MIDDLEBURY, Vt.-Chamber music fans will delight in cellist Pieter Wispelwey's stop at Middlebury College on his latest tour in which he pairs his expertise with pianist Dejan Lazic, a fresh talent on the classical music scene. Their performance begins at 8 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 13, in the Concert Hall in the Center for the Arts.
The pair plan an evening of sonatas by Beethoven, Shostakovich and Brahms.
The combination of Wispelwey and Lazic is a gem-Wispelwey, in his 40s, enjoys an established reputation as a bit of a maverick who is true to his Baroque music origins and his desire to be original and introspective; Lazic, still in his 20s, has earned attention and respect on the classical scene since childhood, emerging as both a solid, exciting soloist, and a reliable accompanist.
In 2002, the duo gave a recital at the University of Chicago. The Chicago Tribune reviewer wrote, "Chamber music playing at this level involves something more than shared chemistry. . One player ceded the right of way to the other with a spontaneity that fairly crackled."
Wispelwey was born in the Netherlands to a musical family-his father played in an amateur string quartet. His early teachers fostered his love for Baroque music that continues to this day, and Wispelwey is known for his performances and recordings of the Bach cello suites. He is at home on both the modern cello and period instruments, a talent which allows him a vast repertoire. The Bach suites were his first recording with the small label Channel Classics, receiving great acclaim and landing him the 1992 Netherlands Music Prize, awarded to the country's most promising young musician each year.
Wispelwey has appeared as a recitalist all over the world and has toured and recorded with a host of orchestras and ensembles. He records exclusively with Channel Classics where he enjoys a relationship that gives him wide artistic range and control. He has recorded Schubert sonatas, Chopin waltzes, Brahms and Beethoven sonatas, and Schumann and Shostakovich cello works. Wispelwey prides himself on earning acclaim by pursuing his musical interests rather than the spotlight. Instead of following a mainstream career track of competitions and prizes, he has pursued a sometimes obscure and unusual repertoire to the delight of audiences and the critics.
"To say Pieter Wispelwey's music-making is ravishing is to utter an understatement of huge proportions," declared a reviewer at The Age of Melbourne, Australia.
Lazic is also a performer to watch. Born in Zagreb in 1977, he began studying piano and clarinet as a child, winning his first competition at age 10. He has already built a reputation as a soloist and composer and has performed at many of Europe's great concert halls. Lazic has also given both duo and solo recitals in North America, South America and Japan. His recordings include works by Haydn, Mozart, Chopin, Ravel and Beethoven. Gramophone called Lazic a "gifted musician, full of ideas . a brilliant pianist." He and Wispelwey have collaborated on several recordings on Channel Classics.
Wispelwey and Lazic's recital is sponsored by the Middlebury College Performing Arts series.
The Center for the Arts is on South Main Street (Route 30). Reserved seating tickets for the performance are $12 for general admission and $10 for seniors. For tickets or information, contact the College Box Office at 802-443-6433 or www.middlebury.edu/arts.
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