Welcoming New Cello Faculty

Thursday, Feb 01, 2024
Juilliard Journal
Share on:
The image featuring headshots of Plesser and Fung is structured as a diptych with each individual occupying their respective half
Alums Zlatomir Fung (top) and Avi Pressler are joining the cello faculty

By Yassmeen Angarola

Juilliard has announced the appointment of alums Zvi Plesser and Zlatomir Fung to the cello department faculty, effective in the 2024-25 academic year. The appointments follow a comprehensive open search that began in the fall.

“These additions to the faculty will contribute immeasurably to the excellence and thoughtfulness that we believe characterizes the Juilliard cello department,” said department chair Joel Krosnick. 

“Zvi and Zlatomir will bring a commitment to performing at the highest level to their teaching at Juilliard,” said David Serkin Ludwig (Graduate Diploma ’02, composition), dean and director of the Music Division. “The students will benefit immensely from their experience and mentorship, and I’m sure the entire school will be inspired by their passionate artistry.”

Since his debut with the Israel Philharmonic under Asher Fisch, Israeli cellist Zvi Plesser (Certificate ’93, cello) has regularly performed with the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, Israel Symphony Orchestra, Jerusalem Camerata (including a tour to Australia and Bangkok), Israel Chamber Orchestra, Haifa Symphony, and more. On the world stage, he has performed with ensembles including the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra, Shanghai Philharmonic, and Hamburg Symphony Orchestra. Also a devoted chamber musician, Plesser has played with the Huberman Quartet and Concertante Chamber Ensemble. He has served on the faculty of the Perlman Music Program since 2017, and he studied at Juilliard with Zara Nelsova (faculty 1985-2002).

The youngest cellist ever to win first prize at the International Tchaikovsky Competition, Zlatomir Fung (BM ’21, cello) made his recital debut at Carnegie Hall in 2021. His recent concerto highlights include his debuts with the New York Philharmonic, London Philharmonic Orchestra, and BBC Philharmonic, and he is artist in residence with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra this season. Additional recent highlights include appearances at the Verbier, Dresden, Janáček May, and Tsinandali festivals; Cello Biennale; La Jolla Chamber Music Society; ChamberFest Cleveland; and the Aspen Music Festival. Fung studied at Juilliard with Richard Aaron (faculty 2007-present) and Timothy Eddy (faculty 2001-present).