JEAN-GUIHEN QUEYRAS, cello, & ALEXANDER MELNIKOV, piano
Jean-Guihen Queyras is one of the finest cellists performing today. His recordings of the complete Suites for solo cello by Bach are widely regarded as the best since Pablo Casals's recordings in the 1930s. As a soloist, he has performed with many of the world’s great orchestras, including the Philharmonia, Orchestre de Paris, Philadelphia, Tonhalle Zürich, Leipzig Gewandhaus, among others, and he and is a regular soloist with several early music ensembles such as the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra. He plays a cello made by Gioffredo Cappa in 1696, on loan from Mécénat Musical Société Générale.
Alexander Melnikov is one of the most gifted and versatile pianists performing today. A virtuoso in the great Russian tradition, yet equally at home as a performer on early keyboard instruments, he graduated from the Moscow Conservatory and his career was much influenced by an early encounter with Sviatoslav Richter, who thereafter regularly invited him to festivals in Russia and France. As a soloist, Melnikov has performed with orchestras including the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, and the Philadelphia Orchestra, among others, and under conductors such as Mikhail Pletnev, Charles Dutoit, and Valery Gergiev. His recording of the complete Preludes and Fugues by Shostakovich was named by the BBC Music Magazine as one of the ‘50 Greatest Recordings of All Time’. His superlative recording of the Schumann Piano Concerto with the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra was a Gramophone ‘Editor’s Choice’ for 2015.