Jay Campbell
Listen Now
  • Debussy: Cello Sonata in D minor, III.
  • Stravinsky: Suite Italienne, I.
  • Stravinsky: Suite Italienne, IV.
  • Carter: Figment No. 1
Watch Now



"Campbell seized the audience’s attention in a grip that never let go ... once Campbell wraps himself around the cello, you’re willing to follow him anywhere."

Kennedy Center recital





Praised by The New York Times for his “electrifying performances” which “conveyed every nuance,” American cellist Jay Campbell has already forged a reputation as a spellbinding artist. A 2016 recipient of the Avery Fisher Career Grant, he is well known for his eclectic musical interests, having collaborated with musicians ranging from Elliott Carter, Pierre Boulez, David Lang, and John Zorn, to members of Radiohead and Einstürzende Neubauten.


Most recently, Mr. Campbell was named artiste étoile (artist in residence) for the 2017 Lucerne Festival, the youngest ever to have achieved that distinction, which honors him with a familiar role in programming as well as performing. Last summer's highly successful stint as artistic director of Ligeti Forward for the New York Philharmonic's 2016 BIENNIAL underscored his outstanding contributions as both curator and performer. Working closely with Alan Gilbert, he created a three-concert series which explored Hungarian composer György Ligeti as a fountainhead of modern music; these programs spotlighted the well-known piano, violin, and cello concertos, along with works by Ligeti’s students. In addition to putting his exceptional musical knowledge to work, Mr. Campbell was also featured soloist on the second program performing Ligeti’s Cello Concerto (1966). 


Winner of The Juilliard School's Leo B. Ruiz Memorial Recital Award, Jay Campbell presented a full-length program at Weill Recital Hall consisting of five challenging new and recent works, again meriting praise from The New York Times as "a winner not resting on his laurels."


Other recent highlights include Mr. Campbell's New York Philharmonic debut performing Tan Dun’s “Silk Road Encounters” from Crouching Tiger Concerto at Avery Fisher Hall, and his Carnegie Hall debut with the New York Youth Symphony at Stern Auditorium, as well as a debut with the Alabama Symphony, Lucerne Festival Academy, Oakland East-Bay Symphony, The Juilliard Orchestra, and the Aspen Festival Orchestra. Among the conductors with whom he has collaborated are Pierre Boulez, Matthias Pintscher, Michael Morgan, Jeffrey Milarsky, Joshua Weilerstein, and Ryan McAdams.


Jay Campbell has premiered nearly one hundred works to date, including concerti by Chris Rogerson and Pulitzer Prize winning composer David Lang. Co-commissioned by the Human Rights Foundation, and premiered in the 2015/2016 season, a new cello concerto was written for Mr. Campbell by American composer David Fulmer, entitled Genus and Species. In the 2013/2014 season, he premiered a new recital piece written for him by John Zorn, called “Occam’s Razor.” His close association with John Zorn has resulted in over a half-dozen new works for cello. Hen to Pan, a feature disc with all new compositions written for him by Zorn, was released in February 2015 and named by The New York Times in its "Best Classical Music Recordings of 2015." Also a serious music scholar, Mr. Campbell has written an article on the music of Pierre Boulez which was published in Zorn’s Arcana VII (Tzadik Composer Series)Already, he has had the privilege of working with leading new music groups, including ICE (International Contemporary Ensemble), Ensemble InterContemporain, Da Capo Chamber Players, and the Argento Ensemble.


As a chamber musician, Mr. Campbell has worked with members of the Arditti, Takacs, Kronos, and Afiara String Quartets. He has been invited to the Marlboro and Music@Menlo Festivals, and has enjoyed residencies at Vermont’s Yellow Barn Music Festival and at the Nasher Sculpture Center in Texas. Other festival appearances include the Moab Music Festival, Rockport Chamber Music Festival, and Festival Heidelberger Frühling in Germany. 


Recipient of awards from the BMI and ASCAP foundations, Jay Campbell was also First Prize winner of the 2012 Concert Artist Guild auditions, and Second Prize winner of the 2015 Walter W. Naumburg International Cello Competition, competing against more than a hundred cellists worldwide. Born in Berkeley, California, he began playing the cello at the age of eight at the Crowden School in Berkeley. He holds an Artist Diploma, as well as bachelor's and master's degrees from The Juilliard School where he was a student of Fred Sherry.


Mr. Campbell plays a cello crafted in the 1750s by Italian luthier Paolo Antonio Testore of Milan.



If the owner of a copyright on this page feels the copyright has been infringed, please contact us.