Michael Kaufman, cello
Benjamin Lash, cello
Gabriel Martins, cello
Yoshika Masuda, cello
Peter Myers, cello
A unique and versatile cello quintet, hailed as “brilliant” and “superb” by Mark Swed in the Los Angeles Times, 桜SAKURA is built on the artistry and virtuosity of its members: Michael Kaufman, Benjamin Lash, Gabriel Martins, Yoshika Masuda, and Peter Myers. Drawing from the rich heritage of a repertoire that spans eight centuries, 桜SAKURA constructs inventive programs around conceptual threads, with a commitment to opening new vistas of beauty and expression and showcasing the warmth and scope of five cellos.
Performance highlights have included Brett Dean’s Twelve Angry Men in Walt Disney Concert Hall as part of the Piatigorsky International Cello Festival, a world premiere of Thomas Mellan’s Concerto for Five Cellos with the USC Symphony, and concert appearances across the country. 桜SAKURA was awarded two prestigious grants to commission new cello quintets: a Tarisio grant that allowed the group to commission new works from five young American composers and a New Music USA grant to commission a piece by Donald Crockett. This season includes performances in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New Orleans. The quintet also serves as Young-Ensemble-in-Residence of the Da Camera Society.
桜SAKURA operates in the tradition of the great chamber ensembles, rehearsing extensively and distilling its interpretations through time. Its name honors the great mentor and artist Ralph Kirshbaum, with whom all five members studied: 桜sakura (Japanese) and Kirschbaum (German) have the same meaning: “cherry tree”, a plant whose flowers have five petals. Find out more about the group at sakuracellos.com