A Who’s Who of the Contemporary Music Scene Celebrates Cello Legend Fred Sherry at Merkin Hall


On October 28, an all-star cast of contemporary music luminaries took the stage at Kaufman Music Center’s Merkin Hall for a celebration of cello legend Fred Sherry, “a dynamic, ebullient and magnanimous artist and teacher” (Steve Smith, The New Yorker). A champion of the music of our time for more than five decades, Sherry is a beloved faculty member at The Juilliard School, Mannes School of Music and The Manhattan School of Music. Curated by composer, clarinetist and American Composers Orchestra Artistic Director Derek Bermel, the tribute featured a fabulous lineup of performers including Peter Serkin, Katie Hyun, Ursula Oppens, JACK Quartet, Mike Nicolas, Jay Campbell, Steve Mackey, David Fulmer, Alan Feinberg, Stefan Jackiw, Jeremy Denk, David Shifrin, Horszowski Trio, Rubin Kodheli, Paul Neubauer, Anne-Marie McDermott, Dov Scheindlin, Edgar Meyer, Leila Josefowicz and Richard Stoltzman. In addition to the performers, the audience comprised a who’s who list of the music world.

Cellist Jay Campbell’s performance of Bermel’s Coming Together with the composer – commissioned by Kaufman Music Center in 1999 and premiered in Merkin Hall by the composer and Sherry – highlighted the artists’ long history with Kaufman Music Center. Bermel attested, “Fred Sherry is a national treasure. This event gives us a window into the extraordinary depth and breadth of his musical legacy.”

Fred Sherry has introduced audiences on five continents and all fifty United States to the music of our time for over five decades. He was a founding member of TASHI and Speculum Musicae, Artistic Director of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, and has been a member of the Group for Contemporary Music, Berio's Juilliard Ensemble and the Galimir String Quartet. He has also enjoyed a close collaboration with jazz pianist and composer Chick Corea. Elliott Carter, Mario Davidovsky, Steve Mackey, David Rakowski, Somei Satoh, Charles Wuorinen and John Zorn have written concertos for Sherry, who has premiered solo and chamber works dedicated to him by Milton Babbitt, Derek Bermel, Jason Eckardt, Lukas Foss, Oliver Knussen, Peter Lieberson, Donald Martino and Toru Takemitsu among others.

Find out more about Fred Sherry.
Photos by Richard Termine.


Leila Josefowicz, violin and Peter Serkin, piano

David Shifrin, clarinet

Ursula Oppens, piano

Michael Nicolas and Jay Campbell, cello

Steve Mackey, electric guitar

David Fulmer, violin and Alan Feinberg, piano

Alan Feinberg, piano

Derek Bermel, clarinet

Derek Bermel, clarinet and Jay Campbell, cello

Stefan Jackiw, violin and Jeremy Denk, piano

Rubin Kodheli, electric cello and Steve Mackey, electric guitar

JACK Quartet

Horszowski Trio

Katie Hyun, violin and Edgar Meyer, double bass

Paul Neubauer, violin and Anne-Marie McDermott, piano

Richard Stoltzman, clarinet and the F.A.Q. (Katie Hyun and Stefan Jackiw, violin; Dov Scheindlin, viola; Michael Nicolas, cello)

The F.A.Q. (Katie Hyun and Stefan Jackiw, violin; Dov Scheindlin, viola; Michael Nicolas, cello)