David Finckel, cello; Wu Han, piano
Wednesday, April 16, 2014
7:30 PM, Mahaney Center for the Arts, Concert Hall
David Finckel, cello
Wu Han, piano
Cellist David Finckel and pianist Wu Han, Musical America’s 2012 Musicians of the Year, rank among the most esteemed and influential classical musicians in the world today. The talent, energy, imagination, and dedication they bring to their multifaceted endeavors as concert performers, recording artists, educators, artistic administrators, and cultural entrepreneurs go unmatched. In high demand year after year among chamber music audiences worldwide, the duo has appeared each season at the most prestigious venues and concert series across the United States and around the world to unanimous critical acclaim. For thirty-four years, David Finckel served as cellist of the Grammy Award-winning Emerson String Quartet. David Finckel and Wu Han’s wide-ranging musical innovations include the launch of ArtistLed, classical music’s first musician-directed and Internet-based recording company, whose catalogue of sixteen albums has won widespread critical acclaim. The duo will play a program entitled "Russian Reflections," featuring works by Prokofiev, Shostakovich, Scriabin, and Rachmaninov. Sponsored by the Performing Arts Series.
Tickets: $25/20/6. *Tickets purchased for the Christianne Stotijn concert originally scheduled for this date/time will be honored. Buy tickets>>
PROKOFIEV Sonata for Cello and Piano in C major, Op.119 (1949)
SHOSTAKOVICH Sonata for Cello and Piano in d minor, Op. 40 (1934)
SCRIABIN Five Preludes for solo piano, Op. 16 (1894-95)
RACHMANINOV Sonata for Cello and Piano in g minor, Op. 19 (1901)
With a program of music that is alternately grand, nostalgic, mystical and earthy, David Finckel and Wu Han present a recital in which cello and piano tell the gripping story of Russian music of the 20th century. Culminating in Rachmaninov's ultra-romantic cello sonata, a masterpiece of the repertoire, the 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. The ground-breaking sonata by Shostakovich, composed on the eve of some of his most controversial musical creations, 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.
David Finckel, cello
Wu Han, piano
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 talent, energy, imagination, and dedication they bring to their multifaceted endeavors as concert performers, recording artists, educators, artistic administrators, and cultural entrepreneurs go unmatched. Their duo performances have garnered superlatives from the press, public, and presenters alike.
In high demand year after year among chamber music audiences worldwide, the duo has 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. Recent highlights include performances at Lincoln Center, Boston Celebrity Series, and Aspen’s Harris Concert Hall, recitals in Korea and at Germany’s Mecklenburg Festival, and their presentation of the Beethoven Triple Concert with violinist Philip Setzer with the Utah Symphony. They have also been frequent guests on American Public Media’s Performance Today, Saint Paul Sunday, and other popular classical radio programs. For thirty-four years, David Finckel served as cellist of the Emerson String Quartet in addition to his chamber work, during which he garnered eight Grammy Awards including two honors for “Best Classical Album,” threeGramophone Magazine Awards, and the prestigious Avery Fisher Prize, awarded in 2004 for the first time to a chamber ensemble.
In addition to their distinction as world-class performers, the duo has established a reputation for their dynamic and innovative approach to the recording studio. In 1997, David Finckel and Wu Han launched ArtistLed, classical music’s first musician-directed and Internet-based recording company, which has served as a model for numerous independent labels. All sixteen ArtistLed recordings, including the most recent Dvorák Piano Trios, have met with critical acclaim and are available via the company’s website at www.artistled.com.
Now in their third term as Artistic Directors of The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, David Finckel and Wu Han hold the longest tenure as directors since Charles Wadsworth, the founding Artistic Director. David and Wu Han are the founders and Artistic Directors of Music@Menlo, a chamber music festival and institute in Silicon Valley now celebrating its eleventh season. In these capacities, they have overseen the establishment and design of The Chamber Music Society’s CMS Studio Recordings label, as well as the Society’s recording partnership with Deutsche Grammophon (which includes CMS concert downloads made available through the Digital DG Concerts Series); and Music@Menlo LIVE, Music@Menlo’s exclusive recording label, which has been praised as a “breakthrough” (Billboard) and “probably the most ambitious recording project of any classical music festival in the world” (San Jose Mercury News). David Finckel and Wu Han also serve as Artistic Directors of Chamber Music Today, an annual festival held in Seoul, Korea. The festival, now celebrating it’s third anniversary, is at the forefront of expanding the presence of chamber music in the Far East.
The duo’s repertoire spans virtually the entire literature for cello and piano, with an equal emphasis on the classics and the contemporaries. Their modern repertoire includes all the significant works, from Prokofiev and Britten to Alfred Schnittke and André Previn. Their commitment to new music has brought commissioned works by Bruce Adolphe, Lera Auerbach, Gabriela Lena Frank, Pierre Jalbert, Augusta Read Thomas, and George Tsontakis to audiences around the world. In 2010, the duo released “For David and Wu Han” (ArtistLed), an album of four contemporary works for cello and piano expressly composed for them. In 2011, Summit Records released a recording of the duo performing Gabriela Lena Frank’s concerto, Compadrazgo, with the ProMusica Columbus Chamber Orchestra.
David Finckel and Wu Han have achieved universal renown for their passionate commitment to nurturing the careers of countless young artists through a wide array of education initiatives. For many years, the duo taught alongside the late Isaac Stern at Carnegie Hall and the Jerusalem Music Center. They appeared annually on the Aspen Music Festival’s Distinguished Artist Master Class series and in various educational outreach programs across the country. In 2013, David Finckel and Wu Han launched a chamber music studio at Aspen Music Festival. Under the auspices of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, David Finckel and Wu Han direct the LG Chamber Music School, which provides workshops to young artists in Korea and Taiwan. David Finckel was named honoree and Artistic Director of the Mendelssohn Fellowship in 2012, a program established to identify young Korean musicians and promote chamber music in South Korea. David Finckel serves as Professor of Cello at The Juilliard School, as well as Artist-in-Residence at Stony Brook University. David Finckel and Wu Han reside in New York.
Artist Website: www.davidfinckelandwuhan.com
"From the top, one is as impressed by the transparent, in-depth sonics of the recording as by the virtuosity and artistry of this superb duo."--Tucson Citizen
“These are performances that catch the excitement of Beethoven without eschewing tenderness; virtuosic but unfailingly musical in their conception and execution. Both musicians play flawlessly but these are not mechanical performances: they pulse with the variety of emotion that makes Beethoven one of the greatest and most popular of composers.”--Audiophile