Middlebury

Dutch cellist Pieter Wispelwey and Croatian pianist Dejan Lazic to perform together Feb. 16

February 2, 2007

MIDDLEBURY, Vt. ? At 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 16, in the Middlebury College Center for the Arts Concert Hall, acclaimed duo of Dutch cellist Pieter Wispelwey and pianist Dejan Lazic will perform together a collection of Beethoven music. The last time Wispelwey and Lazic played together at Middlebury, in the fall of 2004, their program featured an evening of sonatas by various composers. For this performance, the duo will focus on all of Beethoven's music for cello and piano, including five sonatas and three sets of variations - two on themes from Mozart's "The Magic Flute," and another on a theme by Handel. The Middlebury College Center for the Arts Concert Hall is located on South Main Street (Route 30).

Pieter Wispelwey

The long-standing partnership of Wispelwey and Lazic is highly acclaimed for outstanding performances. The elder Wispelwey enjoys an established reputation as a bit of a maverick who brings originality and introspection to his Baroque music origins; a younger musician, Lazic has quickly garnered a lifetime of acclaim as both a solid soloist and a passionate chamber musician.

Of a 2002 recital at the University of Chicago, a 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 has appeared all over the world and has toured and recorded with numerous orchestras and ensembles and plays both the modern cello and period instruments, a talent which engenders 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. Also with Channel Classics, he has recorded Schubert sonatas, Chopin waltzes, Brahms and Beethoven sonatas, and Schumann and Shostakovich cello works. Wispelwey prides himself on pursuing his musical interests rather than the spotlight, often to the delight of audiences and critics.

"To say Pieter Wispelwey's music-making is ravishing is to utter an understatement of huge proportions," declared a reviewer at the Australian paper, The Age of Melbourne.

Paul Lazic

Lazic, born in Zagreb in 1977, began studying piano and clarinet as a child, and won his first competition at age 10. He has built a reputation as a soloist and composer and has performed at many of Europe's great concert halls. He has 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.

Performing Arts Series Director Paul Nelson said, "We first heard Pieter Wispelwey many years ago. He played a program in Mead Chapel, featuring two unaccompanied suites by Bach and two suites by Benjamin Britten. We felt then, and still feel now, that his is an unmistakable sound and style - lean, aristocratic playing that calls attention to the phrases of the music. He has been playing the past few seasons in an especially fruitful partnership with pianist Dejan Lazic; the two cooperate remarkably."

The performance is sponsored by the Middlebury College Performing Arts Series. Reserved seating tickets are $15 for general admission and $12 for seniors. A pre-performance dinner begins at 6 p.m. at Rehearsals Cafe in the Center for the Arts. Reservations are required. For tickets or dinner reservations, call the Middlebury College Box Office at 802-443-6433. Online tickets and information are available at www.middlebury.edu/arts.