Appearing on Main Stage

during Arabian Nights, December 12, 2010

Accomplished musicians in their own right, cellist Wendy Warner and pianist Irina Nuzova achieve a rare artistic synergy by melding their contrasting cultures and traditions. As homage to their respective backgrounds, the women favor Russian and American repertoire, exploring the commonalities and ‘dissonances’ between the two cultural heritages.

Wendy Warner, hailed by Strings magazine for her “youthful, surging playing, natural stage presence and almost frightening technique,” has become one of the world’s leading cellists. Since she first garnered international attention by winning first-prize at the Fourth International Rostropovich Competition in Paris in 1990, audiences have watched Warner perform on prestigious stages including New York’s Carnegie Hall, Symphony Hall in Boston, Walt Disney Hall in Los Angeles, Paris’ Salle Pleyel and Berlin’s Philharmonie. Her performances have received high acclaim from critics, including the Chicago Tribune who described her playing as “truly prodigious… persuasive of tone, beautifully shaped and graced with an altogether professional sheen.”

Moscow-born pianist Irina Nuzova studied at Juilliard following rigorous education in Russia. Nuzova has appeared in Europe, the United States and South America, and has won top prizes in several international competitions, such as the Vincenzo Bellini and Citta di Senigallia International Competitions in Italy, the Bruce Hungerford Award at the Young Concert Artist Auditions in New York, and the Beethoven Piano Sonata International Competition in Memphis, Tennessee. Well known for her captivating solo and chamber music performances, Nuzova has been hailed by critics as a musician who “…rises above mere virtuosity” (Washington Post) in her thoughtful rendition of the classical repertoire. As soloist and chamber music partner she distinguishes herself for her “intensity of feeling” (La Nazione, Florence, Italy) and “profound interpretation” (Strad, London).

After performing together for several years, Nuzova and Warner formally came together as the WarnerNuzova cello and piano duo in 2008. Their mission is to perform and record the canonical works for cello and piano from the past and present, as well as commissioning unique arrangements and new music. Equal prominence of the instruments is a key consideration in the musicians’ choice of repertoire.

WarnerNuzova’s first CD is due to be released in the summer of 2010 on the Cedille Records label. A collection of Russian romantic works, the recording features Nikolai Miaskovsky’s second Sonata in A minor, never before recorded by American musicians or on an American label; as well as Sergei Rachmaninov’s Sonata in G minor. Newly commissioned works by American composers will be recorded in 2011.