Posted on Dec 19, 2007

David Finckel, cello, and Wu Han, piano, return for their 16th Concert Series performance Sunday, Jan. 6, 2008 with special guest Da-Hong Seetoo, violin. (Photo courtesy of David Rowe Artists)

Cellist David Finckel and pianist Wu Han return for a 16th Concert Series performance Sunday, Jan. 6 at 3 p.m. in Memorial Chapel with special guest, violinist  Da-Hong Seetoo.

The program features selections from Dmitri Shostakovich and Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky, including Shostakovich’s Trio No. 1 in c-minor, Op. 8 (in one movement) and Sonata for cello and piano in d-minor, Op. 40. Tchaikovsky’s Trio in a-minor, Op. 50 will also be performed.

Finckel and Han have performed together at New York’s Lincoln Center, Washington’s Kennedy Center and the Smithsonian Institute. Highlights from their international engagements include debuts in Germany and at Finland’s Kuhmo Festival, their presentation of the complete Beethoven cycle in Tokyo and their signature all-Russian program at London’s Wigmore Hall.

Finckel and Han have served as artistic directors of The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center since 2004 and are the founders and artistic directors of Music@Menlo, a chamber music festival in Silicon Valley that has garnered international acclaim since its inception in 2003.

They also launched the first musician-directed and Internet-based recording company, ArtistLed, which is celebrating its 10th year. The duo’s “Russian Classics” recording received BBC Music magazine’s coveted “Editor's Choice” award and their upcoming “Russian Recital” album will mark Wu Han’s first full-length solo recording for the label.

Seetoo has worked closely with Finckel and Han since meeting them at the Aspen Music Festival in 1982.

special guest Da-Hong Seetoo, violin, joins David Finckel, cello, and Wu Han, piano, for their 16th Concert Series performance Sunday, Jan. 6, 2008.

Born in Shanghai at a time when Western music was forbidden, Seetoo began playing the violin at the age of five and was forced to practice with the windows closed. His father, a professor of violin at the Shanghai Conservatory, purchased an expensive reel-to-reel tape recorder to copy recordings being circulated underground. When the machine needed repairs, 10-year-old Seetoo taught himself how to fix it and upgraded the family's primitive stereo system.

Seetoo skipped the first four years of college and was a graduate student at the Shanghai Conservatory when the Boston Symphony visited China in 1979. Upon hearing Seetoo play, Joseph Silverstein, the distinguished concertmaster of the Boston Symphony, personally recommended him to the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. He subsequently studied at Curtis and at the Juilliard School under Ivan Galamian and the legendary Dorothy Delay.

Finding a performer’s lifestyle too isolating, Seetoo returned to his youthful fascination with electronics, forming Da-Hong Seetoo Productions specializing in high-end audio engineering and recording. His 2005 recording of the Mendelssohn String Quartets for Deutsche Grammophon was nominated for three Grammy Awards, winning Best Classical Album and Best Engineered Album.

The concert is free for the Union College community, $25 for general admission and $10 for area students. For tickets, call (518) 388-6080; for more information on the Series, call (518) 372-3651 or visit