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After finishing studies with Casals, Greenhouse went on to pursue a solo career for twelve years. He struggled with this however, as the cello was not a very popular solo instrument at the time. During this period he encountered violinistDaniel Guilet, who invited Greenhouse in 1954 to play some Mozartpiano trios with pianistMenahem Pressler. In 1955 they met in New York City, the first meeting of what was to become the Beaux Arts Trio.
In 1958, Greenhouse acquired the Countess of Stanlein, also called the Paganini Strad, one of 63 Antonio Stradivari celli, and played it ever after. Following his death it was to be sold by Boston violin dealer Christopher Reuning.
In 1987, he left the trio, and was replaced with cellist Peter Wiley. Greenhouse was known for his impeccable technique, but even more so for his inspiring passion and the depth and variety of his sound.
Interviewed as the farewell concert of the Beaux Arts Trio on August 21, 2008 approached, he said he practiced every day and was considered "the old man of the cello", with other aging cellists being surprised that he still performed at the age of 95. Greenhouse also remained the oldest of those who have played in the trio, until at least 2015, Daniel Guilet (who was born about a week short of 17 years earlier) having died at the age of 91, and Isidore Cohen having died at 82.
Bowed Arts--Gedanken von Bernard Greenhouse über sein Leben und die Musik. Reflections of Bernard Greenhouse on His Life and Music, Laurinel Owen, Kronberg Academy Verlag, Kronberg im Taunus (2001). The book is in German and in English (originally written in English and then translated into German and published in Germany). ISBN3-934395-07-4.
The Beaux Arts Trio. A Portrait, Nicholas Delbanco, William Morrow and Co., New York (1985). ISBN0-688-04001-2.
The Countess of Stanlein Restored, Nicholas Delbanco, Verso, London & New York (2001). A History of the Countess of Stanlein ex Paganini Stradivarius Cello of 1707. ISBN1-85984-761-7.