Critical Acclaim

Wu Han

"When pianist Wu Han arrived in the U.S. from Taipei, in 1981, she spoke not a word of English. Today, she is the modern model of the American success story, equal parts impresaria, scholar, performer, teacher, cheer leader, and recording producer."

"As both personality and artist, Wu Han seems to light a fire wherever she goes; she is a self-confessed risk-taker, a passionate, committed artist too busy making a difference to ever take credit."

- Musical America

"Ms. Wu’s piano playing was simply gorgeous."

- The Wall Street Journal

"During the wildly virtuosic opening movement of Benjamin Britten’s Piano Concerto, an ASO premiere, it became clear that we were in the presence of a major artist."

- Atlanta Journal Constitution

"Han is an exuberant presence; her sparkling playing and style brought out the fire in her colleagues. The sound was relentlessly driving and unfailingly full of character.
Wu Han brought passion to everything."

- The Washington Post

"Wu Han presented the piano parts in an exceptionally graceful and intelligent fashion.Wu Han brought passion to everything."

- The New York Times

"Wu Han has always struck me as that rare performer who can free the music from her hands, enabling us to hear around and through her to the music she plays. Each performance feels like a luminous entrée into its composer."

- Positive Feedback

“Wu Han possesses a disarming combination of discipline and tenderness, always leavened by her matchless sense of style.”
“In her playing… so elegant and powerful, with a fluidity and a sense of effortless grace…”
“It's the same notes everyone else plays, but in her conversation and performance, she animated them and brought out their stories and charm in a way I'd never experienced.”

- National Public Radio

"Wu Han, whose hands and technique are electronic in quickness, gave a most artful and varied performance. Her playing is fully engaging and enlivening."

- San Francisco Chronicle

"Wu Han’s precision, passion and elegance know no limits. Every phrase, every passage, was polished to perfection and succeeded in bringing out the best…"

- Peninsula Reviews

"Wu Han exploded in musicality and spontaneity. She has the charm and boldness to let the music live."

- Berlingske Tidende (Copenhagen)
Critical Acclaim

David Finckel

"Finckel is a superb player with his own instantly recognizable style. His technique is impeccable, his tone warm, rich, variable, and pure; his playing has great warmth and expressiveness coupled with a noble, aristocratic restraint."

- Strings

"Finckel is one of the best cellists working today, possessing a resonant, cantabile tone and a sure sense of pitch."

- The San Diego Union Tribune

"Mr. Finckel is a musician of great elegance and dignity."

- The New York Times

"Throughout the evening, Finckel was in top form, playing with his typically big, robust sound, flawless technique and keen, edge-of-the-seat responsiveness."

- Chicago Sun Times

"Finckel makes his instrument sing with a natural eloquence."

- The Los Angeles Times

"Finckel brings his magnificently burnished tone and outstanding musicianship to bear."

- BBC Music

"Finckel stands apart from other cellists….his passagework is exquisitely nimble and his phrasing is intensely lyrical."

- Minneapolis Star Tribune

"Cellist David Finckel played with passion and adroitness, making the music bigger than life."

- The Philadelphia Inquirer

"His lyricism and restraint in the final movement moved me more than I was prepared for."

- Positive Feedback

"In the face of fierce competition David Finckel gives one of the finest accounts I have heard of Dvořák’s Cello Concerto. Without surpassing the above accounts, particularly the magnificent Rostropovich recording, Finckel’s performance can certainly stand in the same elevated company."

- MusicWeb International (UK)
Critical Acclaim

Duo

"In the chamber music world they are rock stars."

- Chamber Music America

"This irrepressible husband and wife team has initiated a quiet revolution in music often regarded as too rarefied to attract a large following. They are changing that perception and garnering new fans… And they have done it through sheer determination and elbow grease."

- Musical America

"Since taking over the [The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center] in 2004, the husband and wife team of cellist David Finckel and pianist Wu Han has forged it into an unstoppable entity—an exploding star in the musical firmament. Its directors seem incapable of anything but success."

- The Wall Street Journal

"Finckel and Han deserve a standing ovation… I suspect many ‘music types’ don’t fully appreciate the type of entrepreneurial talent it takes to create a Music@Menlo out of thin air. Somehow the two New York-based musicians saw the potential of Silicon Valley to support and sustain a world-class chamber music festival—then proceeded to convert that dream into reality. Very few people, especially top-caliber musicians, are capable of doing that."

