From Appleton to the Amazon, Bach to bossa nova, cinema to the concert hall, cellist Lars Hoefs has sparked the imagination and wonder of audiences the world over. Equally at home across a spectrum of musical languages, Dr. Hoefs enjoys a multifaceted career as soloist, chamber musician, teacher, orchestral principal, recording artist, author and scholar. 2011 performances brought him to Brazil, Europe, Israel, and up and down California. Whether driving fierce rhythms, plunging harmonic depths, or soaring on the wing of a melody, Lars Hoefs dramatically brings music to life through the voice of his cello.
Lars frequently performs and teaches throughout Brazil and has become a leading expert on the cello music of Heitor Villa-Lobos. In 2009 he served as Assistant Principal Cellist of the Orquestra Sinfônica Brasileira by special appointment from music director Roberto Minczuk. Lars' first invitation to perform in Brazil came in 2004 from David Chew O.B.E., director of the Rio International Cello Encounters, where Lars has since been an annual guest. At RICE, the world's largest free classical music festival, Lars performs a staggering number of programs in diverse venues. Highlights have included Haydn's Cello Concerto in D Major for national television broadcast with the Orquestra Sinfônica de Barra Mansa and maestro Guillerme Bernstein, Bach's unaccompanied Suite #6 with Focus Companhia de Dança and Caetano Companhia de Dança for Mariana Chew's CELLODANCE project, the world premiere of Peter Seabourne's On the Blue Shore of Silence with pianist Miriam Braga, tangos by Piazzolla with Piazzolla's own bandoneon player Tito Cartechini and the Niteroi City Ballet, and Villa-Lobos' Bachianas Brasileiras nos. 1 and 5 with David Chew and other great cellists from around the globe.
Lars has given masterclasses at universities, conservatories, and social projects throughout Brazil, and has been featured as soloist with the Amazonas Filarmónica in Manaus, Campos Filarmónica in Campos do Jordão, Orquestra Sinfônica Brasileira Jovem in Rio de Janeiro, Orquestra NEOJIBA in Salvador, and the Orquestra do 4th Encontro International de Cordas in Tatuí. In 2010 he received the “Ano de Chopin no Brasil” Medal from the Polish consulate in Brazil for his performances of Chopin's Cello Sonata with Marek Zebrowski at RICE and with Ana Lucia Altino at the Chopin-Schumann 200 Anos Festival in Recife.
Lars performs throughout the world with pianist and Steinway artist Marek Zebrowski, director of the Polish Music Center at the University of Southern California and improvisation partner to filmmaker David Lynch. Zebrowski and Hoefs champion the works of Polish composers, especially Paderewski, Stojowski, and Chopin. They have been heard at the International Chopin & Friends Festival in New York, the Marie Skłodowska Curie Cancer Hospital Benefit in London, and at the Paderewski Festival in Paso Robles (CA) where Zebrowski is music director. Their 2010 all-Chopin recital at the Conservatorio de Tatuí (Brazil) was broadcast on TV Brasil and Radio MEC. In the summer of 2011 the duo performed at Jagiellonian University in Krakow and at Paderewski's manor home in Kąśna Dolna where they taught exchange students from Central California and Southern Poland. In November they returned to Europe for concerts at the Krakow Academy of Music's Stojowski Festival and at the Polish Embassy in Prague.
Lars lives in Los Angeles and is in great demand as a chamber musician and new-music interpreter throughout Southern California. Lars appears frequently in San Diego for the ground-breaking chamber series Art of Élan, in LA with the new music group Definiens, and has collaborated with oboist Nicholas Daniel, violinist Catherine Leonard, and violist Richard Yongjae O'Neill for the Santa Barbara-based chamber group Camerata Pacifica. Lars is cellist of the California Quartet and the Connections Chamber Music Series in Encinitas and Mission Viejo, founded by CQ first violinist Bridget Dolkas and composer-in-residence Matthew Tommasini. Through Connections, Lars' quartet has commissioned and premiered works by Chinary Ung (In Memoriam) and Paul Chihara (Prince of the City), and given residencies with Michael Daugherty at the University of Redlands and with William Bolcom at the University of Southern California. In his student days at USC, Lars was teaching assistant for the Contemporary Music Ensemble under composition chair Don Crockett and Frank Ticheli. The CME was named “Ensemble of the Year” by LA Weekly in 2004, and worked with composers Michael Gordon, Lowell Liebermann, P.Q. Phan, and Steve Reich to name a few. Lars performed Lutosławski's String Quartet in a special CME concert with legendary violinist Midori.
In 2003, Taiwanese pianist Rose Chen, “Miss Alaska” violinist Audrey Solomon, and cellist Lars Hoefs founded the Blue Rose Trio in the chamber music program of the University of Southern California, studying with Chamber Music America founder Peter Marsh. The Blue Rose Trio went on to capture top prizes at the Coleman Chamber Music Competition, the Music Teachers National Association Chamber Music Competition (MTNA), the Peninsula International Chamber Music Competition, and the Beverly Hills Young Artist Auditions. As recipients of Protégé Program grants from USC, the Blue Rose Trio commissioned works from emergent composers, performed in Israel as part of an exchange between USC and Hebrew University, and recorded the album Black Swan, Yellow Beach on Flora Records, featuring the world premiere recording of Philip Glass' Head On. They spent a half-dozen summers under the midnight sun in Alaska as guest artists at the Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival and teaching at their own Anchorage Chamber Intensive. In Los Angeles they helped found the L.A. Musical Salon Series, performing as artists-in-residence for the inaugural season. In 2006 the Blue Rose Trio embarked on a whirlwind tour, performing at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music and in Hong Kong as musical ambassadors for the USC Board of Trustees on their Asian tour, at the Rio International Cello Encounters in Brazil, at the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance, and with their mentor Peter Marsh at the 7th Rencontres Franco-Americain Musique de Chambre in Missilac, France.
Lars has been featured as cello soloist on various Hollywood film scores, notably in the Auschwitz documentary The Labyrinth, winner of numerous awards including the 2011 Silver Telly award for Best Use of Music by composer Marek Zebrowski, and in the film Suction with music by Kostas Christides. He can be heard with cellist David Chew in the award-winning Brazilian film Como Esquecer scored by Bia Paes Leme, and has recorded and contracted for Golden Globe-nominated composer Abel Korzeniowski for the film W.E. directed by Madonna.
As a member of the illustrious string ensemble Ipalpiti conducted by Dr. Eduard Schmieder, Lars performed at the 2011 Eilat Chamber Music Festival in Israel and Ipalpiti's Annual Festival of International Laureates at Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles. Lars is principal cellist of the Mozart Classical Orchestra under Ami Porat in Orange County, and is program annotator for the Riverside County Philharmonic, a position he previously held with the Pasadena Symphony. His articles have been published in String Visions by Ovation Press. Lars earned a high school diploma from the North Carolina School of the Arts studying cello with Robert Marsh, a Bachelor of Music from Northwestern University under Hans Jorgen Jensen, and both a Master of Music and a Doctorate of Musical Arts from the University of Southern California studying with Ronald Leonard. His Villa-Lobos album with pianist Rose Chen has been hailed by the Villa-Lobos Magazine as “one of the stand-out Villa-Lobos discs of the past few years.”