Claude Debussy - Sonata for Cello and Piano (1915)
Ludwig van Beethoven - Sonata for Cello and Piano in C major Op. 102 No. 1
Fryderyk Chopin - Sonata for Cello and Piano in G minor Op. 65
About the Musicians:
Baltimore Symphony Orchestra's Principal Cellist Dariusz Skoraczewski has been described by Tim Smith of the Baltimore Sun as having "lush tone, expressive style and solid technique that have earned him admiration in a career that encompasses solo, chamber and orchestral music-making…" He has delighted audiences across the United States, Europe and Asia showcasing his artistry and virtuosic command of the cello. As a soloist he performed with numerous orchestras, including the National Philharmonic and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.
His diverse repertoire includes compositions from early Baroque to the present. His debut CD "Cello Populus" is an eclectic collection of contemporary solo pieces and includes works of Hindemith, Ligeti, Crumb, Penderecki, Saariaho and Lutosławski. Praised by Mike D. Brownell of AllMusic.com as "a truly exceptional album that leaves listeners eagerly waiting for another installment", the recording earned considerable attention to award Dariusz the prestigious Baker Artist Award in Baltimore in 2013.
Dariusz's second recording with pianist Michael Sheppard, "Cello Phantasia", features music by Schumann, Franck and Rachmaninov. Joined by violinist Igor Yuzefovich to create Monument Piano Trio, the talented Peabody alumni group has a recording of pieces by Brahms, Shostakovich and Schoenfield. This trio recording as well as Dariusz's subsequent recordings, were recorded, edited and produced by Dariusz.
As a recitalist and chamber musician, Dariusz has appeared in countless chamber music concerts including the Chamber Music by Candlelight, Music in the Valley, Music at the Great Hall in Baltimore as well as the Weill Hall, Barge Music Festival and Merkin Hall in New York City. He is currently the artist in residence at An Die Musik – a lively and active performance venue in Baltimore, where he performs a series of three recitals per season.
Dariusz began his musical education at the age of six in Warsaw, Poland studying with Zbigniew Liebig and Andrzej Zieliński. As a scholarship recipient at the Peabody Conservatory of Music in Baltimore he studied with world-renowned cellist Stephen Kates.
Since 2011 he has held the Joseph and Rebecca Meyerhoff chair as the Principal Cellist of the Baltimore Symphony. Dariusz plays a 1702 Carlo Giuseppe Testore cello, generously on loan from Marin Alsop in memory of her mother, Ruth Alsop.
Known as a pianist of dazzling virtuosity and penetrating musicianship, Michael Sheppard is spreading his wings as a composer, arranger, and transcriber. Trained by Leon Fleisher and Ann Schein at the Peabody Institute of The Johns Hopkins University, Sheppard was selected by the American Pianists Association as a Classical Fellow. The designation led to the recording of his 2007 CD, Harmonia Mundi. In 2012, Azica, a Cleveland-based label, released another recording, which was distributed worldwide by Naxos Records.
Sheppard has toured southern Asia and the Middle East, in collaboration with the U.S. Department of State. During this tour, he performed with numerous national orchestras, played chamber music with resident ensembles, and played in solo recitals. Additionally, he presented masterclasses and conducted informal presentations in secondary schools and universities.
Sheppard debuted at The John F. Kennedy Center and has since performed at Carnegie Hall, with numerous orchestras nationwide, in recitals, masterclasses, broadcasts, and chamber performances. A recipient of fellowships from the Tanglewood Music Center and the LaGesse Foundation, Sheppard also took a major prize in the National Federation of Music Clubs National Competition.
As an interpreter of great acclaim, Sheppard spends large amounts of time writing, as well as performing. He has worked closely with composers John Corigliano, Christopher Theofanidis, Michael Hersch, Robert Sirota, and with the late Nicholas Maw. His catalogue of works, numbering in the dozens, was published in the fall of 2012.
Michael Sheppard is a native of Philadelphia and resides in Baltimore, where he enjoys performing chamber music as a member of the Monument Piano Trio and the newly-formed group Hammer/Klavier, a two piano, two percussion ensemble. Also passionate about teaching, Sheppard is a teacher at the Baltimore School for the Arts.