On Wednesday, April 15, 2020, the String Studies program in NYU Steinhardt’s Department of Music and Performing Arts Professions presented a conversation with renowned cellist Lynn Harrell via Zoom. Tragically, this would be Mr. Harrell’s last public appearance, as he unexpectedly passed away on April 27. With the gracious permission of Helen Nightengale, Mr. Harrell’s wife, we are now able to share Mr. Harrell’s heartfelt and inspirational discussion, moderated by NYU Steinhardt Artist Faculty member and versatile cellist Carol Ou.
Mr. Harrell was born on January 30, 1944, in New York City. In 1962, he became a member of the cello section of the Cleveland Orchestra, for which he then served as principal from 1964 to 1971. For the remainder of his extensive career, Mr. Harrell performed as a soloist with nearly every major orchestra in the United States and Europe and was respected as a brilliant chamber musician and teacher. In 2010, Mr. Harrell and Ms. Nightengale founded the HEARTbeats Foundation, a non-profit organization that "strives to help children in need harness the power of music to better cope with, and recover from, the extreme challenges of poverty and conflict."