Ronald Feldman is artist in residence in orchestral/instrumental music, and coordinator of student string chamber music here at Williams College. In this concert Mr. Feldman presents three centuries of cello literature from the Baroque to the modern and back again starting with Bach, ending with Franck, and covering some very challenging ground in between. Joined by Doris Stevenson on piano, Mr. Feldman begins the program with Sonata No.1 in G major, BWV 1027. Originally written for the gamba, a relative of the cello which might have been considered archaic even in the 18th century, the piece has survived splendidly in the modern cello repertoire.
Though Mr. Feldman is a cellist who cherishes the classical repertoire, his interests do not end there. A connoisseur of contrasts, his program takes an unabashed modern turn as he performs the Suite for Solo Cello (1993) by John Harbison, a composer with a special relationship to the instrument. Highlighting the versatility of the cello while pairing two related instruments and two musical traditions, Mr. Feldman collaborates with composer Jeffrey Roberts on Twelve Landscape Views for Cello and Guqin. Mr. Roberts plays and composes for the guqin, a Chinese stringed instrument with a 3,000 year tradition. Using his own musical language as a composer in the Western classical music tradition, Mr. Roberts has created a beautiful and thought provoking piece for cello and guqin.
Before the intermission, the audience is treated to a lighter side of Paul Hindemith with a series of variations "Frog He Went a Courting" for cello and piano.
Mr. Feldman closes the program by embracing one of the great works of the Romantic period. Collaborating with pianist Doris Stevenson, Mr. Feldman plays the Sonata for Cello and Piano by César Franck.
After a long career in the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s cello section starting in 1967 at the age of nineteen, Mr. Feldman has gone on to receive critical acclaim for a wide variety of musical achievements. Formerly music director and conductor of the Worcester Symphony Orchestra and of the Boston new music ensemble Extension Works, Ronald Feldman was also music director and conductor of the New England Philharmonic for five seasons. In 1991 he and the Berkshire Symphony were awarded the American Symphony Orchestra League’s ASCAP Award for Adventuresome Programming of Contemporary Music. This year he was named musical director of the Longwood Symphony. He continues to be an active cellist, conductor, and a member of the Williams Chamber Players.