Celebrating 66 years of the world's best chamber music in Cleveland!

Steven Isserlis, cello & Kirill Gerstein, piano

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29 January 2013 at 7:30 p.m.

Liszt: Romance oubliée
Liszt: Die Zelle im Nonnenwerth
Busoni: Kultaselle: Ten Variations on a Finnish Folksong
Brahms: Sonata in E minor, Op. 38
Bartók: Rhapsody No. 1
Brahms: Sonata in F major, Op. 99
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Steven Isserlis, cello

'The music world - and music itself - is infinitely richer for the presence of Steven Isserlis.' - Gramophone Magazine, August 2006

Highlights of recent seasons have included concerto performances with the Berlin Philharmonic and Alan Gilbert, the Budapest Festival orchestra and Washington National Symphony with Iván Fischer, the Philharmonia orchestra with Vladimir Ashkenazy, and a European tour with the orchestre des Champs-Elysées and Philippe Herreweghe; an all-Haydn play-direct project with the Mahler Chamber orchestra; recitals at London's Wigmore Hall with Thomas Adès and Olli Mustonen; chamber music concerts at the Salzburg Festival, Carnegie Hall, BBC Proms and Aldeburgh Festival with collaborators including Joshua Bell, Thomas Adès, Jörg Widmann, Emily Beynon, Anthony Marwood and Denes Várjon; recitals in Washington, San Francisco, Vancouver and Milan; an Australian recital tour with Denes Várjon; and a series of concerts specially devised for the 2010 Cheltenham Festival to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Schumann's birth.

2010/11 includes appearances with The Cleveland orchestra and Ton Koopman, NHK Symphony and Tadaaki otaka, the Philharmonia orchestra and András Schiff, Vienna Symphony and Thomas Dausgaard, Swedish Radio Symphony and Daniel Harding, Washington National Symphony and Vladimir Ashkenazy, and Netherlands Radio Chamber Philharmonic and Philippe Herreweghe; the world premiere of the surviving fragment of Vaughan Williams's Cello Concerto in a completion by David Matthews at the BBC Proms; an Italian recital tour with olli Mustonen; recitals in London and Warsaw with Stephen Hough; a UK tour playing the Brahms Double Concerto with the Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields and Joshua Bell; and chamber music concerts in Amsterdam, Budapest and Frankfurt. In addition he will be Artist in Residence at the Wigmore Hall and will take part in a number of concerts throughout the season as chamber musician and recitalist, as well as leading a series of educational events.

Steven Isserlis takes a strong interest in authentic performance and has played with many of the foremost period instrument orchestras including the orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment with Simon Rattle, and Philharmonia Baroque with Nicholas McGegan. In 2010/11 he will tour with the Academy of Ancient Music and Richard Egarr. He is also a keen exponent of contemporary music, and has worked with many composers on new commissions since giving the world premiere of John Tavener's The Protecting Veil at the BBC Proms in 1989. In 2006 he gave the world première of Wolfgang Rihm's Cello Concerto at the Salzburg Festival, and at the 2009 Aldeburgh Festival he premiered Thomas Adès's new work for cello and piano, Lieux retrouvés, together with the composer.

Writing and playing for children is another major interest. Steven Isserlis's books for children about the lives of the great composers - Why Beethoven Threw the Stew and its sequel, Why Handel Waggled his Wig - are published by Faber and Faber, and both books have been translated into many languages. He has recorded a CD for BIS with Stephen Hough entitled Children's Cello, and with composer Anne Dudley he has written three musical stories for children which are published by Universal Edition. As an educator, Steven Isserlis gives frequent masterclasses all around the world, and for the past thirteen years he has been Artistic Director of the International Musicians' Seminar at Prussia Cove in Cornwall.

With an award-winning discography, Steven Isserlis's recordings reflect his diverse interests in repertoire. His recording of the complete Solo Cello Suites by Bach for Hyperion met with the highest critical acclaim, and was Gramophone magazine's Instrumental Disc of the Year and Critic's Choice at the Classical Brits. other recent releases include an all-Schumann disc for Hyperion with Denes Várjon, and a recording of works for cello and chamber orchestra entitled reVisions, for BIS.

The recipient of many honours, Steven Isserlis was awarded a CBE in 1998 in recognition of his services to music, and in 2000 he received the Schumann Prize of the City of Zwickau.

Steven Isserlis plays the Marquis de Corberon (Nelsova) Stradivarius of 1726, kindly loaned to him by the Royal Academy of Music.


Kirill Gerstein, piano

"on the fast track to a major career, and he deserves to be." - Boston Globe

The multifaceted pianist Kirill Gerstein has rapidly ascended into classical music's highest ranks. With a masterful technique, discerning intelligence, and a musical curiosity that has led him to explore repertoire spanning centuries and styles, Mr. Gerstein has proven to be one of today's most intriguing and versatile musicians. His early training and experience in jazz has contributed an important element to his interpretive style, inspiring an energetic and expressive musical personality that distinguishes his classical performances.

