Cellist William Skidmore of the West Virginia University School of Music faculty will present his “Third, Semi-Annual Recital Forewarning Pending Retirement” Tuesday, Feb. 28, at the Creative Arts Center.
The program begins at 8:15 p.m. in the Bloch Learning and Performance Hall (200A) and is free and open to the public.
Featured on the program will be the mammoth “Suite No. VI in D Major” of Johann Sebastian Bach, as well as WVU Composer-in-Residence John Beall’s “Fantasy for Cello Solo.”
“The last of Bach’s suites for unaccompanied cello was written for an unusual five-stringed instrument that was what we would now call a �-sized cello that was tuned E-A-D-G from top to bottom, with an additional low C string added to give it the same bass range of the cello of today,” Professor Skidmore said.
“This presents a challenge to the modern cellist to perform the work on the standard cello, as it necessitates playing in much higher and sometimes very awkward positions on the instrument. Perhaps for this reason the work is not frequently performed, as modern musicians are so cautious to appear in public when intonation problems might be unfavorable to the luxury of the splicing accuracy of recordings.”
Skidmore will also perform the second Gavotte of the work in its intended form, which is not found in any printed version of the piece, but exists unanimously in all four of the existent early manuscripts of the work, including that of Bach’s wife, Anna Magdalena.
Dr. Beall’s “Fantasy for Solo Cello,” is a work which Skidmore first performed last year on recitals at the CAC. Beall wrote the work in 2001 for his former colleague at the Interlochen Arts Camp, Jeffrey Lastrapes, who gave the first performances of the piece.
Skidmore has been a member of the WVU music faculty since 1977. As professor of cello, coach of the resident Graduate String Quartet and other chamber groups, he offers students insight that is founded upon significant professional experience. He has presented numerous recitals throughout the Eastern United States, including performances at the National Gallery of Art, the Phillips Collection and The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
As a chamber musician, he has been a member of the Maryland Trio, the Baltimore Symphony String Quartet, and the American Arts Trio. In addition to the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, he was principal cellist with the West Virginia Symphonette and the Ohio Valley Symphony.
He holds degrees from the University of Illinois and previously taught at the University of Maryland. He has also taught cello and chamber music at the Interlochen Arts Camp.
CONTACT: Charlene Lattea, College of Creative Arts
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