Ludwig van Beethoven’s riveting first piano trio, a classic of the chamber music repertoire, opens a program which combines drama and romance in equal measure.
CMS Artistic Directors David Finckel and Wu Han are featured as a duo, offering their legendary interpretation of Dmitri Shostakovich’s Cello Sonata. And in Antonin Dvorak’s Piano Quartet, a heartfelt tribute to the composer’s homeland, Finckel and Wu Han are joined by two brilliant members of CMS’s Bowers Program, which discovers and nourishes the brightest chamber music stars of today.
Ludwig van Beethoven(1770–1827)
Trio in E-flat major for Piano, Violin, and Cello, Op. 1, No. 1(1795)
Sonata for Cello and Piano in D minor, Op. 40(1934)
Quartet for Piano, Violin, Viola, and Cello in E-flat major, 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.
Taiwanese-American violinist Richard Lin continues to gain international prominence since his Gold Medal prize at the 2018 International Violin Competition of Indianapolis. Following his June 2022 Carnegie Hall Stern Auditorium recital debut, New York Concert Review asserted, “Richard Lin. Remember the name. For he has everything required to take the world by storm.” He has collaborated with numerous orchestras and performed at celebrated concert venues throughout Asia, Europe, and the United States. He is a laureate of the Sendai, Joseph Joachim, Singapore, and Michael Hill International Violin competitions and has just joined the faculty of the National Taipei University of Education. He opened the 2022–23 season as soloist with the Chippewa Valley Symphony and Hong Kong Sinfonietta. He appeared in recitals in Indianapolis, Washington, DC, and Baton Rouge. Passionate about chamber music, he continues to perform with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, at many music festivals, and on tours of Asia. In the spring of 2023, he released a new album with pianist Thomas Hoppe on the Azica label featuring his Carnegie Hall program with works by Vitali, Richard Strauss, John Corigliano, and Frolov. Born in Phoenix, Arizona, and raised in Taiwan, Lin graduated from the Curtis Institute of Music and The Juilliard School, where he studied with Aaron Rosand and Lewis Kaplan, respectively.
Timothy Ridout, a former BBC New Generation Artist, Borletti-Buitoni Trust Fellowship 2020 winner, and recipient of the Royal Philharmonic Society 2023 Young Artist Award, is one of the most sought-after violists of his generation. The 2023–24 season sees him join the WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln, Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse, and Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra alongside the likes of Kazuki Yamada and Sir Simon Rattle. Further highlights include his return to America with Camerata Pacifica and his debut with Royal Northern Sinfonia. Recent seasons have included appearances with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra, Odense Symphony Orchestra, Netherlands Chamber Orchestra, hr-Sinfonieorchester, Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich, Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Hamburger Symphoniker, Orchestre National de Lille, Camerata Salzburg, Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne, the Hallé, BBC Philharmonic and Philharmonia Orchestra. Across his engagements he has worked with conductors such as Sakari Oramo, Lionel Bringuier, Sylvain Cambreling, Nicholas Collon, and Sir András Schiff, and performed as far and wide as South America and Australia. In 2020 Ridout won Hamburger Symphoniker’s inaugural Sir Jeffrey Tate Prize and in 2021 he joined CMS’s Bowers Program. Born in London in 1995, Ridout studied at the Royal Academy of Music, graduating with the Queen’s Commendation for Excellence. He completed his master’s at the Kronberg Academy with Nobuko Imai in 2019 and, in 2018, took part in the Kronberg Academy’s Chamber Music Connects the World. He plays a viola by Peregrino di Zanetto c. 1565–75 on loan from a generous patron of Beare’s International Violin Society.
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.