Based in Durham, NC, Brenda Neece, DPhil (Oxon.), is a cellist, organologist, writer, and teacher specializing in the history of the cello. She is the creator and curator of the Cello Museum. Brenda enjoys experimenting with different cellos. In addition to her modern instrument, she also plays a little 5-string cello made by John Pringle that she calls the “Scottish Wildcat,” a 5-string baroque cello, and sometimes travels with her folding prakticello.
Her area of research specialization is the history of the cello in Britain. She studied cello with Fred Raimi at Duke while she did her undergraduate work at UNC-CH. As part of her interdisciplinary major in music history, art history, and archaeology, she wrote an undergraduate honors thesis on the eighteenth- and nineteenth-century evolution of the cello. She earned a master’s in cello performance at Auburn University, studying with Martha Gerschefski, and then went on for her musicology doctorate at the University of Oxford (Somerville College). While in England she continued her cello studies with William Pleeth. For just over a decade, she helped establish the Duke University Musical Instrument Collections (DUMIC) as its first curator.
She also loves cats, photography, history, and martial arts.