The Lamont School of Music’s cello studio provides a collaborative and encouraging environment in which you'll have the opportunity to push your artistic boundaries.

As a cellist at Lamont, you'll study with Professor Matthew Zalkind and benefit from the pedagogical expertise of Professor Heather Hadley. Zalkind has won top honors in multiple international competitions, including the International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow. A former member of the Harlem String Quartet, Zalkind maintains a career as an international soloist. His robust experience allows him to help his students work toward technical mastery while they nurture their artistic passion.

Hadley is a teacher trainer with the Suzuki Association of the Americas, has been published in the American Suzuki Journal, featured in SAA videos for parents and has served on the board of the Suzuki Association of Colorado.


Applicants may choose to either audition in person in Denver OR submit a recorded video audition and complete a Zoom interview.

Applications received after January 15 will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. You may indicate your preference for a live or virtual audition on the Lamont application. Click here to view the current year’s audition/interview dates and the full steps for how to apply.

Live Audition

All auditions are approximately 15 minutes in length. The applicant will choose one of their prepared works to perform. The faculty will choose the second of the prepared works and possibly an additional work as well. Cellists who are auditioning in person are strongly encouraged to select February 4, as Professor Zalkind is unable to attend the February 11 auditions. 

Recorded Video Audition & Zoom Interview

Applicants unable to travel to Denver for a live audition may submit an unedited video audition via the Lamont application AND will complete a live Zoom interview. 

The 10-minute interview will consist of a Q&A and a brief live performance of one of the prepared audition pieces.

Audition Repertoire Requirements

Undergraduate (BM, BA and Minor)

  • A movement of your choice from the standard concerto repertoire
  • One contrasting work of your choice
  • One etude of your choice, preferably Popper or Piatti
  • Optional: you may choose, if you wish, to include a piece for solo cello from the 20th/21st century in addition to the above requirements

Graduate (MM and Certificate in Performance)

  • A movement of your choice from the standard concerto repertoire
  • Two contrasting movements from an unaccompanied Bach Suite
  • One Popper Etude or Piatti Caprice of your choice
  • Optional: a piece for solo cello from the 20th/21st century in addition to the above requirements
  • Major/Minor scales with arpeggios may be asked for at your audition.

Graduate (Artist Diploma)

  1. Pre-screening: submit a 25-minute unedited performance video.
  2. Live audition (if passed through the pre-screening): perform a closed mini-recital and interview. Candidate will give a live mini-recital, closed to public, of 30 to 35 minutes in length. Candidates must provide accompanists when necessary. We will not accept recorded auditions for this round. 

Both the pre-screening audition video and the live audition should consist of a program that accurately represents the full scope of your abilities.

Review requirements for Artist Diploma
Review requirements for Certificate in Orchestral Studies


Matthew Zalkind with cello

Matthew Zalkind

Associate Professor with Tenure

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Heather Hadley with cello

Heather Michelle Hadley

Adjunct Faculty

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  • LSO cellos

    Lamont cellists perform with the Lamont Symphony Orchestra

  • LSO cellists

    Lamont cellists perform with the Lamont Symphony Orchestra

  • Yo-Yo Ma

    Lamont students got to work with Yo-Yo Ma in a recent master class.

  • String Quartet

    A Lamont string quartet performs at the annual Honors concert.

university buildings at night

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