Parry Karp and Jeffrey Sykes

December 12, 2018, 12:15 pm

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Cellist Parry Karp with pianist Jeffrey Sykes present works of Karol Szymanowski and Rebecca Clarke under the Tiffany glass dome for this Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concert broadcast.

Cellist Parry Karp is Artist-in Residence and Professor of Chamber Music and Cello, at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he is director of the string chamber music program. He has been cellist of the Pro Arte Quartet for the past 41 years, the longest tenure of any member in the quartet’s over 100 year history.

Parry Karp is an active solo artist, performing numerous recitals annually in the United States, and has recorded six solo CDs. He is active as a performer of new music and has performed in the premieres of dozens of works, many of which were written for him, including concerti, sonatas and chamber music. Unearthing and performing unjustly neglected repertoire for cello is a passion of Mr. Karp’s. In recent years he has transcribed for cello many masterpieces written for other instruments. This project has included performances of all of the Duo Sonatas of Brahms.

As cellist of the Pro Arte Quartet he has performed over 1000 concerts throughout North, Central and South America, Europe, and Japan. His discography with the group has been extensive (over two dozen recordings) and includes the complete string quartets of Ernest Bloch, Miklos Rosza, and Karol Szymanowski. Many of these recordings received awards from Fanfare and High Fidelity Magazines.

Former students of Mr. Karp’s are members of professional string quartets, major orchestras, and teachers in North America. In 2012 he was a recipient of the Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching Award at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In the spring of 2016, Parry Karp was named a fellow of the Wisconsin Academy.

Acclaimed by the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung as “a commanding solo player, the most supportive of accompanists, and a leader in chamber music,” pianist Jeffrey Sykes has performed throughout the United States, Europe, Canada, Mexico, and Chile, and collaborates regularly with leading instrumentalists and singers.

Together with violinist Axel Strauss and cellist Jean-Michel Fonteneau, Sykes is a founding member of the San Francisco Piano Trio, an ensemble noted for its virtuosic interpretations of works ranging from the trios of Haydn and Beethoven to those of Leon Kirchner and Astor Piazzolla. Mr. Sykes is the co-founder and artistic co-director of the Bach Dancing and Dynamite Society of Wisconsin, a highly-acclaimed and innovative chamber music festival now in its twenty-sixth season. He is a regular guest artist with the Brooklyn Chamber Music Society; the Cactus Pear Music Festival in San Antonio, Texas; and Music in the Vineyards in Napa Valley, California; and in 2007, he served as the guest artistic director of Music in the Vineyards. He has recorded for the Albany, CRI, Mandala, Centaur, and Cactus Pear record labels.

For eighteen years, Mr. Sykes served as the Music Director of Opera for the Young, a preeminent producer and presenter of opera for children that has introduced more than two million children to opera. He works extensively as a vocal coach throughout the US and teaches piano, voice, and chamber music at the University of California at Berkeley and California State University East Bay. A recipient of the Jacob Javits Fellowship from the US Department of Education and a Fulbright Scholar, he completed his doctorate at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

  • Romance for Violin and Piano in D Major, Op. 23, by Karol Szymanowski
    arr. Parry Karp

  • Sonata for Cello and Piano, by Rebecca Clarke