top of page

David Finckel (cello)
and Wu Han (piano)

DFWH_2_by Mark Chen_LORES.jpg
VIDEO
David Finckel & Wu Han
PRESS ACCLAIM

"It was a performance in which lyricism and virtuosity shared equal roles, but what made it particularly memorable was the degree of exquisitely intimate ensemble achieved by Finckel and pianist Wu Han, with spontaneity, vigor and seamless melody."

-Washington Post

“CMS artistic directors David Finckel and Wu Han brought their effortless technique to Britten’s Cello Sonata – at times pointed, enigmatic and whimsical, at others heartfelt and passionate, and always played with the joy and commitment of true artists.”

-The Strad

“Inspired….Finckel makes his instrument sing with a natural eloquence, at once muscular and supple. Han, for her part, dispatches musical material without flinching and without losing emotional mooring.”

-Los Angeles Times

“Mr. Finckel and Wu Han gave eloquent and deeply committed performances.He played with a deep and burnished tone and she with a sparkling virtuosity.
Best of all was how keenly they listened to each other.”

-The New York Times

REPERTOIRE

I. RUSSIAN PROGRAM

Nikolai Myaskovsky:  Sonata No. 2 for Cello and Piano in A Minor, Op. 81
Prokofiev:  Sonata for Cello and Piano in C Major, op. 119 (1949)
--intermission--
Rachmaninoff: Sonata for Cello and Piano in G-Minor, Op. 19

II. BEETHOVEN JOURNEY

Sonata in F major, Op. 5 No. 1 (1796)  
Sonata in g minor, Op. 5 No. 2  (1796) 
---

12 Variations on “See the conqu’ring hero comes” from Handel’s Judas Maccabeus 
WwO 545 (1797)
Sonata in A major, Op. 69  (1807-08)

From the time Ludwig van Beethoven put pen to paper in 1796, the cello sonata was never the same. Putting the piano and cello on equal footing for the first time in history, he was out to please the cello-playing King Frederick William of Prussia, and at the same time, show himself off as a piano virtuoso. The results of his first two sonatas, played in tandem before the King by Beethoven and the French cellist Duport were a golden snuff box as a gift the composer, and plenty of inspiration to continue mining the riches of the cello/piano duo. On the heels of Beethoven’s success in Potsdam came three sets of variations for cello and piano, all on operatic tunes, as is this first of the three from 1797. From there, the program leaps forward to Beethoven at the height of his “heroic period” where he turns to the cello again to give voice to his noblest, most courageous musical thoughts in the grand Op. 69 Sonata, considered by many still to be the greatest cello-piano sonata ever composed. 

Please advise with your preferred program and we will confirm with the artist.

Some additional combinations from the above are possible by request.

March 2024

BIOGRAPHY

David Finckel, cello
Wu Han, piano

Cellist David Finckel and pianist Wu Han are the recipients of Musical America’s Musicians of the Year Award, the highest honor bestowed by the organization. They enjoy a multi-faceted musical life that encompasses performing, recording and artistic direction at the highest levels. Their concert activities have taken them from New York’s stages to the most important concert halls in the United States, Europe and Asia. They regularly perform a wide range of music that includes the standard repertoire for cello and piano, commissioned works by living composers, and virtually the entire chamber music literature for their instruments.

 

David Finckel and Wu Han founded ArtistLed, the first internet-based, artist-controlled classical recording label in 1997. 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.

 

They have served as Artistic Directors of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center (CMS) since 2004, one of eleven constituents of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, the largest arts complex in the world. They are the longest serving artistic directors in the Society’s history. Under their artistic direction, through its performances, education, and recording/broadcast activities, their programming draws more people to chamber music than any other organization of its kind. In recent seasons, they conceived and produced over 270 digital events which sustained chamber music communities across the country.

 

Founders, and Artistic Directors of Silicon Valley’s Music@Menlo since 2002, the festival’s innovative thematic programming and educational initiatives have set an example that is admired internationally. The festival’s exclusive recording label, Music@Menlo LIVE, has to date released over 130 audiophile-quality CDs.

 

Passionately dedicated to education for musicians of all ages and experience, the duo was instrumental in transforming the CMS Two Program into today’s Bowers Program, which admits stellar young musicians to the CMS roster for a term of three seasons. They also oversee the Chamber Music Institute at Music@Menlo, which immerses some forty young musicians every summer in the multi-faceted fabric of the festival. The duo was privileged to serve on multiple occasions as a faculty member of the late Isaac Stern’s Chamber Music Encounters in Israel, New York and Japan. In addition, the unique Resource section of their website (davidfinckelandwuhan.com/resource) provides, at no cost, a wealth of guidance for students on both music study and careers, as well as invaluable information for arts organizations and individuals on every aspect of concert presenting.

 

Born in Taiwan, Wu Han came to the United States as a graduate student, where her talent quickly came to the attention of noted musicians. Mentored by legendary pianists such as Lilian Kallir, Menahem Pressler, and Rudolf Serkin, Wu Han thrived at the Marlboro and Aspen Music Festivals and subsequently won the prestigious Andrew Wolf Award. She currently serves as Artistic Advisor for Wolf Trap’s Chamber Music at the Barns series and for Palm Beach’s Society of the Four Arts, and in 2022 was named Artistic Director of La Musica in Sarasota, Florida.

 

David Finckel was raised in New Jersey, where he spent his teenage years winning competitions, among them the Philadelphia Orchestra’s junior and senior divisions, resulting in two performances with the orchestra. The first American student of Mstislav Rostropovich, David Finckel went on to become the cellist of the Emerson String Quartet, which, during David’s 34-season tenure, garnered nine Grammy Awards and the Avery Fisher Prize. David is a professor at both the Juilliard School and Stony Brook University.

 

David Finckel and Wu Han married in 1985 and divide their time between touring and residences in New York City and Westchester County.

Updated June 2024

bottom of page