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Cellist Steven Isserlis and Harpsichordist Richard Egarr Open Bach Festival April 27

April 27, 2018

Duo will play sonatas by Boccherini, Scarlatti, Handel, and Bach

Middlebury, VT—In 2015, internationally acclaimed cellist Steven Isserlis and harpsichordist Richard Egarr released a celebrated disc of baroque viola da gamba sonatas, which the Strad called “a revelation of simple beauty.” The duo opens the eighth Middlebury Bach Festival playing these sonatas by Boccherini, Scarlatti, Handel, and Bach at Middlebury College’s Mahaney Center for the Arts on Friday, April 27.

This concert is part of the Bach to Barber Paul Nelson Chamber Music Series—an important program within the Middlebury Performing Arts Series—and marks a continued collaboration between the series and the Middlebury Bach Festival.


About the Artists

Man playing celloAcclaimed worldwide for his profound musicianship and technical mastery, British cellist Steven Isserlis enjoys a uniquely varied career as a soloist, chamber musician, educator, author, and broadcaster. He appears with the world’s leading orchestras and conductors, and gives recitals every season in major musical centers. As a chamber musician, he has curated concert series for many prestigious venues, including the Wigmore Hall, New York’s 92nd St Y, and the Salzburg Festival. He also directs chamber orchestras from the cello in classical programs.

He has a strong interest in historical performance, working with many period-instrument orchestras and giving recitals with harpsichord and fortepiano. He is also a keen exponent of contemporary music and has premiered many new works, including John Tavener’s The Protecting Veil, Thomas Adès’s Lieux retrouvés, and Gyorgy Kurtag’s ‘For Steven.’

Steven Isserlis gives most of his concerts on the Marquis de Corberon (Nelsova) Stradivarius of 1726, kindly loaned to him by the Royal Academy of Music. He is one of only two living cellists featured in Gramophone’s Hall of Fame.

Man holding harpsicordRichard Egarr brings a joyful sense of adventure and a keen, enquiring mind to all his music-making—whether conducting, directing from the keyboard, giving recitals, or playing chamber music—and indeed, even while talking about music at every opportunity. Music Director of the Academy of Ancient Music since 2006, Egarr was recently appointed Principal Guest Conductor of the Residentie Orkest in the Hague from 2019, and was Associate Artist of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra 2011–2017. He has conducted major symphonic orchestras such as London Symphony, Royal Concertgebouw, and Philadelphia Orchestra. Egarr has frequently guested with leading baroque ensembles such as the Philharmonia Baroque and the Handel and Haydn Society, and regularly gives solo harpsichord recitals including at the Wigmore Hall and Carnegie Hall.


“Egarr on harpsichord matches Isserlis’s eloquence and rambunctious energy all the way.… Egarr’s imaginative realisations ensure that even when Scarlatti is at his most repetitive, he is never dull.”—Guardian, five stars, September 2015

“Isserlis played with fiery dexterity and swashbuckling vivacity.”—The New York Times

“[Egarr is] A Grand Master of the Baroque keyboard”—Fono Forum


Performance Details

Steven Isserlis and Richard Egarr will perform on Friday, April 27, 2018 at 8:00 P.M. at the Kevin P. Mahaney ’84 Center for the Arts’ Robison Hall. The Mahaney Center is located at 72 Porter Field Road in Middlebury, just off Route 30 south, on the campus of Middlebury College. Free parking is available curbside on Route 30 or in the Center for the Arts parking lot, in rows marked faculty/staff/visitors. Tickets are $28 for adults; $22 for Middlebury College faculty, staff, emeriti, and alumni; $10 for youth 18 and under; and $6 for Middlebury College students, and are on sale at 802-443-MIDD (6433) or  Learn more about other performances on the Middlebury Bach Festival at




Image captions:

(top center) Cellist Steven Isserlis and harpsichordist Richard Egarr will open Middlebury’s Bach Festival on April 27. Photos Jean Baptiste Millot and Marco Borggreve

(middle left) Cellist Steven Isserlis will perform with harpsichordist Richard Egarr to open Middlebury’s Bach Festival on April 27. Photo Satoshi Aoyagi

(lower right) Harpsichordist Richard Egarr will perform with cellist Steven Isserlis to open Middlebury’s Bach Festival on April 27. Photo Marco Borggreve

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