Hailed as a cellist with "warmth and panache in solo flight"(Atlanta Journal Constitution) Ismail Akbar was born in Atlanta, received his Bachelors of Music degree in cello performance from Oberlin Conservatory of Music and Masters of Music from Mercer University. As a graduate of the prestigious Talent Development Program he performed with the Atlanta Symphony under the direction of Robert Spano. Mr. Akbar has performed as soloist and chamber musician throughout Panama, Bahamas, Russia and Italy. He has also performed as soloist with the North Georgia Chamber Symphony, Georgia Tech Symphony Orchestra and the Georgia College Orchestra. He has held substitute positions as principal and assistant principal cellist of Symphony Orchestra Augusta, Hilton Head Symphony, North Georgia Chamber Symphony and Greenville Symphony Orchestra. He has served as Faculty Cello Instructor at Laurel Ridge Music Festival in Helen, Ga for 12 years. Mr. Akbar is on the Board of Directors of Orvieto Musica's Italian Music Festival. As Cello Teaching Artist of the Atlanta Music Project, Akbar is an advocate for social change through musical excellence.