Captivating his audiences with a “primer of technical feats” (New York Sun), and his warm, lush tone “that might be described as something akin to rich old wood” (Boston Musical Intelligencer), Yves Dharamraj has earned a worldwide reputation as a dynamic cellist who blends an immaculate command of the instrument with deep musical understanding to express his fresh and elegant interpretations.
As soloist, recitalist, chamber musician, and teaching artist, Dharamraj enjoys a multi-faceted career that takes him to the major stages of the United States and abroad, including appearances at Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, Alice Tully Hall, and the Metropolitan Museum (New York); the Kennedy Center (DC); Orchestra Hall, Ravinia Festival, and Chicago Cultural Center (Chicago); Disney Hall and LACMA (LA); Jordan Hall, and Gardner Museum (Boston); Philadelphia Museum of Art; National Arts Center (Ottawa); Berliner Festspiele; Téatro Nacional (Dominican Republic); Panama Jazz Festival; and the Thailand National Cultural Center (Bangkok).
At the age of 16, Dharamraj made his professional solo debut performing Tchaikovsky’s Rococo Variations with the Florida Orchestra under the baton of Thomas Wilkins. He has since appeared with the orchestras of Houston, Green Bay, Edmonton, Juilliard, and the Dominican Republic in collaboration with conductors such as Carlos Miguel Prieto, Bridget Reischl, José Antonio Molina, and James DePriest, with whom he performed William Schuman’s A Song of Orpheus at Avery Fisher Hall as part of the Juilliard School’s Centennial Celebration.
Dharamraj explored the rich chamber music repertoire as a founding member of the Moët Trio and has collaborated with artists including Sir Simon Rattle, Itzhak Perlman, Miriam Fried, Christian Tetzlaff, David Robertson, Pablo Heras-Casado, Cho-Liang Lin, Gilbert Kalish, Ralph Kirshbaum, Misha Dichter, Eduard Schmieder, Isabel Leonard, Barbara Hannigan, resident artists of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, and members of the Emerson, Cleveland, Guarneri, and Orion Quartets. He tours France, Latin America, and Asia regularly, and had the diplomatic honor of performing and teaching in Thailand in celebration of HRH Princess Galyani Vadhana’s seventh cycle birthday. He has appeared at the music festivals of iPalpiti, Ravinia, Music@Menlo, La Jolla SummerFest, Perlman Music Program, Sarasota, Banff, and MoMA’s Summergarden, and his performances have been broadcasted live on NPR, WFMT 98.7 Chicago, WGBH 89.7 Boston, KUHF 88.7 Houston, KCSN 88.5 LA, WQXR 105.9 and WNYC 93.9 New York.
As an artist also dedicated to the performance of contemporary music, Dharamraj indulges in the avant-garde as a performing and composing member of Ne(x)tworks, a collective of musicians creating and interpreting work that features a dynamic relationship between composition and improvisation. To commemorate John Cage’s centennial in 2012, Ne(x)tworks staged the iconic composer’s SongBooks at Berlin’s MaerzMusik, and at the Philadelphia Museum of Art in conjunction with the art exhibition Dancing with the Bride: Cage, Cunningham, Johns, Rauschenberg, and Duchamp. Dharamraj also performed Morton Feldman’s epic six-hour String Quartet no. 2 for the soft opening of Issue Project Room (Brooklyn). He has recorded the music of Valentin Silvestrov (Koch), Earle Brown (Mode), and Dave Brubeck (Naxos), and is currently working toward a recording of newly commissioned works for solo cello by Kenji Bunch, Cornelius Dufallo, and Adam Schoenberg.
The winner of several national competitions and awards, Dharamraj has earned top prizes in the Ima Hogg, Irving M. Klein, Juilliard, Florida Orchestra, and ASTA competitions. He has also been awarded the Salon de Virtuosi’s Diamond Career Grant, Yale School of Music’s Aldo Parisot Cello Award, New England Conservatory’s Florence Gould Scholarship, and the Juilliard School’s Victor Herbert Scholarship and C.V. Starr Doctoral Fellowship. During his tenure at Juilliard, he was bestowed the Richard French Prize for the Best Doctoral Dissertation (The Development of the Late Romantic French Aesthetic in Chamber Music, and Its Expression in Selected Cello Sonatas), and was given the honor of playing the 1719 Stradivari “Duke of Marlborough” cello, lent to him from the Juilliard Rare Instrument Collection.
Determined to draw new listeners to classical music, Dharamraj performs regularly outside the concert hall, often in impromptu scenarios. Whether his audience consists of criminal detainees at Rikers Island, elders in a Parisian nursing home, curious revelers at a Berlin bar, Haitian families displaced by the 2010 earthquake in Port-au-Prince, or delayed passengers in a LaGuardia airport terminal, Dharamraj strives to make the joys of live classical music accessible to anyone. As a teaching fellow in the Academy, a musical initiative between Carnegie Hall, Juilliard, the Weill Music Institute, and the New York City Department of Education, he taught at Brooklyn High School of the Arts. He follows his passion for teaching artistry and arts advocacy as a member of the Declassified, the trailblazing New York society of virtuosos, teaching artists, arts advocates and entrepreneurs, and co-founded the New Docta International Music Festival in Cordoba, Argentina in 2013 to help nurture the musical talent of Latin America.
Dharamraj began his cello studies at age four. In 1998 following studies with Mussie Eidelman and Scott Kluksdahl, he matriculated at Yale University where he graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in History (Medieval Mediterranean Studies), a Master of Music, and an Artist Diploma under the guidance of the renowned pedagogue Aldo Parisot. He further studied in Joel Krosnick and Darrett Adkins’s studio at the Juilliard School where he earned his Doctor of Musical Arts degree. He has also worked with Paul Katz at the New England Conservatory. Dr. Dharamraj taught cello at Juilliard as assistant to Mr. Krosnick from 2006 to 2009.
Yves Dharamraj plays an 1842 Jean-Baptiste Vuillaume cello. In his leisure time he loves to concoct exotic recipes in the kitchen, plays Scrabble, enjoys learning about and tasting the great wines of Burgundy and Bordeaux, and is a zealous supporter of the Chicago Cubs, Los Angeles Lakers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and Arsenal FC.