A member of the Sarasota Music Festival faculty since 2020
Praised by the New York Times as "an artist who makes one hang on every note," Robert DeMaine is the Principal Cellist of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. A highly sought-after solo artist and chamber musician, he is a frequent guest artist at many of the world's premier chamber music festivals, including those of Marlboro, Seattle, Great Lakes, Limoges, Heidelberg Schlossfest, Chamberfest Cleveland, Montréal, Seoul's Ditto Festival, and most recently featured as a soloist at the 2016 Piatigorsky Cello Festival. His playing is noted for its "beautiful singing tone, lapidary technical precision, and a persuasive identification with the idiom of the music at hand." As a soloist, he performs the great works of the repertoire both old and new from concertos by Haydn, Dvorak, Elgar and Penderecki, as well as more recent works by John Williams and Christopher Theofanidis. As a recitalist the great works for cello and piano as well as the suites of J.S. Bach remain staples of his repertoire, and as one critic noted, his playing was "magnificent" and that his "technical brilliance is surpassed only by the beauty of tones he produces."
DeMaine has appeared on the stages of Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, Teatro Colón, Amsterdam's Concertgebouw, the Berlin Philharmonie, Vienna Konzerthaus, and Moscow's Tchaikovsky Hall, Auditorium du Louvre, Suntory Hall and the Seoul Arts Center, as well as the Shanghai Oriental Arts Center and Conservatory and London's Wigmore Hall, among others. He is the recipient of a career grant from the Helen M. Saunders Foundation, and the gift of a Vuillaume cello from the Cecilia Benner Foundation. His principal teachers include Leonard Rose, Stephen Kates, Steven Doane, Paul Katz, Luis García-Renart and Aldo Parisot. Masterclasses and additional studies were undertaken with Bernard Greenhouse, János Starker, Boris Pergamenschikow, Felix Galimir, and Jerome Lowenthal.
DeMaine studied at The Juilliard School, the Eastman School of Music, the University of Southern California, Yale University, and the Kronberg Academy in Germany. A first-prize winner in many national and international competitions, deMaine was the first cellist ever to win the grand prize at San Francisco's prestigious Irving M. Klein International Competition for Strings. As soloist, he has collaborated with many of the world's most distinguished conductors, including Neeme Järvi, Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, Gustavo Dudamel, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Peter Oundjian, Mark Wigglesworth, Joseph Silverstein, Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla, and Leonard Slatkin, and has performed nearly all the major cello concertos with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, where he served as principal cello for over a decade. DeMaine has also served as guest Principal Cellist of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Toronto Symphony, and the Bergen Philharmonic in Norway. A founding member of the Ehnes Quartet in 2010, he also performs in a piano trio with violinist Hilary Hahn and pianist Natalie Zhu.
Robert deMaine has recorded for Naxos, Chandos, Onyx, CBC, DSO, Elysium, and Capstone and has been featured on the BBC, PBS, NPR's Performance Today, the Canadian Broadcasting Company, France Musique, and RAI, among others. His recording of the John Williams Cello Concerto (Detroit Symphony, Leonard Slatkin conducting) was released by Naxos in fall 2015. Robert deMaine is an exclusive Thomastik-Infeld artist, and performs on a cello made in 1684 by Antonio Stradivari, the "General Kyd, ex-Leo Stern."