John Michel – Cello

John Michel has enjoyed a multi-faceted music career for over three decades. As the cello professor at Central Washington University since 1990, he has been able to teach and perform while exploring new ways of promoting the cello and enhancing communication and collaboration.

A pioneer of the new technology, he founded The Internet Cello Society in 1994 ( which grew to 31,000 members from 84 different countries. With the advent of Facebook, the legacy site is now archived at 

Mr. Michel was the US representative for the Kobe International Cello Festival in 2001 and returned to Japan with his students for the Sendai 1000 Cellists Concert in 2015. 

Since 2002 on even-numbered years in October, he has hosted the Central Cello Celebration, a special gathering of cellists from across the Northwest. 

Professor Michel loves performing concertos with orchestras, especially the Elgar, Dvorak, Saint-Saens, Maria Newman, Golijov’s Azul, and the Brahms Double with his wife violinist Carrie Rehkopf Michel. In double series concerts, Mr. Michel has performed all six Bach Cello Suites from memory and annually appears in the Seattle Bach Suite Marathon.  

He served as cellist of the Kairos Quartet for 24 years, and now as part of the ensemble Kairos, collaborates with a wide range of chamber musicians and other artists, highlighted by trips to Italy, Taiwan, and Bosnia & Herzegovina. He especially enjoys substituting in the cello section of the Seattle Symphony and playing solo recitals. He earned degrees from the University of Michigan and New England Conservatory, studying with Jeffrey Solow and Bernard Greenhouse. In his free time, he plays tennis and chess as well as having fun with his three adult sons & goldendoodle.