NY Phil's Carter Brey to Perform Bach's Complete Cello Suites at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, 3/27 & 4/1
New York Philharmonic Principal Cello Carter Brey will perform Bach's Complete Cello Suites at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church Wednesday, March 27, 2013, at 7:30 p.m. and Monday, April 1 at 7:30 p.m. This program marks Carter Brey's first time performing Bach's Cello Suites as a complete set. Both concerts are sold out, but names are being taken for a waiting list.
Mr. Brey will perform the cycle using two cellos outfitted in the style of a Baroque instrument, one of which is a five-stringed instrument for the Sixth Suite. He will also perform on a cello with a Baroque setup during the orchestral programs of The Bach Variations: A Philharmonic Festival, March 6-April 6, 2013.
"I didn't arrive at an approach [for the Fourth Suite] that satisfied me until I started playing it on a Baroque instrument, and then I realized that I could take a lute-like approach," Mr. Brey said. "I'm taking myself on a challenging trip and inviting people to come along. I hope they enjoy it half as much as I do."
The Bach Variations marks the first time the New York Philharmonic has presented a festival of the music of the Baroque master. Four orchestral programs will be led by different conductors - Masaaki Suzuki, Alan Gilbert, Bernard Labadie, and András Schiff - each bringing a different perspective to the composer's works. Pianist András Schiff will conclude the festival in his Philharmonic conducting debut, April 3-6, 2013.
- New York Philharmonic Offstage Carter Brey, cellist/speaker Isabelle Faust, violinist/speaker Jeff Spurgeon, host
Tuesday, March 19, 2013, 7:00 p.m.
The event will include brief performances by each speaker.
David Rubenstein Atrium, Broadway between 62nd and 63rd Streets
New York Philharmonic Offstage events are free and seated on a first-come, first-served basis. Co-presented with Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Inc.
Carter Brey was appointed Principal Cello, The Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Chair, of the New York Philharmonic in 1996. He made his official subscription debut with the Orchestra in May 1997 performing Tchaikovsky's Rococo Variations under the direction of then Music Director Kurt Masur, and has since performed as soloist each season. From the time of Mr. Brey's New York and Kennedy Center debuts in 1982, he has been regularly hailed by audiences and critics for his virtuosity, flawless technique, and complete musicianship. He rose to international attention in 1981 as a prizewinner in the Rostropovich International Cello Competition. The winner of the Gregor Piatigorsky Memorial Prize, Avery Fisher Career Grant, Young Concert Artists' Michaels Award, and other honors, he also was the first musician to win the Arts Council of America's Performing Arts Prize. Mr. Brey has appeared as soloist with virtually all the major orchestras in the United States, and performed under the batons of prominent conductors including Claudio Abbado, Semyon Bychkov, Sergiu Comissiona, and Christoph von Dohnányi. His chamber music career is equally distinguished; he has made regular appearances with the Tokyo and Emerson string quartets as well as The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and at festivals such as Spoleto (both in the United States and Italy), and the Santa Fe and La Jolla Chamber Music festivals. He presents an ongoing series of duo recitals with pianist Christopher O'Riley; together they have recorded Le Grand Tango: Music of Latin America, a disc of compositions from South America and Mexico released on Helicon Records. On another CD he collaborated with violinist Pamela Frank and violist Paul Neubauer in Aaron Jay Kernis's Still Movement with Hymn (on Decca's Argo label). He also recorded all of Chopin's works for cello and piano with pianist Garrick Ohlssen (currently available on Hyperion). Mr. Brey was educated at the Peabody Institute, where he studied with Laurence Lesser and Stephen Kates, and at Yale University, where he studied with Aldo Parisot and was a Wardwell Fellow and a Houpt Scholar. His violoncello is a rare J. B. Guadagnini made in Milan in 1754.
The Complete Cello Suites by Johann Sebastian Bach were probably composed during 1717-23, when Bach was Kapellmeister at the court of Anhalt-Cöthen. They are considered by many to be the most difficult music in the solo repertoire; Bach's challenge and achievement was to make an essentially single-line instrument produce polyphony. Only five movements in the entire set are completely non-chordal, meaning that they consist of only a single line. Each suite has six movements: Prelude, Allemande, Courante, Sarabande, Galanteries (Minuet, Bourrée, or Gavotte), and Gigue. The First Suite, in G major, BWV 1007, opens with a well-known and beloved Prelude consisting mainly of arpeggios. The Fifth, in C minor, BWV 1011, is famous for its Sarabande, which Yo-Yo Ma played on September 11, 2002, at a ceremony commemorating those killed a year earlier. The suites had fallen into obscurity until the cellist Pablo Casals, at the age of 13, bought an edition at a Barcelona thrift shop. He studied them for years and eventually began performing them. In 1925, when he was 48, he became the first to record all six suites. Their popularity soared soon after. This is the first time the New York Philharmonic has presented them as a complete set.
Tickets for both concerts are sold out. To add your name to the waiting list, call the Philharmonic's Customer Relations Department at (212) 875-5656, 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, and noon to 5:00 p.m. on Sunday.
THE BACH VARIATIONS: A PHILHARMONIC FESTIVAL New York Philharmonic OFFSTAGE
David Rubenstein Atrium, Broadway between 62nd and 63rd Streets Tuesday, March 19, 2013, 7:00 p.m.
Carter Brey, speaker
Isabelle Faust, speaker Jeff Spurgeon, host
CARTER BREY PERFORMS THE COMPLETE BACH CELLO SUITES
Holy Trinity Lutheran Church 65th Street and Central Park West
Wednesday, March 27, 2013, 7:30 p.m. Monday, April 1, 2013, 7:30 p.m.
Carter Brey, cello
J.S. BACH Complete Cello Suites