Ismar Gomes, cello & Wan-Chi Su, piano
After meeting in graduate school at the Peabody Conservatory, Mr. Gomes and Ms. Su began a collaborative relationship that evolved into Duo Sorolla, which celebrates its tenth season this year. Throughout their career together, they have performed dozens of recitals on important series throughout the USA, often collaborating with other renowned musicians. The Duo has performed a wide range of music including most of the standard repertoire for cello and piano, as well as lesser known music. Over the past several seasons, Duo Sorolla has commissioned and premiered works from William Weigel and Aaron Malone. Apart from these special projects, they have also championed the works of Lera Auerbach, George Walker, and Aaron Jay Kernis, and are keen to work with and promote the works of other living composers. Mr. Gomes and Ms. Su studied much of the duo repertoire under the tutelage of Colin Carr, Tom Sauer, Michael Kannen and other distinguished artists.
Ismar Gomes, cello
Wan-Chi Su, piano
Award-winning cellist, Ismar Gomes, has performed internationally as a chamber musician, and soloist. Hailed for his “impressive virtuosity, energy, and a handsome tonal range” (Berkshire Review), he has established himself as a captivating young artist, delivering exciting and innovative performances.
Recent appearances have taken Dr. Gomes to four continents including performances at the Walla Walla Chamber Music Festival, Evolution Contemporary
Music Series, Le Petit Salon, Luan Huan Shan Glades Music Festival, Early Music at St. Mark’s, and many more. His recent collaborators include members of the Pittsburgh and Baltimore Symphonies, the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, as well as members of the Johannes, and Brentano Quartets. Also in demand as an orchestral player, Mr. Gomes was the Baltimore Symphony’s Fellow for the 2015 – 2016 season, and is a member of both the Virginia and Richmond Symphonies.
Nearly a decade ago, Dr. Gomes and pianist Wan-Chi Su founded Duo Sorolla, which has appeared on distinguished series across the US. Besides their focus on the rich, historic repertoire for cello and piano, the Duo has worked with many outstanding composers – including Aaron Malone, William H. Weigel, George Walker, Ying-Chen Kao and Aaron Jay Kernis – to produce and perform their works. Ismar is also a respected baroque cellist, a capacity in which he has performed for over a decade. In 2012 Mr. Gomes co-founded Arioso Furioso, a baroque ensemble based in New York and later in 2018, Ismar joined Mélomanie, an ensemble based in Delaware that pairs early music and contemporary works on period instruments. An album of newly recorded works written especially for Mélomanie by Richard Belcastro, Larry Nelson, Robert Maggio, and Suzanne Sorkin will be released in 2020.
Always engaged in performing and commissioning new works, Dr. Gomes has presented 50+ world premiere performances. In 2014 Mr. Gomes made the premiere recording of a chamber opera by Pulitzer Prize winner, David Lang performing with the Harlem Quartet and guest artists; the recording was a Grammy nomination finalist. Next season, Ismar will give the premiere of a new concerto written for him, by James Lee III, in Philadelphia.
Teaching is a central component in Mr. Gomes’ musical life. He recently served as Visiting Assistant Professor of Cello at Luther College in Iowa, and is presently on faculty at Gettysburg College. He was formerly faculty and guest artist for StringFest at Merkin Hall, Performing Arts Institute at Wyoming Seminary, CIM Summer Chamber Music, and Young Artist at the Three Bridges International Music Festival – he is currently a Faculty Artist at the Rushmore Music Festival, the Baltimore International Piano Festival, and CelloSpeak. Dr. Gomes has recently been invited to present masterclasses at several universities including Georgetown, Towson, Ball State, and Duke.
Ismar attended the Peabody Conservatory, studying with Alison Wells and Amit Peled. Previous teachers include Marc Johnson and Clive Greensmith of the Vermeer and Tokyo Quartets. He earned his Doctor of Musical Arts Degree from Stony Brook University, under the tutelage of Colin Carr. Mr. Gomes has appeared in Masterclasses for eminent cellists including Steven Doane, Janos Starker and Steven Isserlis, and was mentored in chamber music by the Vermeer, Jerusalem, Juilliard, and Emerson String Quartets.
Please visit www.IsmarGomes.com for up to date information about Mr. Gomes’ projects.
Internationally acclaimed pianist Wan-Chi Su has performed as a soloist and chamber musician in Asia, Europe, and throughout the United States. She has played major venues including Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall in New York, Salle Cortot in Paris, and Taiwan National Concert Hall. Recently, Ms. Su appeared in the Washington National Cathedral with the Post-Classical Ensemble, as a soloist in the concert “Cultural Fusion: The Gamelan Experience” and was praised by the American Scholar, “…played with sensitivity and imagination.”
In duo with cellist Ismar Gomes, Ms. Su has toured the United States, giving concerts in Florida, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. This has included the Harbor Front concert series, Encore concert series, Youngstown State University, Loyola University, Old Town Hall, the Odean Chamber Music series, the Barns of Rose Hill, and other notable halls. Additionally, Ms. Su travels for the Piatigorsky Foundation, bringing music to unconventional venues, such as public schools, nursing homes, and retirement communities, where there is typically less access to live classical concerts. Ms. Su is sought after for collaborations with venerated musicians, which have included members of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, violinist Hebert Greenberg, cellist Michael Kannen, baritone William Sharp, trumpeter Joe Burgstaller, pianists Seth Knopp and Benjamin Pasternack, and others.
Ms. Su performs a wide range of repertoire, from Baroque, Classical, Romantic, 20TH century to Contemporary. She has premiered music by prominent active composers, such as Curt Cacioppo, William
Weigel, and Aaron Malone; she has also enjoyed working with celebrated composers like George Walker, Aaron J. Kernis, Ying-Chen Kao, and others. Steeped in an array of styles, Ms. Su collaborates regularly with the dance department at the Peabody Institute (both performing and arranging music), accompanies dozens of instrumental and vocal recitals each year, and has served as music director for the Episcopal Church of the Holy Covenant since 2013. A dedicated educator, Ms. Su currently serves on the piano
faculty of the Park School of Baltimore and maintains a small private studio.
Decorated with numerous awards, Ms. Su won first prize in the Taiwan Cultural Cup Invitational Piano Competition. On the collegiate level, she won first prize in the Taiwan National Student Music Competition in Piano. She has also been a semi-finalist in the San Jose International Piano Competition, the Art of Duo Competition, and the Liszt-Garrison Duo Competition, and a finalist in the Harrison L. Winter Piano Concerto Competition. Further, she has been invited to numerous international music festivals, including the Taos School of Music, the Beethoven Institute, both the Icicle Creek Piano Festival and the Icicle Creek Chamber Music Festival, the NTSO International Piano Program in Taiwan, and the Paris Piano Program in France.
Born in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, Ms. Su began piano lessons at age four. She earned a bachelor’s degree in piano, minoring in French horn, at the National Kaohsiung Normal University in Taiwan, followed by a Master of Music and a Graduate Performance Diploma at the Peabody Conservatory, studying with Seth Knopp. She has performed in masterclasses for many artists, including Leon Fleisher, Richard Goode, and Gil Kalish. Ms. Su is currently a doctoral candidate at Peabody, under the tutelage of Benjamin Pasternack.