Meadows School Hosts Third Annual Lev Aronson Legacy Festival, June 6-10

Faculty members Christopher Adkins, cello, and Emanuel Borok, violin, among noted musicians to perform and give master classes

Cellist Lev Aronson miraculously survived Nazi concentration camps in World War II through dedication to music and pure determination. Dallas became his new home, where he developed his unique method of teaching, served as principal cellist of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra (DSO) for almost 20 years, served on the faculty of both SMU and Baylor and became known as one of the world’s most influential cello teachers.

His life and legacy are now celebrated annually with a week-long festival of world-class cello performers and teachers at the Meadows School of the Arts at SMU.

Former Lev Aronson student Brian Thornton, now a cellist in the Cleveland Orchestra, created the legacy event and has assembled another impressive list of cello performers and professors for the third annual festival. One of the featured artists will be cellist Amit Peled, who will present “Homage to Pablo Casals,” a re-creation of the recital given by Casals 100 years ago on his 1915 U.S. tour, performed on Casals’ own cello.

During the festival, top student cellists from around the country learn in the Lev Aronson tradition from world-renowned artists during the day and attend public concerts featuring these accomplished cellists every evening, June 6-10, at O’Donnell Hall in the Owen Arts Center at SMU. Tickets are $20 for each evening or $50 for all five concerts. Visit for details.

The schedule is as follows:

  • Saturday, June 6 at 7 p.m. - Keynote speech by Dr. Melissa Kraut and Opening Gala Concert: “Homage to Pablo Casals” featuring Amit Peled, accompanied by pianist Spencer Myer, performing music by Handel, Bach, Beethoven, Fauré and Saint-Saens.
  • Sunday, June 7 at 7 p.m. – Christopher Adkins Recital, featuring Bach’s Solo Cello Suite in D minor. Adkins, who is principal cellist of the Dallas Symphony, is a Meadows faculty member and former student of Lev Aronson.
  • Monday, June 8 at 7 p.m. – Tom Landschoot Recital, featuring music by Beethoven, Bruch and Franck
  • Tuesday, June 9 at 7 p.m. – Brian Thornton Recital with violinist Emanuel Borok, former DSO concertmaster and distinguished artist-in-residence in violin at SMU, pianist Spencer Myer and DSO associate principal violist Ann Marie Brink in a program of music by Brahms, Piatti and Herbert
  • Wednesday, June 10 at 6 p.m. – Reception followed by concert at 7 p.m. featuring Open Classical “Just Add Cello,” with Lev Aronson Festival cellists and local DFW vocalists, composers and dancers.

Each visiting artist teaches in a master class setting the same day of their recitals. Additional events include a performance by all the cellists at The Legacy Willow Bend retirement community on Saturday, June 6 at 3 p.m. and a tour and presentation on Wednesday June 10 at the Holocaust Museum of Dallas.

For more information, visit