American cellist Rainer Crosett has appeared as a soloist on major stages throughout the United States and Europe and has performed in many renowned chamber music festivals. He came to international attention as the recipient of the 2018 Pierre Fournier Award, which supports exceptionally talented young cellists through a debut recital at the Wigmore Hall as well as a concerto appearance with the Philharmonia Orchestra of London.
Rainer also received the Silver Medal and the Artistic Encouragement Award at the 2017 Ima Hogg Competition in Houston, TX, resulting in a performance of Haydn C Major Concerto with the Houston Symphony. And in 2015, Rainer won First Prize in the New England Conservatory Concerto Competition, resulting in his Jordan Hall debut playing Tchaikovsky's Rococo Variations with the NEC Philharmonia under Hugh Wolff. Recently, Rainer has also won the 2018 Performing Arts Competition of the Fine Arts Club of Pasadena and a Presser Graduate Award from the University of Southern California.
As a chamber musician, he has performed at numerous festivals including Yellow Barn, the Piatigorsky International Cello Festival, Prussia Cove, La Jolla SummerFest, the Perlman Music Program's Chamber Music Workshop, and Kneisel Hall. Rainer is the cellist of the Beacon Street Trio, with violinist Luke Hsu and Sophie Scolnik-Brower, which formed during his studies in Boston. He has also collaborated in performance with artists such as Robert Levin, Seth Knopp, Laurence Lesser, Cho-Liang Lin, Anthony Marwood, Donald and Vivian Weilerstein, Kim Kashkashian, and the Parker Quartet.
Rainer is a graduate of the Harvard-New England Conservatory Joint Program and is currently pursuing an Artist Diploma at the University of Southern California. He received his M.M. with honors from New England Conservatory and his A.B. magna cum laude in Philosophy from Harvard, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa as a junior and was named a John Harvard Scholar. Also during his time at Harvard, he was the recipient of the Lucy Allen Paton Prize for excellence in the humanities and fine arts, the Thomas T. Hoopes Prize for outstanding achievement on his senior thesis, and an Artist Development Fellowship.
Rainer has served as principal cellist of several orchestras, including the New York String Orchestra at Carnegie Hall, the USC Thornton Symphony, the Kaleidoscope Chamber Orchestra, the Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, and the Harvard-Radcliffe Orchestra. As principal cellist of these orchestras, he has toured throughout the Netherlands, Israel, Palestine, Jordan, and Cuba.
He has taken lessons and masterclasses from notable cellists such as David Geringas, Frans Helmerson, Steven Isserlis, Yo-Yo Ma, Laurence Lesser, Bernard Greenhouse, Gary Hoffman, and Jens-Peter Maintz. His principal teachers and mentors have included Ralph Kirshbaum, Paul Katz, Mark Churchill, Robert Levin, Benjamin Zander, and Emmanuel Feldman. Rainer also receives a scholarship from the International Academy of Music in Liechtenstein and participates regularly in the intensive music weeks and activities offered by the Academy.
Rainer is a passionate advocate of classical music as a force for social change and he is particularly involved in activism for human rights in North Korea. He has worked for Citizens' Alliance for North Korean Human Rights in Seoul and has given several fundraising concerts in both the U.S. and South Korea, helping to raise significant funds for various North Korean human rights-oriented projects. He also co-founded Project LENS, a performance collaborative that seeks to explore connections between music and a wide variety of topics in the world beyond. Project LENS debuted at Harvard University in Fall 2014.