Chesapeake Music’s Rising Stars winter concert will present two outstanding young classical musicians in performance at the Ebenezer Theater in Easton, Maryland (17 S. Washington St.) on February 13th at 2 p.m. Pianist Elliot Wuu and cellist Sterling Elliott will perform music by Beethoven, Schubert, Schumann, Saint-Saëns, and Tchaikovsky. The concert will also be streamed for a week, following the live performance.
In this exciting concert, Elliot Wuu will open with one of Robert Schumann’s major solo piano works: “Kinderszenen“ (Scenes from Childhood), which depicts both the happiness and sadness of youth in 13 musical snapshots. Next up will be Franz Schubert’s “Wanderer” Fantasy (Fantasie in C Major), long considered Schubert’s most technically demanding solo piano work.
In the second half of the program, Sterling Elliott will join forces with Elliot Wuu, and this will mark their first public duo collaboration. They will perform Ludwig van Beethoven’s late “Cello Sonata No. 4,” an emotionally expressive work that also demands technical prowess of both players. Following will be an arrangement of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s famous “dante cantabile.”
Concluding the concert, Elliot and Sterling will play an arrangement of Camille Saint-Saëns’ “Havanaise in E Major,” a show-stopper with its fiery, virtuosic outer sections and dreamy, lyrical central melody for the cello.
Although young – both artists are 22 – Elliot and Sterling are widely lauded as exceptional musicians. The Republic, in reviewing Wuu’s 2017 performance of Saint-Saens’ G minor piano concerto, wrote, “Wuu is an unbelievable talent who will undoubtedly stun audiences all over the world with his powerful musical gifts.” And the Tribune Star reviewed his 2018 concert with the Terre Haute Symphony, stating, “The remarkable young pianist commands a keyboard with the power, speed and finesse of artists twice his age.”
The New York Concert Review praised Sterling’s 2018 solo recital at Carnegie Hall, writing: “The very fine young cellist Sterling Elliott played with perfect intonation, style, and total involvement.” And Victor Carr, Jr. of Classics Today wrote of an early performance, “Elliott’s impeccable musicianship, as well as his discernible love for the music, won over the audience, which responded with sustained standing applause.”
Both of these young artists received baccalaureate degrees from The Juilliard School, and both are presently pursuing master’s degrees at Juilliard, each having been awarded Kovner Fellowships there. Despite the rigor of their classes, they have been able to win prestigious competitions and awards and embark on concertizing careers at major venues in the U.S. and abroad.
Elliot Wuu won the 2021 Salon de Virtuosi Prior Family Foundation Career Grant and was named a Young Steinway Artist as well as a Gilmore Young Artist, two of the most prestigious awards given to young pianists. Sterling Elliott, who is now represented by Colbert Artists Management, received both an Avery Fisher Career Grant and a Salon de Virtuosi Career Grant in 2021. In 2019, he was the first recipient of The National Arts Club’s Herman and Mary Neuman Music Scholarship Award as well as the first prize winner of the senior division of the National Sphinx Competition, becoming the youngest winner in the Competition’s history.
Despite their numerous competition successes, awards, and concert engagements, both musicians feel strongly that completing their educations remains paramount. At Juilliard, Eliot continues to study with Robert McDonald – a pianist well-known to Chesapeake Music audiences at the annual Chamber Music Festivals – and Sterling is studying with Joel Krosnick and Clara Kim.
Sterling summed up their shared goal to keep education a top priority, saying, “I saw the need to finish my degree and felt the need to go back for my master’s. There’s no way I could have stopped my education at this point. I could continue performing as I have been, but I would feel artistically incomplete to stop my learning. There’s so much to learn now, and I have to continue.”
For more information and to purchase tickets, please see www.chesapeakemusic.org.