Biography of Kreger James:
James Kreger was recognized as one of the foremost cellists of his generation long before his triumph at the 1974 International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow, where he was the top American medalist. A prize student of Leonard Rose and Harvey Shapiro, and also deeply influenced by his work with Pablo Casals, he had been awarded the prestigious Piatigorsky Prize at age 18, later graduating from the Juilliard School with its highest honors: the Morris Loeb Prize and the Felix Salmond Award. His New York Carnegie debut recital as winner of the Concert Artists Guild Auditions was heralded by The New York Times as "a memorable event." Mr. Kreger has fulfilled his early artistic promise by pursuing an individual career path, holding fastidiously aloof from modern industrial, mass-media machinery that too often turns music from a once-in-a-lifetime experience into a semi-standardized "product." His colleagues revere him as one of the elect whose all-consuming spiritual connection to music invests his every phrase with an individual and urgent artistic voice. Viscerally recoiling from anything that smacks of the routine, the slick, the flashy, the cynical, he has been prized as collaborator by some of the greatest artists of our age, notably James Levine, Heinz Holliger, Andras Schiff, Richard Goode, Felix Galimir, Garrick Ohlsson and Winton Marsalis, and by such elite chamber ensembles as the Tokyo and Vermeer Quartets and the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. Kreger was invited by Janos Starker to be guest soloist at Indiana’s American Cello Congress, while Michael Tilson Thomas asked him to be guest ’cello teacher and coach with the New World Symphony in Miami Beach. Extensive concerto and recital engagements have taken Mr. Kreger throughout the United States, the Orient and Eastern and Western Europe. He has been a featured artist at major music festivals, including the Casals, Mostly Mozart, Marlboro, Ravinia, Tanglewood, Dubrovnik, Brno, Stratford, Saratoga, Newport, Chopin and Appalachian Summer. His televised appearances range from KBS-TV in Korea to PBS-TV and CBS-TV’s Camera Three in the U. S., and he has been heard on Dutch and German radio, NPR in the U. S. and NHK in Japan. Mr. Kreger has recorded for the CBS Masterworks (Sony), RCA Red Seal (BMG), Guild Music, Koch Discover International, Melodiya, Leonarda, Musical Heritage and Music and Arts labels. Critics have frequently commented on qualities that set James Kreger apart from other cellists of his generation, citing his "broad range of expressive nuance," and his deep emotional conviction, allied to a "total command of the instrument" (The New York Times). The words "passion" and "control" often occur side-by-side in his reviews. The distinguished Russian cellist Daniel Shafran observed that Mr. Kreger’s performances "were truly lit up with inspiration," while Nicholas Kenyon, reviewing the cellist’s London recital debut at Wigmore Hall, bluntly stated, "James Kreger is a marvel."