David Finckel, Cello
Cellist David Finckel’s multifaceted career as concert performer, recording artist, educator, arts administrator, and cultural entrepreneur places him in the ranks of today’s most influential classical musicians. In recognition of artistic excellence and achievement in the arts, David Finckel and his longtime recital partner, pianist Wu Han, are recipients of Musical America’s Musicians of the Year award, one of the highest honors granted by the music industry.
David Finckel has been hailed as a “world class soloist” (Denver Post) and “one of the top ten, if not top five, cellists in the world today” (Nordwest Zeitung, Germany). In high demand as a chamber musician, he appears in over one hundred concerts each season in recital with pianist Wu Han, and in piano trios with violinist Philip Setzer, at the most prestigious venues and concert series across the United States and around the world. His activities as a concerto soloist include performances and recordings of the Dvorák Concerto, John Harbison Concerto, Britten Concerto, and Augusta Read Thomas’s Ritual Incantations.
Highlights of his 2017–18 season include international and domestic tours as a duo and collaborations with a stellar lineup of artists and ensembles. David Finckel continues his important work with The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center (CMS); reunites with violinist Philip Setzer for performances of the complete cycle of piano trios by Beethoven; announces Music@Menlo’s sixteenth season; and completes the filming of a two-part television feature soon to be carried on several PBS stations. Recently, he joined CMS artists on a grand tour of the Far East with appearances at the Forbidden City Concert Hall in Beijing, Hsinchu Performing Arts Center and the National Concert Hall in Taiwan; and continued to expand the presence of chamber music in South Korea with the seventh annual Chamber Music Today festival.
In addition to his distinction as one of classical music’s most accomplished performers, David Finckel has established a reputation for his dynamic and innovative approach to the recording studio. In 1997, David Finckel and Wu Han launched ArtistLed, classical music’s first musician-directed and Internet-based recording company, whose catalogue of nineteen albums has won widespread critical acclaim. This is a milestone season as the label turns twenty in 2018. David Finckel’s recording for the ArtistLed label of the Rachmaninov, Shostakovich, and Prokofiev sonatas received BBC Music Magazine’s coveted “Editor’s Choice” award. His most recent album, a reissue of the beautifully remastered and reimagined 2003 recording of Dvořák’s Cello and Augusta Read Thomas’s Ritual Incantations, is with the Taipei Symphony Orchestra.
Now in their third term as Artistic Directors of The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, David Finckel and Wu Han hold the longest tenure since Charles Wadsworth, the founding Artistic Director. They are the founders and Artistic Directors of Music@Menlo, a chamber music festival and institute in Silicon Valley that has garnered international acclaim, and David also serves as Artistic Codirector of Chamber Music Today, an annual festival held in Seoul, Korea.
David Finckel has achieved universal renown for his passionate commitment to nurturing the careers of countless young artists through a wide array of education initiatives. For many years, he taught alongside the late Isaac Stern at Carnegie Hall and the Jerusalem Music Center. David is professor of cello at The Juilliard School, Artist-in-Residence at Stony Brook University, and Codirector of the LG Chamber Music School in Korea. He also leads the Finckel-Wu Han Chamber Music Studio at the Aspen Music Festival and the Chamber Music Encounters program at CMS. David served as cellist of the Grammy Award-winning Emerson String Quartet for 34 seasons.