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Inbal Segev is “a cellist with something to say” (Gramophone). Combining “thrillingly projected, vibrato-rich playing” (Washington Post) with “complete dedication and high intelligence” (San Francisco Classical Voice), she makes solo appearances at leading international venues and with preeminent orchestras and conductors worldwide. Celebrated for her fresh insights into music’s great masterworks, the Israeli American cellist is equally committed to reinvigorating the cello repertoire, and has commissioned and premiered major new works from an international who’s who of today’s foremost contemporary composers.

Segev is personally responsible for commissioning, premiering, recording, and championing new works by important living composers from the U.S., Israel, and beyond. Most recently, she commissioned a new cello concerto from Ukrainian composer Victoria Poleva, giving its world and European premieres in 2023-24 with the Dallas Symphony and London Philharmonic orchestras respectively. To encourage creative recovery during the early pandemic lockdowns, she launched 20 for 2020, a commissioning, recording, and video project for 20 cutting-edge composers, including John Luther Adams, Viet Cuong, and Angélica Negrón, all of whom wrote new works in response to the worldwide crisis. Other projects include Anna Clyne’s concerto DANCE, which Segev co-commissioned and premiered under Cristian Măcelaru’s leadership at the 2019 Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music in California, before recording the work alongside Elgar’s iconic concerto with Marin Alsop and the London Philharmonic Orchestra. Released by Avie, the album was an instant success, topping the Amazon Classical Concertos chart and inspiring glowing praise from The Guardian, BBC Radio 3 and other outlets; DANCE’s opening movement was named among NPR Music’s “Favorite Songs of 2020,” receiving more than eleven million listens on Spotify.

Segev has also brought to life a host of other new works. It was she who gave the world premiere performance of Timo Andres’s concerto Upstate Obscura at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art (2018); premiered Dan Visconti’s Cello Concerto with the California Symphony (2017); commissioned and premiered Gity Razaz’s multimedia piece Legend of Sigh at Brooklyn’s National Sawdust (2015); premiered and recorded Lucas Richman’s Declaration with the composer conducting the Pittsburgh Symphony (2015); co-commissioned and premiered Avner Dorman’s Cello Concerto with the Anchorage Symphony (2012); and premiered Paola Prestini’s Oceano at Columbia University (2002). She also gave the overdue U.S. premiere of Sir Arthur Sullivan’s long-lost, posthumously reconstructed Cello Concerto, and joined the Albany Symphony for the first performance of Christopher Rouse’s Violoncello Concerto since its premiere 24 years earlier by Yo-Yo Ma.

Segev’s premiere recordings crown a rich and wide-ranging discography. Having studied Bach’s solo cello suites for many years, she recorded the complete cycle over a six-month period with Grammy-winning producer Da-Hong Seetoo at New York City’s Academy of Arts and Letters for release by Vox Classics in 2015; documenting this process behind the scenes, a companion film by Nick Davis Productions was screened at Lincoln Center and in Maine and Bogotá. Segev’s other recordings include a Romantic program of Schumann, Chopin, and Grieg with pianist Juho Pohjonen (Avie, 2018); Dohnányi serenades with the Amerigo Trio (Navona, 2011); cello sonatas by Beethoven and Boccherini with pianist Richard Bishop (Opus One, 2000); and live accounts of C.P.E. Bach’s A-major concerto and other works (Music@Menlo, 2023). The cellist can also be heard playing music by Peter Nashe on the soundtrack of Bee Season, a 2005 feature film starring Richard Gere and Juliette Binoche.

Inbal Segev leans against a while wall wearing dark pants, and a brown patterned blazer.

A prodigy who first played for the Israeli president at just eight years old, Segev came to international attention ten years later when she made concerto debuts with both the Berlin Philharmonic and Israel Philharmonic under the baton of Zubin Mehta. Since then, she has appeared as soloist with such leading orchestras as the Baltimore Symphony, Bamberg Symphony, Dallas Symphony, Dortmund Philharmonic, London Philharmonic, Orchestre National de Lyon, Pittsburgh Symphony, Polish National Radio Symphony, and St. Louis Symphony, collaborating with Marin Alsop, Stéphane Denève, Edward Gardner, Kirill Karabits, Lorin Maazel, Cristian Măcelaru, Zubin Mehta, and other of the world’s foremost conductors. She co-curated the Baltimore Symphony’s New Music Festival from its inception in 2017.

Segev has given solo performances of Bach’s cello suites at international venues from New York’s Lincoln Center and Metropolitan Museum of Art to the Shanghai Concert Hall and Jerusalem Theatre. Her other recital highlights include appearances at New York’s Alice Tully Hall and Merkin Concert Hall, Brooklyn’s National Sawdust, and Bogotá’s Teatro Mayor. Also a dedicated chamber artist, she has given ensemble performances at Los Angeles’s Walt Disney Concert Hall and Chicago’s Harris Theater, undertaken international tours with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, and collaborated with such esteemed musicians as Emanuel Ax, Jeremy Denk, Anthony McGill, Jason Vieaux, and the Vogler Quartet. With former New York Philharmonic concertmaster Glenn Dicterow and violist Karen Dreyfus, she is a founding member of the Amerigo Trio.

Segev started composing during the pandemic, and her album 20 for 2020 concludes with the first recording of Behold, her own composition for cello quartet. She went on to write B Natural, an homage to her teacher Aldo Parisot; scored for cello octet, this received its world premiere performance from the Yale Cellos ensemble at Yale University in 2023. Subsequent compositions include her string trio, which received its first performance from the Fort Worth Chamber Music Society in spring 2024; her clarinet trio, set to premiere in Israel in summer 2024, before receiving its U.S. premiere in Michigan; and I’m Nobody! Who are you?, an Emily Dickinson setting for unaccompanied women’s choir, scheduled to premiere in the 2024–25 season.

Besides holding regular interactive live-streamed masterclasses and Q&A sessions at the CelloBello resource center, Segev has been featured in a live Q&A session at Lincoln Center’s Kaplan Penthouse and a dedicated episode of The Musical Life podcast series. Available at her YouTube channel and on the Tonebase platform, the cellist’s popular masterclass series, Musings with Inbal Segev, has inspired a generation of cellists.

A native of Israel, Inbal Segev began playing the cello at the age of five. At 16 she was invited by Isaac Stern to the U.S., where she continued her cello studies with Aldo Parisot, Joel Krosnick, Harvey Shapiro, and Beaux Arts Trio co-founder Bernard Greenhouse, earning degrees from Yale University and the Juilliard School. Today she lives in New York City with her husband, their teenage children, and her cellos, made by Francesco Ruggieri (1673) and Carl Becker & Son (1958) respectively.