Cellist and Pianist Are Partners in Music and in Life
Middlebury, VT—Musical America’s 2012 Musicians of the Year, cellist David Finckel and pianist Wu Han rank among the most esteemed and influential classical musicians in the world today. The married duo will return to Middlebury on April 16 to play a program entitled “Russian Reflections,” featuring works by Prokofiev, Shostakovich, Scriabin, and Rachmaninov. Their concert, presented by the Middlebury College Performing Arts Series, will take place at the Mahaney Center for the Arts.
With a program of music that is alternately grand, nostalgic, mystical, and earthy, Finckel and Han will present a recital in which cello and piano tell the gripping story of Russian music of the 20th century. The “Russian Reflections” program showcases the styles of four of Russia’s most beloved composers, with Prokofiev’s stately and lyrical sonata opening the great gates to the vast Russian landscape. Next is the ground-breaking sonata by Shostakovich, composed on the eve of some of his most controversial musical creations, which quickly took its place among the pantheon of cello sonatas, championed worldwide by the great Rostropovich. This unusual recital program also features the voice of the solo piano in a short work by one of the instrument’s most innovative masters, Alexander Scriabin, whose sublime Op. 16 Preludes connect the language of Tchaikovsky with the coming age of modernism. The concert culminates in Rachmaninov’s ultra-romantic cello sonata, a masterpiece of the repertoire.
In high demand year after year among chamber music audiences worldwide, Finckel and Han have appeared each season at the most prestigious venues and concert series across the United States, Mexico, Canada, the Far East, and Europe to unanimous critical acclaim. “When a pair of genuine artists explodes on the stage, exuding not only glamour and theatrical flair but also superb musical insight, the audience’s thrill is twofold.”—Chicago Sun Times
Aside from their distinction as world-class performers, Finckel and Han have established a reputation for their dynamic and innovative approach to the recording studio. In 1997, they launched ArtistLed, classical music’s first musician-directed and Internet-based recording company, which has served as a model for numerous independent labels.
Now in their third term as Artistic Directors of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Finckel and Han hold the longest tenure as directors since Charles Wadsworth, the founding Artistic Director. They are the founders and Artistic Directors of Music@Menlo, a chamber music festival and institute in Silicon Valley that has garnered international acclaim, soon to celebrate its twelfth season. They are also Artistic Directors of Chamber Music Today, an annual festival held in Seoul, Korea.
In addition to his duo activities, Finckel is known to Middlebury audiences as the former cellist of the frequent Middlebury guest ensemble Emerson String Quartet, as an honorary degree recipient from Middlebury College in 1995, and for his connection to local music camp Point CounterPoint, which his father founded in 1963.
The concert by David Finckel and Wu Han will take place on Wednesday, April 16 at 7:30 PM in the Concert Hall of the Mahaney Center for the Arts. The Mahaney Center is located at 72 Porter Field Road in Middlebury, just off Route 30 south. Free parking is available. Tickets are $25 for the general public; $20 for Middlebury College faculty, staff, alumni, emeriti, and other ID card holders; and $6 for Middlebury College students. Tickets previously purchased for the concert by soprano Christianne Stotijn, originally scheduled for this date and time, will be honored. For more information, or to purchase tickets, call (802) 443-MIDD (6433) or go to http://www.middlebury.edu/arts.
Top right: David Finckel and Wu Han performing at Lincoln Center, photo by Tristan Cook
Top left: Cellist David Finckel and Pianist Wu Han, photo by Liza Marie Mazzucco
Second from top: Cellist David Finckel and Pianist Wu Han, photo by Adam Grabois
Bottom: David Finckel and Wu Han performing at Lincoln Center, photo by Tristan Cook