Musical America’s 2012 Musicians of the Year, cellist David Finckel and pianist Wu Han rank among the most esteemed and influential classical musicians in the world today. The talent, energy, imagination, and dedication they bring to their multifaceted endeavors as concert performers, recording artists, educators, artistic administrators, and cultural entrepreneurs go unmatched. Their duo performances have garnered superlatives from the press, public, and presenters alike.
In high demand year after year among chamber music audiences worldwide, the duo has appeared each season at the most prestigious venues and concert series across the United States, Mexico, Canada, the Far East, and Europe to unanimous critical acclaim. Highlights include performances at Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, and Aspen’s Harris Concert Hall, recital debuts in Germany and at Finland’s Kuhmo Festival, their presentation of the complete Beethoven sonatas for cello and piano in Tokyo, and their signature all-Russian program at London’s Wigmore Hall. They have also been frequent guests on American Public Media’s Performance Today, Saint Paul Sunday, and other popular classical radio programs. Beyond the duo’s recital activities, David Finckel also serves as cellist of the Emerson String Quartet, which has won eight Grammy Awards including two honors for “Best Classical Album,” three Gramophone Magazine Awards, and the prestigious Avery Fisher Prize, awarded in 2004 for the first time to a chamber ensemble.
In addition to their distinction as world-class performers, the duo has established a reputation for their dynamic and innovative approach to the recording studio. In 1997, David Finckel and Wu Han launched ArtistLed, classical music’s first musician-directed and Internet-based recording company, which has served as a model for numerous independent labels. All thirteen ArtistLed recordings have met with critical acclaim and are available via the company’s website at www.artistled.com. This season, ArtistLed releases its fourteenth recording, an album featuring the Mendelssohn Piano Trios with violinist Philip Setzer.
David Finckel and Wu Han have served as Artistic Directors of The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center since 2004. They are also the founders and Artistic Directors of Music@Menlo, a chamber music festival and institute in Silicon Valley now celebrating its tenth anniversary season. In these capacities, they have overseen the establishment and design of The Chamber Music Society’s CMS Studio Recordings label, as well as the Society’s recording partnership with Deutsche Grammophon (which includes CMS concert downloads made available through the Digital DG Concerts Series); and Music@Menlo LIVE, Music@Menlo’s exclusive recording label, which has been praised as a “breakthrough” (Billboard) and “probably the most ambitious recording project of any classical music festival in the world” (San Jose Mercury News). In 2011, David Finckel and Wu Han were named Artistic Directors of Chamber Music Today, a new festival to be held annually at the Seoul Arts Center in Korea.
The duo’s repertoire spans virtually the entire literature for cello and piano, with an equal emphasis on the classics and the contemporaries. Their modern repertoire includes all the significant works, from Prokofiev and Britten to Alfred Schnittke and André Previn. Their commitment to new music has brought commissioned works by Bruce Adolphe, Lera Auerbach, Gabriela Lena Frank, Pierre Jalbert, Augusta Read Thomas, and George Tsontakis to audiences around the world. In 2010, the duo released “For David and Wu Han” (ArtistLed), an album of four contemporary works for cello and piano expressly composed for them. In 2011, Summit Records released a recording of the duo performing Gabriela Lena Frank’s concerto, Compadrazgo, with the ProMusica Columbus Chamber Orchestra.
David Finckel and Wu Han have achieved universal renown for their passionate commitment to nurturing the careers of countless young artists through a wide array of education initiatives. For many years, the duo taught alongside the late Isaac Stern at Carnegie Hall and the Jerusalem Music Center. They appeared annually on the Aspen Music Festival’s Distinguished Artist Master Class series and in various educational outreach programs across the country. Last season, under the auspices of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, David Finckel and Wu Han have established chamber music training workshops for young artists in Korea and Taiwan, intensive residency programs designed to bring student musicians into contact with an elite artist-faculty. David Finckel and Wu Han reside in New York with their eighteen-year-old daughter, Lilian.
For more information, please visit www.davidfinckelandwuhan.com.
Last updated April, 2012. Please replace previous bio materials.