In the Pit: John Walz, Principal Cellist, LA Opera Orchestra

John Walz, Principal Cellist LA Opera

John Walz, Principal Cellist LA Opera

Born and raised in Pasadena, John Walz felt he was always wired for music, attending concerts as a youngster with his music teacher mother. He began cello at 10 in public school, and the next year began studying with Eleonore Schoenfeld and performing in chamber groups. This early training forced him to play and listen at the same time, a skill that has served him well as principal cellist for the LA Opera Orchestra.

John began his professional life when he met Pierre Fournier, the great French cellist, who invited him to study with him in Geneva. During these two years, John was introduced to many legendary players and performed in great halls in Europe, launching his career.

Returning to Los Angeles, he spent ten years with the American Youth Symphony under Mehli Mehta. He also formed the Pacific Trio, now 35 years old, and taught at Idyllwild Music Academy, a music program he first attended as a student when he was eleven.

Click here to read Diane Eisenman’s full article about John Walz on

Diane Eisenman received a B.A. in Music Education from St. Olaf College, Northfield, MN, and an M.A. in Counseling Psychology from Loyola University of Chicago. She is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and piano instructor in Pasadena, and uses classical music in her therapy practice. An opera lover, she enjoys writing about the people who make live opera possible.

LA Opera is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to the greater good.
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