Prieto, Carlos 1937-

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Prieto, Carlos 1937-


Born January 1, 1937, in Mexico City, Mexico; married December 28, 1964; wife's name Maria Isabel; children: Carlos, Isabel, Mauricio. Education: Massachusetts Institute of Technology, B.S. (engineering), and B.S. (economics), both 1959; Cessid, France, M.S., 1963; studied cello under Imre Hartman in Mexico City, Mexico, Pierre Fournier in Geneva, Switzerland, and Leonard Rose in New York, 1946-55.


Home—Mexico City, Mexico. Agent—Breslin Artists, 119 W. 57th St., New York, NY, 10019-2303.


Musician, cellist, and writer. Fundidora Monterrey, Mexico, president, 1972-76; Mexican National Steel Industry, chairman, 1974-75; concert cellist, 1978—. Has performed at Carnegie Hall, New York, NY; Lincoln Center, New York, NY; Kennedy Center, Washington, DC; Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Los Angeles, CA; for Roy Thomson, Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Barbican Hall, London, England; Wigmore Hall, London, England; Salle Gaveau, Paris, France; Salle Pleyel, Paris, France; Philharmonic Hall, St. Petersburg, Russia; Auditorio Nacional, Madrid, Spain; Beijing Concert Hall, Beijing, China; Shangahi Concert Hall, Shanghai, China; and festivals including Granada, Berlin, and Europalia. Recordings include Homenaje a Rodolfo Halffter, Ediciones Interamericanas de Musica (Washington, DC), 1981; Carlos Prieto, Violoncello: Edison Quintana, Piano, Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes (Mexico), 1988; Salmo 23, Inba-sacm (Mexico), 1993; Diez Años De Música De Caámara (1982-1992), Cnca/inba/cenidim (Mexico), 1993; Espejos, Urtext Digital Classics (Mexico), 1997; Le Grand Tango, Urtext Digital Classics (Mexico), 1997; Azul Y Verde: Obras Iberoamericanas, Urtext Digital Classics (Mexico), 1999; Conciertos Para El Fin Del Milenio, Urtext Digital Classics (Mexico), 2001; Cello Music from Latin America, three volumes; Johann Sebastian Bach, J.S. Bach: The Suites for Cello, two volumes; A Prieto; Tres Conciertos para Violonchelo y Orquestra; Conciertos y Choro; Sonatas y Fantasias; Sonatas y Danzas de Mexico; Del Barroco y del Romanticismo al Siglo XXI; and De Bach a Piazzola; Shostakovich—Sonatas.

Also chairman of the Foundation Las Rosas Conservatory of Music, Morelia, Mexico, 1995—, and member of the advisory committee on music and theatre at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1997.


Cello Society.


Outstanding Soloist of Year, Mexican Association of Music Critics, 1981; Mozart Medal, Austria, 1995; Order of the Arts and Letters, France, 1999; Achievement Award, Mexican Cultural Institute of New York, 1999; Eva Janzer "Chevalier du Violoncelle" Award, University of Indiana, 2001; Cultural Leadership Citation, Yale University School of Music, 2002; named honorary member of the Fine Arts Advisory Council, University of Texas at Austin, 2004; Order of Merit, King of Spain, 2007.


De La URSS a Rusia: Tres Décadas De Experiencias Y Observaciones De Un Testigo (title means "From the USSR to Russia"), Fondo de Cultura Economica (Mexico), 1993.

Las Aventuras De Un Violonchelo: Historias Y Memorias (history/memoir), Consejo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes: Fondo de Cultura Economica (Mexico), 1998, translation by Elena C. Murray published as The Adventures of a Cello, foreword by Alvaro Mutis, University of Texas Press (Austin, TX), 2006.

Cinco Mil Años De Palabras: Comentarios Sobre El Origen, Evolucion, Muerte Y Resurreccion De Algunas Lenguas, Fondo de Cultura Economica (Mexico), 2005.

Also author of Russian Letters, 1963, Around the World with the Cello,Paths and Images of Music, and 5,000 Years of Words. The Adventures of a Cello has also been translated into Portuguese and Russian.


Although Carlos Prieto graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with degrees in engineering and economics and went on to become chairman of a major steel corporation in Mexico, his first love was always music. Ultimately Prieto left the steel industry in the 1970s to become a world-renowned cellist playing in concerts across the globe. Prieto is also the author of several books, including The Adventures of a Cello. In the book, Prieto recounts the history of the legendary cello called "The Piatti." Made by Antonio Stradivari in 1720, the cello has had many owners around the world, including owners in Spain, Ireland, England, Italy, and Germany. According to Prieto, the cello also spent time in New York City bars serving as collateral for unpaid liquor tabs by one of its owners. The author has owned it since 1978. In addition to being a history, the book is part memoir, focusing on Prieto's ownership of the cello and his experiences playing it. The book includes a musical CD, fifty-nine illustrations, and four appendixes. Brad Eden, writing in the Library Journal, referred to The Adventures of a Cello as a "moving anecdotal book" and a "tribute to a musical soul mate." An Internet Bookwatch contributor commented that both musicians and music lovers "will relish this affectionate survey."



Prieto, Carlos, The Adventures of a Cello, University of Texas Press (Austin, TX), 2006.


Internet Bookwatch, November, 2006, review of The Adventures of a Cello.

Library Journal, September 1, 2006, Brad Eden, review of The Adventures of a Cello, p. 149.


Carlos Prieto Home Page, (July 16, 2007).

Tech Online Edition, (November 6, 1990), Deborah A. Levinson, "Prieto Plays Pure Sadness, without False Tears."

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