Acclaimed cellist Amy Sue Barston will be coming to Swarthmore College to perform and to hold master classes for student instrumentalists. Barston is a renowned soloist and chamber musician, performing all around the world. Her past performances include concerts at Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, Ravinia, Bargemusic, Caramoor, Haan Hall (Jerusalem), The Banff Centre (Canada), The International Musicians’ Seminar (England), The Power House (Australia), and Chicago’s Symphony Center.
Barston was first contacted by Andrew Hauze ‘04, Lecturer and Director of the Swarthmore College Orchestra and Wind Ensemble. Barston came to Hauze’s mind as a candidate to invite to campus because of the professional relationship that they built over the past years.
“I first met Amy in 2013 through Astral Artists,” Hauze said. “We were scheduled to play some chamber music concerts together, and then I was delighted to discover that she lives right here in Swarthmore!”
“She is a brilliant musician and world-renowned teacher whose students come from far and wide to study with her, and I had always had it in mind that we should invite her to be more involved at the college,” Hauze continued.
This is not the first time Barston has worked with Swarthmore student instrumentalists.
“She worked with the orchestra string section a few years ago, and her teaching was wonderfully inspired and made an immediate difference in our sound,” Hauze said.
Barston’s visits to Swarthmore College provide an opportunity for students to learn from a musician who has cultivated her performance abilities based on her travels and exploration of different musical styles.
“In addition to her extraordinary musicality, Amy brings a knowledge of a wide range of musical cultures and styles and an enormous breadth of experience,” Hauze said.
During her time at Swarthmore College, Barston will hold two master classes with students: one on Friday, November 9th, and the other on Friday, April 5th, 2019. Both of these classes will be conducted in Lang Concert Hall.
“I know that students will be inspired by Amy’s energy and musical sensitivity: she really lives and breathes musical expression, and I can’t wait for the students to interact with her and find their own response to her musical ideas,” Hauze said.
Not only will students learn from Barston’s expertise, they will also have the chance to perform with Barston on stage.
“I am so happy that Amy will get to work closely with students in a variety of formats, and that she will be our soloist with the college orchestra in one of the greatest of all concertos, the Dvorak cello concerto,” Hauze said.
At the end of this semester, Barston will perform with the Swarthmore College Orchestra on Saturday, December 1st at 8:00 pm at Lang Concert Hall. In addition to the performance with the Swarthmore College Orchestra, Barston will also perform with Ieva Jokubaviciute, a pianist, on Friday, March 29th at 8:00 pm at Lang Concert Hall.
Several media outlets have described Barston’s playing style as eloquent, passionate, haunting, and skilled. Hauze is confident that Barston’s two stages at Swarthmore College will not fail to amaze audience members.
“Amy’s performances are always rich in musical depth and alive with communicative energy,” Hauze said. “She also has an extremely beautiful cello sound, and so attending any recital by Amy is a treat!”
David Chan ’19