This Fellowship was created in 2012 with a generous contribution from Mrs. Mary Louise Kates to honor the memory of her husband, cellist Stephen Kates.
Stephen had been a prizewinner in the 1966 Tchaikovsky International Cello Competition and a long-time faculty member at the Peabody Institute of Music.
Mr. Kates began his formal music studies at age 10 with Marie Rosanoff while attending the High School of Music and Art in New York City. He went on to study with Leonard Rose and Claus Adam at the Juilliard School of Music, where he graduated with honors. He studied with Leonard Rose at the Meadowmount School of Music in 1961 and 1962 and later joined the master class of world renowned cellist Gregor Piatigorsky at the University of Southern California.
One of Mr. Kates' greatest achievements occurred when he was awarded the silver medal at the Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow in 1966, at the height of the Cold War, an amazing feat for an American, particularly one so young, colleagues agreed. In 1986, he returned to serve as the American juror in the competition.
"He was a wonderful cellist," said concert violinist Itzhak Perlman, at whose wedding Mr. Kates was best man. "He had a beautiful, beautiful sound. He sort of felt the music."