SOPHIE SHAO, CELLIST

Cellist Sophie Shao, winner of the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant and top prizes at the Rostropovich and Tchaikovsky competitions, is a versatile and passionate artist whose performances the New York Times has noted as “eloquent, powerful” and the Washington Post called “deeply satisfying.” 

Shao has appeared as soloist to critical acclaim throughout the United States: the Smith Center in Las Vegas, Lied Center in Lincoln, Segerstrom Hall in Costa Mesa, California, the Palladium in Carmel, Indiana, the Walter Reade Theater and Rose Studio at Lincoln Center. Last season she performed the UK premiere of Howard Shore’s concerto “Mythic Gardens” with Keith Lockhart and the BBC Concert Orchestra at the Watford Colosseum in Watford, England and with Ludwig Wicki and the 21st Century Orchestra at the KKL in Lucerne, Switzerland. Other past concerto performances include Haydn and Elgar Concerti with Lockhart and the BBC Concert Orchestra, Beethoven’s Triple Concerto with Hans Graf and the Houston Symphony, Richard Wilson’s “The Cello Has Many Secrets” with the American Symphony Orchestra, and has returned with the ASO to perform Saint-Saens’s “La muse et la poete” at the Bard Music Festival. 

Ms. Shao has given recitals in Suntory Hall in Tokyo, the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, Middlebury College, Walter Reade Theater and Rose Studio in Lincoln Center, the complete Bach Suites at Union College and in New York City. Her dedication to chamber music has conceived her popular “Sophie Shao and Friends” groups which have toured from Brattleboro, VT to Sedona, AZ, while other exciting collaborations include Tan Dun’s Ghost Opera with Cho-Liang Lin, performances with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Chamber Music Northwest, and Music Mountain (with the Shanghai Quartet), among many other presenters across the country. She is a frequent guest at many leading festivals around the country including Caramoor, Chamber Music Northwest, Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival, Music from Angel Fire, the Bard Festival, and Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, and was a member of Chamber Music Society Two, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s program for emerging young artists. 

Ms. Shao’s recordings include the Complete Bach Suites to be available this season, Andre Previn’s Reflections for Cello and English Horn and Orchestra on EMI Classics, Richard Wilson’s Diablerie and Brash Attacks and Barbara White’s My Barn Having Burned to the Ground, I Can Now See the Moon on Albany Records, Howard Shore’s original score for the movie The Betrayal on Howe Records, and the music of George Tsontakis on Koch Records. Her performance of Howard Shore’s “Mythic Gardens” has just been released along with Lang Lang’s performance of “Ruins and Memory” on Sony Classical. 
 
A native of Houston, Texas, Ms. Shao began playing the cello at age six, and was a student of Shirley Trepel, former principal cellist of the Houston Symphony.  At age thirteen she enrolled at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, studying cello with David Soyer. After graduating from the Curtis Institute, she continued her cello studies with Aldo Parisot at Yale University, receiving a B.A. in Religious Studies from Yale College and an M.M. from the Yale School of Music, where she was enrolled as a Paul and Daisy Soros Fellow.  She is on the faculty of Vassar College and plays on a cello made by Honore Derazey from 1855 once owned by Pablo Casals.

Latest Updates

24 May 2017
He may be best known as having written scores for the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit trilogies, and those for almost all of David Cronenberg’s films, but Howard Shore (b1946) also has a sizeable output of works for the stage (notably his opera The F...
24 May 2017
Marketing materials bill this Sony release as containing "two concerti in celebration of Chopin's music" by Howard Shore, best known for the soundtrack to The Lord of the Rings films. Actually, only the opening Ruin & Memory concerto for piano and...
27 Jan 2017
LEGENDARY COMPOSER HOWARD SHORE CELEBRATES THE MUSIC OF CHOPIN WITH THE RELEASE OF ‘TWO CONCERTI’ RUIN & MEMORY WITH PIANIST LANG LANG MYTHIC GARDENS WITH CELLIST SOPHIE SHAO RELEASED FEBRUARY 17, 2017 Pre-Order now from: https://www.amazon.com/...
9 Dec 2016
Cellist Sophie Shao returns for her ninth consecutive appearance on the Middlebury College Performing Arts Series at 3 p.m. this Sunday, Dec. 4 at the Mahaney Center for the Arts. Shao is always an audience favorite, and she must have an endless s...
9 Dec 2016
3 p.m. Sunday, cellist Sophie Shao returns for her ninth-consecutive Middlebury College Performing Arts Series appearance, joined by violinist Jennifer Frautschi, violist Dimitri Murrath and pianist Gloria Chien, Robison Hall, Mahaney Center for t...
23 Apr 2012
Interchanging Idioms
Described by the New York Times as “part boot camp for the brain, part spa for the spirit,” the world-renowned Bard Music Festival in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York, returns for its 23rd annual season, filling the last two weekends of Bard Summer...

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GRAMOPHONE: The World's Best Classical Music Reviews SHORE Mythic Gardens. Ruin & Memory by Richard Whitehouse ...With its inspiration in three classic Italian gardens, Mythic Gardens (2014) was written for Sophie Shao – her warm and alluring cello tone well suited to music in which soloist and orchestra are even more closely integrated. The first two movements might have benefited from greater expressive contrast but the final Presto banishes any lingering wistfulness with its purposeful sense of resolution. Sound is that of a spacious and well-defined acoustic, and it is no surprise that the booklet-notes on either work are less extensive than those on the musicians. A pity about the short duration, too, as there are numerous shorter pieces by Shore that would have been apposite as a filler.

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