Medinea On Air
Cellist | Teacher | Coach
GAL FAGANEL is an acclaimed cellist, teacher, coach, and recording artist. He has been praised in the press for his “exceptionally sensitive interpretation” (Slovenec – Slovenia), his “powerful and beautiful tone” (Dornse Krant – Netherlands), and his “brilliant virtuosity and youthful vigour” (Primorske Novice – Slovenia).
As a performer, Gal Faganel is frequently heard in recital, in chamber music concerts, and as a soloist with orchestras throughout North America and Europe. He is the founder and artistic director of the Arizona Chamber Orchestra, a conductorless ensemble founded in 2009. Until 2010 he served as the acting principal cellist of the Phoenix Symphony. As a member of the Tetraktys String Quartet, he toured in the United States and Europe. He has also performed extensively with various other chamber ensembles, including his favourite: string trios.
Gal Faganel is currently an assistant professor at the University of Northern Colorado (UNC) in Greeley, where he greatly enjoys teaching cello and coaching chamber music. Prior to his appointment at UNC, he taught at Scottsdale Community College (Arizona) and the University of Southern California. He regularly conducts master classes and teaches at summer music programmes in the United States and Europe. At UNC, he has received several grants for travel, research, and performances in four continents. Through his innovative teaching approach that utilizes video conferencing technology, Gal Faganel is able to be accessible to students worldwide.
At age 13, Gal Faganel won his first competition; then, at 15, he received first prize at the Alpe-Adria “Alfredo Marcosig” international competition in Italy. In addition to prevailing in three other international competitions, including the “Antonio Janigro” International Cello Competition in Croatia, he has won the American String Teacher’s Association Competition in California and the Slovenian National Competition, as a soloist and with a piano trio. In 1997 he was named “Young Musician of the Year“ in Slovenia. The following years he won a national competition to represent Slovenia at the European Broadcasting Union’s Eurovision Young Musicians competition in Lisbon, Portugal.
In 2006, Faganel began researching, cataloguing, performing, and recording music for cello by Slovenian composers. He has completed two of the five CDs that Astrum plans to publish. The project has received support from the Slovenian government and UNC. He has also done live broadcasts and archival recordings for National Radio Slovenia, Holland Radio, Classical KUSC in Los Angeles, KBAQ in Phoenix, and CPR Classical in Colorado.
Gal Faganel grew up in a musical family and announced his desire to play the cello at age three. When he was eight, he began studying the instrument in his native Slovenia. He continued his studies in Croatia, where his appearance in an international competition led to an invitation and a full-tuition scholarship to study at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. His university studies culminated ten years later with a Doctor of Musical Arts degree. His mentors include Eleonore Schoenfeld, Nathaniel Rosen, Daniel Rothmuller, Peter Marsh, and Dobrila Berković-Magdalenić. He has collaborated with and learned from many renowned conductors and soloists, including Sergiu Comissiona, Zubin Mehta, Lionel Friend, Carl St. Clair, Yo-Yo Ma, Lynn Harrel, Midori Goto, Isaac Stern, Joshua Bell, Itzhak Perlman, Pavel Vernikov, and Simon Trpčeski.