Cello-bration' honors Putney cellist

BELLOWS FALLS/BRATTLEBORO - The Windham Orchestra will pay tribute to renowned cellist David Wells on Friday, Jan. 21, in Bellows Falls and Sunday, Jan. 23 in Brattleboro.

The program - titled "Cello-bration" - will feature an all-star cast of cellists with connections to southern Vermont performing a potpourri of works for cello(s) and orchestra.

A musician of great distinction and accomplishment, and winner of both the American Artists and Harold Bauer Awards, Wells is best known for his mastery of the Bach Suites for unaccompanied cello, and for his much-lauded performances with orchestras around the world. Wells has performed in the United States and Europe with the Manhattan Trio, Columbia Concert Trio, and the Hartt String Quartet. As a soloist known for his "intensely felt performances," he has been heard in the great repertoire from the Baroque through the 20th century in major cities throughout the world.

Wells has been a professor of cello and chamber music at Manhattan School of Music, New England Conservatory, and Hartt School of Music. He is a native of East Chicago, Indiana, and has been living in Putney, Vt. for more than four decades where he co-founded the Yellow Barn Music Festival with his wife, pianist Janet Wells.

The Windham Orchestra's "Cello-bration" tribute, directed by Hugh Keelan, will feature guest cellists Zon Eastes, Timothy Merton, Eugene Friesen, and Judith Serkin; as well as Joan Esch, Michael Finckel, Pedro Pereira, and Sabine Rhyne. Wells, himself, will also grace the stage.

The works in the first half, and the guests of the Windham Orchestra who play them, honor David Wells. The first half of the concert amounts to a survey, rich in meaning, of smaller works for solo cellos in large ensemble. Each piece has a strong musical relationship with David; and each cellist has a strong connection to southern Vermont, an area that has nurtured an exceptional number of fine cellists.

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