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 has appeared with many of the leading ensembles in the Greater Toronto Area including Continuum Contemporary Music, Art of Time Ensemble, Against the Grain Theatre, Pocket Concerts, Soundstreams, Thin Edge New Music Collective, Tapestry Opera, and more. He also has occasionally appeared 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 (www.vc2celloduo.com) alongside his longtime colleague 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 Toronto Summer Music Festival, Ottawa Chamberfest, 21C Music Festival, Ritornello Festival, the Prairie Cello Institute and the soundSCAPE Festival (Italy), amongst others. Hailed by CBC Radio as being “a tight unit, with excellent intonation and expression,” 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” where he talks about the road to becoming a cellist and other candid stories about his time in the field of music.
As a teacher I look to inspire my students by any means possible. Students are encouraged to experiment and discover solutions to musical problems, while being coached on the technical aspects of playing.
A typical lesson is one hour in length and consists of technical exercises, repertoire and in some cases some improvisation. My approach focuses on teaching good practice technique. Most of the time the student will spend with their instrument will be when I am not present. Repertoire will be individually catered to each student’s needs, musical tastes and will be used as the canvas for improvisation and creation.
I currently teach out of my studio located in the downtown core of Toronto, and online with Play with a Pro. In some cases I am able to travel to student’s homes, and am also available for group classes, coachings and masterclasses.
To find out more, please use the contact form or send an email to [email protected]