Michael Mermagen, cello, made his debut at age sixteen with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra after receiving their Young Soloist Award. He holds degrees from the Peabody Conservatory and The Juilliard School with principal teachers Stephen Kates and Zara Nelsova. Mr. Mermagen was a soloist with the National Orchestra of New York, where he held the prestigious Emanuel Feuermann principal cello chair. He has also performed in the Violoncello Society of New York Master Classes lead by Yo-Yo Ma, Janos Starker, and Bernard Greenhouse. Mr. Mermagen has toured and given recitals, concerto performances, master classes, and chamber music performances around the world, most recently with the Aspen String Trio. As an artist-faculty member at the Aspen Music Festival and School (where he is also an alumnus), Mermagen has been principal cellist of the Aspen Chamber Symphony for over twenty-five seasons. He has recordings on Arabesque and Warner Brothers and has been heard live on WQXR Concerts Plus, WNYC Around New York, APM Performance Today, and A Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor. Mermagen is currently Associate Professor of Cello at The University of Missouri Kansas City Conservatory of Music and Dance after a twelve year tenure as associate professor of cello at the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC. He performs on a Nicolo Gagliano cello, Naples, 1774.