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From the Studio: Zuill Bailey

Cellist and Northwest BachFest Artistic Director Zuill Bailey in the SPR performance space
Savanna Rothe
Spokane Public Radio
Cellist and Northwest BachFest Artistic Director Zuill Bailey in the SPR performance space

The cellist and NW BachFest artistic director previews Brahms and Messiaen concerts

Zuill Bailey, the renowned cellist and artistic director of the Northwest BachFest, entered the KPBX studio to talk with E.J. Iannelli about this weekend’s BachFest concerts.

The first program on Saturday (Feb. 25) features French composer Oliver Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time. It's a work that Bailey has been building to over many years, and he explained during the interview the importance of creating a "safe space" for the audience to experience it and for the musicians to perform it.

Messiaen’s work will be paired with Dmitri Shostakovich’s Piano Trio No. 2, which, like Quartet for the End of Time, was written during a period when the composer was compelled to reflect on human brutality and his own mortality.

The second program on Sunday (Feb. 26) is a somewhat lighter one featuring Johannes Brahms’ Clarinet Trio, one of the composer's later works. Additional selections include Schubert's Piano Trio No. 2 as well as a sonata for violin and piano by J.S. Bach, whom Bailey often describes as "the alpha and omega" of composers.

Bailey will perform at both concerts alongside Spokane Symphony clarinetist Chip Phillips and the acclaimed husband-and-wife musical team of violinist Kurt Nikkanen and pianist Maria Asteriadou.

Both of this weekend's concerts will be held at Barrister Winery in downtown Spokane. Tickets and more info are available at the Northwest BachFest website.

The interview was preceded by Bailey's in-studio performance of a selection from John Williams' score for the 1993 film Schindler's List. The piece was played live in the SPR performance space.

Listeners who were able to catch the live on-air broadcast were also treated to Bailey's pre-recorded in-studio performance of the prelude from Bach's Cello Suite No. 1 in G major. A technical error resulted in the loss of that recording immediately after broadcast, which is why it's been cut from this on-demand audio version.