Bailey brings passion for playing to Westmoreland symphony show
Cellist Zuill Bailey says following advice he received in his youth has turned him into “the luckiest guy in the planet.”
When he was moving into his teens, he says, he was told if he could find something he truly loved and make a career out of it, he would “never work a day in his life.” Bailey decided to concentrate on playing cello.
“Now, I'm performing as much as I like and possibly can, I'm working at festivals, and I'm teaching and watching it all come back to me,” he says.
Bailey, 40, has added to his schedule a visit Saturday with the Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra when he plays the demanding and passionate Cello Concerto No. 2 by Dmitri Shostakovich.
The cellist is leading a busy life as a solo performing and recording artist. Recently released is his recording of Antonin Dvorak's well-known cello concerto. He will be following that recording in 2013 with one of Edward Elgar's concerto.
Bailey, who started playing cello when he was 4, is a graduate of the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore and the Juilliard School of Music in New York City. He has performed with orchestras in many cities, including Los Angeles, Chicago, Toronto and Linz, Austria.
Besides his solo career, he teaches at the University of Texas at El Paso, is director of the autumn classics series of the Sitka Summer Music Festival in Alaska and will become director of the Northwest Bach Festival in Washington in 2014.
“I've been shuttling around quite a bit,” he says.
The energy that he uses in that shuttling shows up in his playing as well. The Shostakovich work makes such demands, he says, as it opens with a passionate first movement that cannot be approached with any emotional coldness.
But, he says, the most challenging part of the work is a third movement that begins as a long cadenza, before moving into a finale with the orchestra.
“So, after you have put yourself totally into it,” he says of that movement, “then there's more.”
He says he likes the work a great deal and keeps it among the 15 or so works he is prepared to play as a soloist.
But he always is aware of its demands. He saw cello legend Mstislav Rostropovich perform the work and says the Russian “held his bow like a baseball bat” to keep control of it through the challenging third movement.
Symphony artistic director Daniel Meyer says he brought in Bailey to do this work because it has the kind of power he wants Westmoreland audiences to hear.
“You have to have a definite passion to play this,” he says.
He and Bailey are familiar with each other's look at the work, having performed it together about seven years ago in Santa Barbara, Calif.
That familiarity could be a benefit, he says. “But who knows, in the time since, we might have gone entirely different ways.”
Bob Karlovits is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-320-7852.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Starkey: Parents provide Cervelli’s inspiration
- Supreme Court justices ream EPA for ignoring costs to meet air standards
- Pittsburgh Public Works supervisor disciplined for text message
- Coach helps ex-McKeesport star Marshall keep NBA dream alive
- More witness intimidation charges filed against Plum teacher
- Daily Courier roundup: Connellsville tops Farmington
- Downie, Ehrhoff lead list of likely Penguins leaving in free agency
- Murrysville native Bullock vying for Women’s Health magazine’s ‘Next Fitness Star’
- Kittanning’s Toy brothers to reunite with W&J football
- Run-down duplex that Dormont helped to rehab not on the market long
- Pirates hope 1st baseman Alvarez starts to regain power stroke