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Hear More from Seymour

Cellist Tessa Seymour is on the road to star status.

Tessa Seymour is in her final year at the Curtis Institute of Music, where she was selected out of hundreds to fill the only spot for a cellist the year she applied. In addition to an unparalleled legacy of greatness, Curtis also offered her the personalized instruction she craved that a large r conservatory could never have offered.

And the specialized attention has been paying off. At just 21 years of age, Seymour has already appeared at Carnegie Hall numerous times, most recently to perform the U.S. Premiere of  the celebrated Polish composer Krzysztof Penderecki’s Suite for Cello Solo. She's also already begun work on her first recording, scheduled for a major-label release in 2015.

Seymour has never been one to play small. Even as a young child attending her older siblings' orchestra rehearsals, Seymour was drawn to the largest instruments in the pit first. Too small for the tuba or the string bass, her mother convinced her to take up cello - quite enough of a handful for a six-year-old girl. 

And from the first time she cradled the instrument in her arms, she knew she was home, and that music would be her life's focus.

Yet Seymour has never been a super-practicer. Instead of racking up as many hours as possible, she instead works only until she feels "full" - an unconventional, if not unheard of, strategy. But if this makes her something of an anomaly, she says she’s happy to stand out.  This enigmatic quality, unusual in one so young, is reflected in her personal and artistic life thus far and beautifully documented in Philadelphia Music Makers on WRTI. Listen as Tessa tells her story and performs on Sunday, November 23rd at 5 PM on WRTI 90.1 FM or online at wrti.org