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Cellist Sophie Shao and Friends to Perform on May 10

April 18, 2019

Final Concert of the 2018–2019 Performing Arts Series to Include Works by Mozart, Dvořák, Offenbach, and More

Middlebury, VT—A perennial Middlebury favorite, cellist Sophie Shao has been praised by the World News for her “sensitive, stylistic playing, with great finesse, emotion, and gorgeous tone,” and she has amassed an extensive collection of talented musical friends. Shao returns to the Mahaney Arts Center on Friday, May 10 for her 11th consecutive season with an exciting new ensemble including violinists Zachary DePue and Arnaud Sussmann, violist Matthew Lipman, and Nathan Farrington on double bass.

Together they will perform selected duets by Mozart, Penderecki, and Meyer, plus rarely heard double-bass quintets including Dvořák’s Op. 77 and Offenbach’s Divertimento über Schweizer Lieder in celebration of the composer’s 200th birthday. Professor of Music Larry Hamberlin will give a free pre-concert lecture at 6:30 PM in Mahaney Arts Center Room 221. The audience will also be invited to linger after the concert for a reception and cash bar.


About the Artists

A native of Houston, Sophie Shao began playing the cello at age six and enrolled at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia at age 13. She continued her cello studies at Yale University, eventually receiving an M.M. from the Yale School of Music, where she was enrolled as a Paul and Daisy Soros Fellow. She received an Avery Fisher Career Grant at age 19, was a major prizewinner at the 2001 Rostropovich Competition, and a laureate of the XII Tchaikovsky Competition in 2002. She has given the world premiere performances of Howard Shore’s Mythic Gardens—a concerto written for her—and Richard Wilson’s Concerto for Cello and Mezzo-Soprano with Leon Botstein and the American Symphony Orchestra. She has appeared as soloist with the BBC Concert Orchestra and conductor Keith Lockhart, made recital and chamber music appearances with the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society and Chamber Music Northwest, and recently released a double-CD set of the Bach Cello Suites. She is on the faculty of Vassar College and the Bard Conservatory of Music.


Shao threw her head back and leapt in —hair flying and nostrils flaring in fine romantic abandon ... It made for romanticism at its best: impassioned, even transporting, but with a clear-eyed intelligence that kept it from overheating into mush. —The Washington Post


Zachary DePue,
first violinist with the Indianapolis Quartet, became one of the youngest concertmasters in the country when he was appointed to the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra in 2007, where he served for more than a decade. He was a founding member of Time for Three, and a former member of the Philadelphia Orchestra. DePue graduated in 2002 from the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, where he served as concertmaster of the Curtis Symphony Orchestra.

Winner of a 2009 Avery Fisher Career Grant, violinist Arnaud Sussmann has performed at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall, the Phillips Collection in Washington, DC, major festivals around the U.S., and internationally in Saint Petersburg, Germany, Israel, and at the Louvre Museum in Paris. He regularly appears with Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center in New York and on tour, including performances at London’s Wigmore Hall.

Violist Matthew Lipman is a top prizewinner of the Primrose, Tertis, Washington, Johansen, and Stulberg International Viola Competitions, and won a 2015 Avery Fisher Career Grant. He was featured on WFMT Chicago’s “30 Under 30” list of the world’s top classical musicians. A native of Chicago, Lipman received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the Juilliard School, and is on the faculty at Stony Brook University.

Nathan Farrington
is a bassist, singer, and composer living in Los Angeles. He regularly appears in the bass sections of many of America’s top orchestras, including the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Chicago Symphony, and the New York Philharmonic. Farrington was recently named the Principal Bass of the Los Angeles Opera Orchestra under James Conlon and Placido Domingo.


Performance Details

Sophie Shao and Friends will perform on Friday, May 10, 2019 at 7:30 PM at the Mahaney Arts Center’s Robison Hall. The Mahaney Center is located on the campus of Middlebury College, at 72 Porter Field Road, just off Route 30 South/S. Main Street. Parking is available curbside on Route 30 or in the Arts Center parking lot. Reserved seating tickets are $28 for adults; $22 for Middlebury College faculty, staff, emeriti, and alumni; $10 for youth; and $6 for Middlebury College students; and are on sale at 802-443-MIDD (6433) or


Image Captions:

(top right) Cellist Sophie Shao and Friends will perform at Middlebury College on Friday, May 10 at 7:30 PM. Photo Aaron Kimball

(top left, 2nd from top left) Cellist Sophie Shao and Friends will perform at Middlebury College on Friday, May 10 at 7:30 PM. Photos Neda Navaee

Violinist Zachary DePue will perform with cellist Sophie Shao and Friends at Middlebury College on Friday, May 10. Photo Esther Boston

Violinist Arnaud Sussman will perform with cellist Sophie Shao and Friends at Middlebury College on Friday, May 10. Photo Carlin Ma

Violist Matthew Lipman will perform with cellist Sophie Shao and Friends at Middlebury College on Friday, May 10. Photo Jiyang Chen

Bassist Nathan Farrington will perform with cellist Sophie Shao and Friends at Middlebury College on Friday, May 10.

Mahaney Arts Center
Middlebury College
South Main St./Route 30 South
72 Porter Field Rd.
Middlebury, VT 05753
(802) 443-3168 phone
(802) 443-2834 fax