Written by Dr. Patel
Nirav Patel is an accomplished cellist with over 30 years’ experience as orchestral musician, chamber musician, and soloist spanning both coasts.
Dr. Patel began Suzuki Method studies at age 8 in Upstate New York, with rapid progress leading to master classes with cello pedagogues Hans Jørgen Jensen (Northwestern), Steven Doane (Eastman), and Timothy Eddy (Juilliard). Music festivals he attended include Kinhaven, Idyllwild, New York State Summer School of the Arts, and Meadowmount. He received orchestral training from members of the Philadelphia Orchestra and performed solo with the Binghamton Philharmonic. He was a national semifinalist for the American String Teachers Association Solo Competition and finalist for both the Ithaca College and Broome County Pops Concerto Competitions. At age 16, and by audition, he gained entry into several leading music programs, including Eastman, Oberlin, Michigan, and Boston University.
Instead, Dr. Patel matriculated into Princeton University. He was Principal Cellist of the Princeton University Orchestra and involved with tours to the United Kingdom and Spain. He gave a solo recital at Princeton as a freshman and studied at the Bowdoin International Music Festival. Through Princeton’s Certificate Program in Musical Performance, he was featured in masterclasses with the Brentano String Quartet, Isidore Cohen (Beaux Arts Trio), and The Nash Ensemble of London. He also performed solo for New Jersey Governor Christine Whitman.
After college, Dr. Patel lived in New York City and continued performing at weddings and Off-Broadway productions. As a University of Rochester medical student, he served as Principal Cellist for the Rochester Medical Orchestra. As a University of California, Davis plastic surgery resident, he joined the Camellia Symphony Orchestra and performed with the Sacramento Philharmonic and UC Davis Symphony. As an aesthetic surgery fellow in Birmingham, Alabama, he was a member of the Samford Orchestra and served as Principal Cellist for the Red Mountain Chamber Orchestra and UAB Concert Choir. Upon moving to Atlanta, he served as Principal Cellist for the Atlanta Musicians’ Orchestra. He also performed Élégie by Gabriel Fauré and the 4th movement of the Elgar Cello Concerto with the AMO in August 2019.
Dr. Patel now performs with the Georgia Symphony Orchestra and serves on the GSO Board of Directors. In January 2019, he started his aesthetic and reconstructive surgical practice with Marietta Plastic Surgery. He resides in East Cobb with his wife Erica and two children, Aidan (a Georgia Youth Symphony Orchestra violinist and also pianist) and Antonia (cellist and pianist).