John Kaboff, B.M., M.M., studied with Janos Starker at Indiana University as well as Jacqueline DuPre’s teacher, William Pleeth, at the Holland Music Sessions in the Netherlands and at the Britten-Peers Summer School in England. In addition to serving as Mr. Pleeth’s teaching assistant, he studied at the International Academy of Chamber Music (now known as the Kronberg Academy), in Kronberg, Germany, with Arto Noras.
A resident of the Washington since 1995, D.C., Mr. Kaboff has performed as recital and concerto soloist locally at The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, The United States Department of State, The Corcoran Gallery of Art, The Embassies of Germany, France and New Zealand, The Church of the Epiphany, Dumbarton House and has been a repeat concerto soloist with the JCC Symphony Orchestra and the Landon Symphonette. In 2013, he performed with the Manhattan Symphonie in Carnegie Hall. His concert appearance at Strathmore Hall in North Bethesda, MD was acclaimed by The Montgomery County Sentinel as ”beguilingly lyrical and in “top form”. Internationally, he has performed as recital soloist in the Kleinezaal of the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, The Cologne Museum of Modern Art, Frankfurt Museum of Contemporary Art and The Adelaide Towne Hall. He frequently performs chamber music with various colleagues known as the Nottingham Ensemble and is currently the Director of Chamber Music for The Capital Symphonic Youth Orchestra.
Mr. Kaboff is a highly successful private teacher of pre-college age students who frequently garner prizes in local and regional cello competitions. Most recently, his students took top prizes in all levels of the 2016 Washington Performing Arts Society competition. In 2015 two students were prizewinners at the American Protégé Competition, resulting in Carnegie Hall, Weil Recital Hall debut recitals. In 2015 and 2016, his students have been featured in the Classical Spotlight Showcase for Maryland Public Television. His former students matriculate from highly competitive music schools such as the Curtis Institute, Indiana University, the University of Michigan, the Cleveland Institute of Music and the Mannes College of Music with substantial merit scholarship. They have held positions in the Baltimore Symphony, Austin Symphony, Aspen Music Festival, Castleton Music Festival and other European orchestras. In 2018, His 6 year old student appeared in concert at Weill Recital Hall in Carnegie Hall in New York City as a prize winner of the Concert Artists International Competition. In 2019, the chamber music ensembles he coaches under the auspices of The Capital Symphonic Youth Orchestra will appear in concert at the Kennedy Center, Millennium Stage.
His students' cello ensemble, known as the Bow Lightlys, were featured guest artists at the World Cello Congress III (2000), where they were featured in an internationally broadcast cello ensemble workshop with world famous cellist, Yo-Yo Ma which then resulted in a cello choir concert at the Sixth American Cello Congress (2001) as part or Mr. Kaboff’s appearance as a guest lecturer. They performed at the 2014 Tennessee Cello Workshop and will reappear in 2020. The Bow Lightlys have been featured in concert on live radio broadcast in Washington, DC. They have also performed cello ensemble concerts at the Embassy of France, Almas Shriner’s Temple as well as many local religious centers. They often perform at charity events for the American Diabetes Association. As a way to share their musical expression, the Bow Lightlys also perform at senior living centers as to bring music to the homes of those who might not be able to enjoy otherwise.
Mr. Kaboff is a frequent judge at local and regional competitions. He has also adjudicated the preliminary competition rounds at the 2000 Third World Cello Congress’s Master Class Competition, 2006 and 2012 Washington International Competition. He has assumed the role as chairman of the Washington International Competition for Strings (2022). As a frequent guest lecturer, he has conducted master classes and performed at the Flinders Street Conservatorium in Adelaide, Australia, Purcell School of Music in London, England, Indiana University Summer String Program, Michigan State University, Longy School of Music in Boston, The Music Academy of North Carolina and the Universities of Texas (Rio Grande Valley), Tennessee and Rhode Island. He was in artist in residence in 2011and 2019 at Appalachian State University and was a featured artist at the 2010 Tennessee Cello Workshop. Mr. Kaboff has earned Suzuki certification through level 10 and was invited by the Suzuki Association of Australia to conduct workshops, master classes and solo recitals in Melbourne and Adelaide, Australia.
He has received accolades for his teaching by numerous world-class cellists such as Yo-Yo Ma and Janos Starker and has been the feature of numerous articles in such publications as the Washington Post, The Baltimore Sun, The Washington Jewish Weekly, The Vienna (VA) Connection and The Montgomery Journal. Yo-Yo Ma, also notes him in a biography about him entitled, “Musicians With a Mission”, as being a superb teacher of young children.