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Philip Bergman is a cellist, musician, and educator based in Northwest Illinois. Highlights of his wide-ranging career thus far include collaborating in performance with Yo-Yo Ma, sharing the stage with Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, performing Beethoven’s 9th Symphony with a chorus of ten thousand on national television in Japan, creating and implementing a residency of interactive performances in a memory care facility, soloing on Tan Dun’s Crouching Tiger Concerto with the Dubuque Symphony Orchestra, performing alongside rapper Vic Mensa, and playing under the baton of Sir Neville Marriner.


Philip is the principal cellist of Orchestra Iowa, where he performs orchestra and chamber concerts, as well as participating in educational concerts in concert halls, schools, and public libraries across the state. Philip is also principal cellist of the Dubuque Symphony where, in addition to orchestral performances, he designs and carries out interactive performances in schools as part of the DSO’s “Adopt a Musician Program.” Philip is also a section cellist in the Illinois Symphony Orchestra.


A passionate and dedicated teacher, Philip not only has a private studio but is a regular clinician- teaching lessons, sectionals, mock auditions, and masterclasses for both cellists and chamber ensembles- across both Illinois and Iowa. Philip has previously served as a Teaching Associate in Music at Lake Forest College, faculty at the Des Moines Symphony Academy, and faculty at Five Seasons Chamber Music Festival.


An avid chamber musician, Philip has collaborated in performance with Joyce Yang, Yo-Yo Ma, David Perry, and Jennifer Gilbert among many others. He is a performer in the Stoughton Chamber Music Festival, the West End Micro Music Festival in Toronto, and he performs in a wide variety of chamber music settings throughout the year.


Philip is an experienced performer of new music. Recent world premieres have included works by Kevin Puts, Laura Schwendinger, and Michael Gilbertson. He has collaborated with composers such as Nicole Mitchell, inti figgis-vizueta, and Nina Shekhar on performances of their works. Philip has also commissioned new works from composers including Maria Kaoutzani, Craig Davis Pinson, and Liza Sobel Crane.


Prior to moving to Northwest Illinois, Philip was a Civic Fellow and cellist in the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, performing orchestral and chamber concerts in Symphony Center and across the city of Chicago, planning and implementing interactive concerts in schools, participating in collaborative songwriting projects with families that had lost loved ones to gun violence, and creating Chicago Speaks, Chicago Listens: an annual musical event showcasing Chicago’s community leaders. Before his time in Chicago Philip was a cellist and Vorspieler in the Hyogo Performing Arts Center Orchestra in Japan.


Philip received his Bachelor of Music from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where he studied with Brandon Vamos, cellist of the Pacifica Quartet. He then went on to complete a Master of Music at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, studying with Uri Vardi.


In his free time Philip enjoys good food, good stories in any medium, playing with his dog Nadja, and obsessively following the goings on of Major League Baseball.

Photo credit: Fahad Awan

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