Photo of Peter Rapson

Peter Rapson

Performance Instructor : Cello

Peter Rapson obtained his Bachelor of Music in Performance from the University of Toronto and continued his studies at the Julliard School with the renowned cello pedagogue, Harvey Shapiro. During his years of study he received extensive coaching with members of the Orford, Hungarian and Julliard String Quartets. In addition, he has worked with such notable artists as Lorand Fenyves, Bernard Greenhouse, Jamie Laredo, Ronald Leonard, Felix Galimir, Julius Baker and Greta Kraus. He has been the recipient of scholarships from the Canada Council, the Banff Centre for the Arts and the University of Toronto.

Mr. Rapson has extensive orchestral and chamber music experience. He has been a member of the Edmonton Symphony, National Arts Centre Orchestra and Toronto Symphony. During his tenure with NACO (1984-1990) he was also principal cellist of Ottawa’s Thirteen Strings Chamber Orchestra. He has recorded with such artists as Catherine Robbin, Louis Quilico, Robert Aitken and Anton Kuerti.

Chamber music has always been a large part of Mr. Rapson’s professional life and he has performed in numerous chamber music series including the McGill (Toronto), DuMaurier Evening Overtures (TSO), Music for a Sunday Afternoon (NACO), National Gallery (Ottawa) and Festival of the Sound (Perry Sound, ON). He has also performed with acclaimed chamber group, Quartetto Gelato.

In addition to his performance schedule Mr. Rapson enjoys teaching privately as well as coaching aspiring young cellists in both orchestral and chamber music settings. He has also been an adjudicator for both the Canadian Music Competition (CMC) and Kiwanis Music Festival.


My one year of studies with Peter Rapson led to a transformation in my approach to playing and practicing at the cello. Peter is a focussed, intent teacher who is truly passionate about sharing knowledge and ideas with students. In my lessons, Peter would concisely explain methods for addressing specific technical issues and then apply these strategies in the context of the repertoire I was learning. As a result, aspects of my playing such as my overall sound and vibrato improved and developed noticeably. Peter has given me the tools to further this process in my individual practice, and I am now confident that I have acquired the skills to continue toward these goals.
Anita Pari  B.Mus, Carleton University  

I have been studying with Peter Rapson for the past two semesters as a Carleton student.  Professor Rapson has been working with me to understand exactly what I am doing on the cello.  He has taken my technique back to the basics and we have built from there so that I fully know what I am doing with every movement and gesture.  Peter is extremely articulate in explaining concepts which in some cases are quite abstract, not relying only on the (watch me and copy) approach taken by so many cello teachers.  Since working with Professor Rapson, I have been able to achieve a higher level of playing both in my tone and intonation while being conscious of each movement – which has helped me deal with tension in my back, fingers and wrist.  I have had an excellent experience with Professor Rapson and I look forward to working with him in the future!
Nico Hoekstra, B.Mus, Carleton University