Early Music America Winter 2013 - (Page 19)

I -Tamara Bernstein ACD2 2404 ATMA PRESENTS THE FIFTH VOLUME OF THE RECORDING OF THE SACRED CANTATAS OF J.S. BACH MONIKA MAUCH SOPRANO FRANZISKA GOTTWALD ALTO CHARLES DANIELS TENOR HARRY VAN DER KAMP BASS MONTRÉAL BAROQUE Eric Milnes CONDUCTOR About the previously released Bach Sacred Cantatas on ATMA: Baroque, "Milnes, Montréalnothing but and ATMA deliver unmitigated pleasure. Enlightening!" SACD2 2403 SACD2 2401 - Classics Today USA SACD2 2400 faculty ensemble rehearse for their first concert. "People were listening to each other and constantly interacting, rather than following instructions," she says. While at Juilliard, Zhu decided to audition for the viola da gamba solo in the aria "Komm, süßes Kreuz" in Bach's St. Matthew Passion, even though gamba was still quite new to her at the time. She ended up performing it-and playing the solo continuo cello-on tour with the Juilliard 415 Ensemble, under the direction of Masaaki Suzuki. Zhu describes this as one of the highlights of her time at Juilliard, characteristically deflecting attention to her colleagues and stressing the inspiration she got from them. Mealy recalls that her performance of the piece on that tour, "and in every performance since then, has been one of the great highlights of the evening. It's a ferociously difficult piece for the player, and she really transcends its technical challenges to make it something very deep. "I think people respond to Beiliang's music-making so immediately because it's just like herself," Mealy continued. "She's a very centered, loving person, totally unpretentious, extremely smart (she was the one who would casually solve everyone's theory problems at Juilliard-'Oh, just put an E there') and very humble, always eager to learn and grow." Zhu has subsequently reprised her double role in the St. Matthew Passion with the Philadelphia Orchestra. In October 2013, she played gamba for the New York recital debut of British soprano Carolyn Sampson at Carnegie's Weill Recital Hall; in November, she is giving a solo recital in Seoul, Korea. Her 2014 agenda includes a recital at the Bach Festival in Leipzig in June. "For me, performing is a way of living, not just a way of earning a living," she says. "The time you spend on stage is always a special time; with different audiences, the same pieces become different every time. You can sense the audience; it becomes a dialogue without words. I'm very grateful for that." SACD2 2402 recent interview. She began playing cello at the age of four at the Shanghai Music Kindergarten. Her teacher throughout childhood, Ms. Xuping Zou, "always emphasized the importance of listening to music outside of the cello repertoire, and other arts-operas and ballets, for instance," Zhu said. Zhu has been playing the Bach Suites for unaccompanied cello since she was six years old. "He is the composer closest to my heart," she says. But that was pretty much it for Baroque music when she was growing up; there was certainly no historical performance movement for European music in Shanghai. As a schoolgirl, though, she did play cello in a traditional music orchestra, surrounded by traditional Chinese instruments. "Perhaps that planted ancient sounds in my head," she says. Zhu remembers the precise moment when she realized she loved Baroque music. She was 12 years old and the TV was tuned to a channel that played European classical music while showing scenes from Europe. A piece of music so bowled her over that she looked up the telephone number of the television station and phoned to ask what it was. The composer turned out to be Telemann. The son of Zhu's teacher had studied cello at Eastman with Steven Doane and had sent back enthusiastic reports. In 2005, Zhu won a scholarship from Eastman, where she flourished under Doane's guidance and was able to pursue her love of Baroque music with Paul O'Dette and Christel Thielmann. After graduating from Eastman in 2009, Zhu enrolled in the first cohort of the Juilliard School's historical performance program. There, "another part of the sky opened up to me," she said. In that first year, the teacher-student ratio "was almost one-to-one," Zhu said, and the pressure to make the program succeed brought further excitement and intensity. At Juilliard, Zhu's teachers and coaches included some of the most accomplished and characterful musicians in the field, such as cellist Phoebe Carrai, gambist Sarah Cunningham, and violinist Monica Huggett. Zhu's first revelation at Juilliard came when she watched the atm aclassique.com STUDIO QUALITY MP3 CD QUALITY Tamara Bernstein writes on music and programs the free summer concerts at the Toronto Music Garden. Early Music America Winter 2013 19 http://www.atmaclassique.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Early Music America Winter 2013

Editor's Note
Reader Forum
Sound Bytes
Musings: Time Traveling with Instruments
Profile: Pure Gold: Beiliang Zhu
Recording Reviews
Let's put on a... Zarzuela!
A Banquet of Music 40 Years in the Serving
Honoring Krebs
Book Reviews
Ad Index
In Conclusion: Dido and Aeneas Reconsidered

Early Music America Winter 2013

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