Skip navigation
    University of Texas Press contacts  
shopping cart
  Find a book. Journals. For authors. Booksellers & educators. About the Press.  


6 x 9 in.
368 pp., 59 b&w illus., 1 music CD


This title is currently out of print. Click here to visit the book page for The Adventures of a Cello Revised Edition, with a New Epilogue to purchase the newest edition.




The Adventures of a Cello

By Carlos Prieto
Translated by Elena C. Murray
Foreword by Álvaro Mutis


Table of Contents and Excerpt

available through netLibrary


"Crammed full of useful and insightful information, Prieto's book is essential reading and reference material for all cellists and musicians alike."


"Music as a great adventure of mind and body: this is what Carlos Prieto gives us in this spirited book."

—Carlos Fuentes

"Like Rostropovich, Carlos Prieto is a true champion of the cello. A creative artist, scholar, and storyteller, Carlos has been a prolific contributor to the flow of music throughout the western hemisphere, premiering compositions of some of the greatest contemporary composers and helping to nurture and develop an entire generation of Latin America’s most talented musicians. I am privileged to know him as a colleague and honored to call him my friend."

—Yo-Yo Ma

In 1720, Antonio Stradivari crafted an exquisite work of art—a cello known as the Piatti. Over the next three centuries of its life, the Piatti cello left its birthplace of Cremona, Italy, and resided in Spain, Ireland, England, Italy, Germany, and the United States. The Piatti filled sacred spaces, such as the Santa Cueva de Cádiz, with its incomparable voice. It also spent time in more profane places, including New York City bars, where it served as a guarantee for unpaid liquor tabs. The Piatti narrowly escaped Nazi Germany in 1935 and was once even left lying in the street all night. In 1978, the Piatti became the musical soul mate of world-renowned cellist Carlos Prieto, with whom it has given concerts around the world.

In this delightful book, Mr. Prieto recounts the adventurous life of his beloved "Cello Prieto," tracing its history through each of its previous owners from Stradivari in 1720 to himself. He then describes his noteworthy experiences of playing the Piatti cello, with which he has premiered some eighty compositions. In this part of their mutual story, Prieto gives a concise summary of his own remarkable career and his relationships with many illustrious personalities, including Igor Stravinsky, Dmitry Shostakovich, Pablo Casals, Mstislav Rostropovich, Yo-Yo Ma, and Gabriel García Márquez.

To make the story of his cello complete, Mr. Prieto also provides a brief history of violin making and a succinct review of cello music from Stradivari to the present. He highlights the work of composers from Latin America, Spain, and Portugal, for whose music he has long been an advocate and principal performer. Thus, The Adventures of a Cello offers not only the first biography of a musical instrument but also an inviting overview of cello music and its preeminent composers and performers.

Carlos Prieto is an internationally acclaimed concert cellist who is considered one of Latin America's premier cellists. His many honors include the French Order of Arts and Letters, the Achievement Award of the Mexican Cultural Institute of New York, the Eva Janzer Award (Chevalier du Violoncelle) from the University of Indiana, and the Cultural Leadership Citation from the Yale University School of Music. Mr. Prieto lives in Mexico City with his family.

 Of Related Interest Latin American Music Review
 Offsite Author's website

Search Books  |  Orders |  Catalogs |  Current Season

Terms of Sale |  Privacy Policy | UT Austin Web Accessibility Guidelines
Copyright © 2003-2011 University of Texas Press. All rights reserved.