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Albanian Cello Site

Meet Albanian professional Cellists around the world

Gjilberta LUCAJ-GELAJ

Summary Information

Identity:

  • Gjilberta LUCAJ-GELAJ was born in Shkoder, Albania
  • Nationality: Albanian, American naturalized citizen
  • Current Country of Residence: United States

Musical Studies in Albania:

  • Music School "Preng Jakova" in Shkoder

Musical Studies Abroad:

  • State University of New York College at Purchase, USA (2000-2004)
  • New School University in New York, USA (2005-2006)
  • New York University, USA (2007-2008)

Current Occupation(s):

  • Member of the Monticelli Trio (an all-girl cello trio)
  • Professor of Cello in Allen-Stevenson School, New York (USA)

Website(s):

Biography

A native of Albania, Gjilberta began cello studies at age six. At age thirteen she won the National Young Artist Competition. As a result she was the youngest student ever to be chosen to tour in Italy with the Shkoder Symphony Orchestra. The highlights of the tour included playing for Pope John Paul II and receiving a full scholarship from the Padova Conservatorio di Musica. Under a full scholarship, Gjilberta went on to attend the Music Conservatory at SUNY Purchase College where she studied with Peter Wiley of the Guarnieri Quartet and graduated with a BFA in Music Performance. Soon after, she was accepted into the Mannes College of music in Manhattan and most recently, Gjilberta received a Masters in Music Education from the Steinhardt School of Education at NYU.
Gjilberta performed at Carnegie Hall as a member of the “Passionata Trio” in 2002 and 2003 and has since given numerous solo, chamber music and orchestral performances throughout USA. In 2006, she became a member of the New Jersey Philharmonic Orchestra and has performed frequently at Carnegie Hall and Avery Fischer Hall, and has toured extensively in South Korea. She has given lecture recitals for Hudson Valley Piano club for two years in a row and has participated and performed in many master classes including Yo-Yo Ma. She has performed with many orchestras such as: Westchester Chamber orchestra, Glens Falls orchestra, Gateway Classical Society Opera, Bronx orchestra, etc.
Gjilberta is a member of the Monticelli Trio (an all-girl cello trio) and has been performing extensively since it's conception last October.
In 2009 she was chosen as the only classical musician to tour as part of a collective group pertaining distinguished actors, supermodels, Olympic Hockey players, producers and singers. The purpose of the tour was to help the Mauricio Amuy Foundation in Mexico and to raise awareness of child abuse and poverty in Mexico.
Feautured in many major Albanian newspapers. Featured in two issues of Couture & Luxury Magazine in 2008 and 2009. Featured in Scarsdale Inquirer (NY), Village Voice (CT) etc.
Most recently was the artistic director and was the featured performer for "Grandes Poemas De Amor". A book and CD compiling the greatest love poems from the last 100 years of poets from Latin America and Spain.
Her playing has been described as: Superb, moving, ethereal etc.

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