Nathan Whittaker

Nathan W.

New York, NY
Teaching Locations:
Profile-location-home Student's Home
Teaching Locations:
Profile-location-home Student's Home
Levels taught:
Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
The cello can be enjoyed by amateurs and aficionados alike, and Dr. Nathan Whittaker provides lessons to all age and skill levels, from the young to the not-so-young, from beginners to advanced, from the casual or curious to the fiercely serious. He has been teaching professionally for over 15 years.

A good teacher is one that enforces the basic foundations of technique. While any teacher can guide a student through vast amounts of repertoire, only the conscientious teacher prepares the student for all future endeavors and challenges. Nathan Whittaker's teaching philosophy consists of an unwavering understanding of technique, focusing on beauty of sound and elegance of expression. Scales and technical exercises coalesce with exciting repertoire to promote quick, yet thorough progress. After all, the cello is an extension of the soul – it is able to express what is otherwise untranslatable. But while the fundamentals are the foundation of all future success, beyond all else making music is, and should be, simply a fun and enjoyable experience.

Dr. Whittaker holds Bachelor's and Master's Degrees from Indiana University and a Doctorate of Musical Arts from the University of Washington. As a performer, he has appeared throughout the United States, Europe, and even as far as Dubai. An early music specialist, he regularly plays with some of North America's finest baroque ensembles, and is the Artistic Director of Gallery Concerts in Seattle.

About Nathan W.

Teaching professionally for nearly two decades, Dr. Nathan Whittaker provides lessons to all age and skill levels, from the young to the not-so-young, from beginners to advanced, from the casual or curious to the fiercely serious. In addition to a dynamic private cello studio, he has been on faculty at the Academy of Music Northwest and Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle WA. In demand as clinician, he has hosted masterclasses throughout North America for all playing levels: at universities, prestigious high schools, and at Suzuki Institutes for beginners.

As a performer, Dr. Whittaker enjoys a unique and diverse career as a concert soloist, chamber musician, recitalist, teacher, and historical cello specialist with concert stops ranging from Seattle to New York to Dubai. He is the Artistic Director of Gallery Concerts (Seattle), a concert series of chamber music on period instruments, and regularly performs with the Seattle Baroque Orchestra, Pacific Baroque Orchestra, Portland Baroque Orchestra, Rosa Barocca, Byron Schenkman and Friends, and the Pacific Northwest Ballet. Recent appearances include the Oregon Bach Festival, Indianapolis Early Music Festival, Vancouver Bach Festival, Pacific Baroque Festival, American Handel Festival, Pacific MusicWorks, 45th Parallel, Hawaii Performing Arts Festival, Berkeley Early Music Festival, Ottawa ChamberFest, and the Boston Early Music Festival.

He can be heard on recordings by ATMA Musique, Harmonia, and Centaur, as well as live broadcasts by NPR, CBC, and KING FM.

Highlights of his 2019-2020 concert season include appearances in Montreal, Toronto, Boston, Ottawa, and Seattle, as well as a guest lecturer at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Paris. Dr. Whittaker holds a Doctorate of Musical Arts from the University of Washington and Bachelors and Masters degrees from Indiana University.


Write a Review
7 Reviews
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Thank you, Nathan!
I decided to play cello when I was 64 yrs old. Nathan was my first teacher. He brought me through most all facets of playing and learning the music. Although children may be the mainstay of cello teachers, Nathan had many adult students as well--at a range of levels. He always was an encouraging, engaging, supportive teacher for me. He's also a supreme player! He waited for the time I could summon the courage to play in a string orchestra and chamber groups within my first year or so. Besides sorting out orchestra music, we worked on all the challenges of clefs, position work, and musicality. I took lessons from him every week for 5 years. A first, marvelous, teacher stays with you for a long time. I still play, have a new teacher recommended by Nathan, and I still think of Nathan's lessons often!
So get a cello and take some lessons from him!

Posted Feb 3, 2020
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Nathan has a special knack for bringing out the best in students. You can tell he loves the cello and baroque music, but more importantly teaching what he knows to his students. He has a special positivity that makes every lesson successful and a joy! Highly recommended.

Posted Feb 3, 2020
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Over 15 or so years as an 'older' learner, with several instructors, I award Nathan with a superlative rating: all the qualities essential to me, met and exceeded: warm, funny, flexible, engaging, caring, intuitive, and astute musically. Superb performing cellist as well!! I miss greatly seeing him for encouragement and support~

Posted Feb 3, 2020
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Nathan is a great teacher for the busy adult learner. He challenged me just the right amount. Not too much, not too little. You also couldn't find a better coach for coaching in baroque style.

Posted Feb 2, 2020
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Lessons with Nathan are always enjoyable as well as instructive. There is a method to his instruction, which allowed me to progress quickly. His feedback was very helpful, often delivered wittily, which made it easy to hear. It was also fun to play with him, since he could accompany me on both my pieces and exercises. I strongly recommend him.

Posted Feb 2, 2020
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Nathan was my private instructor for 5 years and I learned so much from him! We would work on both lesson books and pieces I was playing in my schools orchestra, pit orchestra, and more groups, he would always push me to do better and guide me towards instructing others in the groups I played in as well. He doesn’t just say what parts you need to improve on, he asks questions so you can learn to identify them yourself, and always makes you reflect on the positive parts of your playing. He is very kind and cared about me as a person, always curious about what I was doing in school or just in general.

He is a wonderful instructor and amazing person, I wish the best for him in New York! 💕

Posted Feb 1, 2020

Nathan is a very talented musician and teacher. He has many ways to express what you should be doing. He watches you carefully and gently corrects. He is funny, friendly, lively and kind. Lessons with Nathan are a joy! And you will progress!

Posted Feb 1, 2020


Doctorate of Musical Arts
Sep 2006 - Jun 2012

University of Washington

Master’s of Music
Jul 2003 - Aug 2004

Indiana University

Bachelor’s of Music
Aug 1999 - Jun 2003

Indiana University


American Federation of Musicians
Oct 2019
A labor union representing professional musicians in the United States and Canada. Founding in 1896 as the successor to the "National League of Musicians," the AFM is the largest organization in the world representing the interests of professional musicians.

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