Michael Grebanier joined the San Francisco Symphony as Philip S. Boone Principal Cellist in 1977. Previously he was principal cellist of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra for fourteen years, the youngest musician appointed to the post in the history of that orchestra. Before going to Pittsburgh, Mr. Grebanier spent four seasons as a member of the Cleveland Orchestra, where he also appeared as a soloist.
Michael Grebanier began his musical studies in his native New York City, later attending the Curtis Institute of Music. His teachers included Carl Ziegler of the NBC Symphony, Orlando Cole of the Curtis String Quartet, and Leonard Rose. While still at Curtis he won the prestigious Walter Naumberg Award and made his recital debut in New York City at the age of nineteen.
Mr. Grebanier has been a frequent soloist with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, appearing in the cello concertos of Barber, Dvorak, Elgar, Hindemith, Walton, Haydn, Finzi and Shostakovich, Saint-Saens’ A minor Cello Concerto, Bloch’s Schelomo, Strauss’ Don Quixote, William Schuman’s A Song of Orpheus and Brahms’ Double Concerto for Violin and Cello with violinist Chee-Yun. He has been affiliated with such notable festivals as the Marlboro Festival in Vermont and the Casals Festival in Puerto Rico. With violinist Jorja Fleezanis and pianist Garrick Ohlsson, he is a member of the acclaimed FOG trio making numerous appearances in chamber concerts. Michael Grebanier plays a 1698 cello built by Francesco Ruggeri of Cremona.