Jan Vargas Nedvetsky, 14, cello

January 16, 2021, 11:00 am

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(Photo: Sebastian Orr)

This Saturday we hear from Jan Vargas Nedvetsky, a 14-year-old cellist from Wilmette and a student of Horacio Contreras. He’s selected a program of classics by Bach, Bréval and Rimsky-Korsakov; as well as 20th-century Latin American works by Brouwer and Villa-Lobos. Jan is joined by Milana Pavchinskaya on piano. Thank you to the Music Institute of Chicago for allowing us to record in Nichols Concert Hall.


Jan Vargas Nedvetsky is a Merit Scholarship Fellow at the Music Institute of Chicago Academy, where he studies cello performance with Horacio Contreras and composition with Matthew Hagle. He is also a Fellow at the Chicago Musical Pathways Initiative.

Jan started cello lessons at the age of five with Gilda Barston at the Music Institute of Chicago, and other teachers have included Vladimir Perlin and Jerome Pernoo. Jan’s first solo performance with an orchestra was at the age of 10 with Belorussian National College of Music Orchestra. As a winner of 2020 Chicago Chamber Music Concerto Competition and 2020 Lisker Foundation Competition, Jan is anticipating performances with Northeastern Illinois Orchestra and other ensembles in the 2020-21 season. Jan has recently won prizes in the DePaul Concerto Festival, the Walgreens National Concerto Competition, the Society of American Musicians Competition, Chicago Symphony Orchestra Youth Auditions, and more.

He’s participated in the Musica Mundi International Chamber Music Festival in Waterloo, Belgium from 2016 to 2019. With his piano trio at the Music Institute of Chicago Jan was the youngest winner of Barnett Chamber Music Competition and the youngest quarterfinalist (2019) and semifinalist (2020) of the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition. In August of 2020 Jan with Trio Primavera was named the Grand Prize winner of Chicago International Music Competition. He was featured on the ABC TV program Amazing Kids, and appeared on Introductions twice in August 2020 as a member of Trio Primavera and as a new CMPI fellow.

Jan is an advanced math scholar at the Art of Problem-Solving Academy, a first-degree Black Belt in Taekwondo, and a winner of local math competitions. In addition to music, he loves history, astronomy, encryption, and Star Wars.


Johann Sebastian Bach: Cello Suite No. 3 in C, BWV 1009:
I. Prelude
IV. Sarabande

Jean-Baptiste Bréval: Cello Sonata in G

Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov transcr. Leonard Rose: Flight of the Bumblebee

Leo Brouwer: Solo Cello Sonata:
I. Allegro moderato

Heitor Villa-Lobos: Song of the Black Swan

Some music is excluded from the podcast for copyright reasons.


Song of the Black Swan, by Heitor Villa-Lobos. Jan Vargas Nedvetsky, cello; Milana Pavchinskaya, piano. Recorded previously to this broadcast.