Rainer Crosett is a Los Angeles-based cellist with multifaceted interests in philosophy, human rights, and the pursuit of social justice through music. Equally at home as a soloist, chamber musician, and orchestral musician, he has performed in North & South America, Europe, and Asia, in halls such as Carnegie Hall, Boston's Symphony and Jordan Halls, and the Amsterdam Concertgebouw.
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 won Second Prize 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. 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 the direction of Hugh Wolff. Rainer has also soloed with the Concord Orchestra, the Quincy Symphony Orchestra, and the Merrimack Valley Philharmonic Orchestra, as a winner of their respective concerto competitions.
In recent years, he has appeared at numerous music festivals including Yellow Barn, La Jolla SummerFest, Aspen, The Perlman Music Program's Chamber Music Workshop, Sarasota, 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 chamber music performance with artists including Robert Levin, Seth Knopp, Cho-Liang Lin, Anthony Marwood, Donald and Vivian Weilerstein, Kim Kashkashian, and the Parker Quartet.
Rainer has served as principal cellist of several orchestras, including the New York String Orchestra, 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 musicians including Lluis Claret, Richard Aaron, Steven Isserlis, Yo-Yo Ma, Laurence Lesser, Bernard Greenhouse, Gary Hoffman, and Ronald Leonard. His principal teachers and mentors have included Ralph Kirshbaum, Paul Katz, Mark Churchill, Benjamin Zander, and Emmanuel Feldman.
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 over $20,000 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 in Fall 2014.