Anna Clift is passionate about teaching and educating young cellists. Considered to be one of the most influential and consulted cello teachers in the Twin Cities, she is a mentor and teacher to many young cellists around the country. Currently, she is on the faculty of St. Olaf College, where she teaches cello and chamber music. She taught an interim at Marshall University and often serves as a juror for competitions, including the Schubert Club Competition and Fischoff Competition. As a member of the “Cello Consortium,” she frequently presents forums and workshops with her colleagues for educators and cellists of all ages and abilities.
At the age of 15Anna Clift was fortunate enough to study at The Banff School of Fine Artswith legendary cellist and pedagogue Janos Starker. She then went on to study with him at Indiana University. She received her M.M. degree in Music Performance from SUNY at Stony Brook where she studied with former Beaux Arts Trio cellist, Bernard Greenhouse. Other musicians and mentors include Gary Hoffman, Tsuyoshi Tsutsumi, Josef Gingold, Paul Tortelier, and Menahem Pressler.
As founder and director of the “International Cello Institute”, a summer program for cellists of all ages, Clift collaborates with teachers and students from around the world. She has taught and participated in music schools and summer programs across the United States, including the Artaria Chamber Music School, Stringwood Chamber Music Camp, Banff School of Fine Arts, Spoleto Festival, Washington Island Music Festival, Britt Music Festival, Taos International School of Music, and Madeline Island Music Camp.
Clift has extensive orchestral experience and has played as an extra player with the Minnesota Orchestra since 1989. As a performer, she frequently collaborates with musicians from both the Minnesota Orchestra and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra. She has appeared on radio with “A Prairie Home Companion” and performed in chamber concerts with Gil Shaham, Awadajin Pratt, Sharon Isbin, the Artemis Trio, Artaria String Quartet, the Isles Ensemble, Paul Katz and Kirsten Doctor.