Monterey Symphony cellist, embracing virtual concerts

Posted on: December 2, 2020

Cellist Isaac Pastor-Chermak is filmed as he performs for the Monterey Symphony’s Balcony Sessions series.

“Isaac Pastor-Chermak, a cellist for several symphony orchestras including Monterey Symphony, has embraced the virtual concert experience” during the pandemic, writes Marielle Argueza in last Thursday’s (11/26) Monterey Weekly (Calif.). “This year, the work—from curation and production to the marketing and distribution—has mostly been on him. He has followed the way of many working musicians, recording and streaming concerts…. Gone are the days—at least for now—where Post-Chermak could practice for five hours individually and then head in to group rehearsals. Now he estimates that he practices pieces for at least 50 hours. His next solo virtual gig is Thursday, Nov. 26, Thanksgiving Day. Part of the Monterey Symphony’s Balcony Series, it’s a farewell to outgoing musical director Max Bragado-Darman. Pastor-Chermak will play a program of Bach, Sibelius and Ligeti—his solo show will be recorded and livestreamed…. Most recently he was able to raise $1,000 from 150 people to record an album that he hopes will be available come Christmas…. ‘We have friends from Alaska and Florida watching—people who would never really attend your shows,’ he says. ‘That is the one silver lining of the pandemic.’ ”