2018–2019 Program biography (725 Words)
Cellist David Finckel’s multifaceted career as concert performer, artistic director, recording artist,
educator, 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 annually at the most prestigious venues and concert series across the world in recital with Wu
Han, in piano trios with violinist Philip Setzer, and in piano quartets with violinist Daniel Hope and
violist Paul Neubauer. 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
Highlights of his 2018–19 season include international and domestic tours as a duo with Wu Han and
collaborations with a stellar lineup of artists and ensembles. He continues to perform with The Chamber
Music Society of Lincoln Center (CMS) in New York and on tour; reunites with violinist Daniel Hope
and violist Paul Neubauer for a U.S. tour reaching seven cities; and embarks on a series of piano trio
performances in Canada and the United States with violinist Philip Setzer. As the winter unfolds, he joins
CMS artists on tour to the Far East with appearances in Taipei and Hsinchu, Taiwan, and Shanghai,
China. David Finckel and Wu Han will also be the subject of two television features to be broadcast on
PBS stations across the country.
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 as directors since CMS founder Charles Wadsworth. They
are the founders and Artistic Directors of Music@Menlo, the San Francisco Bay Area’s premier summer
chamber music festival and institute, approaching its seventeenth season in 2019. Additionally, David
Finckel and Wu Han are founding Artistic Directors of Chamber Music Today, an annual festival held in
Seoul, South Korea, which marks its eighth season in 2018. In the spring, the duo inaugurates an
immersive, week-long festival in Palm Beach that explores German and Austrian chamber music through
an array of performances and interactive events.
In addition to his distinction as a world-class performer, David Finckel has established a reputation for his dynamic and innovative approach to the recording studio. He opened up a whole new world in the
classical recording industry when he co-created ArtistLed, the first musician-directed and internet-based
classical recording company. BBC Music Magazine recently saluted the label’s twentieth anniversary
featuring the duo on its cover CD. This new recording is to be released on the ArtistLed label in the fall.
David has also overseen the establishment of the CMS Studio Recordings label, the Society’s recording
partnership with Deutsche Grammophon, CMS’s livestream programming, and Music@Menlo LIVE,
which has been praised as “the most ambitious recording project of any classical music festival in the
world” (San Jose Mercury News). 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.
David Finckel has received universal praise for his passionate commitment to nurturing the artistic growth of countless young artists through a wide array of educational initiatives. Under his leadership at CMS, the CMS Two Program identifies and inducts the finest young chamber artists into the entire spectrum of CMS activities. As Artistic co-Director of Music@Menlo, his Chamber Music Institute has provided hundreds of students with incomparable, immersive musical experiences over sixteen summers. From 2013 to 2018, David Finckel and Wu Han led an intensive chamber music studio at the Aspen Music Festival and School. He is Professor of Cello at The Juilliard School, Artist-in-Residence at Stony Brook University, and co-Director of the LG Chamber Music School in Korea. This season, David Finckel and Wu Han’s website introduces a new initiative which addresses the challenges and opportunities facing today’s classical music performers and presenters.
David Finckel served as cellist of the Grammy Award-winning Emerson String Quartet for 34 seasons.
For more information, please visit www.davidfinckelandwuhan.com.