Described as “true talent” by Christophe Huss of Montreal’s Le Devoir, Jason Pegis started cello lessons at age 16 and quickly improved after becoming passionate about the instrument. He holds a Bachelor’s of Music from Willamette University where he studied with Jason Duckles and Valdine Mishkin, and a Master’s of Music on a fellowship from McGill University where he studied with Matt Haimovitz. While working on his Bachelor’s, he joined the school’s Waller Piano Trio, which became the first chamber group from Oregon to become national finalists of the 2014 MTNA Young Artist Chamber Music Competition. He has seen much success in solo competitions as well; in 2013 and 2016 he won the Willamette University Concerto Competitions, and in 2015 winning the Eugene Symphony Young Artist Competition and Outstanding Cellist Award, after which he appeared as a soloist with the orchestra for two outdoor concerts for audiences of thousands. He also received the 2016 Zodiac Music Festival Young Artist Award, numerous instrumental awards from Mu Phi Epsilon, grants from the Williamson Foundation for Music, and an 1880 Neuner-Hornsteiner cello loan from the Carlsen Cello Foundation.
In 2017 he performed as a finalist of the McGill Concerto Competition, and was principal cellist of the McGill Symphony Orchestra. Jason has performed chamber music with artists like Johannes Moser, Axel Strauss, Victor Fournelle-Blain, Neal Stulberg, and Denis Bouriakov, and will perform with members of the Los Angeles Philharmonic this November for a Dilijan Chamber Music Series concert. He currently studies with Antonio Lysy in Los Angeles where he is working on his second year of a Doctorate of Musical Arts and string teaching assistantship at UCLA’s Herb Alpert School of Music. Some highlights of his previous year included touring the US, Canada, and Armenia premiering works as a member of the VEM Quartet, as well as performing Haydn’s Cello Concerto No. 2 with UCLA’s Symphony Orchestra.