Salonline 2024-05-19 Cho-Handelsman Duo

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Sunday, May 19 2024

— a “hybrid” event —

“Looking Bach”

The Cho-Handelsman Duo presents a program exploring the influence of J.S. Bach on later composers, in a blend of solo and chamber pieces. It also offers a parallel between two Russian composers, Prokofiev and Shostakovich, through two of their works written at a similar time during the Soviet regime.


Prelude and Fugue No. 1 in C major, Op. 87 (1952)

Cello Sonata in C major, Op. 119 (1949)

J. S. Bach
Cello Suite No. 2 in D minor, BWV 1008 (c. 1717)

Cello Sonata No. 2 in D major, Op. 58 (1842)


Originally from Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada, Edward Cho is a Canadian-Korean cellist, pianist, and composer. A laureate of national and international competitions for both piano and cello such as the Elora TD Canada Trust Competition and the Canadian National Competition,he was awarded 1st Prize at the Competitive Music Festival of New Brunswick as well as the Ken Murray Concerto Competition.

In both 2021 and 2023, Cho was invited to the Lucerne Festival in Switzerland, during which he had the opportunity to perform under Susanna Mälkki, and as the principal cellist in the Swiss premiere of “Passage-Paysage” by Mathias Spahlinger, conducted by Ennio Poppe. During that time, he also worked with noted composer Unsuk Chin. In 2021, he performed at the Philharmonie in Berlin, with the Lucerne Festival Contemporary Orchestra during the modern music festival Berliner Festpiele.

Cho began his performing career at the age of seventeen, as a soloist with orchestras such as the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, Stratford Symphony, Wilfrid Laurier University Orchestra, and Symphony New Brunswick. Recognized early on for his adeptness on both instruments, he was invited to play both Grieg’s Piano Concerto and Elgar’s Cello Concerto in 2010, with the University of Waterloo Orchestra in a single evening titled “Three Edwards.”

After multidisciplinary studies in both instruments at the Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Cho chose to focus primarily on the cello under the tutelage of Peter Stumpf at Indiana University Bloomington, with a full assistantship. He graduated in 2016 with a Masters of Music, followed by the Performer Diploma in 2017. Throughout his studies in Bloomington, Cho also taught at the university as an Associate Instructor of Music Theory. In 2023, Cho earned the Doctor of Musical Arts at Shenandoah University, with a full scholarship and assistantship. Additionally, having been a mechatronics engineering student with an interest in theoretical physics, before his focus on music, Cho aspires to facilitate a dialogue between the ever-evolving technological advancements and the musical world.

Ever curious artistically and musically, Cho accumulated a unique variety of experiences throughout his studies, including conducting, composition, Baroque cello, and advanced music theory. As a chamber musician, Cho studied under several acclaimed groups and individuals, including the Takacs Quartet, Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra, Stanley Ritchie, Anne Epperson, the Pacifica Quartet, Mark Kaplan, Kevork Mardirossian, Joseph Swensen, and the Penderecki Quartet. Notable cellists that he has worked with privately are Paul Pulford, Colin Carr, Christoph Henkel, Raphael Wallfisch, Andres Diaz, and Brian Manker.

Currently, Cho resides in the United States et performs regularly with the Richmond Symphony, Annapolis Symphony, and the South Bend Symphony Orchestra. He is the co-Founder and co- Artistic Director of the St. Andrews Chamber Music Festival in St. Andrews by-the-sea, New Brunswick.

Recognized as an imaginative and unusual performer with refined interpretations, for her “calm technical mastery, immediate understanding of balance” as well as “extraordinary vigor, flawless musicality,” (Dernieres Nouvelles d’Alsace), Mathilde Handelsman is a concert pianist, poet, and educator from Paris, France.

Spanning the repertoire across Europe and North America, Handelsman’s career as a soloist and collaborative musician has led her to perform under conductors such as Seiji Ozawa, Thomas Adès, Stefan Asbury, and Luigi Gaggero. Highlights from recent and current seasons include chamber performances alongside Yo-Yo Ma, Nicolas Namoradze, and Stephen Drury at the Tanglewood Music Festival, as well as a solo debut at Carnegie Hall in May 2022.

Handelsman’s début solo album, Images, containing Claude Debussy’s complete works of 1903-1907, was released for the record label Sheva in 2020 to critical acclaim. It was featured in Sequenza 21’s “Best of 2021” list and noted in the press for its “serene and firm moments of beauty” (Take Effect), “lush sonority,” (Audiophile Audition), and “magical aura” (Sequenza 21). Additionally, Handelsman’s work as a poet includes two published volumes, Pré-sage (2016) and L’Absurde Génie des fleurs (2017).

Mathilde Handelsman was born in Paris to a family of musicians and visual artists. Her principal teachers are Laurent Cabasso, Menahem Pressler, and John O’Conor. Throughout her childhood, Handelsman studied under the mentorship of French pianist Jean Martin, a pupil of Yves Nat, and in the pre-college division of the Paris Conservatoire. In recent years, Handelsman received guidance from esteemed musicians such as Jeffrey Kahane, Emanuel Ax, Joseph Swensen, Garrick Ohlsson, Peter Serkin, Robert Levin, Philippe Cassard, and Jean-Yves Thibaudet. After graduating Magna cum laude from the Académie Supérieure de Musique de Strasbourg in 2015, Handelsman moved to the United States to further her studies with.a full scholarship at the Jacobs School of Music of Indiana University-Bloomington where she taught as an Associate Instructor. In 2020, she earned the Doctor of Musical Arts degree at Shenandoah Conservatory on a full scholarship and assistantship.

From 2020 to 2023, Handelsman served as a full-time Lecturer in Piano at the University of New Hampshire. Currently, Handelsman divides her time between teaching privately and performing as a soloist and member of the Cho-Handelsman Duo alongside her husband, the Korean-Canadian cellist Edward Cho. She is the co-founder and co-Artistic Director of the St. Andrews Chamber Music Festival in New Brunswick, Canada. Outside of music and writing, Handelsman enjoys watching theater plays, beach walks, and visiting cities.

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