Gisela Depkat | The Canadian Encyclopedia


Gisela Depkat

Gisela Depkat. Cellist, teacher, b Königsberg, Germany, 5 Sep 1942, naturalized Canadian 1960. Her parents settled in Port Arthur (now Thunder Bay) in 1954. After studies with A.

Depkat, Gisela

Gisela Depkat. Cellist, teacher, b Königsberg, Germany, 5 Sep 1942, naturalized Canadian 1960. Her parents settled in Port Arthur (now Thunder Bay) in 1954. After studies with A. Troester in Germany in 1958, Lorne Munroe at the 1960 International String Congress in Puerto Rico, and Eugene Eicher in Pittsburgh in 1961, she joined the class of George Neikrug in 1962, and through him, she became an advocate of the cello method developed by Emanuel Feuermann and his physiotherapist D.C. Dounis. Her work with Neikrug, to whom she was an assistant 1967-8 at the University of Texas, continued through master classes into the 1970s. She was awarded second prize for cello in the 1964 International Competition for Musical Performers in Geneva. She performed 7 Dec 1966 as the winner of a Concert Artists Guild Competition in recital at Town Hall, New York. She won first prize at the Boston National Instrumentalist Competition, and consequently was appointed the US representative of JM, for whom she toured Europe and the USA, making her formal New York debut 6 Feb 1968 at Carnegie Recital Hall. In 1970 she won first prize in the CBC Talent Festival and played the Dvořák Concerto with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra. With the National Orchestral Association Orchestra under John Barnett she played Haydn's Concerto in D at Carnegie Hall 24 Feb 1970.

Depkat taught 1971-4 at the University of Richmond, Va, where she was a member of the university quartet-in-residence and principal cellist of the Richmond SO. She played 1972-4 in the Ararat Trio in Kitchener, Ont, and toured as soloist in 1973 with the NACO through northern Ontario. She was principal cellist 1974-5 of the Icelandic Broadcasting SO in Reykjavik (where she taught at the College of Music) and 1975-7 of the Stratford Ensemble (Canadian Chamber Ensemble) and the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony Orchestra. She taught 1975-7 and 1980-2 at Wilfrid Laurier University, 1976-82 at McGill University, and 1980-2 at the University of Ottawa. She returned 1982-4 as principal cello of the Kitchener-Waterloo SO, then was assistant principal of the Hamilton Philharmonic. She taught 1985-7 at Wilfrid Laurier University and at the University of Waterloo. Depkat was principal cello 1988-9 of the Calgary Philharmonic, then was principal cello in Toronto for the Phantom of the Opera orchestra, and also, for part of the 1990-1 season, for the COC orchestra. She has taught privately (except while in Calgary), ran a children's summer music camp - Celli at Sundance - in Dwight, Ont (1981-9), served at the Courtenay Youth Music Centre (1985-8) and the Nova Scotia String Music Camp in Dartmouth, NS (1988), and performed in 1988 in solo recitals at the International Workshop for Strings. She gave the Canadian premieres of Ginastera's Serenata (Vancouver 29 May 1975) and Penderecki's Capriccio for solo cello (Guelph Spring Festival 8 May 1976, in a concert under the composer's direction). Depkat commissioned Kluane by Peter Ware, which she performed on her 1982 solo tour of Europe.

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