For cellist Zuill Bailey’s third release on the Steinway label, he has chosen two of Sergei Prokofiev’s mature and majestic works.
The Sinfonia Concertante is one of the most difficult and exciting works for cello and orchestra. The piece premiered on February 18, 1952, and was dedicated to Russian cellist Mstislav Rostropovich. Pairing with the Sinfonia Concertante is the Cello Sonata. This lyrical work was also composed for Mstislav Rostropovich, and was written after much of Prokofiev’s music had been banned and the composer did not know if the work would ever be performed in public. Zuill Bailey performs here with pianist Natasha Peremski and the North Carolina Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Grant Llewellyn.
“Bailey’s mesmerizing, deeply committed performance puts this recording at the top, especially because of his warm, rounded tone and jaw-dropping clarity in lightning-speed runs.”
The News and Observer (North Carolina)
“Bailey and Paremski make no attempt to give the sonata a profundity it does not possess, but they effectively mine it for its many beauties and produce a warm and satisfying rendition.”
“Tough-minded Prokofiev in the tradition of Rostropovich—and with the same sensitivity to the gentler side of this great Russian composer.”
About the Artists
Zuill Bailey, widely considered one of the premiere cellists in the world, is a Grammy Award winner, distinguished soloist, recitalist, chamber musician, Artistic Director and teacher. His rare combination of celebrated artistry, technical wizardry and engaging personality has secured his place as one of the most sought after and active cellists today.
Recent highlights include appearances with orchestras such as Los Angeles, Chicago, Detroit, Minnesota, Israel, San Francisco, Toronto, Nashville, North Carolina, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, and the Philharmonia (UK) with conductors Itzhak Perlman, Carlos Kalmar, Neeme Jarvi, Jun Markl, Stanislav Skrowaczewski, Alan Gilbert, Andrey Borekyo, Krzysztof Urbanski, Giancarlo Guerrero, Andrew Litton, Grant Llewellyn and James DePriest. He was honored as the distinguished Alumnus of 2014 by Johns Hopkins University Peabody Institute.
Zuill Bailey is a renowned recording artist with over thirty titles. Mr. Bailey won a best solo performance Grammy Award in 2017 for his live recording of Tales of Hemingway by composer Michael Daugherty. His celebrated Bach Cello Suites, Britten Cello Symphony/Sonata with pianist Natasha Paremski, Haydn Cello Concertos, and recently released Schumann/Brahms Concertos CDs immediately soared to the number one spot on the Classical Billboard Charts. Other critically acclaimed recordings include his live performances with the Indianapolis Symphony of the Bloch Schelomo, Muhly Cello Concerto (World Premiere), Brahms Sextets with the Cypress Strings Quartet, Elgar and Dvorak Cello Concertos, described by Gramophone magazine as the new “reference” recording and one that “sweeps the board.” In addition, the Dvorak Cello Concerto CD is listed in the Penguin’s Guide as one the Top 1000 Classical Recordings of all time. Other releases include his innovative Spanish Masters CD for Zenph Studios, where he forms a unique duo blending with recordings of composer Manuel de Falla, and an all-American recital program with pianist Lara Downes on the Steinway & Sons label.
Mr. Bailey performs on the "rosette" 1693 Matteo Gofriller Cello, formerly owned by Mischa Schneider of the Budapest String Quartet. He is the Artistic Director of El Paso Pro-Musica (Texas), the Sitka Summer Music Festival/Series and Cello Seminar, (Alaska), the Northwest Bach Festival (Washington), the “Classical Inside and Out,” at the Mesa Arts Center (Arizona) and Director of the Center for Arts Entrepreneurship and Professor of Cello at the University of Texas at El Paso.
With her consistently striking and dynamic performances, pianist Natasha Paremski reveals astounding virtuosity and voracious interpretive abilities. She continues to generate excitement from all corners as she wins over audiences with her musical sensibility and flawless technique.
Born in Moscow, Paremski moved to the United States at the age of eight and became a U.S. citizen shortly thereafter. She is now based in New York. Paremski began her piano studies at the age of four with Nina Malikova at Moscow’s Andreyev School of Music. She then studied at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music before moving to New York to study with Pavlina Dokovska at the Mannes School of Music, from which she graduated in 2007. Natasha was awarded several prestigious artist prizes at a very young age, including the Gilmore Young Artists prize in 2006 at the age of eighteen, the Prix Montblanc in 2007, and the Orpheum Stiftung Prize in Switzerland. In September 2010, she was awarded the Classical Recording Foundation’s Young Artist of the Year.
At fifteen she debuted with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and recorded two discs with the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra under Dmitry Yablonsky — the first featuring Anton Rubinstein’s Piano Concerto No. 4 and Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini while the second featured Chopin’s complete shorter works for piano and orchestra. Her first recital album was released in 2011 and debuted at No. 9 on the Billboard Traditional Classical chart. In 2012 she recorded Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1 and Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and Fabien Gabel.
With a strong focus on new music, Paremski’s growing repertoire reflects an artistic maturity beyond her years. In the 2010-11 season, she played the world premiere of a sonata written for her by Gabriel Kahane, which was featured on her debut solo release on the Steinway label. At the suggestion of John Corigliano, Paremski brought her insight and depth to his Piano Concerto with the Colorado Symphony. In recital, she has played several pieces by noted composer, pianist, and Steinway Artist Fred Hersch. Her 2019 album for Steinway & Sons features Herch's Variations on a Theme by Tchaikovsky and Mussorgsky's Pictues at an Exhibition.
Each year, the North Carolina Symphony’s 300 concerts, education programs, and community engagement events are enjoyed by 250,000 people across the state of North Carolina. The Symphony’s musicians perform under the artistic leadership of Music Director Grant Llewellyn, delivering orchestral experiences of the highest quality and collaborating with renowned performers that range from classical artists, to bluegrass musicians, to jazz bands. Founded in 1932, NCS was the first state-supported orchestra in the United States.
The North Carolina Symphony is based in the state capital of Raleigh and travels more than 18,500 miles each year for performances throughout North Carolina. NCS leads the most extensive education program of any symphony orchestra, engaging 70,000 students annually.
Dedicated to giving voice to new art, NCS has presented 49 U.S. or world premieres in its history. In 2017, NCS appeared at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., as one of four orchestras chosen for the inaugural year of SHIFT: A Festival of American Orchestras—an honor that recognized the Symphony’s creative programming and innovative community partnerships.
Grant Llewellyn is renowned for his exceptional charisma, energy, and easy authority in music of all styles and periods. He has been Music Director of the North Carolina Symphony since 2004 and will become Music Director Laureate in the 2020/21 season.
As Assistant Conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra in the early 1990s, he conducted at the Tanglewood Music Festival, and on classical series and Boston Pops concerts. As Music Director of the Handel and Haydn Society, he gained a reputation as a formidable interpreter of music of the Baroque and Classical periods.
Llewellyn’s is Music Director of the Orchestre Symphonique de Bretagne and has held positions with numerous other European orchestras — including Principal Conductor of the Royal Flanders Philharmonic and Principal Guest Conductor of the Stavanger Symphony Orchestra. He has a continuing relationship with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, leading them on tour to Patagonia and South America, joining their 90th anniversary celebrations, and conducting their Proms in the Park in 2018.
About Steinway & Sons label
The STEINWAY & SONS music label produces exceptional albums of solo piano music across all genres. The label — a division of STEINWAY & SONS, maker of the world’s finest pianos — is a perfect vessel for producing the finest quality recordings by some of the most talented pianists in the world.