Season Highlights & Upcoming Projects

New York, NY--This past winter, renowned cellist David Finckel announced his plans to depart from the Emerson String Quartet at the end of the 2012-13 season after a remarkable tenure of 34 years. His final concert with the ensemble will be presented by The Smithsonian Chamber Music Society on May 11th in Washington, DC.

David Finckel is looking forward to pursuing an increasing number of performing and educational projects worldwide which will give him the opportunity to broaden himself musically in the cello literature and beyond. In his roles as an educator, artistic administrator, and entrepreneur he is establishing himself as one of the classical music community’s most prominent innovators. “I am excited about the opportunities which await me in the next chapter of my artistic and professional life,” he says.

Here is a look ahead at some of the many projects to come for David.


David has been invited to contribute to the Huffington Post. His first column appeared on November 9th. Watch for future blog postings on the Arts & Culture page.

The Juilliard School announced that David will join the Juilliard cello faculty at the start of the 2012-13 academic year, initially accepting a small class of students and conducting master classes in both the college and pre-college divisions.  This is David Finckel's first official appointment as a cello professor. Read More...

Music@Menlo, the internationally acclaimed chamber music festival and institute in the San Francisco Bay Area founded by David Finckel and Wu Han, is scheduled to run from July 18–August 10, 2013. The festival also just announced the release of Resonance, a unique collection of six CDs commemorating Music@Menlo’s acclaimed tenth season, which celebrated the many ways in which music resonates with humanity. Visit Music@Menlo's website in the spring for more info about the 2013 festival artists and programs.

In the summer of 2013, David Finckel and Wu Han will launch a unique, intensive program for chamber music at the Aspen Music Festival. Conceived in direct discussions with festival CEO Alan Fletcher, artistic administrator Asadour Santourian, and faculty members, the program will pair piano and cello students from David and Wu Han’s studios with other student musicians to form a group of ensembles. Each group will learn and perform a single work during the festival’s first session, culminating in a performance on July 10 in Harris Hall. About the program, David said: “We have long yearned to share more of our passion for chamber music with the extraordinarily gifted students at Aspen. Finally, this program will enable us to serve the festival in a most effective way, besides affording us the pleasure of teaming with our colleagues on the faculty.” 2013 will be the first summer in which David Finckel accepts private students at the festival and is taking on this added responsibility in Aspen in addition to his already scheduled recital, concerto and master class appearances.

ArtistLed has just released its newest recording by Wu Han, Philip Setzer and David Finckel, Dvořák: Piano Trios. Met with great critical acclaim, their first two recordings featured Schubert's Piano Trios, and Mendelssohn’s Piano Trios. The trio will be performing the Dvořák trios on tour this season.  Visit David’s website for tour dates.


Long a fixture on the international chamber-music scene, David’s presence and influence continue to grow. He is co-artistic director of Music@Menlo which serves as both a world-class concert series and training ground for emerging and pre-professional chamber players since its founding in 2003. He also heads the successful independent record label, ArtistLed, and serves as co-artistic director of The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center (CMS), a position he has held since 2004. During his tenure at CMS, David has worked to vastly expand the activities of the organization, and he is presently overseeing a five-year strategic plan.

Abroad, David has been devoting time to developing chamber music in South Korea, sparking three initiatives: Chamber Music Today, The Mendelssohn Fellowship and the LG Chamber Music School.

Below are some highlights.

The second annual Chamber Music Today festival in Seoul, Korea, will be held in December 2012, at the IBK Chamber Hall of the New Seoul Arts Center at Sejong Chamber Hall. One of the first festivals of its kind established in the Far East, Chamber Music Today plays a vital role in Korea’s burgeoning chamber music scene, presenting the world’s most esteemed artists. David and Wu Han will perform Beethoven, Brahms, and Bruch with clarinetist David Shifrin, mirroring their critically acclaimed ArtistLed recording, Clarinet Trios.  David comments, “The festival presents us with a far-too-rare opportunity to mount chamber music on Korean stages, and we are continually inspired by the appreciation and excitement that welcome us there."  Read more…


David has been named honoree and Artistic Director of The Mendelssohn Fellowship, a program established to identify superb young Korean musicians and promote chamber music in South Korea.  “The goal of the Mendelssohn Fellowship is to see, perhaps in a decade, a Korea which is known the world over as a country where chamber music is enjoyed by all, and practiced by many,” said David.  “The future of classical music is in the hands of the young.  It is our responsibility to encourage and guide them.  They, their children, and their grandchildren, will inherit what we now create together.”  Read more…

This will be David’s fifth consecutive year overseeing the LG Chamber Music School residency, which includes a host of concerts and intensive coaching sessions.  This season, all 30 students attend LG Chamber Music School on scholarship. 


In the 2013-2014 season, David oversees The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center's return to London’s Wigmore Hall. This will mark the beginning of a three-year residency, creating a landmark partnership between CMS and Wigmore Hall, two of the world’s leading music presenters.

The Chamber Music Society's touring itinerary has expanded to an extensive number of performances in the U.S. and abroad in Canada, Asia, Europe, and South America.  Under David’s artistic leadership, over a half dozen new satellite series have been established: Drew University in Madison, New Jersey; the Harris Theater in Chicago; the University of Georgia in Athens; Shaker Village in Pleasant Hill, Kentucky; the St. Cecilia Music Center in Grand Rapids, Michigan; the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Festival in Germany; Wigmore Hall in London; and in South America and Korea. Read more…


Under David’s artistic direction, CMS will mark its 4th consecutive appearance at Germany’s Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Festival, one of the continent’s largest and most widespread festivals. The festival, begun in 1990, is spread over the entire region, performing more than 100 concerts in 70 different venues, from concert halls to barns and churches and open-air settings.  “The repertoire is key as we decided to bring significant and diverse American chamber music, as well as European classics," said David.  "Our musicians were proud to share the music of America and thoroughly enjoyed the collaborations and new friendships with the great players who were there… We sensed that CMS, as a whole, grew from the experience, and that indeed an exciting and vital dimension of the organization’s artistic future lies beyond our shores." Read more...

David has plans to produce a special recording spotlighting members of The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center for BBC Music Magazine. Set for release in spring 2014, the featured cover album will include chamber works by Schumann and Mendelssohn.


The Harris Theater presents “Britten at 100,” a celebration marking the centennial of the great English composer’s birth. David is scheduled to perform the Britten Cello Symphony in January. Read more…


Don’t miss David’s appearance when he opens the Chamber Music Northwest season in June with clarinetist David Shifrin and pianist Wu Han. They will perform works by Beethoven, Brahms and Bruch, as featured on their released 2011 ArtistLed recording.


Hear David Finckel, Wu Han and Philip Setzer when they come together for a special performance of the Beethoven Triple Concerto with the Utah Symphony. Check their schedule for details soon.

Catch David‘s performance of the Britten Cello Concerto at the Aspen Music Festival in July 2013.




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