Hey, I know that guy!

By now, especially if you ever watch sporting events (since it seems to be in heavy rotation during them), you’ve no doubt seen this clever American Express commercial:

I’ve enjoyed this commercial since I first saw it, I guess because I am always inclined to see faces in inanimate objects anyway (the front ends of cars are really like this for me), and it’s an inventive way to play up this idea.

The commercial is also memorable for the distinctive cello playing. That’s J.S. Bach’s Cello Suite No. 1 in G Major for those in the know. (Me, I knew it was Bach, but I had to look up the rest.) But who played that cello piece so distinctively? A virtuoso, to be sure. Was it Yo-Yo Ma? Can you name another cello virtuoso?

Well, here’s a name for you to file away in your brain for later reference: Robert Burkhart. He’s been a part of the classical music scene in New York (and toured the world) for the past decade. But I’ll always know him as Bob — the high school orchestra director’s son and one of my most entertainingly eccentric friends in high school. Bob is a great guy and I am absolutely thrilled for him over his growing success in the music world. Way to go, Bob!

If you like what you hear, Bob recently released a CD with pianist Blair McMillen. I picked up two copies — one for myself and one for my parents. It’s called 20/21. Check it out!