Coming Soon: New Suzuki Cello Volume One Recordings from Alfred Music

August 25, 2022

Alfred Music and The International Suzuki Cello Committee are pleased to present new recordings of Suzuki Cello School Volume One by Yumi Kendall in collaboration with pianist Natalie Zhu. The new recordings will be available Fall 2022.

From the International Suzuki Association’s Cello Committee: The ISA Cello Committee is grateful for the artistry of Yumi Kendall, cellist, and Natalie Zhu, accompanist, in the recording of Suzuki Cello School Volume 1. Both were exacting in their efforts to make the best possible examples of articulation, phrasing, and tone. Their collaboration to instill the editing in these pieces with musicality will give a beginning student the goal of polishing the repertoire and creating the style of each piece. The repetition of listening to these performances provides the best possible use of the mother-tongue approach.

From Yumi Kendall: This recording is a thank you. A thank you to all my teachers who believed in me, and well before I started to sound tolerable. To those who believe in the goodness and potential in all their students, this is for you. Thank you for your guidance, love, leadership, and perseverance. I, and countless others who are indebted to you, would not be who or where we are without your dedication.

I am a Suzuki student to my core, having started cello at age five on Suzuki, and through all the books, from weekly private lessons, group lessons, summer institutes, and, more recently, my own Suzuki teacher training. The heartwarming experience of creating this recording is really an effort to thank my first teachers and teacher trainers.

Nancy Hair, Carol Tarr, Alice Vierra, Pamela Devenport, Annette Costanzi, Rodney Farrar, Beth Goldstein-McKee, and John Kendall, thank you..


Cellist Yumi Kendall, Assistant Principal of the Philadelphia Orchestra, is a citizen artist whose inspiration comes from exploring human flourishing in music performance, community building, and pedagogy.

As an orchestral and chamber musician, Yumi has played on many of the world’s prominent stages, including the Kimmel Center, Carnegie Hall, Kennedy Center, Suntory Hall, and Musikverein, and has been presented by such organizations as Marlboro Music Festival, Kingston Chamber Music Festival, 21st Century Consort, and the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society. By special invitation, Yumi has appeared as guest Principal Cello with the Toronto and Baltimore symphony orchestras, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, and Hyogo Performing Arts Center Orchestra in Japan.

Sparked with curiosity to understand her personal agency amidst the collective effort of orchestral playing, Yumi earned a Master’s in Applied Positive Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania. As a speaker, Yumi shares her work at conferences, non-profit and corporate board retreats, workshops, and academically, presenting ideas and experiences from music performance, teaching, and striving for excellence in both, as well as positive psychology, including intrinsic motivation, cultivating meaning at work, and social connections.

Yumi is steeped in joyful childhood memories of music-making with her family, especially her violinist brother Nick Kendall of Time for Three, and lessons with her grandfather, violinist pedagogue John Kendall, who introduced Suzuki education to the United States and trained teachers from around the world. Drawing on her vivid childhood experiences, working with young musicians opens new horizons for Yumi. She is a regular guest instructor at her alma mater the Curtis Institute of Music, as well as at the National Orchestral Institute, and serves on the boards of Project 440 and Wildflower Composers, with prior service for Astral Artists. A proud Suzuki alumna, Yumi founded The Suzuki Alumni Project as a way to celebrate Suzuki education and express gratitude to the movement’s teachers for believing in their students’ potential and that of all children.

Yumi remains forever thankful to her mentors: John Kendall, Nancy Hair, Carol Tarr, Alice Vierra, David Hardy, David Soyer, and Peter Wiley; and generous supporters Elaine Woo Camarda and A. Morris Williams, Jr., who established a Philadelphia Orchestra Chair for her and endowed it in perpetuity.


Known for her captivating interpretations of a wide range of repertoires, pianist Natalie Zhu is the recipient of the Avery Fisher Career Grant, Musical Fund Society Career Advancement Award, the Andrew Wolf Memorial Chamber Music Award, and Astral Artists Award. The Philadelphia Inquirer heralded Zhu in recital as a display of “emotional and pianistic pyrotechnics.”

Ms. Zhu has performed throughout North America, South America, Europe, and Asia as a soloist, recitalist, and chamber musician. She has performed with the Vermeer, Miami, Daedalus, St. Lawrence, and The Dover Quartets, and collaborated with members of the Guarneri, Orion, Mendelssohn, and Ying Quartets, the Beaux Arts Trio, Variation Trio, and Time for Three. Ms. Zhu has been touring with renowned violinist Hilary Hahn since 1997. They released a CD for the Deutsche Grammophon label in September 2005.

Highlights of the recent seasons include her return to the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, Seattle Chamber Music Society, Crested Butte Chamber Music Festival, The Friends of Chamber Music Reading Concert Series, Brooklyn Library Chamber Music Series, Maestro Foundation Concert Series, Curtis-On-Tour project, and concert tours in China and Korea.

As an active chamber musician, she has participated in festivals such as Marlboro, Amelia Island, Great Lakes, Tanglewood, Skaneateles, Chicago Chamber Musicians, Norfolk Chamber Music, and the Bay Chamber Music Festivals. Since 2009, Ms. Zhu has been the artistic director of the Kingston Chamber Music Festival in Rhode Island.

Natalie Zhu began her piano studies with Xiao-Cheng Liu at the age of six in her native China and made her first public appearance at age nine in Beijing. At eleven she emigrated with her family to Los Angeles, and by age fifteen, she was enrolled at the Curtis Institute of Music where she studied with Gary Graffman and received the Rachmaninoff Award. Ms. Zhu earned her master’s degree from Yale School of Music, where she studied with the late Claude Frank. Ms. Zhu lives in the Philadelphia suburbs with her husband and daughter.


The International Suzuki Association (ISA) was founded in 1983, as a non-profit organization, to serve as a coalition of Suzuki Associations throughout the world. Designated by Dr Suzuki as the sole authorized organization, its primary purpose is to serve as a coordination center and to protect the "Suzuki" name and rights. The International Suzuki Association strives to encourage, promote, enlarge, and coordinate the Suzuki Method™ throughout the world.

Danae Witter
Studio Strategist
Alfred Music

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