Canadian-born, Paris-based cellist Gary Hoffman has evolved his formidable technical and interpretive skills by thoughtfully integrating virtually every aspect of cello playing, from proper use of the fourth finger and correct posture to the cellist's emotional expressivity and manner of shaping phrases.
Hoffman, who regularly holds master classes across the globe, has appeared as soloist with the major orchestras of Chicago, San Francisco, Baltimore, Montreal, London, Paris, Rotterdam, Geneva, and others. As a recitalist, he has appeared at just as many major venues, including New York, Tokyo, Florence, Lisbon, and Copenhagen. Hoffman also regularly performs chamber music and has made numerous recordings of varied repertory for such labels as EMI, RCA, Sony, and Delos.
Gary Hoffman was born in Vancouver, Canada, in 1956. His father, Irwin, is a conductor and his mother, Esther, a violinist; his brother Joel is a pianist and composer, while brother Toby is a violist and sister Deborah a harpist. Young Gary studied music at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, where his most important teacher was Janos Starker. He also studied in Chicago with Karl Fruh. Hoffman debuted in London at age 15 in a recital at Wigmore Hall. When he was 22 he became the youngest person ever appointed to the faculty at the Jacobs School of Music. In 1979 Hoffman gave his New York debut.
Hoffman's watershed moment came in 1986 when he won the Paris-based Rostropovich International Competition. Thereafter he regularly appeared in recitals and with major orchestras across the globe, having now left his faculty post at the Jacobs School. Among Hoffman's more acclaimed early recordings is the 1992 RCA disc of Schumann piano quartets, with André Previn (piano), Heiichiro Ohyama (viola), and Kim Young Uck (violin). Hoffman occasionally played in concerts with his parents and siblings; in April 1996 he appeared with his brothers and sister in their quartet debut concert, at Bargemusic (Brooklyn), performing, among other works, Joel's Music Within the Words, Part 2.
In the new century Hoffman was busy on all fronts, including with concert work at music festivals such as Aspen, Marlboro, Ravinia, Verbier, Mostly Mozart, and Bath. He has also been quite active in the recording studio, and among his later recordings is a 2009 Euroarts DVD of Schumann's Quintet for Piano and Strings in E flat major, Op. 44, recorded with other performances given at the 2008 Jerusalem International Chamber Music Festival. In 2012, he release a disc of Mendelssohn's works for cello and piano.