Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)



Document Type



Composed in 1865 and first published in 1874, Alfredo Piatti’s 12 Caprices for Solo Cello, Op.25 have become one of the most widely-used volumes of technical studies for cello students. A virtuoso cellist, influential teacher, and prolific composer dubbed “The Paganini of the Cello” by Franz Liszt, his complete command of the cello allowed him to push the limits of the instrument in an era when the virtuoso solo cello repertoire was just starting to flourish. To this day, the study of the Caprices is still tremendously helpful–and often required by teachers as material for developing the highest level of technical proficiency.

The goal of this study is to use the Caprices as a means rather than an end in order to understand, through their detailed study and preparation, general principles of cello playing, body movement and their execution that can, or may be applied to any work from the standard repertoire, for that matter. Furthermore, one of the main focuses of this study is to not only survey the Caprices from a technical perspective, but also to apply strategies conducive to a more relaxed, coordinated, and tension-free performance unhindered by pain or stiffness.

Committee Chair

Parker, Dennis