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Sophie Shao, cello; Ieva Jokubaviciute, piano; 03/09/2012

Friday, March 9, 2012
8:00 PM
Mahaney Center for the Arts, Concert Hall

Acclaimed cellist Sophie Shao’s ability to assemble impromptu chamber ensembles is unparalleled. Joining her on this program is Lithuanian pianist Ieva Jokubaviciute, known for her deep musical and emotional commitment to a wide range of repertoire and called “elegant and engaging” by the Wall Street Journal. They perform solo and together, including works by Beethoven, Kirchner, and Franck.

Reserved Seating. Tickets: $25/20/6. 802-443-MIDD (6433).

Read the press release>>

Cellist Sophie Shao performs Beethoven's 12 Variations on Handel's 'See the Conqu'ring Hero Comes', WoO 45 with pianist Ieva Jokubaviciute. This recital was presented by the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society at the Curtis Institute on January 8, 2012.


BEETHOVEN Twelve Variations in G Major on a theme from Handel'sJudas Maccabaeus, WoO45 (1796)

KIRCHNER For Cello Solo (1988)

BEETHOVEN Sonata for Cello and Piano in D Major, Op. 102, No. 2 (1815)


JANACEK Pohadka ("Fairy Tale") (1910, rev. 1923)

FRANCK Violin Sonata in A Major (1886)



Artist Biographies

Sophie Shao, cello

At the age of nineteen, cellist Sophie Shao received the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant, and has since performed throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia. Winner of top prizes at the Rostropovich and Tchaikovsky competitions, the New York Times has applauded her “eloquent, powerful” interpretations of repertoire ranging from Bach and Beethoven to Crumb.

Highlights of this season include the opening night performance of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, a performance with Andre Watts in Saratoga Springs, and a tour of New England with “Sophie Shao and Friends” – her popular, flexible chamber ensemble. Highlights of next season include recitals for the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society and Middlebury College, a performance of the complete Bach suites at Union College, and a Sophie and Friends tour including performances from Brattleboro, VT to Sedona, AZ. Ms. Shao recently collaborated with film composer Howard Shore resulting in a commission of “Great Gardens” – a concerto being written for her to be premiered with the American Symphony Orchestra in April 2012.  In 2012-2013, she will appear as soloist with the BBC Concert Orchestra and Keith Lockhart in performances of the Elgar and Shostakovich concerti on a two-week tour of the west coast.

Recent performances include Beethoven’s Triple Concerto with Hans Graf and the Houston Symphony, Tan Dun’s Ghost Opera with Cho-Liang Lin in Indianapolis, the world-premiere of Richard Wilson’s Concerto for cello and mezzo-soprano with the American Symphony Orchestra, and recital and chamber music appearances at the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Chamber Music Northwest, and Music Mountain (with the Shanghai Quartet) among many other presenters across the country.  Ms. Shao’s annual “Sophie Shao and Friends” touring groups have received acclaim throughout New England.  She is also a frequent guest at many leading festivals around the country including Chamber Music Northwest, Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival, Music from Angel Fire, the Bard Festival, and Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival.

Ms. Shao can be heard on EMI Classics, Bridge Records (for the Marlboro Music Festival’s 50th Anniversary recording), and on Albany Records. Her recording releases in 2009 include Richard Wilson’s Brash Attacks on Albany Records and Howard Shore’s original score for the movie The Betrayal on Howe Records.  She may also be heard on an upcoming release on Koch Records in the music of George Tsontakis.

A native of Houston, Texas, Ms. Shao began playing the cello at age six, and was a student of Shirley Trepel, former principal cellist of the Houston Symphony.  At age thirteen she enrolled at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, studying cello with David Soyer. After graduating from the Curtis Institute, she continued her cello studies with Aldo Parisot at Yale University, receiving a B.A. in Religious Studies from Yale College and an M.M. from the Yale School of Music, where she was enrolled as a Paul and Daisy Soros Fellow.  She is on the faculty of Vassar College and the Bard Conservatory of Music and plays on a cello made by Honore Derazey from 1860 once owned by Pablo Casals.


