Carlos Prieto (cellist)

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Carlos Prieto
Carlos Prieto, cellista mexicano.JPG
Background information
Origin Mexico City, Mexico
Genres Classical
Occupation(s)cellist writter and academic
Website Official site

Carlos Prieto was born in Mexico City and is a Mexican cellist and writer. [1]

Mexico country in the southern portion of North America

Mexico, officially the United Mexican States, is a country in the southern portion of North America. It is bordered to the north by the United States; to the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; to the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and to the east by the Gulf of Mexico. Covering almost 2,000,000 square kilometres (770,000 sq mi), the nation is the fifth largest country in the Americas by total area and the 13th largest independent state in the world. With an estimated population of over 120 million people, the country is the eleventh most populous state and the most populous Spanish-speaking state in the world, while being the second most populous nation in Latin America after Brazil. Mexico is a federation comprising 31 states and Mexico City, a special federal entity that is also the capital city and its most populous city. Other metropolises in the state include Guadalajara, Monterrey, Puebla, Toluca, Tijuana and León.


Mr. Prieto has received enthusiastic public acclaim and won excellent reviews for his performances throughout the United States, Europe, Russia and the former Soviet Union, China, India, Indonesia, Singapore and Latin America. The New York Times review of his Carnegie Hall debut raved, “Prieto knows no technical limitations and his musical instincts are impeccable.” [2]

He plays a Stradivarius cello named the "Piatti" after Carlo Alfredo Piatti, affectionatelly nicknamed "Chelo Prieto" by the current owner. [3] He is a promoter of contemporary, original classical instrument music by Latin American composers. The Carlos Prieto International Cello Competition [4] is held every three years in Mexico. His son, Carlos Miguel Prieto, is music director of the National Symphony Orchestra of Mexico.

Stradivarius string instrument

A Stradivarius is one of the violins, violas, cellos and other string instruments built by members of the Italian family Stradivari, particularly Antonio Stradivari, during the 17th and 18th centuries. According to their reputation, the quality of their sound has defied attempts to explain or equal it, though this belief is disputed. The fame of Stradivarius instruments is widespread, appearing in numerous works of fiction.

Carlo Alfredo Piatti Italian cellist

Carlo Alfredo Piatti was an Italian cellist, teacher and composer.

Carlos Miguel Prieto is a Mexican conductor. He is music director of the Orquesta Sinfonica Nacional de Mexico and the Orquesta Sinfonica de Mineria, of the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra in New Orleans, and the Orchestra of the Americas in Washington, D.C..

The early years

Prieto began playing the cello at age four, studying under the instruction of Hungarian cellist Imre Hartman, also with the Mexican cellist Manuel Garnica Fierro.

Mr. Prieto was a longtime friend of Igor Stravinsky. When Stravinsky returned to Russia in 1962 after a fifty-year absence, he was accompanied in Moscow by Mr. Prieto, who was at that time studying at the Moscow State University in Russia. He also knew Shostakovich and has premiered his first Cello Concerto in different cities in Mexico as well as in Spain.

Moscow State University university in Moscow, Russia

Moscow State University is a coeducational and public research university located in Moscow, Russia. It was founded on 23 January [O.S. 12 January] 1755 by Mikhail Lomonosov. MSU was renamed after Lomonosov in 1940 and was then known as Lomonosov University. It also houses the tallest educational building in the world. Its current rector is Viktor Sadovnichiy. According to the 2018 QS World University Rankings, it is the highest-ranking Russian educational institution and is widely considered the most prestigious university in the former Soviet Union.

He continued his instruction with Pierre Fournier in Geneva, and Leonard Rose in New York. He also studied engineering and economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), [5] university which appointed him in 1993 member of its Department of Music and Theater Arts Visiting Committee.

Pierre Fournier French cellist

Pierre Léon Marie Fournier was a French cellist who was called the "aristocrat of cellists," on account of his elegant musicianship and majestic sound.

Leonard Rose American musician

Leonard Joseph Rose was an American cellist and pedagogue.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology research university in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is a private research university in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Founded in 1861 in response to the increasing industrialization of the United States, MIT adopted a European polytechnic university model and stressed laboratory instruction in applied science and engineering. The institute is a land-grant, sea-grant and space-grant university with campus extends more than a mile along side the Charles river. The institute is traditionally known for its research and education in the physical sciences, engineering and architecture, but more recently in biology, economics, linguistics, management, and social science and art as well. MIT is often ranked among the world's top five universities.

