Restricted access

This content is exclusive to members of the International Journal of Music.

Join now for as low as $1.67 per month…

…or get FREE access if you are a student or teacher!

William Molina Cestari: “As Teachers, We Need to Have the Right Lenses to See What Fits Our Students Better”


This interview with renowned cellist William Molina Cestari provides a comprehensive overview of his illustrious career and diverse musical influences. Cestari, recognized as Venezuela’s most celebrated cellist, reflects on his formative years in the 60s and 70s, a time when the country enjoyed both economic and cultural prosperity. His musical journey encompasses a rich tapestry of influences, beginning with his training under Andrés Herrera of the Italian school and subsequently studying with masters from the Polish, Russian, and French traditions, including Natalia Gutman, Philippe Müller, and Paul Tortelier.

The essence of Cestari’s artistic development is encapsulated in the distinct contributions of his mentors. Philippe Müller instilled a conscientious and mindful approach, Mstislav Rostropovich and Frans Helmerson touched his heart, while Natalia Gutman influenced the automaticity of his fingers. Leonard Rose left an indelible mark on his artistry and creativity. Cestari emphasizes the importance of playing with one’s personality despite the lineage of renowned teachers, underscoring the need to discover and convey one’s unique truth in approaching the cello repertoire.

The interview delves into the challenges and possibilities within the cello world, advocating for exploration beyond traditional repertoire. Cestari encourages the exploration of lesser-known works, including those from Latin American and Asiatic traditions, lamenting the limited attention given to certain composers. He highlights the need for a collective effort among musicians to delve into diverse musical styles, expressing concern over the concentration on a few well-known pieces.

Cestari concludes by discussing his current repertoire, which includes upcoming recordings of Bach suites, Kodály’s Sonata for Solo Cello, and Alberto Ginastera’s Puneña No.2. He shares the significance of the latter, a piece commissioned by Slava Rostropovich as part of a homage to Paul Sacher. The interview closes with insights into Cestari’s views on competitions, teaching philosophy, and his passion for chamber music. As a versatile musician, Cestari underscores the importance of passing on a musical heritage through teaching, expressing delight in witnessing his students evolve into educators themselves.

Cite this:

Publication date:

ISSN: 2792-8349

Copyright ©

International Journal of Music