For cellist Pegis, a familiar quartet



Yemi Falodun | Staff Writer

“When I was a little kid, I played the violin, because I was too small to play the cello,” Jolyon Pegis said. “The first time I heard the cello, that was the instrument that I wanted to play. The quality of the register just appealed to me.”

Pegis, the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra’s assistant principal cellist, will lead his guest artist recital from 4 to 5:30 p.m. today in Elizabeth S. Lenna Hall.

“Honestly, I don’t think there is anything easy about playing a string instrument,” Pegis said. “Developing your ear is hard. It’s a long and time-consuming process.”

Pegis, a Rochester native and associate principal cellist of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, will be joined on stage by his brother Gabriel on the violin, sister Monica on the violin and friend Brett Serrin on piano.

“I haven’t played with my sister in 20 years,” Pegis said.

He will perform Zoltan Kodaly’s Duo for Violin and Cello, Op. 7, with Monica, a highly sought-after chamber musician and contemporary classical interpreter living near Boston.

“This is arguably the best duet for the violin and cello that was ever written,” Pegis said.

Also included in the program is Sergei Prokofiev’s Sonata in C Major, Op. 119, which features the cello and the piano. It is a piece Pegis and Serrin, chair of the piano department at Suzuki Music Institute of Dallas, played last year in a performance in Kansas. They loved it so much, they decided to do it again.

The remaining piece in the program is Beethoven’s Trio in C minor, Op. 1, No. 2, which Pegis will perform with Gabriel, principal second violin chair in the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.

“You get a lot of excitement, and you channel that into the performance,” Pegis said. “I practice a lot of months before I perform, but the week of the concert, I’m not even playing that much. It’s an interesting process to go through.”

With family and friend on stage, most uneasiness dwindles away.

“It’s like going out to a restaurant with people you know,” Pegis said. “It makes the process faster and easier.”