Cellist Cicely Parnas

As soon as I saw this name, it rang a bell for me. And once I did a bit of research, my suspicions were confirmed. I firmly believe that the key to achieving excellence in music are three factors: Hard work, great teachers, and more hard work.

However, it is also quite helpful to have some strong musical DNA flowing through your veins. In this case the DNA is from the grandfather, Leslie Parnas.


20-year-old American cellist Cicely Parnas is recognized for bringing “velvety sound, articulate passagework and keen imagination” to her performances (The New York Times).

In 2012, Cicely Parnas made her Carnegie Hall debut performing the Saint-Saëns Cello Concerto with the New York String Orchestra under the baton of Jaime Laredo. The New York Times raved: “Cicely Parnas, a fast-rising young cellist, was the impressive soloist in a rhapsodic performance.”

Granddaughter of the distinguished cellist Leslie Parnas, Cicely Parnas started playing the cello at the age of four and made her concerto debut at eleven with the Woodstock Chamber Orchestra. She has studied with cellists Peter Wiley and Ronald Feldman, and earned an Artist Diploma from Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music, where she worked with Sharon Robinson. Ms. Parnas performs on a 1712 Giovanni Grancino cello.

Cicely often performs with her sister, who is a violinist. Here is an example of one of Duo Parnas’ recordings.


Listen with me now, as Cicely Parnas performs the Cello Sonata by Claude Debussy:


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