Merry Peckham, cellist, maintains an active career as a performer and teacher. She is a founding member of the Cavani String Quartet winner of numerous awards and prizes including the Naumburg Chamber Music Award and has toured extensively throughout the United States and abroad. She served as principal cellist of the Pro Musica Chamber Orchestra and as a young artist, Ms. Peckham was the winner of several competitions, including the overall string category as well as the cello division of the National Federation of Music Clubs Competition. Ms. Peckham and her colleagues in The Cavani Quartet were named Musical America's Young Artists of the Year, received the ASCAP-Chamber Music America Award for Adventurous Programming of Contemporary Music, received the Ohio Governor’s Award and seven Chamber Music America Residency Partnership Grants, and are two-time winners of the Guarneri String Quartet Residency Award.
A devoted teacher and deeply committed to arts-education, Ms. Peckham has taught, given master classes and lecture demonstrations at music festivals, universities and public and private schools in communities all over the world. As part of a cultural exchange between the Perlman Music Program and music training institutions abroad, Ms. Peckham has taught and given special classes at the Shanghai Conservatory and at The Perlman Music Program’s Residency at the Jerusalem Music Center in Israel. She also appears in a short film by Bruce Weber entitled, “Virtuosos” produced for Spanish Vogue, and was featured in the documentary "Perlman in Shanghai" by Oscar winning director Allan Miller, which aired on PBS, in the U.S. She has served on the cello faculty of The Cleveland Institute of Music since 1998 and many former students hold significant teaching positions and/or are professional orchestral and chamber ensemble performers throughout the United States and abroad.
As a member of the chamber music faculty and Quartet-in-Residence at The Cleveland Institute of Music since 1988, Ms. Peckham in collaboration with her Cavani Quartet colleagues has developed the Apprentice Program, Intensive Quartet Seminar, New Quartet Project, Beethoven and Brotherhood Series and M.A.P. (Music, Art & Poetry) PROJECT. Several prominent professional ensembles’ formative training was under the tutelage and guidance of the Cavani Quartet at The Cleveland Institute of Music, such as, the Miro, Biava, Maia, Aeolus, Linden String Quartets, as well as members of the Fry Street, Miami, Parker and Jupiter String Quartets. The Cavani Quartet members are Honorary Board Members of the Suzuki Association of the Americas.
Ms. Peckham is Assistant Director of The Perlman Music Program, Director of The Chamber Music Workshop @ The Perlman Music Program, is on the cello and chamber music faculties at The Cleveland Institute of Music, is the cellist of the Elysian Piano Trio, Ensemble-in-Residence at the Baldwin Wallace Conservatory of Music and is a visiting teacher of chamber music at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music. She is an Artist Advocate for the National String Project Consortium and is former artist-in-residence at the University of California, Riverside and the University of Texas, Austin, and the University of Southern Illinois, Carbondale.
Ms. Peckham is the host for the radio program Offbeat that is aired weekly on WCLV, 104.9 FM. She received her BM with honors from Indiana University and her MM degree from the Eastman School of Music and pursued additional studies at Yale University and Ohio State University. Her teachers and mentors include Janos Starker, Aldo Parisot, Gary Hoffman, Paul Katz, Peter Salaff and Toby Perlman.
Ms. Peckham has the good fortune to perform on a cello by Jean Baptiste Vuillaume (a St. Cecilia model, dated 1849), resides in Shaker Heights, OH with her dog, “Fannie”, and whenever possible enjoys all the extraordinary cultural and culinary offerings of Cleveland, OH.
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