March 29, 2002

Contact: Sarah Ray
Posted: March 29, 2002

MIDDLEBURY, VT -Middlebury is a familiar venue for acclaimed pianist Wu Han,whose upcoming performance is her first solo appearance here in 15 years. On Friday, April 19, at 8 p.m., she will offer a recital of all-Russian works in the Concert Hall in the Center for the Arts on South Main Street (Route 30).

Han, a familiar chamber ensemble performer, will present a solo program that features Tchaikovsky's "The Seasons for Piano," Op.37b; Scriabin's "Sonata," Op. 30; and Rachmaninoff's "Liebeslied," "Liebesfreud" and seven of his preludes.

Praised for her energetic style and passion at the keyboard, Han surprises and impresses audiences wherever she performs. The Washington Post called her playing "breathtaking." The Chicago Sun-Times described her as "a pianist of fiery temperament."

Han's career has taken her to some of the world's most prestigious stages, including London's Wigmore Hall, New York's Carnegie Hall and Washington D.C.'s Kennedy Center. Tours of Europe have included concerts in Germany, Austria, Spain and Denmark. She has played many venues across the United States¾Boston, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Los Angeles and Seattle among them. Asian stops have included Tokyo, where she has performed the complete Beethoven cycle, and her native Taiwan.

A frequent guest soloist with major orchestras, Han is a winner of the Andrew Wolf Award for pianists who have made a significant contribution to the world of chamber music. She frequently performs with ensembles such as the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and she has performed with the St. Lawrence and Borromeo String Quartets.

Han's highest-profile collaboration by far is with her husband David Finckel, cellist for the Grammy Award-winning Emerson String Quartet. In addition to keeping an ambitious touring schedule, the pair also started ArtistLed, a musician-directed and Internet-based recording company. Initially featuring works by Han and Finckel, the effort now includes other artists as well. One of their most recent recordings is an all-Russian disc featuring Rachmaninoff, Prokofiev and Shostakovich.

Han also is a favorite of summer festival audiences, appearing at Caramoor, Saratoga, Aspen, Santa Fe and Vail. She and Finckel for several seasons have worked as artistic directors for Summerfest La Jolla¾a chamber music festival in La Jolla, Calif.¾programming and directing concerts, symposiums and workshops.

Han has taught at the Aspen Music Festival and in collaboration with Isaac Stern at his chamber music workshops in both Jerusalem and New York.

Han began studying music at age nine and quickly received recognition in competitions across Taiwan. Visiting artists, such as Jean-Pierre Rampal, often chose her to perform with them and then invited her to the United States, where she participated twice in Vermont's Marlboro Music Festival and its subsequent national tours. Among Han's teachers were Rudolph Serkin and Lilian Kallir.

The Middlebury College Performing Arts Series is sponsoring Han's concert.

Tickets for the performance are $10 for general admission and $8 for seniors. A pre-performance dinner will begin at 6:30 p.m. at Rehearsals Cafe in the Center for the Arts. Reservations are required. For tickets or dinner reservations, contact the College Box Office at 802-443-6433.