Born in Atlanta, Ga., Ismail Akbar received his Bachelors of Music degree in cello performance from Oberlin Conservatory of Music and Masters of Music from Mercer University studying with Christopher Rex and Julie Albers. Mr. Akbar has performed as soloist and chamber musician throughout Panama, Bahamas, Russia and Italy. In fall of 2012 Mr. Akbar won the Concerto Competition at the University of South Carolina with the Dvorak Cello Concerto. While performing as section cellist with the Oberlin Orchestra, he performed in Carnegie Hall under the baton of Robert Spano performing works by Mozart, Jennifer Higdon and Bartok. During the summer he has been to Brevard Music Center, Interlochen Arts Academy, Encore School for Strings and Aspen Music Festival. As a graduate of the prestigious Talent Development Program he was given the opportunity to perform with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Robert Spano playing the Boccherini Cello Concerto. He has held substitute positions as principal and assistant principal cellist of Symphony Orchestra Augusta, Verdi Chamber Symphony, North Georgia Chamber Symphony, Ludwig Symphony Orchestra and South Carolina Philharmonic. On a different note, he has recorded and performed extensively with Outkast, Take 6, Neil Sedaka, James Torme, Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Monica, Edie Levert, Van Hunt, Jori, Frank McComb, Dionne Farris, Joi Gilliam and Wycliffe Gordon.
Cello Teaching Artist