- Music Matters

"Superb…a musical experience that was at once vibrant, beautiful and intellectually stimulating."

- San Francisco Chronicle

"Mr. Finckel and Wu Han gave eloquent and deeply committed performances. He played with a deep and burnished tone and she with a sparkling virtuosity. Best of all was how keenly they listened to each other."

- The New York Times

"When a pair of genuine artists explodes on the stage, exuding not only glamour and theatrical flair but also superb musical insight, the audience’s thrill is twofold. It was a performance in which lyricism and virtuosity shared equal roles, but what made it particularly memorable was the degree of exquisitely intimate ensemble achieved by Finckel and pianist Wu Han, with spontaneity, vigor and seamless melody. Breathtaking!"

- The Washington Post

"Finckel and Wu Han displayed tight ensemble and exceptional accompaniment of each other and their expression of the heroic spirit of this music was most impressive…The key here is that heroes take risks, they live on the edge."

- The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

"Finckel and Han are top-notch, well-matched individual performers. Finckel possesses a robust sound with a beautiful, earthy bottom and an authoritative, compelling performance style, and Han brings seemingly boundless technique and appealing zestfulness to her playing."

- Chicago Sun-Times

"There was a sense of absolute certainty in the way cellist and pianist completed each other's sentences, yet their long familiarity with each other's musical responses did not rob their performances of freshness, spontaneity or directness... …this was deep, life-giving music. The playing of both was polished, even breathtakingly virtuosic."

- Chicago Tribune

"Partners in music and in life, Finckel and Wu Han surmount all the formidable technical, tonal, and musical challenges and play with absolute security, conviction, and authority. The playing of both was polished, even breathtakingly virtuosic."

- Strings

"To be sure, the couple still knows how to bring down the house…"

- Boston Musical Intelligencer

"This chamber music duo is an inspired pairing, conversant with the material and each other’s motions. Finckel makes his instrument sing with a natural eloquence, at once muscular and supple. Han, for her part, dispatches musical material without flinching and without losing emotional mooring."

- The Los Angeles Times
Critical Acclaim

Trio

"It’s hard to imagine a piano trio playing on a higher level of technical accomplishment and musical expressivity than the Finckel-Han-Setzer Trio."

- The Dallas Morning News

"Together their playing was almost startlingly intimate. Imitative lines whispered to each other, inner voices spoke out quietly, and everything proceeded with the lightest of touch and with amazing transparency. Their ensemble is seamless…"

- The Washington Post

"The music unfolded like a spontaneous, heady conversation among three intimate friends. Performances don’t get more exciting than this. The program, showcasing Schubert’s two piano trios, offered a thrilling combination of technical prowess and almost telepathic communication onstage. Throughout the evening we felt the performers’ sheer delight in making music together."

- Chicago Classical Review

"Finckel, Han and Setzer have earned their reputations as able evangelists for chamber music by pouring plenty of emotion into their performances and being almost as much fun to watch as to hear."

- St. Paul Pioneer Press

"….a dazzling exhibition of chamber music playing at its best. …we were mesmerized by the fabulous music making of these three fine musicians. It just doesn’t get any better than this."

- Peninsula Reviews

"It used to be the Beaux Arts Trio – especially after violinist Isidore Cohen joined pianist Menahem Pressler and cellist Bernard Greenhouse – that other piano trios had to look up to and attempt to emulate. Now it’s the Philip Setzer/David Finckel/Wu Han triumvirate that is the standard bearer."

- Reichel Recommends

"In D.929, every Schubertian utterance was a living, breathing organism. The music-making is on a grand scale, fit for a large concert hall, alternately tender and gritty in timbre as the score suggests. Balances between strings and piano are superb, and the disc's crystalline sound quality favours utmost presence. The advantages of self-production - Wu Han and Finckel own and run the recording company ArtistLed - can be heard to sumptuous effect."

- Gramophone

"The three ArtistLed musicians in collaboration….bring a decided exuberance and electric current to their performance, a realization both taut and scintillating at once. Philip Setzer’s violin carries a particularly lively aura, his tone a streamlined beam of light surrounded by Wu Han’s sparkling keyboard and the sumptuous cello of David Finckel."

- Audiophile Audition

"Pianist Wu Han, violinist Philip Setzer and cellist David Finckel seem to click into the intimate communication and artistic vision that helps unlock the real Schubert behind the incredible music."

- National Public Radio

"The threesome gave brilliant and impassioned performances of two landmarks of the German piano-trio repertory."

- The Dallas Morning News