Philip Sheegog forges new possibilities for what the cello can be — with an artistic versatility, fearless commitment, and innovative technical vocabulary that have made him sought out on all ends of the musical spectrum.
Drawing from roots influenced by a myriad of musical styles, Mr. Sheegog’s artistic versatility and fearless commitment has made him sought out for projects on all ends of the musical spectrum, from The Juilliard School’s contemporary ensemble, AXIOM, to The MET Breur’s first commissioned sound-based installation — Oliver Beer: Vessel Orchestra. Driven by his curiosity and constant desire to push the technical range of the instrument, Mr. Sheegog’s singular cello style synthesizes his classical roots with elements drawn from pop, rock, funk, jazz, bluegrass, and world music styles. Mr. Sheegog has played alongside the legendary 1970’s Steve Miller Band, members of the Grammy-award winning Turtle Island String Quartet, the New York hip-hop/classical collective ShoutHouse and the Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses video game music tour. A passionate advocate for collaboration and commissioning, Mr. Sheegog has premiered over seventy new works by living artists from choreographer John Heginbotham to film composer Christopher Gunning.
Driving all facets of Mr. Sheegog’s musicianship is the philosophy of “artist as citizen” — a holistic aim to leverage the power of the arts for hope, healing, and change in the world. Mr. Sheegog became heavily involved as a home-schooled student with Pacific Symphony’s Education and Community Engagement initiatives, such as arts-X-press and Family Musical Mornings, sparking a lifelong commitment to artistic generosity. In high school, Mr. Sheegog was invited to perform for a fundraising gala for the King Hussein Foundation in association with the University of California, Irvine’s Living Peace Series, representing the power of the arts for cultural ambassadorship. With the Salvation Army’s Tustin Ranch Corps, Mr. Sheegog regularly helped lead groups of student performers at homeless shelters and other community engagement programs. As a student of The Juilliard School, Mr. Sheegog has performed for Weill Cornell’s Music and Medicine concert series, launched innovative projects over two years on the Juilliard Student Council, inspired a new generation of student leaders through the Juilliard Leadership Program and fostered thriving community as a Residence Life staff member.
As an educator, Mr. Sheegog currently teaches at The Juilliard School’s Pre-College Division and Fordham University in addition to his private studio. Current projects include a dynamic genre-bending duo, ARKAI, and a world music educational program, Global Perspectives. Mr. Sheegog is a recipient of The Juilliard School’s 2017 John Erskine Prize, the Norman Benzaquen Career Advancement Grant, and Chamber Music America’s inaugural Ensemble Forward Grant.