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The Bitterroot Performing Arts Council will present world-class performers, cellist David Finckel and pianist Wu Han, on Friday.

The duo has inspired audiences around the world and the Hamilton performance is scheduled between the Lincoln Center in New York and Seoul, Korea.

Finckel was a cellist in the Emerson String Quartet for 34 years and played a Bitterroot Performing Arts Council performance in 2012.

Finckel and Han are Musical America’s 2012 Musicians of the Year and are considered the most influential classical musicians today.

Finckel and Han were called the “power couple of chamber music” by the Wall Street Journal. They met in 1981 when Han, then a graduate student at the University of Hartford, won a competition where the prize was a performance with the Emerson quartet.

“Everybody said I got the grand prize,” she said, looking at her husband.

“I had never really found the perfect match for a recital partner, but when I started playing with Wu Han I thought ‘This is fantastic,’” Finckel said. “The first couple of concerts we played, people came backstage afterward and asked if we were married. We laughed, but after a while it became inevitable.”

They bring talent, energy, imagination and dedication to their roles as concert performers, chamber musicians, recording artists and educators.

The music for Friday night is by Strauss – Sonata in F major for Cello and Piano, Op. 6 (1880-83); Messiaen - Louange a la Eternite de Jesus for Cello and Piano from Quatuor pour la fin du temps; Albeniz – Selections from Suite española for Piano (1886); Glazunov – Chant du ménéstrel for Cello and Piano, Op. 71 (1900); and Chopin – Sonata in G minor for Cello and Piano, Op. 65 (1845-46).

In addition to their performances, Finckel and Han created classical music’s first musician-directed and Internet-based recording company called ArtistLed in 1997. They are artistic directors of The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center; the founders and artistic directors of Music@Menlo, a chamber music festival and institute in Silicon Valley; and artistic directors of Chamber Music Today, an annual festival in Seoul, Korea.

Finckel is professor of cello at The Juilliard School and artist-in-residence at Stony Brook University. Finckel and Han reside in New York where they love to cook.

The duo has a passionate commitment to encourage young artists and is opening their rehearsal time to select high school and college piano and cello students. Interested students should call the BPAC office at 406-363-7946.

They are also gifting their performance in Hamilton to benefit the Bitterroot Performing Arts Council.

BPAC Executive Director Monica Grable said the performance was not yet sold out as of Thursday.

“Audience members with a love of music of all kinds will appreciate the extraordinary artistry of cellist David Finckel and pianist Wu Han,” Grable said.

The Finckel and Han performance will be at 8 p.m. on Nov. 20 at the Hamilton Performing Arts Center. For more information about the concert call the BPAC box office at 406-363-7946 or online visit bitterrootperformingarts.org.

Reach reporter Michelle McConnaha at 363-3300 or michelle.mcconnaha@ravallirepublic.com.

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