Named Principal Cellist of the DSO in 2002, Robert deMaine has been praised by The New York Timesas “an artist who makes one hang on every note.” He has distinguished himself as one of the finest musicians of his generation, having performed to critical acclaim throughout the world, from Carnegie Hall to the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires.
Born into a musical family of French and Polish extraction, deMaine began musical studies at the age of four with his mother and sister, both accomplished cellists. He made his solo debut at 10 with the Oklahoma City Symphony Orchestra, followed by his first full-length recital.
In addition to fellowship study at Yale University and the Eastman School of Music (having graduated magna cum laude) where he studied composition, conducting, and piano as well as modern and baroque cello performance and literature, deMaine trained at the legendary Meadowmount School in New York and is an alumnus of the Piatigorsky Seminar at the University of Southern California. At age 12, deMaine became one of the last private students accepted by the eminent cellist and pedagogue Leonard Rose at the Juilliard School Pre-College Division. In addition to Rose, his major teachers have included Steven Doane, Paul Katz, Aldo Parisot, Richard Kapuscinski, Luís García-Renart, Alexander Schneider and Felix Galimir. He has collaborated with countless esteemed musicians including conductors Neeme Järvi and Walter Hendl, pianists Claude Frank and Yefim Bronfman, and violinists Joseph Silverstein, James Ehnes and Gil Shaham, in addition to renowned chamber groups and orchestras throughout the world.
deMaine is the first prize-winner of several major international competitions, most notably the 1990 Irving M. Klein International Competition for Strings in San Francisco (the first cellist ever to win this important competition), as well as winning first prizes in major competitions in New York, St. Louis and Chicago. Most recently, he was named Outstanding Classical Instrumentalist for 2004 by the Detroit Music Awards and received the Premio Sipario di Milano for Excellence in Classical Solo Performance. He also was awarded a career grant from the Helen M. Saunders Foundation.
He has recorded for CBC, Elysium, Capstone, and CRI records, and his performances can be heard on such programs as NPR's Performance Today, the CBC, and seen on PBS and RAI.
deMaine is a frequent guest artist at music festivals throughout the world, including Aspen, Eastern, Heidelberg (Germany), San Miguel de Allende (Mexico), Buenos Aires (Argentina), Norfolk, Seattle, Steamboat Springs, Armstrong Chamber Concerts, Utah, Great Lakes, and the Marlboro Music Festival in Vermont, also performing with Music from Marlboro in New York and Washington, D.C.
A much sought-after teacher, deMaine presents clinics and master classes regularly, and has been an adjudicator of several music competitions. He is currently an Adjunct Professor of Music at the Wayne State University Department of Music, the University of Michigan School of Music, and on the faculty of the National Orchestral Institute at the University of Maryland. He is also is the Artistic Director of the Garden Park Chamber Music Concerts and Festival in Holly, Michigan.
Previously he taught at the Eastman School of Music, Hartford Conservatory, the University of Connecticut, the Conservatorio de Musica in Corrientes, Argentina, and was the chairman of the string department of the American Festival for the Arts in Houston. His former students can be found in professional symphony orchestras, chamber groups and have been laureates of major competitions worldwide.
deMaine has written much music for the cello which he often performs, such as his Twelve Études-Caprices, Op. 31 (1999). His instrument is a Neapolitan cello, ca. 1780, by Joannes Gagliano, and his bows were made by the French makers François-Nicolas Voirin, Paris, 1870 and Nicolas Maire, Mirecourt, 1850.
deMaine lives in Grosse Pointe Farms with his wife, Betsy (a professional hornist), and their baby boy, Paul. His other interests are foreign language, reading, history and genealogy, true crime and satire, writing poetry, word games, watching the Detroit sports teams, doing impersonations and riding his stationary bike in his basement while watching HBO specials, such as The Sopranos, Six Feet Under, and Da Ali G Show. His favorite musician of all time is the late French cellist, Pierre Fournier, whose entire discography he possesses, including several autographed photos and albums. He also has a large collection of cellos and bows both antique and modern.
His Website is www.robertdemaine.com.