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The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center

Mar 19

Performance Dates

  • Sat Mar 19 2016 7:30 PM


Members of the acclaimed Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center return to Meany Hall with the breathtaking program Virtuosity featuring music that combines the intensity of extraordinary ensemble playing with the virtuosity of the soloist.  CMS Co-Artistic Director and pianist Wu Han, and violinists Sean Lee and Benjamin Beilman, take solo turns in dazzling music by Mozart, Schubert and Mendelssohn. The multigenerational musicians of the CMS, one of 11 constituents of the largest performing arts complex in the world, perform in New York City at Alice Tully Hall and on tours throughout the world.

Musicians:Wu Han, pianoBenjamin Beilman, Kristin Lee, Sean Lee, violinRichard O’Neill, violaNicholas Canellakis, cello 

ProgramMozart: Quartet in E-flat major for Piano, Violin, Viola and Cello, K. 493Schubert: Rondo in A Major for Violin and Strings, D. 438Mendelssohn: Double Concerto in D Minor for Violin, Piano and Strings 




The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center (CMS) is one of eleven constituents of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, the largest performing arts complex in the world. Along with other constituents such as the New York Philharmonic, New York City Ballet, Lincoln Center Theater, and The Metropolitan Opera, the Chamber Music Society has its home at Lincoln Center, in Alice Tully Hall. Through its performance, education, and recording/broadcast activities, it draws more people to chamber music than any other organization of its kind.


CMS presents annual series of concerts and educational events for listeners ranging from connoisseurs to chamber music newcomers of all ages. Performing repertoire from over three centuries, and numerous premieres by living composers, CMS offers programs curated to provide listeners a comprehensive perspective on the art of chamber music. The performing artists of CMS, a multi-generational and international selection of expert chamber musicians, constitute an evolving repertory company capable of presenting chamber music of every instrumentation, style, and historical period. Its annual activities include a full season of concerts and events, national and international tours, nationally televised broadcasts on Live From Lincoln Center, a radio show broadcast internationally, and regular appearances on American Public Media’s Performance Today.


In 2004, CMS appointed cellist David Finckel and pianist Wu Han artistic directors. They succeed founding director Charles Wadsworth (1969-89), Fred Sherry (1989-93), and David Shifrin (1993-2004).


Dedicated to developing the chamber music leaders of the future, CMS created CMS Two, the highly regarded and rigorously competitive three-season residency for the most important chamber music ensembles and individuals, that fully integrates CMS Two artists into every facet of CMS activities. Each year, a number of CMS Two alumni are invited to become CMS Season Artists and Guest Artists, and many of the world’s leading artists, such as pianist Lang Lang, cellist Alisa Weilerstein, flutist Tara Helen O’Connor, violinist Hilary Hahn, and many others are alumni of the program. A Season Artist with CMS since he completed the program in 2011-12, CMS Two alumnus cellist Nicholas Canellakis wrote: “There isn't a single musical organization in the country that helps young musicians like the Chamber Music Society does with its CMS Two program.” 


Artistic Directors


Musical America’s 2012 Musicians of the Year, cellist David Finckel and pianist Wu Han rank among the most esteemed and influential classical musicians in the world today. The talent, energy, imagination, and dedication they bring to their multifaceted endeavors as concert performers, recording artists, educators, artistic administrators, and cultural entrepreneurs go unmatched. Their duo performances have garnered superlatives from the press, public, and presenters alike.


In high demand year after year among chamber music audiences worldwide, the duo has appeared each season at the most prestigious venues and concert series across the United States, Mexico, Canada, the Far East, and Europe to unanimous critical acclaim. For thirty-four years, David Finckel also served as cellist of the Grammy Award-winning Emerson String Quartet.


In addition to their distinction as world-class performers, the duo has established a reputation for their dynamic and innovative approach to the recording studio. In 1997, David Finckel and Wu Han launched ArtistLed, classical music’s first musician-directed and Internet-based recording company, which has served as a model for numerous independent labels. All sixteen ArtistLed recordings, including the recent Dvořák Piano Trios, have met with critical acclaim and are available via the company’s website at The duo’s repertoire spans virtually the entire literature for cello and piano, with an equal emphasis on the classics and the contemporaries. Their commitment to new music has brought commissioned works by many of today’s leading composers to audiences around the world. In 2010, the duo released “For David and Wu Han” (ArtistLed), an album of four contemporary works for cello and piano expressly composed for them. In 2011, Summit Records released a recording of the duo performing Gabriela Lena Frank’s concerto, Compadrazgo,with the ProMusica Columbus Chamber Orchestra. David Finckel and Wu Han have also overseen the establishment and design of The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s CMS Studio Recordings label, as well as the Society’s recording partnership with Deutsche Grammophon; and Music@Menlo LIVE, which has been praised as a “the most ambitious recording project of any classical music festival in the world” (San Jose Mercury News).


David Finckel and Wu Han have served as Artistic Directors of The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center since 2004, and were named Artistic Directors of Chamber Music Today in 2011, a festival held annually in Korea. They are also the founders and Artistic Directors of Music@Menlo, a chamber music festival and institute in Silicon Valley that has garnered international acclaim, now celebrating its eleventh season. They have achieved universal renown for their passionate commitment to nurturing the careers of countless young artists through a wide array of education initiatives. For many years, the duo taught alongside the late Isaac Stern at Carnegie Hall and the Jerusalem Music Center. Under the auspices of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, David Finckel and Wu Han established the LG Chamber Music School, which provides workshops to young artists in Korea. In 2012, David Finckel was named honoree and Artistic Director of the Mendelssohn Fellowship, a program established to identify young Korean musicians and promote chamber music in South Korea. In 2013, David and Wu Han established a chamber music studio at the Aspen Music Festival and School. David Finckel and Wu Han reside in New York.


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Season Artists


The Artists of CMS comprise an evolving and unparalleled roster of performers.  Graduates of the world’s leading conservatories and winners of the most prestigious international competitions and awards, these musicians – currently hailing from eighteen countries – form the dynamic ensembles that are the hallmark of CMS. Coming from different generations, widespread cultures, and diverse artistic backgrounds, they share common attributes: virtuosity, charisma, and the powerful communicative energy that is required of great chamber musicians.  Together, they combine deep knowledge of unassailable traditions with fresh and adventurous perspectives, delivering performances that continually earn CMS its international reputation as America’s leading interpreter of chamber music.


A typical CMS ensemble could include: A winner of the Avery Fisher Prize and a BBC New Generation artist; graduates of the Juilliard School and the Sibelius Academy; and recipients of Grammy Awards and Gramophone magazine’s Record of the Year award. In a single season, they might appear as soloists with the San Francisco Symphony or the Vienna Philharmonic, as recitalists or chamber artists at the festivals of Verbier, Prussia Cove or Tanglewood, and as members of some of today’s most distinguished chamber groups. The ensemble also might include teachers at the Curtis Institute and Salzburg’s Mozarteum; artists who are music directors of prominent festivals; and dedicatees of works by the most celebrated composers of our time.

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