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August is Cello Month at UVMC!

August is cello month at UVMC! Ben Kulp, UVMC cello faculty, will be presenting all six of Bach’s cello suites on Saturday, August 3rd, from 10 a.m.-1 pm. The following weekend, Norman Fischer and Jeanne Kierman will deliver a concert followed by a masterclass at UVMC.Ben Kulp, cello

The Bach suites have an intriguing history; they are the first known works for solo cello, and were lost after Bach’s death, rediscovered in 1825, ignored or treated as exercises for more than 65 years, then exposed by Pablo Casals who discovered them in 1889 in a second-hand music shop. They became standard repertoire for classical cellists. Yo Yo Ma brought them into a popular culture limelight in the 1980s with a video set in which he paired with artists from various fields to interpret them. His third recording of the suites was recently released. Click here to read more about the history of these influential, comforting, energizing pieces.

Ben Kulp is a graduate of St. Olaf’s college, and has continued to further and deepen his studies since joining our faculty in 2014. Each of the suites begins with a prelude, and then moves into a set of dances. They are by turns joyful, dramatic, reserved, heartbreaking, grave, and weightless. Ben always presents engaging concerts, and those of us who have heard him play various suites over the past few years in concert are excited to hear the whole set.

On Sunday, August 11th, the well-regarded duo of Norman Fischer & Jeanne Kierman will deliver a concert next door at the First Congregational Church of Lebanon, followed by a masterclass from 3-4:30 p.m. at UVMC. The Fischer Duo is known for their expansive programming, which in this case includes works by Couperin, Boulanger, Beethoven, Schumann, and Ravel. Their experience as teachers includes Dartmouth College, Tanglewood Institute, Rice University, and the Greenwood Music camp.

Writing of their “thoroughly persuasive performances”, The Strad magazine described the pair as “scratching through the surface gesture to get to the heart of the music”. The critic from the Toledo Blade summed up a concert experience with the Fischer Duo: “If there was a prize for Most Elegant Sound by a Chamber Group, the Fischer Duo would surely win it. The two together have a sort of slow-burning combustion on stage that makes for some really exciting and spontaneous music. This is a pair that really knows their repertoire, and more importantly, knows how to absorb an audience into their own musical universe.”

Whether your musical universe already includes cello, or you’re ready to expand into a new world by exploring the cello, the month of August at UVMC is just right for you!