Jay Allen Sanford 2 p.m., Dec. 5
RIYL: Gideon Freudmann, Jacqueline du Pré, Yo-Yo Ma, Janos Starker, Tsuyshi Tsutsumi, Mstislav Rostropovich, Richard Markson, Pablo Casals, Yo-Yo Ma, Mischa Maisky
- "Sophie Webber’s Escape combines cello with choristers of local St. Paul’s Cathedral" · March 21, 2019
Influences: Janos Starker, Paul Tortelier, Pierre Fournier, Tsuyoshi Tsutsumi, Jacqueline du Pré
Dr. Sophie Webber, cellist, performs regularly in solo and chamber music settings in the USA and UK. An enthusiast of traditional and new music, from classical to folk to electronic, her involvement with mixed media performances and passion for human rights causes led her in 2009 to form the Chicago-based new music group, Fused Muse Ensemble, an IL npo with a mission to amplify voices too often left unheard through music and mixed media.
Webber relocated to San Diego in 2015, where she began teaching privately and recording the complete Bach Suites for solo cello. By 2016, she was working on an album of her own compositions for voice, cello, and electronics. Webber also performs in a piano/cello duo with Indonesian born pianist Ines Irawati, who has won numerous awards and has performed in venues such as Severance Hall and Carnegie Hall.
In January 2018, Webber released Escape: Bach's Six Suites For Solo Cello, recorded with Grammy winning audio engineer Chris Willis at St. Paul’s Cathedral in San Diego. Webber staged CD release concerts in San Diego, Chicago, London and Oxford (UK), and the album earned positive press in Gramophone Magazine.
"I'm working on a new presentation of the Bach Cello Suites, B2C: Bach Cello Suites to Choir, a recording project of Bach Suites Nos.1 and 3 for Solo Cello, alongside my own original arrangement for choir, something that has never been done before," reported Webber in early 2019. "Ever since releasing Escape, it has been my dream to create this segue album with choir. I have always loved singing and am a strong advocate for connecting with one's musical instrument like a voice... so the pairing of solo cello with the human voice seemed like the most natural combination and a wonderful way to bring Bach and classical music to both those who already love it, and to those who may not normally find it particularly accessible, but are looking for a way in."
A Kickstarter campaign was launched to fund the July 2019 recording of B2C: Bach Cello Suites to Choir with the choristers of St. Paul's Cathedral, San Diego, under choir director, Martin Green. "I'm working on a new presentation of the Bach Cello Suites, B2C: Bach Cello Suites to Choir, a recording project of Bach Suites Nos.1 and 3 for Solo Cello, alongside my own original arrangement for choir, something that has never been done before," Webber told the Reader.