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David Finckel, Cello and Wu Han, Piano; 02/28/2020

Friday, February 28

David Finckel, Cello and Wu Han, Piano 

7:30 PM, Mahaney Arts Center, Robison Hall 

We couldn’t celebrate the series’ 100th anniversary without including its most prolific artist, cellist David Finckel. For his 40th performance at Middlebury, Finckel joins his wife, acclaimed pianist Wu Han, in a program including Beethoven, Debussy, Mendelssohn, and Chopin. 

“Chamber music’s busy power couple” (New York Times) also performs the world premiere of Ephemeral Objects, a new work by Vermont-raised, prize-winning composer Pierre Jalbert, commissioned by the series to mark this special occasion. A Nelson Fund event, made possible with additional support from Performing Arts Series Society (PASS) members Marny and Rob Lichtenstein.

Jalbert gives a pre-concert lecture at 6:15 PM in MAC 221. Join us for a free post-concert reception.

Reserved seating. Tickets: $30 General public/$25 Midd ID holders/$10 Youth (18 and under)/$6 Midd students.


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Learn MoreMedia • Program • Biographies • Press Release


David Finckel, cello and Wu Han, piano perform Bach's Sonata at Tippet Rise Art Center.



Beethoven Sonata for Cello and Piano in A Major, op. 69

Debussy Sonata in D Minor for Cello and Piano (1915)

Pierre Jalbert Ephemeral Objects (world premiere)

Mendelssohn Song Without Words

Chopin Sonata in G Minor for Cello and Piano, Op. 65 (1845–46)  

David Finckel and Wu Han • Pierre Jalbert

David Finckel, cello and Wu Han, piano

David Finckel and Wu Han are among the most esteemed and influential classical musicians in the world today.  They are recipients of Musical America’sMusicians of the Year award, one of the highest honors granted by the music industry. The talent, energy, imagination, and dedication they bring to their multifaceted endeavors as concert performers, recording artists, educators, artistic administrators, and cultural entrepreneurs has 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. 

The artists’ wide-ranging musical activities also include the launch of ArtistLed (, classical music’s first musician-directed and Internet-based recording company, whose 19-album catalogue has won widespread praise. This is a milestone season as the label turns twenty in 2018.  David Finckel and Wu Han have also overseen the establishment and design of The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s acclaimed CMS Studio and CMS Live labels, as well as the Society’s recording partnership with Deutsche Grammophon, and the much lauded Music@Menlo LIVE label. 

Now in their third term as Artistic Directors of The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center (CMS), David Finckel and Wu Han hold the longest tenure as directors since Charles Wadsworth, the founding Artistic Director. They are also the founding Artistic Directors of Music@Menlo, a chamber music festival and institute in Silicon Valley. In 2011, David Finckel and Wu Han were named Artistic Directors of Chamber Music Today, an annual festival held in Korea. Under the auspices of CMS, they also lead the LG Chamber Music School, which serves dozens of young musicians in Korea annually.  In these capacities, as well as through a multitude of other education initiatives, including their chamber music studio at the Aspen Music Festival and School, they have achieved universal renown for their passionate commitment to nurturing the careers of countless young artists. 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:

Pierre Jalbert, composer

American composer Pierre Jalbert has been recognized for his richly colored and superbly crafted scores and “music of fierce and delicate inventiveness [with] kaleidoscope of moods and effects.”(Cleveland Plain Dealer) Painting vibrant and picturesque sonic portraits for the listener, he has developed a musical language that is engaging, expressive, and deeply personal. Among his many honors are the Rome Prize, BBC Masterprize, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s Stoeger Award, given biennially “in recognition of significant contributions to the chamber music repertory,” and an award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Jalbert’s work has drawn inspiration from a variety of sources ranging from plainchant melodies to natural phenomena, and his French-Canadian heritage, hearing English folk songs and Catholic liturgical music growing up. He has earned a reputation for his mastery of color, in both his chamber and orchestral scores, creating timbres that are vivid yet refined and tonally centered, combining modal, tonal, and dissonant sonorities as it travels new and unusual paths, while retaining a sense of harmonic motion culminating in a completed journey.

His music has been commissioned and performed worldwide, including the St. Paul and Los Angeles Chamber orchestras, the American Composers Orchestra, and the Symphonies of Houston, Vermont, Albany, Budapest, London, Boston and Milwaukee, the National Symphony, Cabrillo and Eastern Festival Orchestras. He received two Meet the Composer grants, including one for its “Magnum Opus Project.” Jalbert served as Composer-in-Residence with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, California Symphony and Chicago’s Music in the Loft.

Hailed as “an acknowledged chamber-music master” by The New Yorker, his chamber music has been performed by Midori, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the Emerson, Escher, Ying, Borromeo, and Chiara String Quartets, Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, Music from Copland House, and at the Caramoor Festival. Recent and upcoming are his third commission for the Arizona Friends of Chamber Music, with co-commissioners La Jolla Summerfest, and Chamber Music Society of Fort Worth; a violin concerto for a consortium of the Los Angeles and St. Paul Chamber Orchestras and Milwaukee Symphony; a new work for the Colorado Springs Philharmonic; and a new work for the Cincinnati Symphony.

Jalbert’s orchestral work In Aeternam, which has been performed internationally by the Seattle and London Symphony Orchestras among others, garnered the highly prestigious BBC Masterprize. His discography features recordings by David Finckel and Wu Han, the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Ying Quartet, the Pro Arte Quartet and most recently, a disc of his chamber music with the Music from Copland House ensemble. His recordings can be heard on the ArtistLed, Cedille, Albany, New Dynamic, Gasparo, Helicon, Summit Records labels, and most recently an album of his chamber music by the Music from Copland House ensemble on its label Copland House Blend.

Born in Manchester, NH into a family with roots in Quebec, Jalbert grew up in northern Vermont. At age 5, he began piano lessons and immersed himself in the classical repertoire.  Following undergraduate studies in piano and composition at Oberlin Conservatory, Jalbert earned a PhD in Composition at the University of Pennsylvania, where he studied with George Crumb. Jalbert is Professor of Composition and Theory at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music in Houston, where he has taught since 1996, and currently serves as Co-Artistic Director of Musiqa, a locally based contemporary chamber ensemble. His music is published by Schott Helicon Music Corporation (BMI), New York.

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