Photo courtesy Lara Gurath
MAXIMUM TALENT—Freshman Maximus Gurath, a member of the WHS orchestra, poses with his cello.

Freshman plays cello on radio
Maximus Gurath chosen for Minnesota Public Radio Showcase

By Mallory Junso

He may still be a freshman, but orchestra member Maximus Gurath has already proven himself a talented musician and Warrior.

Gurath was recently one of five musicians to play on Minnesota Public Radio (MPR) in their Showcase Concert Sunday.

Gurath said it was an honor to be chosen.

“I love to perform,” Gurath said. “It not only connects me with my wonderful instrument, but it also connects me with other people listening. It’s like I’m having the most intimate and satisfying conversation ever. And, I’m connecting with hundreds of years of music. That’s really special to me.” 

Gurath began playing cello at the age of 4, studying with Maxim Koslov for six years until he moved to Baltimore. Under Koslov’s direction, Gurath flourished, quickly moving into advanced high school repertoire by the age of 7. 

At age 8 he began performing with the S.D. Symphony Youth Orchestra. He won the concerto competition with them at the age of 12. 

In 2014 Gurath took first place in the cello division of the Lucy Weed String competition where he had to memorize and perform three pieces. In 2014, he won the S.D. Symphony Young Musician’s competition, performing Boccherini’s  B flat cello concerto with the S.D. Symphony Orchestra at three of their holiday concerts in December of that year. In 2015, he won the concerto competition at the Interlochen Music and Art  competition. 

Last summer, Gurath compeated against musicians from all over the U.S. and was flown to New York City where he performed in Carnegie Hall as an orchestra member and in Philadelphia at the Kimmel Center with guest artist Esperanza Spalding. 

Gurath was also the principal cellist of the South Dakota All-State Orchestra in October and the principal cellist of the South Dakota  Honors Orchestra in Rapid City in February. 

Gurath was one of 10 to be invited to make a professional recording of his piece at the MPR studios, and one of five to advance to the Showcase Concert at Ted Man Hall in Minneapolis on Mother’s Day. He performed the first five movements of Tchaikovsky’s Rococo Variations. 

“It was a new experience in the way that it was broadcast live on the radio,” Gurath said. “It was a great performance opportunity on the best known classics station in the midwest.”


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