PASSINGS: Bernard Greenhouse

Bernard Greenhouse

Cellist, founding member of Beaux Arts Trio

Bernard Greenhouse, 95, an acclaimed cellist and founding member of the prominent chamber music group Beaux Arts Trio, died Friday at his Massachusetts home on Cape Cod, his family said.

At a time when high-level piano trios were rare, he formed Beaux Arts in 1955 with violinist Daniel Guilet and pianist Menahem Pressler.


“Greenhouse had the most beautiful sonority,” Pressler told The Times in 1995, and became known as a major interpreter of the cello.

Known for playing with precision, the Beaux Arts Trio were “unparalleled interpreters” of Beethoven, according to a 1985 Times review.

The group toured widely and made celebrated recordings that included the complete trios of Haydn.

In 1987, Greenhouse left the trio because of heart trouble and was succeeded by Peter Wiley.


Greenhouse continued to play and teach into his 90s and had served on the faculty of Juilliard, Rutgers University and other schools.

Born in 1916 in Newark, N.J., he began playing cello at age 8.

After graduating in 1939 from what is now the Juilliard School of Music, he was principal cellist of the CBS Orchestra.

During World War II, Greenhouse was principal cellist of the United States Navy orchestra.


After the war, he studied with the great Spanish cellist Pablo Casals, who later wrote: “Bernard Greenhouse is not only a remarkable cellist, but what I esteem more, a dignified artist.”

— Los Angeles Times staff and wire reports