The critically acclaimed duo of David Finckel, cello, and Wu Han, piano, will return for their eighth Series recital on Saturday, Feb. 26, at 8 p.m. in Union College's Memorial Chapel.
Their performance, which is the thirteenth concert of this year's Schenectady Museum Union College Concert Series, will include Strauss's Sonata in F, Op. 6; Prokofiev's Sonata in C, Op. 19; Mendelssohn's Sonata No. 2 in D, Op. 58.
David Finckel's early years were spent in a farmhouse (“with no plumbing,”) but with the richness of music. All of the male members of his family played the cello, with the exception of his father, from whom he inherited his phenomenal ear for music. At age 13, he heard a recording of the Saint Saëns cello concerto and “fell in love with music.” Today he is a member of the famed Emerson String Quartet.
Wu Han is no stranger to the Schenectady series; this is her twenty-fourth appearance. Born in Taipei, Taiwan, she was a precocious child with a passionate desire to play the piano, beginning lessons at age 9. She attended the Hartt School of Music in West Hartford, Conn., where she played a duet Chopin sonata with Finckel. At that very moment they knew they were meant to be together – and not just musically. BBC Magazine (Jan., 1997) extols the couple's exceptional chemistry: “Good chemistry is the most mysterious element in music-making. Listening to…Finckel and Han in person, one is aware of musical collaboration as a sensual appetite, a triangle of composer and performers in passionate embrace.” Critics at The Los Angeles Times call their music “perfectly meshed instrumentalism.”
Finckel and Han are married, and live in Manhattan.
Frustrated by the record industry and fascinated with the Internet, the couple founded ArtistLed, their own non-commercial record label which is becoming the focus of media attention around the world. They are described by The Strad as “free spirits of the super-highway who do their own lever-pushing, knob-twirling and editing.
Following their Feb. 26 performance at Union, the couple's schedule takes them to Los Angeles where Wu Han will perform with the Asia America Symphony, and then on to the 92nd Street Y in New York City.