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Albanian Cello Site

Meet Albanian professional Cellists around the world

Summary Information


  • Holgen GJONI was born in 1977 in Korce, Albania
  • Nationality: Albanian, American naturalized citizen
  • Current Country of Residence: United States

Musical Studies in Albania:

  • Music School "Tefta Tashko Koço" in Korce (1983-1995)
    Teacher(s): Kostika Tanto

Musical Studies Abroad:

  • National University of Music in Bucharest, Romania (1996-2001)
    Teacher(s): Marin Cazacu
  • Boston Conservatory in Massachusetts, USA (2001-2003)
    Teacher(s): Andrew Mark
  • Juilliard School in New York, USA (2003-2006)
    Teacher(s): Bonnie Hampton
  • New England Conservatory in Boston, USA (2006-2010)
    Teacher(s): Paul Katz



Assistant principal cellist of the Grammy-nominated Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Holgen Gjoni has been steadily gaining a reputation as one of the most sought-after cellists of his generation. Hailed for his "seriousness and depth of an authentic concert soloist", "technique, beauty of sound and emotional projection", "tempestuous musical sensibility, marked by an ineffable luminosity of expression", critics have named him "an elite musician", while the legendary Yo-Yo Ma called him "a cellist of great talent".
His versatile career brought him to world-class venues such as Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher, Alice Tully and Merkin Halls, Kennedy Center, Strathmore, Jordan, Seiji Ozawa and "Tchaikovsky" Concert Halls, Berlin and Budapest Opera Houses, Vatican, Tokyo City Opera, Shanghai Center Theatre and Beijing Century Theatre. Since his prize-winning debut with Korca String Orchestra (Albania) at the age of twelve, Mr. Gjoni went on to play as soloist with numerous orchestras, including the Radio Chamber Orchestra (Romania), SBS Orchestra (USA), while touring extensively around the world as the featured soloist of the Symphonia Orchestra (Italy) and the Philharmonie of the Nations, in solo performances as an Ambassador of Peace, including for the Papal audience in Vatican.
Winner of the 1st Prizes at the "John Hsu" Cello Competition, "Nancy Tumarkin" Cello Concerto Competition, Bucharest Music University Concerto Competition, 2nd Prize at the Mihail Jora International Cello Competition and a Special Prize at Jeunnesse Musicales International Cello Competition, Mr Gjoni was honored with the Karl Zeise Memorial Cello Award for Outstanding Commitment of Talent from the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Presidential Award from The Boston Conservatory, the prestigious Jerome L. Greene Fellowship Award from the Juilliard School and the Gregor Piatigorsky Fellowship at the New England Conservatory.
An avid chamber musician, Mr. Gjoni's recent collaboration with the Borromeo String Quartet (Avery Fisher Grant winner) was praised by The Boston Musical Intelligencer: "The round, full-bodied tones of guest cellist Holgen Gjoni were especially notable". He is a founding member of Arpello Duo (cello and harp, together with acclaimed harpist Ina Zdorovetchi), to be featured in a recital at the World Harp Congress in Vancouver, Canada and to give the World Premiere performance and CD recording a new Concerto for Cello and Harp (dedicated to them) by composer Geoffrey Gordon with the Boston Modern Orchestra Project in Boston's Jordan Hall. Orchestral collaborations have included the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Boston Pops, New World Symphony and Philharmonia of the Nations under the directions of Maestros Seiji Ozawa, Kurt Masur, Christoph von Dohnanyi, Sir Roger Norrington, Sir Colin Davis, Leonard Slatkin, James Conlon, Charles Dutoit, Rafael Fruhbeck de Burgos and many others.
In demand as a teacher, his recent master class on "Cello Physics" at The Boston Conservatory was enthusiastically received by a sold-out audience. Invited to teach at Vianden International Music Festival, Luxembourg, Saarburg International Music Festival, Germany and the Academy of Arts in Tirana, Albania, he has also served as the substitute teacher for Bonnie Hampton and Andrew Mark at the Juilliard School and The Boston Conservatory, working with students who went on to win important competition prizes.
Mr. Gjoni holds degrees from New England Conservatory, the Juilliard School, Boston Conservatory and Bucharest University of Music, having studied with cellists Paul Katz (former cellist of the Cleveland String Quartet), Bonnie Hampton (disciple of Pablo Cassals and Zara Nelsova), Andrew Mark and Marin Cazacu. He played in masterclasses for Yo-Yo Ma, Janos Starker, Natalia Gutman, Franz Helmerson, Radu Aldulescu and has extensively worked with chamber music experts such as Joel Smirnoff, Samuel Rhodes and Joel Krosnick of the Juilliard String Quartet, Martha Katz of the Cleveland String Quartet, Michael Tree of the Guarnieri String Quartet, Norman Fisher and Mark Sokol of the Concord String Quartet and Pamela Frank, to name a few.

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