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Ethan Lazarus, Cellist

Ethan LazarusEthan Lazarus has studied cello since the age of 8. He has been principal stand in the Littleton Symphony Orchestra for nearly 20 years. He plays, records and performs on both acoustic and electric instruments.

He was privileged to study the cello with Jurgen de Lemos. Mr. de Lemos was the Principal Cellist with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra for over 40 years. Prior to this, he was a cellist in the New York Philharmonic under the direction of Leonard Bernstein.

A Denver native, Dr. Lazarus attended Cherry Creek High School before traveling east to Philadelphia where he graduated with degrees both from the University of Pennsylvania and the Wharton Business School. He returned home where he received a doctorate degree from the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, and completed his training as a Family Physician in Ft. Worth, Texas. During all this time, Ethan continued to pursue his music, including sitting first chair in the University of Pennsylvania orchestra. 

Dr. Lazarus was introduced to music before grade school, when his parents started him with piano lessons.  For 14 years, his piano teacher, Barbara Simons, inspired in him a love of music that is evident to this day.  At the age of 9, he began cello studies under Colorado Symphony cellist Eric Bertoluzzi.

Dr. Lazarus’s first solo performance with orchestra came in 1988 with his performance of Haydn’s Cello Concerto No. 1 in C Major.  While living in Philadelphia, Dr. Lazarus began studying with Philadelphia Orchestra Cellist Deborah Reeder, who changed the way he approached the cello and even music in general.  This culminated in Dr. Lazarus performing the Dvořák Cello Concerto with the University of Pennsylvania Orchestra.

Dvorak Cello Concerto

Dr. Lazarus has performed with Carl Algermissen since 1984, when they first started their duo.

Dr. Lazarus first heard the music of Astor Piazzolla at a concert in Philadelphia at the Academy of Music. It was a flute performance by James Galway in a trio with Cellist Carter Brey.  To start the second half of their performance, the musicians came out on stage without Mr. Galway to perform Piazzolla’s Le Grand Tango.   By the end of the piece, the exciting, beautiful, complex, and fascinating rhythms set Dr. Lazarus out to “discover” the music of Piazzolla.  But, alas, there were no recordings of Le Grand Tango to be found at the time, nor was it possible to readily obtain the sheet music.

This all changed in 1992.  Dr. Lazarus finally managed to obtain the sheet music for Le Grand Tango via special order from Argentina.  With his pianist, Carl Algermissen, Dr. Lazarus started the journey of exploring the endless musical possibilities of Piazzolla’s music.  Because Le Grand Tango is Piazzolla’s only composition specifically written for piano and cello, Dr. Lazarus and Carl Algermissen began making their own arrangements of his music for their unique piano-cello duo.  With many pieces, this posed quite a challenge – Piazzolla wrote most of his music for full tango ensembles, ranging from quintets to full orchestras.  Dr. Lazarus has said that the task of arranging music originally written for an octet, for example, is easy:  simply give the piano five of the parts and give the cello three!

The hope of both Dr. Lazarus and Carl Algermissen is the audiences will discover and love Piazzolla’s music – and their unique renditions for piano and cello – as much as they do.

While not seated with his cello, Dr. Lazarus runs a medical practice dedicated to helping his patients live healthier, longer and better lives. He lives in Lone Tree, Colorado with his beautiful wife and three gorgeous children.