Dr. Gotoff received his DMA from New England Conservatory, where he focused his academic research on the musicological exploration of Beethoven’s manuscripts, examining expressive markings in the autographs. Starting with the late string quartets, Dr. Gotoff is working to develop the results of his research into a digital layered score for performers and scholars. Prior to his doctoral studies, he received a BA in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from Princeton University and his MM in Cello Performance from the New School’s Mannes College of Music.

Performance Experience

Cellist Joseph Gotoff is highly sought-after as a chamber musician, scholar, and teacher. As a founding member of a number of ensembles, including the award-winning Petrucci String Quartet, his performances have taken him across Europe and as far as China. Dr. Gotoff’s musical interests range from historically-informed Baroque performance practice to contemporary music, and he has given world premieres for several important works, including Lowell Liebermann’s Piano Trio (2013) and Binna Kim’s Shibboleth for solo cello (2016). 

Dr. Gotoff released his debut album, The Voice of the Cello, to critical acclaim in 2020, and in 2021, he helped to found the Washington Arts Ensemble, a chamber music collective dedicated to placing the works of women and minority composers alongside stalwarts of the chamber music canon, in residence at the Arts Club of Washington.

Teaching Experience

In addition to his teaching at Levine, Dr. Gotoff was appointed to the faculty of Towson University in 2022 as Assistant Professor of Cello. Prior to joining the Towson faculty as a lecturer in 2021, Dr. Gotoff also taught cello performance at the University of Massachusetts, Boston and Merrimack College. 

Dr. Gotoff also has an extensive background teaching elementary through high school students, beginning with working in El Sistema programs in the Boston area. 

At Levine

Dr. Gotoff joined Levine’s cello faculty in 2019 and teaches a variety of our cello programs.

Teaching Philosophy

“Teaching is unlike any other job; it requires great compassion, respect, leadership, flexibility, patience, and of course, knowledge. A great teacher is responsible not only for guiding learning in a particular subject, but for also instilling positive values in students, reinforcing their self-worth, and serving as a mentor as they grow into professionals. My teaching philosophy is based on getting my students to become inquisitive, self-sufficient learners and critical thinkers, through questioning and guided self-examination.”

More About Dr. Gotoff

When not at the cello, you might find Dr. Gotoff enjoying cooking, exploring home renovations and sculpture, hiking, and spending time with family. Learn more about Dr. Gotoff on his website.