Ludwig van Beethoven(1770–1827)
Trio in E-flat major for Piano, Violin, and Cello, Op. 1, No. 1(1795)
Trio in A minor for Clarinet, Cello, and Piano, Op. 114(1891)
Quartet in E-flat major for Piano, Violin, Viola, and Cello, Op. 87(1889)
Pianist Wu Han, recipient of Musical America’s Musician of the Year Award, enjoys a multi-faceted musical life that encompasses artistic direction, performing, and recording at the highest levels. Co-Artistic Director of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center since 2004 as well as Founder and Co-Artistic Director of Silicon Valley’s innovative chamber music festival Music@Menlo since 2002, she also serves as Artistic Advisor for Wolf Trap’s Chamber Music at the Barns series and Palm Beach’s Society of the Four Arts, and as Artistic Director for La Musica in Sarasota, Florida. Her recent concert activities have taken her from New York’s Lincoln Center stages to the most important concert halls in the United States, Europe, and Asia. In addition to countless performances of virtually the entire chamber repertoire, her concerto performances include appearances with the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Atlanta Symphony, and the Aspen Festival Orchestra. She is the Founder and Artistic Director of ArtistLed, classical music’s first artist-directed, internet-based recording label, which has released her performances of the staples of the cello-piano duo repertoire with cellist David Finckel. Her more than 80 releases on ArtistLed, CMS Live, and Music@Menlo LIVE include masterworks of the chamber repertoire with numerous distinguished musicians. Wu Han’s educational activities include overseeing CMS’s Bowers Program and the Chamber Music Institute at Music@Menlo. A recipient of the prestigious Andrew Wolf Award, she was mentored by some of the greatest pianists of our time, including Lilian Kallir, Rudolf Serkin, and Menahem Pressler. Married to cellist David Finckel since 1985, Wu Han divides her time between concert touring and residences in New York City and Westchester County.
Clarinetist Jose Franch-Ballester is a captivating performer of “poetic eloquence” (The New York Sun) and “technical wizardry” (The New York Times). He plays regularly at the Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festival, Chamber Music Northwest, the Saratoga Chamber Music Festival, the Skaneateles Festival, Camerata Pacifica, and Music from Angel Fire. He has also appeared at the Usedomer Musikfestival in Germany, the Verbier Festival in Switzerland, the Cartagena Festival Internacional de Música in Colombia, and the Young Concert Artists Festival in Tokyo, Japan. As a soloist, he has appeared with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, the BBC Concert Orchestra, the Santa Barbara Orchestra, and numerous Spanish orchestras. Winner of the 2004 Young Concert Artists International Auditions, he was presented in debut recitals in New York and in Washington, DC at the Kennedy Center. In 2008, he won a coveted Avery Fisher Career Grant. He was awarded the Cannes Midem Prize, which aims to introduce artists to the classical recording industry. With the Chamber Music Society, he has recorded Bartók’s Contrasts on the Deutsche Grammophon label. Born in Moncofa, Spain into a family of clarinetists and Zarzuela singers, Mr. Franch-Ballester graduated from the Joaquin Rodrigo Music Conservatory. He earned a bachelor’s degree from The Curtis Institute of Music, where he studied with Donald Montanaro and Pamela Frank. He is a former member of CMS’s Bowers Program.
American violinist Chad Hoopes is a consistent and versatile performer with the world’s leading orchestras, including the Philadelphia Orchestra, l’Orchestre de Paris, l’Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, the Konzerthausorchester Berlin, and the Minnesota and National Arts Centre orchestras, as well the San Francisco, Pittsburgh, Houston, and National symphonies. An alum of CMS’s Bowers Program, he performs regularly on tour and at Alice Tully Hall with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. He has been a guest of the Moritzburg Festival, Rheingau Musik Festival, and Aspen Music Festival, and has been featured on recordings including the recent Moritzburg Festival Dvořák album with cellist Jan Vogler, released by Sony Classical, and with the MDR Leipzig and conductor Kristjan Järvi performing the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto on the Naïve label. He has performed in recital at the Ravinia Festival, the Tonhalle Zürich, and the Louvre, as well as on Lincoln Center’s Great Performers series. He is a 2017 recipient of Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Career Grant and appeared as the cover feature on the November 2021 edition of The Strad. Hoopes attended the Cleveland Institute of Music before studying with Ana Chumachenco at the Kronberg Academy. He plays the 1991 Samuel Zygmuntowicz, ex Isaac Stern violin.
