In conjunction with the exhibit Sam Francis: Five Decades of Abstract Expressionism from California Collections, the cello/piano
duo of for featured a work written for them by California composer Ross Bauer exploring
clarity of form and expressive elegance, as well as works by Beethoven
and Chopin. The performance, at the Setzer Auditorium of the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento, was presented first at Pomona College in Claremont, California, and repeated in several venues in China.
The duo toured China during the last two weeks of March 2014, presenting concerts and teaching master classes at universities in Jinan, Liaocheng, Hangzhou, Xiamen, and at the esteemed Shanghai Conservatory. It was the fifth trip to China for each, and second tour there as a duo.
Beethoven: 12 Variations on a Theme from Handel’s Oratorio Judas Maccabaeus, WoO 45
Lu Wencheng: Autumn Moon over the Calm Lake
Manuel de Falla: Suite populaire espagñole
Ross Bauer: until (2013) world premiere
Frédéric Chopin: Sonata in G Minor, Op. 65
Susan Lamb Cook is an active internationally acclaimed performer and educator, having presented solo and chamber performances throughout Europe, the Far East, and the United States. She is on the artistic staff for the Classical Music Festival in Eisenstadt, Austria, and the Saarburg Festival, Germany, and is Lecturer in cello and chamber music at the University of California, Davis. She has served as artist in residence at the Vianden International Music Festival in Luxembourg, and her 2012 tour of China with pianist Gayle Blankenburg included performances and master classes in the cities of Jinan, Hangzhou and Xiamen. As a member of the Gold Coast Trio, she has performed and given master classes at San Francisco State University, Scripps College and Harvey Mudd College, and the Gold Coast Trio has been featured on Austrian National Television.
Gayle Blankenburg has performed extensively to great critical acclaim as a solo pianist, chamber musician, and vocal accompanist. She was a roster artist with Southwest Chamber Music from 1996 to 2003, with whom she regularly performed and recorded. Among nearly a dozen award-winning CDs recorded for Southwest Chamber Music on Cambria Records are her performances of Elliot Carter's song cycle Of Challenge and of Love (with soprano Phyllis Bryn-Julson) and the Carlos Chavez Invencion for solo piano. She has also performed with Phyllis Bryn-Julson at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC, in New York City, and in Vienna, Austria. Her recording of Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire with the LA-based ensemble “inauthentica” has received the highest critical acclaim from Gramophone Magazine, Opera News, and The American Record Guide. Released last fall was a CD of solo piano and chamber music works of composer Richard Cameron-Wolfe, including Labyrinths with soprano Lucy Shelton. The Los Angeles Times has reviewed her saying, “Blankenburg played with elegant power and poise… Her crisp touch and light pedaling produced crystalline, pensive, haunting sequences… This is a gratefully idiomatic piece for a pianist with both power and a palette, requirements Blankenburg met easily.”