Artist Bio

David Finckel, cello

Founder and artistic co-director of Music@Menlo since 2004, cellist David Finckel’s dynamic musical career has included performances on the world’s most distinguished stages as well as ground-breaking entrepreneurial projects. As cellist of the Emerson String Quartet for thirty-four seasons, his massive chamber music repertoire – both performed and recorded - includes virtually the complete string quartets of Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Schumann, Mendelssohn, Dvorak, Brahms, Bartok and Shostakovich, as well as the additional collaborative masterpieces and discoveries that he performs annually. His solo and duo discography is equally comprehensive, including all the standard literature for cello and piano. Fascinated since student days by recording technology, David created ArtistLed with pianist Wu Han in 1997, the first artist-directed, internet-based classical label. His discography includes commissioned works by George Tsontakis, Gabriela Lena Frank, Bruce Adolphe, Lera Auerbach, Augusta Read Thomas and Pierre Jalbert, and his orchestral recordings include both the Dvorak and Harbison Concertos. David’s enthusiasm for living luthiers is evidenced through his performances, since 1993, on a cello made for him by the Brooklyn maker Samuel Zygmuntowicz, a copy of the “Duport” Stradivari cello of 1711. At age ten, deeply inspired by the Russian cellist Mstislav Rostropovich, David committed himself to life as a cellist, and at age sixteen became Rostropovich’s first American student. After first playing with pianist Wu Han in 1981, David added to his already busy career the responsibilities and opportunities of a professional cello-and-piano duo, both in the recording studio and on the concert stage. As artistic co-director of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center (since 2004), David Finckel oversees CMS’s Bowers Program, as well as Music@Menlo’s annual Chamber Music Institute. He teaches cello and chamber music at both the Juilliard School and Stony Brook University.