Kristin Lee is a violinist of remarkable versatility and impeccable technique who enjoys a vibrant career as a soloist, chamber musician, educator, and artistic director. As a soloist, Lee has appeared with leading orchestras including the Philadelphia Orchestra, St. Louis Symphony, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, New Jersey Symphony, Hawai’i Symphony, Hong Kong Philharmonic, Ural Philharmonic of Russia, Korean Broadcasting Symphony, Guiyang Symphony Orchestra of China, and Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional of the Dominican Republic. She has performed on the world’s finest concert stages, including those of Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, the Kennedy Center, Kimmel Center, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Ravinia Festival, the Louvre Museum, the Phillips Collection, and Korea’s Kumho Art Gallery. In addition to her prolific performance career, Lee is on the faculty of the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music as Assistant Professor of Violin, and she is also the Founding Artistic Director of Emerald City Music (ECM). Her honors include an Avery Fisher Career Grant, top prizes in the Walter W. Naumburg Competition and the Astral Artists National Auditions, and awards from the Trondheim Chamber Music Competition, the Trio di Trieste Premio International Competition, the SYLFF Fellowship, the Dorothy DeLay Scholarship, the Aspen Music Festival’s Violin Competition, the New Jersey Young Artists’ Competition, and the Salon de Virtuosi Scholarship Foundation. Lee’s violin was crafted in Naples in 1759 by Gennaro Gagliano and is generously loaned to her by Paul and Linda Gridley.
Violist Paul Neubauer has been called a “master musician” by the New York Times. He recently made his Chicago Symphony subscription debut with conductor Riccardo Muti. He also gave the US premiere of the newly discovered Impromptu for viola and piano by Shostakovich with pianist Wu Han. In addition, his recording of the Aaron Kernis Viola Concerto with the Royal Northern Sinfonia was released on Signum Records, and his recording of the complete viola/piano music by Ernest Bloch with pianist Margo Garrett was released on Delos. Appointed principal violist of the New York Philharmonic at age 21, he has appeared as soloist with over 100 orchestras including the New York, Los Angeles, and Helsinki philharmonics; National, St. Louis, Detroit, Dallas, San Francisco, and Bournemouth symphonies; and Santa Cecilia, English Chamber, and Beethovenhalle orchestras. He has premiered viola concertos by Bartók (revised version of the Viola Concerto), Friedman, Glière, Jacob, Kernis, Lazarof, Müller-Siemens, Ott, Penderecki, Picker, Suter, and Tower, and has been featured on CBS's Sunday Morning and A Prairie Home Companion as well as in Strad, Strings, and People magazines. A two-time Grammy nominee, he has recorded on numerous labels including Decca, Deutsche Grammophon, RCA Red Seal, and Sony Classical, and is a member of SPA, a trio with soprano Susanna Phillips and pianist Anne-Marie McDermott. Neubauer is the artistic director of the Mostly Music series in New Jersey and is on the faculty of the Juilliard School and Mannes College.
Co-Artistic Director of CMS since 2004, cellist David Finckel’s dynamic musical career has included performances on the world’s stages in the roles of recitalist, chamber artist, and orchestral soloist. The first American student of Mstislav Rostropovich, he joined the Emerson String Quartet in 1979, and during 34 seasons garnered nine Grammy Awards and the Avery Fisher Prize. His quartet performances and recordings include quartet cycles of Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Schumann, Mendelssohn, Dvorák, Brahms, Bartók, and Shostakovich, as well as collaborative masterpieces and commissioned works. In 1997, he and pianist Wu Han founded ArtistLed, the first internet-based, artist-controlled classical recording label. ArtistLed’s catalog of more than 20 releases includes the standard literature for cello and piano, plus works composed for the duo by George Tsontakis, Gabriela Lena Frank, Bruce Adolphe, Lera Auerbach, Edwin Finckel, Augusta Read Thomas, and Pierre Jalbert. In 2022, Music@Menlo, an innovative summer chamber music festival in Silicon Valley founded and directed by David and Wu Han, celebrated its 20th season. As a young student, David was winner of the Philadelphia Orchestra’s junior and senior divisions, resulting in two performances with the orchestra. Having taught extensively with the late Isaac Stern in America, Israel, and Japan, he is currently a professor at both the Juilliard School and Stony Brook University, and oversees both CMS’s Bowers Program and Music@Menlo’s Chamber Music Institute. David’s 100 online Cello Talks, lessons on cello technique, are viewed by an international audience of musicians. Along with Wu Han, he was the recipient of Musical America’s 2012 Musicians of the Year Award.