Small nws excemption3 Inside The Music: The Expressive Range of the Cello

Performances | Chava Appiah / Thomas Steigerwald

The cello is said to have the same range as the human voice. This feature gives it the power to evoke instinctual emotions. Songs can be transcribed from voice to cello, and the voice can find itself even within the sound of steel strings. Cello can awaken feelings of ease and joy, such as in the Bach and Britten solo suites; it can also bring out the sorrow and struggle of the human spirit, as demonstrated through the Bloch, Casals, and Villa-Lobos. A cello can be lonely, it can be sad, it can be gratuitous and brave, or wandering for something better; it can be low and high, soft and loud, urging and calm, colorful and bland. Almost every piece on this program was written with a specific cellist in mind. In this concert, Cello Fellow Chava Appiah will open your ears to the varied voices of these cellists and composers as well as highlight the expressive range of the instrument itself.

Cello and Piano

Recorded Date: 06-11-2018

Chava Appiah

Chava Appiah is a first-year Cello Fellow at the New World Symphony. Her performance experience spans from Tokyo’s Suntory Hall and Carnegie Hall, to more intimate settings such as Emmanuel Church of Boston and The Cleveland Institute of Art. She has collaborated with notable artists such as Yo-Yo Ma, Jaime Laredo, Emanuel Ax, Alisa Weilerstein, Geoff Nuttall and Chris Thile, as well as conductors Valery Gergiev, Herbert Blomstedt, Andris Nelsons and Leonard Slatkin, among many others. Prior to joining NWS she led a varied freelance career in Boston.

Passionate about orchestral and chamber music, Ms. Appiah has played with the New York String Orchestra Seminar, Madeline Island Chamber Music, Spoleto Festival U.S.A. and most recently the Tanglewood Music Center. She was Principal Cellist with the Pacific Music Festival and Youth Orchestra of the Americas, as well as the Oberlin Orchestra and New England Conservatory Philharmonia. While at Spoleto, she performed the U.S. premieres of Vivaldi’s Farnace and Lachenmann’s Little Match Girl.

A strong advocate for making the arts more accessible to a wider audience, Ms. Appiah has engaged with various communities through organizations such as the Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston, the Community Performances and Partnerships Program of New England Conservatory, Boston Philharmonic, Palaver Strings and her all-cello ensemble, Cellos Unleashed! She strives to challenge the common classical music venue and keep the live music experience available to all.

Ms. Appiah studied at the New England Conservatory with Natasha Brofsky and at Oberlin College and Conservatory with Catharina Meints, earning degrees in both cello performance and neuroscience.

In her free time, Ms. Appiah enjoys yoga, travel and exploring nature. She is an enthusiastic animal lover.

Thomas Steigerwald

Prize-winning pianist and native Texan Thomas Steigerwald is a first-year Piano Fellow at the New World Symphony, and a medal winner in the Wideman, New York, Dallas Chamber Symphony and San Jose international piano competitions. A 2013 Music Teacher’s National Association Young Artist national prize winner, Mr. Steigerwald has pursued a multifaceted career of solo performance, chamber music and orchestral and accompanimental piano. He made his orchestral debut at age 18, performing Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 3 with the San Antonio Symphony. As a semi-finalist in the 2013 Citta di Cantu competition, he performed Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 3 with the Mihail Jora Philharmonic. The Eastman School of Music selected him as representative on the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage in Washington D.C., where he performed Balakirev’s Islamey in 2014.

An avid chamber musician, Mr. Steigerwald performed Martin’s Piano Quintet in the Round Top Festival’s 2016 Chamber Honors Recital. In 2015 he performed Franck’s Piano Quintet at the George Eastman House and in the Eastman School’s Chamber Honors Recital. As violist Brett Deubner’s collaborator, Mr. Steigerwald performed 18 concerts in a 2017 tour of China and will perform in Australia in 2019. He has also performed with other artists including Ransom Wilson, Maxim Kozlov, the Delphi Trio, Christiano Rodrigues, Anton Rist and Gretchen Pusch.

Mr. Steigerwald has attended the Aspen Music Festival, Music Academy of the West, Round Top Festival Institute, Dakota Sky International Piano Festival and Schlern International Music Festival. The conductors with whom he has performed include Gustavo Dudamel, Brad Lubman, Emmanuel Villaume, Perry So, Thomas Adès and Gerard Schwarz. Mr. Steigerwald graduated with his bachelor’s degree in piano performance from Dr. Douglas Humpherys’ studio at the Eastman School of Music in 2015. In 2018 he graduated from Professor Matti Raekallio’s studio at The Juilliard School with his master’s degree.