MIDDLEBURY, Vt. ? Cellist Sophie Shao has received rave reviews and standing ovations at Middlebury in past years, and she returns on Saturday, Feb. 13, at 8 p.m., to perform at the Middlebury College Kevin P. Mahaney ‘84 Center for the Arts Concert Hall. Joining her will be violinist Carmit Zori, violist Eric Nowlin and pianist Pei-Yao Wang. Their program will feature the much-loved piano quartet by Robert Schumann, as well as piano quartets by Mendelssohn and Fauré.

An Avery Fisher career grant recipient, Shao has won prizes in the Rostropovich and Tchaikovsky Competitions. She has performed in recital and as soloist throughout the United States, Europe and Asia. An active chamber musician, Shao performs regularly with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and has collaborated with such artists as Martha Argerich, Andre Watts, Cho-Liang Lin and Midori. A graduate of the Curtis Institute and Yale University, she plays on an Honore Derazey cello previously once owned by Pablo Casals. The New York Times has praised her “eloquent, powerful performance” as “strong and focused.”

Taipei-born pianist Pei-Yao Wang has established herself as a prominent soloist and chamber musician. She studied with Seymour Lipkin and Gary Graffman at The Curtis Institute of Music, and continued her studies with Claude Frank at Yale University. Her career has taken her to venues such as the Carnegie, Avery Fisher, Alice Tully, 92nd St Y, the Kennedy Center, Salle des Varietes in Monte-Carlo, Suntory Hall in Tokyo and the National Concert Hall in Taipei. She has collaborated with members of the Guarneri, Orion, Chicago, Mendelssohn and Miro quartets; and with other distinguished artists such as Claude Frank, Hilary Hahn, David Shifrin, and Mitsuko Uchida. She is also regularly invited to perform at festivals including Marlboro, Caramoor, La Jolla, Ravinia, and Bridgehampton in New York. Ms. Wang was a member of Chamber Music Society Two at Lincoln Center, a program to promote emerging young artists. She has also been a member of the Metropolitan Opera’s Lindemann Young Artists Program.
Violinist Carmit Zori came to the United States from her native Israel at age 15 to study at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. She received the Levintritt Foundation Award, a Pro Musicis International Award and a top prize in the Walter W. Naumburg International Violin Competition. She has performed as a soloist and in chamber music on five continents. Zori was artistic director at Bargemusic in New York, and is now the artistic director of the Brooklyn Chamber Music Society, which she founded in 2002. She has recorded on the Arabesque, Koch International, and Elektra-Nonesuch labels.

Violist Eric Nowlin has performed extensively throughout the U.S. and abroad. He won second prize in the 2006 Walter W. Naumburg Competition, and first prize in the 2003 Irving M. Klein International String Competition and 2001 Juilliard Viola Concerto Competition. His festival appearances include the Marlboro Music Festival and Ravinia’s Steans Institute, and he is the violist of the New Orford String Quartet. Nowlin currently serves as Associate Principal Violist with the Toronto Symphony. He received his degrees from The Juilliard School as a student of Samuel Rhodes.

The performance is sponsored by the Middlebury College Performing Arts Series. The Mahaney Center for the Arts Concert Hall is located on South Main Street (Route 30). Reserved seating tickets are $24, available through the Middlebury College Box Office at 802-443-6433 or www.middlebury.edu/arts.