Letter from Professor Pae

Deborah Pae
Deborah Pae


Dear Cellist,

Every young musician, no matter one's background or level of talent, needs skillful instruction and supportive mentorship to become a complete musician. The path to an enriching career in the performing arts and music education is rarely a linear one and our experience is a truly collective endeavor between a musician and their community, a fabric that becomes richer and more intricate over a lifetime.

Working with a mentor who recognizes your potential and encourages you to realize the qualities that you have yet to identify in yourself can be a transformative experience. Throughout my 25+ year career as a soloist, chamber musician, and arts advocate, I have had many important teachers who shared their expertise, provided invaluable systems of support, and helped me navigate the most pivotal moments of my life. Next to traveling and performing for audiences around the world, I find no greater joy than mentoring the next generation of young artists.

Becoming a seasoned musician requires many skill sets:

  • a strong foundation in three essential areas—aural, technical, and artistic
  • thorough knowledge of the musical and historical literature
  • an unbridled curiosity, resourcefulness, and resilience
  • the ability to identify and work through challenges of all shapes and sizes
  • the ability to communicate effectively with your audience
  • the ability to communicate and work collaboratively with your peers
  • financial literacy and skills to manage creative projects
  • to think outside of the boundaries set forth by the industry and push them further
  • perhaps most importantly, to use music in impactful ways to enhance and reflect the communities around us

I am interested in the art of learninglearning how to learn, learning how to arrive at one’s own solutions and informed musical opinions, and learning to use these tools to help pave an enriching life in the arts. If everyone is capable of learning, which I firmly believe to be true—and I mean everyone—then as an educator, I am committed to meeting you where you are and showing you how to develop your own process.

I invite you to join me at EMU CELLO at Eastern Michigan University or at any one of the festivals and institutions throughout the United States, Canada, and Asia where I serve on faculty, present masterclasses, and lead chamber music residencies. Come visit us, meet your future peers, and become part of this wonderful musical family!

—Prof. Deborah Pae

Dr. Jeremy Crosmer

Dr. Jeremy Crosmer, award-winning cellist, composer, and member of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra has been appointed Lecturer of Cello in 2023-2024. He will oversee the EMU CELLO studio during Prof. Pae's yearlong sabbatical. 


Dr. Jeremy Crosmer is a remarkable young artist—both as a cellist and a composer. He completed multiple graduate degrees from the University of Michigan in cello, composition and theory pedagogy, and received his D.M.A. in 2012 at age 24. From 2012 to 2017 he served as the Assistant Principal cellist in the Grand Rapids Symphony, and joined the Detroit Symphony Orchestra in May of 2017.

Crosmer is a recipient of the 2021 Ford Musician Award for Excellence in Community Service, presented by the League of American Orchestras, for his work piloting the DSO’s partnership with Kadima Mental Health Services. Additionally, he is the sole composer and arranger for the GRS’s Music for Health Initiative, which pairs symphonic musicians with music therapists to bring classical music to hospitals. In March of 2017 the Helen DeVos Children's Hospital launched a music channel that runs continuously, using four hours of meditative music composed by Crosmer and performed by musicians of the GRS.

Crosmer is a founding member of the modern music ensemble Latitude 49. He is also a current member of the band ESME—a duo that brings crossovers and mashups of pop and classical music to schools throughout Michigan. ESME released its first CD in December of 2016. Crosmer was also a part of the World Map project with the Four Corners Ensemble, recording Shuying Li’s cello concerto “Matilda’s Dream” in 2020. Crosmer was awarded the prestigious Theodore Presser Graduate Music Award in 2011 to publish, record and perform his Crosmer-Popper duets. The recording with Julie Albers and the sheet music are both available online.

Crosmer has been commissioned multiple times by both the Jackson Symphony Orchestra and GRS. His overture “Ozark Traveler” and his viola concerto Masks: a Heroine’s Tale have been performed around the country. In May of 2022 he performed his work “Threnody” for cello and string orchestra with the DSO. He has played Dvořák, Haydn, Boccherini, Elgar and Saint-Saëns cello concertos numerous times with orchestras across Michigan, and in April of 2023 he performed the American premiere of Fernande Decruck’s Cello Concerto, which was written in 1932.

In 2021, Crosmer created a database of free, digital editions of music by Classical Black Composers, arranged or transcribed for string quartet, with over 33 pieces available on his website. Crosmer has taught music theory, pre-calculus, and cello at universities across Michigan.

Prof. Deborah Pae



Praised by critics for her “extraordinary musicianship" (San Diego Union Tribune) and “magical” playing (Cleveland Classical), Korean-American cellist DEBORAH PAE has received international acclaim for her powerful performances and devotion to the arts. 

Ms. Pae emerged onto the international stage in 2003, making her debut at the 45th GRAMMY Awards at Madison Square Garden and the Recording Academy’s Seventh Annual Salute to Classical Music honoring the late Mstislav Rostropovich. Shortly thereafter, in 2005, she gave her European recital debut at the Musée du Louvre in Paris. Over the span of 25 years, Ms. Pae has enjoyed an award-winning career as a soloist and chamber musician whose performances at major festivals and concert series throughout North America, Europe, and Asia have garnered critical acclaim. She has been a featured artist at the Marlboro, Ravinia, and Prussia Cove festivals and performed at venues including Carnegie Hall, Wigmore Hall in London, the National Concert Hall in Taipei, Palais des Beaux-Art in Brussels, and the Berliner Philharmonie. Her performances have been augmented by numerous radio and television broadcasts and recordings for ECM, New World, TYXarts, Bridge, and Outhere Records.

Deborah Pae is the cellist of two award-winning ensembles: the FORMOSA QUARTET, recipients of the First Prize and Amadeus Prize at the 2006 International London Quartet Competition, and the NAMIROVSKY-LARK-PAE TRIO, winners of the 2020 German Critics' Prize “Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik” in the category of chamber music, one of Europe’s most prestigious honors, for their debut album Masterpieces Among Peers: Trios by Frank Bridge and Johannes Brahms. Their album, particularly their performance of Brahms’ Trio in B major has been described as “a rendition that can actually stand comparison with some of the legendary recordings of the past, such as those by Heifetz, Feuermann and Rubinstein and Szigeti, Fournier and Schnabel” and was named by the German magazine, Fono Forum, as one of the 5 Best Albums of 2020.

Ms. Pae has received degrees from the Juilliard School, New England Conservatory, and the Chapelle Musicale Reine Elisabeth in Belgium. She is committed to mentoring the next generation of young artists. She is Associate Professor of Cello at Eastern Michigan University where she is a recipient of the 2021 Ronald W. Collins Distinguished Faculty Award, the highest honor Eastern Michigan University presents to an individual faculty member. Ms. Pae also serves on the faculty at the National Youth Orchestra of Canada and the Formosa Chamber Music Festival and has taught at the Taipei Music Academy & Festival and the Perlman Music Program. Her mentors have included cellists Gary Hoffman, Laurence Lesser, Joel Krosnick, André Emelianoff, and Nellis Delay; violist Kim Kashkashian, and violinist Itzhak Perlman.

Arts advocacy is an important part of Deborah Pae’s musical life. She serves on the Executive Committee of the Recording Academy® Chicago Chapter Board and works closely with MusiCares, a non-profit that provides a safety net of critical health and welfare services to the music community.  She also works with young professionals and educational institutions throughout the country giving instrumental masterclasses and workshops on career development, financial literacy, and team building.

Ms. Pae travels and performs with her trusty companion, a Vincenzo Postiglione cello (c. 1885) from Naples, Italy.

For more information, visit Prof. Pae's faculty page. 

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