Master class

Steven Isserlis teaches Rachmaninov: Sonata for cello and piano

Treasures of the Masterclass Media Foundation

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Steven Isserlis — Teacher, cellist

Guy Johnston — Cellist (Student)

Connie Shih — Pianist

Program notes

The very unique Steven Isserlis, with British cellist Guy Johnston, gives a masterclass on a work dear to his heart: Rachmaninov's Sonata for Cello and Piano in G Minor.

British cellist Steven Isserlis distinguishes himself with his very wide repertoire and his incredible phrasing. Beyond his musical qualities, he is also recognized for his deep beliefs and forceful ideas about music. A real lover of Schumann's work, he is also very keen on performing works by less famous composers, who, according to the cellist, deserve just as much to be listened to by a large audience. Not only does he give concerts in the entire world, he is also a very sought after teacher. He is a honorific member of the Royal Academy of Music in London. A passionate about music education, he is the artistic director of the International Musicians' Seminar in Prussia Cove, England, and frequently gives concerts for children.

Guy Johnson, is a British cellist laureate of the 2000 BBC Young Musician of the Year prize. He performs, with Steven Isserlis, Rachmaninov's Sonata for cello and piano in G Minor. This work is very important to Steven Isserlis, as his grandfather, a pianist, played it with Anatoliy Brandukov, the Russian violinist for whom Rachmaninov composed this sonata in 1901. Very popular in Russia, it still is a little known score around the world, just like the composer's other works. However, it is a wonderful piece, full of charm and tainted with secrets, probably the most intimate score of the composer.

The Masterclass Media Foundation Archives offer to students and music lovers around the world filmed masterclasses, given by the best talents, on the greatest works of the classical repertoire. Their primary purpose is to provide a valuable educational resource in order to perpetuate passion and knowledge from one generation to another.

Picture: Steven Isserlis © Satoshi Aoyagi

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