuçon at La Fondation Louis Vuitton as part of the “Classe d’Excellence de Violoncelle”.
After pursuing her graduate studies at the Hochschule für Musik Hanns Eisler Berlin in the class of Nicolas Altstaedt, she returned to New York where she currently holds a Celia Ascher Fellowship as an Artist Diploma student at The Juilliard School under the mentorship of Joel Krosnick and Clara Kim. Other close musical mentors have included composer Kendall Durelle Briggs, pianist Noreen Polera, and Bernard Greenhouse, with whom Sophia studied privately for several years.
In addition to music, Sophia studied visual arts for several years, is an avid reader, and is enthusiastic about food, health, and fitness; when not occupied with her musical activities, she devotes the majority of her spare time to these interests.