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Hay Music: Robin Michael - cello
Friday 8th February 2019, 7.30pm
Hay Music: Robin Michael - cello
Cellist Robin Michael travels extensively in Britain and abroad as a solo and ensemble player and he comes to Hay to perform Suites 1 and 3 of the Six Cello Suites for Unaccompanied Cello by JS Bach and Kodaly’s Sonata in B Minor for Solo Cello Op 8.

J S Bach: Suite No 1 in G Major BWV 1007
J S Bach: Suite No 3 in C Major BWV 1009
Kodaly: Sonata in B Minor for Solo Cello Op 8

The Six Cello Suites for Unaccompanied Cello by Johann Sebastian Bach are some of the most frequently performed and recognizable solo compositions ever written for the cello. Bach most likely composed them during the period 1717–23, when he served as Kapellmeister in Köthen. The title given on the cover of the Anna Magdalena Bach manuscript was Suites à Violoncello Solo senza Basso (Suites for cello solo without bass). These suites are remarkable in that they achieve the effect of implied three- to four-voice music in a single musical line.

As is usual in a Baroque musical suite, after the prelude which begins each suite, all the other movements are based around Baroque dance types; the cello suites are structured in six movements each: prelude, allemande, courante, sarabande, two minuets or two bourées or two gavottes, and a final gigue. The Bach cello suites are considered to be among the most profound of all classical music works. Wilfrid Mellers described them in 1980 as ‘Monophonic music wherein a man has created a dance of God.’

The Hungarian composer Zoltán Kodály wrote his Sonata in B minor for Solo Cello, Op. 8,in 1915. It was first performed in 1918 and published in 1921. It is among the most significant works for solo cello written since J S Bach’s Cello Suites. It contains influences of Debussy and Bartók, as well as the inflections and nuances of Hungarian folk music.

Robin Michael studied at the Royal Academy of Music with David Strange and Colin Carr and later with Ferenc Rados. He is principal cellist in Orchestre Revolutionnaire et Romantique, Solo cellist with Orchestre Les Siècles (Paris) as well as regular guest principal cellist with the Australian Chamber Orchestra, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Royal Northern Sinfonia, Irish Chamber Orchestra, Britten Sinfonia, RTE Concert Orchestra, English Baroque Soloists, English National Opera and Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment.

Robin was the cellist in the Fidelio Trio for over 10 years with which he toured Europe, North America, Asia and South Africa. He has also appeared in collaboration with the Dante and Eroica Quartets. Highlights in his discography include the premier recording of Joe Cutler's cello concerto with the BBC Concert Orchestra (NMC), first recording of the original version of Mendelssohn's Octet on period instruments (Resonus) and Fidelio Trio recordings on Naxos, NMC, Métier and Delphian records.

Recent concert highlights include complete Bach and Britten suite cycles in France and London, the South Korean premier of Jonathan Harvey's 'Advaya' for cello and electronics, both Haydn concertos at the Spier festival in South Africa as well as festival appearances in Buenos Aires, Library of Congress, Washington, and European festivals including Cheltenham, Aldeburgh and St Magnus.

Recent projects include a recording of the Brahms sonatas with Daniel Tong, a Bach suite cycle at the St Magnus Festival, Britten suite cycle at Festival 'Phil Grobi' in the Auvergne and the first Kinnordy Chamber Music Festival in Scotland where he is co-artistic director with Daniel Tong.

Robin plays on a cello made for him by the German Luthier Stephan von Behr, 2010.

Note: This event takes place at Richard Booth's Bookshop, Hay-on-Wye.
Tickets sold by Richard Booth's Bookshop on behalf of Hay Music.
Price: £12.00