Styles: Classical, Jazz, Contemporary
Known for his artistic versatility, whether it be as a classical, jazz or contemporary cellist, Bryan Holt has performed throughout North America and abroad in numerous concert halls and alternative venues. Holt’s aim is to make his performances and teaching accessible in any environment, all while being a self-proclaimed “musical Swiss Army knife.”
Holt has appeared with many of the leading ensembles in the Greater Toronto Area including Continuum Contemporary Music, Art of Time Ensemble, Pocket Concerts, Soundstreams, Thin Edge New Music Collective, Tapestry Opera, Against the Grain Theatre and more. He also occasionally appears in the cello sections of the Canadian Opera Company Orchestra, National Ballet of Canada Orchestra, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Esprit Orchestra and many other professional orchestras and ensembles.
Holt is one half of VC2 Cello Duo alongside Amahl Arulanandam. The pair were members of their teacher Matt Haimovitz’s ensemble, Uccello, and were semi-finalists in the 2015 Eckhardt-Gramatte competition. The duo have been featured artists at Ottawa Chamberfest, 21C Music Festival, Ritornello Festival, the Prairie Cello Institute and the soundSCAPE Festival (Italy), amongst others. VC2 strongly believes in the support and creation of new works by living composers, especially those from their home country of Canada. To this end, VC2’s first album “Beethoven’s Cellists” features five new works by Canadian composers based on the five Beethoven Cello Sonatas. In February 2018 VC2 embarked on a tour of the East Coast presented by Debut Atlantic and will be touring artists for Prairie Debut in the 2019-20 season.
Dr. Holt recently completed a Doctorate of Music in Cello Performance at the University of Toronto researching distance learning strategies for the transmission of modern cello pedagogy. He holds a masters degree from McGill University in Solo Cello Performance and completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Toronto, where he was a two-time recipient of the Felix Galimir Award in Chamber Music Performance. His teachers have included Shauna Rolston, Matt Haimovitz, David Hetherington, Simon Fryer, Paul Widner, Matt Brubeck and Charita Holod. Holt is highly sought after as a teacher and maintains a private studio in downtown Toronto while also visiting several schools as a guest coach in the Greater Toronto Area.
Want to learn more about Bryan? Check out his interview on the Podcast “Talkin Blues” hosted by Mako Funasaka, where he talks about the road to becoming a cellist and other candid stories about his time in the field of music.