Mr. Gerstein is the sixth recipient the prestigious Gilmore Artist Award, presented every four years to an exceptional pianist who, regardless of age or nationality, possesses broad and profound musicianship and charisma and who desires and can sustain a career as a major international concert artist. Since receiving the award in 2010, Mr. Gerstein has used his prize to commission boundary crossing new works by oliver Knussen, Brad Mehldau, Chick Corea and Timothy Andres, with additional commissions scheduled for future seasons. Mr. Gerstein was also awarded First Prize at the 2001 Arthur Rubinstein Piano Competition in Tel Aviv, received a 2002 Gilmore Young Artist Award, and a 2010 Avery Fisher Grant.

In the 2012-13 season, Mr. Gerstein makes subscription debuts with the Philadelphia orchestra performing Gershwin's Concerto in F major conducted by Giancarlo Guerrero, the Boston Symphony orchestra playing Prokofiev's Piano Concerto and Thomas Adès' concerto In Seven Days conducted by Mr. Adès, the Montreal Symphony performing Bernstein's Age of Anxiety led by Jacques Lacombe and the Toronto Symphony orchestra performing Tchaikovsky's First Piano Concerto led by Mr. Guerrero. While in Boston, Mr. Gerstein and Mr. Adès will also perform piano four hands and chamber music by Eliott Carter and Brahms with the Boston Symphony Chamber Players. Mr. Gerstein's return engagements include performances with the Indianapolis Symphony, oregon Symphony, St. Louis Symphony and San Antonio Symphony where he will be the soloist in both Brahms concertos during the orchestra's Brahms Festival. He will perform in recital for the La Jolla Music Society and at the Eastman School of Music, and tour with long-time chamber music partner cellist Steven Isserlis, with performances at the 92nd Street Y in New York, Wolftrap in Vienna, VA, with the Cleveland Chamber Music Society and at the University of Chicago. Internationally he will make his debuts with the Czech Philharmonic conducted by Jirí Belohlávek, NDR Hamburg with Simon Bychkov, Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin with Marek Janowski, Tonnkunstler Symphony Vienna led by Claus Peter Flor; and return to London for performances with the Philharmonia orchestra, at the Proms and in recital at Queen Elizabeth Hall.

In the 2011-12 season Mr. Gerstein debuted with the New York Philharmonic, Seattle Symphony and at the Aspen Music Festival and London's Proms. He also performed in a three week Rachmaninoff concerto cycle with the Houston Symphony. His recent North American engagements also include performances with the Cleveland orchestra and Los Angeles Philharmonic, and the Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Milwaukee, San Francisco and Vancouver symphonies among others; festival appearances at the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, Chicago's Grant Park, with the Philadelphia orchestra at Vail Valley Bravo Festival, Mann Music Center and Saratoga, with the Boston Symphony at Tanglewood, and with the Cleveland orchestra at Blossom; and recitals in New York at the 92nd Street Y and Town Hall, Boston, Cincinnati, Detroit, Miami, Vancouver and at Washington's Kennedy Center.

Internationally, Kirill Gerstein has worked with such prominent European orchestras as the Munich, Rotterdam and Royal Philharmonics, London's Philharmonia, the City of Birmingham Symphony orchestra, Dresden Staatskappelle, Zurich Tonhalle, the Finnish and Swedish Radio orchestras, WDR Symphony orchestra Cologne and the Deutsches Symphonie orchester Berlin, as well as with the NHK Symphony orchestra in Tokyo and the Simon Bolivar Youth orchestra in Caracas with Gustavo Dudamel. He has also performed recitals in Paris, Prague, Hamburg, London's Queen Elizabeth Hall and at the Liszt Academy in Budapest. He made his Salzburg Festival debut playing solo and two piano works with Andras Schiff and has also appeared at the Verbier, Lucerne and Jerusalem Chamber Music Festivals.

His first solo recording featuring works by Schumann, Liszt and oliver Knussen, released by Myrios Classics, was chosen by The New York Times as one of the best recordings of 2010. Mr. Gerstein also collaborated with Tabea Zimmerman on a recording of Sonatas for viola and piano by Rebecca Clarke, Henri Vieuxtemps and Johannes Brahms for the Myrios label, released in February 2011.

Born in 1979 in Voronezh, in southwestern Russia, Mr. Gerstein studied piano at a special music school for gifted children and while studying classical music, taught himself to play jazz by listening to his parents' extensive record collection. After coming to the attention of vibraphonist Gary Burton, who was performing at a music festival in the Soviet Union, Mr. Gerstein came to the United States at 14 to study jazz piano as the youngest student ever to attend Boston's Berklee College of Music. After completing his studies in three years and following his second summer at the Boston University program at Tanglewood, Mr. Gerstein turned his focus to classical music and moved to New York City to attend the Manhattan School of Music, where he studied with Solomon Mikowsky and earned both Bachelors and Masters of Music degrees by the age of 20. He continued his studies in Madrid with Dmitri Bashkirov and in Budapest with Ferenc Rados. An American citizen since 2003, Mr. Gerstein now divides his time between the United States and Germany, where he has been a professor of piano at the Musikhochschule in Stuttgart since 2006.