August 1 - 10
Cellist Sophie Shao, winner of the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant and top prizes at the Rostropovich and Tchaikovsky competitions, is a versatile and passionate artist whose performances the New York Times has described as “eloquent, powerful,” “beautifully phrased and interestingly textured,” the LA Times noted as “impressive” and the Washington Post called “deeply satisfying.”
Shao has appeared as soloist to critical acclaim throughout the United States, and has premiered Howard Shore’s cello concerto “Mythic Gardens” with Leon Botstein and the American Symphony Orchestra, the UK premiere with Keith Lockhart and the BBC Concert Orchestra, and European premiere with Ludwig Wicki and the 21st Century Orchestra at the KKL in Lucerne. She also premiered Richard Wilson’s “The Cello Has Many Secrets” with the American Symphony Orchestra.
Ms. Shao has given recitals in Suntory Hall in Tokyo, the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, Middlebury College, Phillips Collection, Walter Reade Theater and Rose Studio in Lincoln Center, the complete Bach Suites at Union College and in New York City. Her dedication to chamber music has conceived her popular “Sophie Shao and Friends” groups. She was a member of Chamber Music Society Two/Bowers Program, a young artist residency of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center.
Ms. Shao’s recordings include the Complete Bach Suites, Andre Previn’s Reflections for Cello and English Horn and Orchestra on EMI Classics, Richard Wilson’s Diablerie and Brash Attacks and Barbara White’s My Barn Having Burned to the Ground, I Can Now See the Moon on Albany Records, Howard Shore’s original score for the movie The Betrayal on Howe Records, Marlboro Music Festival’s 50th Anniversary on Bridge Records, and Howard Shore’s “Mythic Gardens” on Sony Classical.
A native of Houston, Texas, Ms. Shao began playing the cello at age six, and was a student of Shirley Trepel, the former principal cellist of the Houston Symphony. At age thirteen she enrolled at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, studying cello with David Soyer and chamber music with Felix Galimir. After graduating from the Curtis Institute, she continued her cello studies with Aldo Parisot at Yale University, receiving a B.A. in Religious Studies from Yale College and an M.M. from the Yale School of Music, where she was enrolled as a Paul and Daisy
She is on the faculty of University of Connecticut and is playing an Hieronymus Amati cello c.1700 on a generous loan.