Feder Duo

Abraham Feder, cello

Cheryl Losey Feder, harp

March 31, 2021

Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concerts

David Schwan, host


J.S. Bach; trans. Feder Duo – Sonata for Viola da gamba and harpsichord, BWV 1029 (15′)




Johann Strauss Jr.; trans. Feder Duo – Romanze in D minor, Op. 243 (5′)

Henriette Renié – Andante Religioso (4′)

Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco – Sonata for Cello and Harp, Op. 208 (15′)

I. Molto Moderato

II. Minuetto Variato

III. Toccata: Rondo

Abraham Feder began his tenure with Detroit Symphony Orchestra as Assistant Principal Cello in the fall of 2018. Prior to his appointment, he was a member of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. During the summer of 2018, he served as the Assistant Principal Cellist of the Santa Fe Opera. Abraham began his orchestral career as Principal Cellist of the Sarasota Orchestra and Cellist of the Sarasota String Quartet from 2008-2016.

Abraham has been featured as a soloist with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Sarasota Orchestra, Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra of the Americas, and the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra. In 2013, as a member of the Chroma Quartet, he founded the Tuesdays with Chroma concert series in Sarasota.

An avid chamber musician, Abraham has performed with Ricardo Morales, Amy Oshiro Morales, and Kerri Ryan of the Philadelphia Orchestra; Michelle Kim, Assistant Concertmaster of the New York Philharmonic; Richard Hirschl, Brant Taylor, Kenneth Olson, and Yuan-Qing Yu of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO); Stephen Balderston, former Assistant Principal cellist of the CSO; Desomd Hoebig, former Principal Cellist of the Cleveland Orchestra; Danielle Belen; Joseph Silverstein; Ray Chen; Christopher O’Riley; Leonidas Kavakos; and Jean-Yves Thibaudet.

Abraham earned his Master’s Degree under the tutelage of Desmond Hoebig at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music. He received his Bachelor of Music at The Curtis Institute of Music, where he studied with David Soyer and Peter Wiley. His teachers have also included Richard Hirschl and Tanya Carey.

Cheryl Losey Feder has earned distinction as one of America’s leading harpists, receiving national and international awards, and performing in diverse settings around the world. Top prizes she has received include the Alice Rosner Prize at the Munich International Competition, one of the world’s most prestigious music contests; First Prize and Grandjany Prize in the American Harp Society’s National Solo Competition; and First Prize in the American String Teacher’s Association National Solo Competition. Ms. Feder has held the position of Principal Harp with the Sarasota Orchestra and Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, and is a regular guest of the Philadelphia Orchestra, touring Europe and Israel with the ensemble.

Ms. Feder’s love of sharing music has led to performances in over twenty countries and six continents, in venues from the Sydney Opera House and Carnegie Hall, to the townships of Soweto, South Africa and orphanages of Kingston, Jamaica. She has performed with major orchestras such as the Cleveland Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, St. Louis Symphony, Detroit Symphony, and Luzerner Sinfonieorchester, Festival performances include the Pacific Music Festival in Japan; Tanglewood, Spoleto, and Aspen Music Festivals; and the Santa Fe Opera.

Ms. Feder received her Bachelors and Masters Degrees at the Cleveland Institute of Music as a student of soloist and recording artist Yolanda Kondonassis. She is a native of Harpswell, Maine where she began study of the harp at age five with Jara Goodrich. Ms. Feder is married to Abraham Feder, Assistant Principal Cello of the Detroit Symphony, and proud mother to baby Samuel and Ernie Banks-the dog. 

J.S. Bach (1685-1750); trans. Feder Duo

Sonata for Violin da gamba and harpsichord, BWV 1029 (1730s) 

J.S. Bach wrote three sonatas for Viola da gamba and harpsichord, but who exactly Bach wrote these for is unclear. Many historians have speculated the sonatas were originally conceived as orchestra works or concerti. Sonata No. 3 is particularly complex in form and harmony, with recurring orchestral-sounding tuttis, giving it the nickname “The Seventh Brandenburg Concerto.” Borrowing or transcribing material from another instrument’s repertoire, as with this transcription for Cello and Harp, was very much in the spirit of the Baroque era. Bach himself produced solo organ and harpsichord transcriptions of violin and oboe concertos by other composers, and frequently reused his own material in compositions for other instruments. While the viola da gamba was a standard instrument of his time, the modern pedal harp was a hundred years in the future. With pluckiness, vast dynamic range and contrapuntal capabilities, the harp is a very natural partner to the modern cello in bringing this beautiful work to life.

Johann Strauss, Jr. (1825-1899);

trans. Feder Duo

Romanze in D minor, Op. 243 (1861) 

Johann Strauss Jr., known as “The Waltz King” composed over 500 waltzes and other types of dance music, The Blue Danube being perhaps still his most popular and instantly recognizable work. In addition to tremendous success in Europe, Strauss Jr. spent 12 lucrative seasons writing and performing in Russia. It was there he wrote a series of short works featuring solo instrumentalist and orchestra, in a style very popular for the era, the Romance. Romanze No. 1, originally for Cello and Orchestra, was dedicated to the mother of Prince Nikolai of Mingrelia, and its original orchestration also features the harp prominently with an extended cadenza.

Henriette Renié (1875-1956)

Andante Religioso (1905) 

Henriette Renié led a groundbreaking life as a virtuoso, composer, teacher, and harpist. She received the coveted Premiere Prix in harp from the Paris Conservatory at just eleven years old.  There was a rule at the conservatory that students had to be at least fourteen years old to study composition, but an exception was made for young Renié to begin at age 13. Andante Religioso was one of her early works, which the shy Renié hid from her composition teacher Jules Massenet for six weeks. Renié went on to write many now-standard works for harp, including a concerto, many showpieces and transcriptions, and her Harp Method. She introduced the harp’s capability as a solo instrument in her compositions, recordings and her performances, as one of the first harpist-composer virtuosi. Never marrying, Renié was deeply religious. She was passed over to teach at the Paris Conservatory because of her religious beliefs, and even turned down the Legion of Honor due to her convictions. The beautifully simple and solemn melody of Andante Religioso reflects her deep spirituality. 


Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco (1895-1968)

Sonata for Cello and Harp, Op. 208 (1967) 

Italian composer Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco built a successful career in Europe writing operas, composing extensively for solo guitar, and at the request of legendary virtuoso Jascha Heifetz, wrote a violin concerto. Tedesco’s Jewish heritage strongly influenced his music, leading to a ban of broadcast and live performance of his works in Italy, starting in 1938. Fearing more serious repercussions, Tedesco fled Italy for the US shortly before the start of World War II, with help from his friends Heifetz and conductor Arturo Toscanini. Like many other artists fleeing Europe, he settled in Hollywood where he wrote over 200 movie soundtracks. Tedesco was a teacher and mentor to Henry Mancini, Andre Previn, and John Williams. While in the US, Tedesco wrote many works for harp, including this Sonata for Harp and Cello. In this rarely performed work, he treats the instruments as true equals, requiring virtuosic artistry of both musicians.

Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concerts are made possible through the generosity of the Paul M. Angell Family Foundation, the Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Illinois Arts Council and the Union League Club of Chicago.
Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concerts are presented in partnership with the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events and 98.7 WFMT

Don’t miss Trio Internazionale

next week on the

Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concerts!

Wednesday April 7, 12:15pm

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