Cellist Sophie Shao received an Avery Fisher Career Grant at age 19, was a major prizewinner at the 2001 Rostropovich Competition, and a laureate of the XII Tchaikovsky Competition in 2002. She has given the world premiere performances of Howard Shore's Mythic Gardens, a concerto written for her, and Richard Wilson's Concerto for Cello and Mezzo-Soprano with Leon Botstein and the American Symphony Orchestra, appeared as soloist with the BBC Concert Orchestra and Keith Lockhart in performances of the Elgar and Haydn C major concertos, performed the Saint-Saens La Muse et Le Poete with violinist Miranda Cuckson at the Bard Music Festival, and presented the six Bach Suites in one afternoon at Union College in Schenectady. She has made recital and chamber music appearances with the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, Chamber Music Northwest, Middlebury College, and Vassar College. She can be heard on EMI Classics, Bridge Records (Marlboro Music’s 50th anniversary recording), and on Albany Records, and will be releasing a double-CD set of the Bach Cello Suites this season. Ms. Shao studied at The Curtis Institute with David Soyer and Felix Galimir, and, upon graduating, continued with Aldo Parisot at Yale University, receiving a Bachelor’s of Arts degree in Religious Studies from Yale College and a Master’s of Music degree from the Yale School of Music, where she was enrolled as a Paul and Daisy Soros Fellow. Ms. Shao plays on an Honore Derazey cello previously owned by Pablo Casals and is an alum member of The Bowers Program (formerly CMS Two).