Serafim Smigelskiy


Praised for his versatility and soulful expressive style, Serafim Smigelskiy actively performs on both baroque and modern cellos. Serafim has toured four continents as a soloist and chamber musician, appearing with the Jupiter Chamber Players, Trinity Baroque, Sebastians, El Mundo, New York Baroque Incorporated, NOVUS NY, Frisson and the Argento Chamber Ensemble, among others. Serafim has performed as principal cellist with the Juilliard Orchestra, Pegasus, Experiential Orchestra and the Kansas City Philharmonic. Between 2014 and 2021, while he served as a member of the Tesla Quartet, he appeared on some of the world’s most prestigious stages, including Wigmore Hall, the Esterhazy Palace and the Mecklenburg-Vorprommern Festival; and the quartet released two award-winning albums.

His love of early music and fascination with historical performance practice led him to study baroque cello with Phoebe Carrai at the Juilliard Historical Performance Department and to perform alongside Robert Mealy, Monica Huggett, William Christie, Nicholas McGegan and Avi Stein. A passionate advocate of new music, Serafim has given numerous world-premiere performances guided by composers such as Arvo Pärt, Chaya Czernowin, Georg Friedrich Haas, Mathias Pintscher, Magnus Lindberg, Jessie Montgomery and Ellen Reid. He has also studied with celebrated cellists, such as Mstislav Rostropovich, Natalia Gutman, Laurence Lesser, Colin Carr, Martin Storey and Richard Aaron.

Born and raised in Saint Petersburg, he trained at the Rimsky-Korsakov College, Saint Petersburg State Conservatory, Park University International Center for Music and The Juilliard School. He took first place at the Russian State’s Russian Music Competition and top prizes at Salzburger Festspiele and (with the Tesla Quartet) Banff International String Quartet Competition and Joseph Haydn Chamber Music Competition.

When he’s not performing, rehearsing or practicing, Serafim also composes electronic music as Faremis Sound. He engineers and directs audiobooks with his wife, author and narrator Sierra Prasada, as HiSierrafim Audio. Based in Brooklyn, he enjoys birding, windsurfing, photography and reading. He became an American citizen in 2021.

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