Ieva Jokubaviciute, piano

Known for her deep musical and emotional commitment to a wide range of repertoire, Lithuanian pianist Ieva Jokubaviciute performs regularly for audiences in the US, Europe, and South America. Her ability to communicate the essential substance of a work, whether in recital, with orchestra, in chamber music, or in art song, has led critics to describe her as possessing ‘razor-sharp intelligence and wit' (The Washington Post) and as ‘elegant and engaging' (The Wall Street Journal). In 2006, she was honored as a recipient of a Borletti-Buitoni Trust Fellowship.

Ieva made her Chicago Symphony debut at the Ravinia Festival in June of 2005 under the baton of James Conlon, immediately followed by her Martin Theatre debut in an all-Mozart chamber music postlude concert. Ieva appeared that season as a guest artist on National Public Radio's Performance Today, at Carnegie's Weill Hall, and at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, and toured with Musicians from Marlboro. She gave solo recitals in Vilnius, Lithuania, Boston, and at the Smithsonian Institution's Freer Gallery in Washington DC where she performed a program in conjunction with an exhibit on the 19th century American painter James McNeil Whistler. The Washington Post called her a ‘splendid colorist' and described her performance as ‘magical tone-painting'.

Over the last several seasons, Ieva gave recitals on the Dame Myra Hess Concert Series in Chicago, at Caspary Hall in New York City, and in Vilnius, Lithuania and made her orchestral debut in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil performing Mozart's K. 488 under the baton of Ligia Amadio. Her chamber music endeavors have brought her to stages around the world such as Carnegie Hall's Stern Auditorium, Lima, Peru, Panama City, Panama, and on national tours with Musicians from Marlboro.

In June of 2009, Ieva’s piano trio—Trio Cavatina—won the 2009 Naumburg Chamber Music Competition and made its Carnegie Hall debut in May of 2010.  This fall, Ieva toured England with musicians from Prussia Cove, which culminated with a concert at Wigmore Hall in London.  In October, Labor Records released Ieva’s Alban Berg Tribute recording as volume 6 in its Music of Tribute Series.  Ieva recorded Alban Berg’s opus 1 piano sonata, his opus 2 songs with mezzo-soprano Marjorie Dix, and previously unknown or unrecorded works written in tribute to Berg by Giacinto Scelsi, Franghiz Ali-Zadeh, Ross Lee Finney, Jacob Gilboa, and Hans Erich Apostel.  In its review of this recording project, The New York Times called Ieva, ‘an artist of commanding technique, refined temperament and persuasive insight.’

A much sought after chamber musician and collaborator, she regularly appears at international music festivals including: Marlboro, Ravinia, Bard, Chesapeake Chamber Music, Prussia Cove in Cornwall, England, and Festival de la musique de chambre at La Lointaine in France and has participated in the Taos Chamber Music Festival, Conservatoire Américaine de Fontainbleau, and the Schleswig-Holstein Festival in Lubeck, Germany. Ieva is also a Collaborative Pianist at the Steans Institute for Young Artists at the Ravinia Festival and is on the piano faculty of the Bard College Conservatory of Music Preparatory Division. Earning degrees from the Curtis Institute of Music and from Mannes College of Music, her principal teachers have been Seymour Lipkin and Richard Goode.

Press Quotes
On Sophie Shao...
“eloquent, powerful” --The New York Times
On Sophie Shao and Friends...
“The players maintained a seamless cohesion and a warm, lean tone. This was all the more admirable because they’re not a regular ensemble, just colleagues and friends”--Times Union.

On Ieva Jocubaviciute...

"razor-sharp intelligence and wit"--The Washington Post

"elegant and engaging"--The Wall Street Journal

"an artist of commanding technique, refined temperament and persuasive insight."--The New York Times

Mahaney Arts Center
Middlebury College
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