Music career

He has played with orchestras from all over the world, the Royal Philharmonic in London, the Chamber Orchestra of the European Union, the American Symphony Orchestra in New York, the Boston Pops in Symphony Hall, the Berlin Symphony Orchestra, the Moscow Chamber Orchestra, the St. Petersburg Chamber Orchestra, the Spanish National Orchestra, the Spanish Radio and Television Orchestra, the Irish National Orchestra, the MAV Budapest Orchestra and many others. He has been invited to many of the world’s most prestigious halls such as Carnegie Hall [6] and Lincoln Center in New York, [7] Kennedy Center in Washington; Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles; Roy Thomson in Toronto; Barbican Hall and Wigmore Hall in London; Salle Gaveau and Salle Pleyel in Paris; Philharmonic Hall in St. Petersburg, Russia; Auditorio Nacional in Madrid; The Beijing and Shanghai Concert Halls; the Europalia, Granada, Berlin Festivals, etc. [8]

Remarkable is Carlos Prieto’s contribution to the cello repertoire. Since 1980 he has played the world premieres of close to 100 compositions, most of which were written for him by the main composers from Mexico, Latin America, Spain and other countries.

He was appointed Honorary Member of the Fine Arts Advisory Council of the University of Texas at Austin.

From 1995 to 2010 was Chairman of the Foundation of the Conservatory of Las Rosas, the oldest conservatory of the Americas and Mexico’s most ambitious music education project.

Every three years, the National Council for the Arts of Mexico and the Las Rosas Conservatory organize the Carlos Prieto International Cello Competition, so named in recognition of his career and his work in the promotion and enrichment of Latin American cello music. The next competition will take place in August, 2019.

In recent years he played a series of concerts with Yo-Yo Ma in Mexico, Caracas, New Orleans, Chicago Spain and Cuba. [9]

Writter career

Mr. Prieto has recorded over 100 works and written ten books: "Russian Letters", "Around the World with the Cello", "From the USSR to Russia", “The Adventures of a Cello” –translated into Portuguese, Russian, and English- “Paths and Images of Music”, "Five Thousand Years of Words", with a foreword by Carlos Fuentes; “Throughout China with the Cello”, with a foreword by Yo-Yo Ma; “Dmitri Shostakovich, genius and drama”; “Short history of music in Mexico”, and “My musical tours around the world. Music in Mexico and autobiographical notes”. Some of which have been translated into English, Russian and Portuguese and have appeared in audio book form.

In 2011 he was elected Member of the Mexican Academy of the Spanish Language. In 2012 he was elected honorary member of the Ecuador Academy of the Spanish Language and, in 2016, of the Chile Academy of the Spanish Language.


Espejos (Mirrors)

(urtext digital classics jbcc 015)

Le Grand Tango

(urtext digital classics jbcc 014)

Dmitri Shostakovich. Sonatas

(urtext digital classics jbcc 123)

Conciertos y Chôro

(urtext digital classics jbcc 023)

Azul y Verde (Blue and Green)

(urtext digital classics jbcc 024)


(urtext digital classics jbcc 045)

Tres siglos: tres obras para violonchelo y orquesta

(urtext digital classics jbcc 178)

Tres conciertos para cello y orquesta

(urtext digital classics jbcc 083)

Sonatas y danzas de México

(urtext digital classics jbcc 033)

Del barroco y del romanticismo al siglo XXI

(urtext digital classics jbcc 093)

From Bach to Piazzolla

(urtext digital classics jbcc 101)

Seven world premieres

(urtext digital classics jbcc 183)

Bach vol. I


Bach vol. II


Sonatas y Fantasías

(urtext digital classics jbcc 017)

Conciertos para el fin del milenio

(urtext digital classics jbcc 047)

Published works






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  1. Mexican Cellist Carlos Prieto, Classical Performer, Musician, Author
  2. Page, Tim. "MUSIC: DEBUTS IN REVIEW" . Retrieved 2018-10-24.
  3. The Adventures of a Cello, by Carlos Prieto
  4. Carlos Prieto International Cello Competition Winners Announced Archived February 2, 2014, at the Wayback Machine .
  5. Carlos Prieto: Around the World With the Cello
  6. MUSIC: DEBUTS IN REVIEW Feb. 19, 1984
  7. Review/Music; 3 Concerts Conclude Series of Mexican Work January 13, 1991
  8. CIdaho State University to present renowned cellist Carlos Prieto in special concert May 9 at Stephens Performing Arts Center
  9. Yo Yo ma and Carlos Prieto at INBA, 11-01-13 on YouTube
  10. "Brouwer and Prieto Receive Ambassador Gilberto Bosque Award". Arte por Excelencias. Retrieved 2018-11-28.
  11. "Brouwer and Prieto Receive Ambassador Gilberto Bosque Award". Arte por Excelencias. Retrieved 2018-11-28.