"Queyras performs as he breathes…His technical ease allows him to play with the music, to knead it, giving a particular character to each work... Queyras speaks of the world… he brings the universe to the end of his bow." Le devoir, Montréal
[Melnikov] : "Everything is testament to reflection and skill, yet the pianist is not lecturing, but laughing, dreaming, lamenting and dancing." Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
Jean-Guihen Queyras, cello & Alexander Melnikov, piano
January 24, 2017, 7:30pm
Cabell Hall Auditorium, University of Virginia
Underwriter: Virginia National Bank
Beethoven Sonata for Piano & Cello #2 in g minor, Op. 5, No. 2
Beethoven Sonata for Cello & PIano #3 in A Major, Op. 69
Debussy Sonata for Cello & PIano in d minor
Chopin Sonata for Cello & Piano in g minor, Op. 65
Jean-Guihen Queyras enjoys an enviable reputation as a musician of exceptional versatility and integrity, equally as a soloist with orchestras, chamber musician and solo performer.
He has performed with many of the world’s great orchestras, including the Philadelphia Orchestra, Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Philharmonia, Orchestre de Paris, NHK Symphony, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Tonhalle Zurich, Leipzig Gewandhaus, Budapest Festival Orchestra and Orchestre de la Suisse-Romande under conductors such as Iván Fischer, Philippe Herreweghe, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Jiří Bělohlávek, Olivier Knussen and Sir Roger Norrington. He appears regularly with early music ensembles such as the Freiburger Barockorchester and Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin.
Jean-Guihen Queyras is also an enthusiastic exponent of contemporary music and is committed to expanding the repertoire boundaries of his instrument. He regularly collaborates with composers such as Bruno Mantovani, Jörg Widmann and Pierre Boulez; he also premiered the concertos of Michael Jarrell and Johannes-Maria Staud. In November 2014, Queyras performed Peter Eötvös’ cello concerto with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France for Eötvös’ 70th birthday celebration and Dutilleux’s concerto for that composer’s 100th anniversary.
His regular chamber music partners include pianists Alexandre Tharaud and Alexander Melnikov and violinist Isabelle Faust. He is a member of the Arcanto Quartett and also performs with Zarb specialists Kevyan and Bijan Chemirani.
Queyras is frequently asked to host artistic residencies. These have included a “Carte Blanche” at the Aix-en-Provence Festival and projects in Utrecht’s Muziekcentrum Vredenburg, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw and Gent’s De Bijloke. He was also Artist-in-Residence with the Hamburg based chamber orchestra Ensemble Resonanz.
He has made numerous recordings for harmonia mundi. Recent releases include Elgar’s Cello Concerto and Tchaikovsky’s Rococo Variations, recorded with the BBC Symphony Orchestra under Jiří Bělohlávek, as well as Beethoven’s complete works for cello and piano, recorded with Alexander Melnikov. He is currently involved in an all-Schumann project featuring the complete piano trios, performed with Isabelle Faust and Alexander Melnikov, and the concertos, performed with the Freiburger Barockorchester and Pablo Heras-Casado. The final installment with the Piano Trio No. 1 and the Cello Concerto will be released in early 2016.
The 2015/16 season sees Jean-Guihen Queyras in residence at Wigmore Hall. Further highlights include appearances with the Gürzenich-Orchester Köln under François-Xavier Roth, Orquestra Nacionales de España under Vladimir Ashkenazy, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin under Sir Roger Norrington and Yomiuri Symphony Orchestra under Sylvain Cambreling. In the spring of 2016, he premieres Thomas Larcher’s “Cerha,” a commissioned work for solo cello and string orchestra.
Jean-Guihen Queyras plays a cello made by Gioffredo Cappa in 1696, on loan from Mécénat Musical Société Générale since November 2005. He is a professor at the Musikhochschule Freiburg.
Alexander Melnikov graduated from the Moscow Conservatory under Lev Naumov. His most formative musical moments in Moscow include his early encounter with Svjatoslav Richter, who thereafter regularly invited him to festivals in Russia and France. He was awarded important prizes at such eminent competitions as the International Robert Schumann Competition in Zwickau (1989) and the Concours Musical Reine Elisabeth in Brussels (1991).
Known for his often unusual musical and programmatic decisions, Alexander Melnikov discovered a career-long interest in historically informed performance practice at an early age. His major influences in this field include Andreas Staier and Alexei Lubimov. Melnikov performs regularly with such distinguished period ensembles as the Freiburger Barockorchester, Concerto Köln, Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin and Orchestre des Champs-Élysées.
As a soloist, Alexander Melnikov has performed with orchestras including the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, Philadelphia Orchestra, NDR Sinfonieorchester, HR-Sinfonieorchester, Russian National Orchestra, Munich Philharmonic, Rotterdam Philharmonic, BBC Philharmonic and the NHK Symphony, under conductors such as Mikhail Pletnev, Teodor Currentzis, Charles Dutoit, Paavo Järvi, Philippe Herreweghe and Valery Gergiev.
Together with Andreas Staier, Alexander Melnikov developed a program that sets excerpts from Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier (Andreas Staier, harpsichord) in musical dialogue with Shostakovich's 24 Preludes and Fugues (Alexander Melnikov, piano). Additionally, the artists recently recorded a unique all-Schubert program of four-hand pieces, which they have also performed in concert. Intensive chamber music collaborations with partners including cellists Alexander Rudin and Jean-Guihen Queyras, as well as the baritone Georg Nigl, also form an essential part of Melnikov’s work.
Alexander Melnikov’s association with the label harmonia mundi arose through his regular recital partner, violinist Isabelle Faust, and in 2010 their complete recording of the Beethoven sonatas for violin and piano won both a Gramophone Award and Germany’s ECHO Klassik Prize. This CD, which has become a touchstone recording for these works, was also nominated for a Grammy. Their most recent release features the Brahms sonatas for violin and piano.
Melnikov’s recording of the Preludes and Fugues by Shostakovich was awarded the BBC Music Magazine Award, Choc de Classica and the Jahrespreis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik. In 2011, it was also named by the BBC Music Magazine as one of the “50 Greatest Recordings of All Time.” Additionally, his discography features works by Brahms, Rachmaninoff, Shostakovich and Scriabin. Along with Isabelle Faust, Jean-Guihen Queyras, Pablo Heras-Casado and the Freiburger Barockorchester, Melnikov recorded a trilogy of CDs featuring the Schumann Concertos and Trios; the second installment, featuring the Piano Concerto and the Piano Trio No. 2, was released in September 2015.
The 2015/16 season sees the launch of Alexander Melnikov’s “The Man with Many Pianos” program, in which he performs a solo recital on three different instruments reflecting the periods in which the works were written, as well as a three-concert Shostakovich program with Cuarteto Casals. He continues his collaboration with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Freiburger Barockorchester and Tapiola Sinfonietta as its Artistic Partner. Further highlights include concerts with the Camerata Salzburg and Louis Langrée at the Mozartwoche in Salzburg, Seattle Symphony Orchestra and Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, as well as engagements in London’s Wigmore Hall, Amsterdam’s Muziekgebouw aan’t Ij, Antwerp’s De Singel, Dijon’s Opéra and Barcelona’s Palau de la Música Catalana.