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Photo Credit: Fionn O'lochlainn
When you listen to the YouTube clip of Tahirah Whittington playing the piano reduction version of the Shostakovich Cello Concerto No. 2, you know you are listening to a performer who embraces passion and integrity. Lynn Beaton, for the DSCH Journal, interviewed Whittington to find out what a young African American cellist, who plays in four cutting edge ensembles, found inviting about the too-rarely played Shostakovich opus 126. As it turns out, this had never been a question for Whittington. She told us that as a sixteen-year-old the piece jumped out at her and she knew instantly: 'This is my piece!'
'I think what pulls people to [Shostakovich's] music are those moments where there is a depth and maturity but also fear and anxiety. Those are [the] kinds of emotions that are true in a lot of people's everyday lives, and listeners can definitely sympathise and empathise with them. I think it really comes through in his music: he has tapped into that raw emotion like it's just sitting on his sleeve, and I think people really grasp it immediately.'
∼DSCH Journal - Full Article

Chicago Tribune's Theater Loop Showcase video features Travis Taylor, who plays Lancelot in Drury Lane Theatre's stage production of "Camelot," Tahirah Whittington, cellist, and Ben Johnson, Music Director and pianist. Reporter, Joel Oleksinski states: "In the beginning of the second act, Lancelot sings this love ballad, 'If Ever I Would Leave You,' to [Guenevere]. We filmed this video in our studio in Tribune Tower. Taylor is joined by Tahirah Whittington playing cello."
∼Chicago Tribune - Full Article

"I didn't know a cello could do that," exclaimed a woman in the audience after Tahirah Whittington's virtuosic, soulful rendition of "Perpetual Motion" from Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson's "Lamentations," a suite for solo cello.
∼The New York Times - Full Article

In a recent interview with this publication, cellist Tahirah Whittington told us: "When someone comes to one of my concerts, I want them to know that I have a sincere passion for the music that I play." On Saturday, December 11th as part of Lorain County Community College's Studio Theatre Signature Series, Whittington made good on that statement, and delivered passionate performances of six works for solo cello that encompassed a variety of musical styles.
∼ClevelandClassical.com - Full Article

Quinton Morris, a violinist who performs with Whittington in the Young Eight, calls her one of the best cellists in the country. "We're talking about someone whose name was on the preliminary ballot for the Grammy Awards, someone who's played Carnegie Hall and tours around the world. She brings her professional expertise and her valuable artistic style to the Young Eight. "When I think of Tahirah, I think of peace and serenity. She's a rock. She keeps everyone together," Morris said. "She eats and breathes the music. As a violinist, that is someone I want to play with."
∼The Florida Times-Union - Full Article

Whittington knows how to project the essence of the music with direct and sensitive assurance. Although an entire evening of solo pieces might seem limited in color and style, Whittington chose such disparate music that each score came across with a distinctive profile.
∼Cleveland.com - Full Article

Tahirah performs for Dancer Choreographer Bill T. Jones' "The Table Project"
∼The New York Times - Full Article

The program was full of virtues. All three works were performed to live music, two to ambitious contemporary scores: Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson's "Lamentations" for solo cello, beautifully played by Tahirah Whittington...
∼The New York Times - Full Article