LSM Newswire

Friday, October 17, 2008

Cellist Steven Isserlis visits U of T

British cellist Steven Isserlis to perform and teach master classes at faculty of music as 2008 Lorand Fenyves resident artist

"The music world - and music itself - is infinitely richer for the presence of Steven Isserlis." - Gramophone Magazine (UK)

TORONTO Steven Isserlis is acclaimed worldwide for his musicality and technique alike. A leading cellist of his generation, he is especially renowned for his interpretation of the music of Robert Schumann, and has received the coveted Schumann Prize of the City of Zwickau (Schumanns birthplace). From November 3 -5, Mr. Isserlis will visit the University of Toronto Faculty of Music as the Lorand Fenyves Resident Artist. His residency includes a cello recital with pianist Connie Shih (including works by Schumann) and two cello master classes featuring advanced cello students of the Faculty of Music.

Details of the residency:

Monday, November 3, 2008
Cello Recital with Connie Shih on the Chamber Music Series

Mendelssohn: Variations concertantes
Schumann: Adagio and Allegro, op 70
Schumann (arranged for cello by Isserlis): Violin Sonata No. 3
Britten: Sonata
Poulenc: Sonata

The concert takes place at 7:30 pm in Walter Hall in the Edward Johnson Building at 80 Queens Park. Tickets ($25 adults and $15 seniors/students) can be purchased at the box office in person or by calling 416-978-3744.

Tuesday & Wednesday, November 4 & 5, 2008
Cello Master Class

1 pm. Walter Hall. Free


Steven Isserlis is a cellist whose passion for music transcends conventional divisions. He is equally at home in chamber music or in recital; delving into the historical archives to emerge with a forgotten gem; or on the concert platform with some of the world's most prestigious orchestras and conductors.
This season's highlights include a residency at Frankfurt's Alte Oper, who prominently features Isserlis as its 'Auftakt' artist, incorporating a concert with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe; and performances with the Orchestre de Paris under Christoph Eschenbach at the Enescu Festival in Bucharest. Isserlis appears with the Philharmonia under Paavo Jrvi, the Philadelphia Orchestra under Charles Dutoit and tours with both the City of Birmingham Symphony and the Australian Chamber orchestras. He also participates in a Gala Concert with the Israel Philharmonic to mark the 50th anniversary of the Mann Auditorium, performing Bloch's Schelomo under Zubin Mehta's baton. With a strong interest in authentic performance, Isserlis plays with many of the foremost period instrument orchestras. He has recently performed all Beethoven's works for cello with fortepianist Robert Levin in Boston and at Londons Wigmore Hall. Last season he performed the Dvork Cello Concerto with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment under Sir Simon Rattle.
The chamber concerts of Isserlis' devising are renowned, not only for the quality of performance, but also for his ingenuity and innovation in programming. Schumann is a particular passion for Isserlis, and last season he performed Schumann's Cello Concerto on a major tour of Germany with the Junge Deutsche Philharmonie under Marc Albrecht, spearheaded a Schumann project in Japan, and performed in an evening of words and music dedicated to the story of Schumann and Brahms with a script written by Isserlis in London and New York. This season, Isserlis presents a Russian series of his own devising at the Wigmore Hall, French and Russian programmes as part of his residency at Frankfurt's Alte Oper, and a series of chamber music and educational events at the New Zealand International Arts Festival.
Last season, he launched his own series at the 92nd St Y in New York; such was its success that the series continues and develops in the present season. Isserliss interest in musical education has another outlet in the masterclasses he gives regularly all over the world; and for the past ten years he has been Artistic Director of the masterclass and chamber music seminar IMS Prussia Cove. He has also published several editions and arrangements, principally for Faber Music.
Steven Isserlis is a keen exponent of contemporary music and works with many composers on new commissions. He recently gave the world premire of Wolfgang Rihms Cello Concerto at the Salzburg Festival, and future plans include the premire performances of works written for him by Mikhail Pletnev and Thomas Ads.
With an award-winning discography, Isserlis' recordings reflect his diverse interests in repertoire. His most recent release is of the complete Solo Cello Suites by Bach on the Hyperion label, which has been met with the highest critical acclaim and won many awards. Other recent releases include two recordings with Stephen Hough: the Brahms sonatas, coupled with works by Dvork and Suk, for Hyperion Records, voted Listeners' Disc of the Year on BBC Radio 3's CD review; and a highly-acclaimed disc of children's cello music for BIS Records.
Awarded a CBE in 1998 in recognition of his services to music, Steven Isserlis has received many honours, including in 2000 the Schumann Prize of the City of Zwickau (Schumann's birthplace); previous recipients include Gilels, Masur, Richter and Fischer-Dieskau.
Steven Isserlis plays the Feuermann Stradivarius of 1730, kindly loaned by The Nippon Music Foundation of Japan


Pianist Connie Shih, born in Canada, is considered to be one of Canada's most outstanding young artists. In 1993, she won the Sylva Gelber Award for most outstanding classical artist under age 30. At the age of nine, she made her orchestral debut with Mendelssohn's First Piano Concerto with the Seattle Symphony Orchestra. At 12, she was the youngest ever protg of Gyorgy Sebok at Indiana University, and then continued her studies at the Curtis Institute with Claude Frank. Later studies were undertaken with Fou Ts'ong in Europe. As soloist, she has appeared extensively with orchestras throughout Canada, U.S. and Europe and in recitals she has made countless appearances in Canada, the U.S., Iceland, England, Germany, and China. She frequently performs chamber music with many world renowned musicians. To critical acclaim, she appears regularly in recital with Steven Isserlis. She has performed at Londons Wigmore Hall in London, Carnegie Hall, and at the prestigious Bath Music Festival and the Kronberg Festival. This past season included collaborations with Steven Isserlis, Susan Gritton and Anthony Marwood at the Aldeburgh Festival and other performances with Tabea Zimmermann and Isabelle Faust.

The Lorand Fenyves Residency program was established by the Fenyves family in 2006 to perpetuate the legacy and pedagogical vision of the late Lorand Fenyves, violin professor at the University of Toronto for over 35 years.
The purpose of the Residency is to provide undergraduate and graduate string students direct access to world renowned master teachers and artists in the spirit of Mr. Fenyves. Visiting Artists residencies include intensive individual coaching, master classes, and public recitals.

The Faculty of Music Chamber Music Series brings to Walter Hall some of the worlds finest chamber music groups. Recent and upcoming performers include the Miro Quartet, Berlin Philharmonic Wind Quintet, St. Lawrence String Quartet, cellist Steven Isserlis, and the Gryphon Trio. For more information on this and other Faculty of Music concert series, please visit our website at http://www.music.utoronto.ca or contact the Box Office at 416-978-3744.

Ticket sales and general inquiries:

Faculty of Music Box Office
Hours: 1 7 pm, Monday to Friday, with extended hours on performance nights.
Phone: 416-978-3744
Address: Lobby level, Edward Johnson Building, 80 Queens Park, Toronto ON M5S 2C5

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