All six suites were recorded in one week at the American Academy of Arts and Letters in New York City in December, 2008, following years of preparation by Mr. Bailey. “I was unaware of the depths of the music as a young person, but came to realize that there are so many ways of interpreting Bach that it channels where a cellist is at that precise moment. It has become such a personal journey for me.”
Zuill Bailey performs on a 1693 Matteo Gofriller Cello, formerly owned by Mischa Schneider of the Budapest String Quartet. The first surviving manuscripts of Bach’s Cello Suites date from the middle and late 1720’s. Bach’s Suites disappeared from public view during the decades after his death. It was not until the early 20th century, when cellist Pablo Casals helped the works emerge from obscurity. “My evolution with these pieces mirrors the way the Bach Suites were actually perceived over the centuries. This has been my greatest musical undertaking so far,” Bailey said.
Today, cellists regard the works as the pinnacle of their repertoire. “The Bach Cello Suites are the center point of my existence, and I think I speak for all cellists when I say that the music is the Cellistic Bible.” Bailey adds, “For me, Bach is the mirror to the soul, and this recording of the Cello Suites truly reflects what is inside of me.”
Zuill Bailey made his Telarc debut with Russian Masterpieces for Cello in January 2009; the recording included works by Tchaikovsky and Shostakovich and was recorded with the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra. Minnesota Public Radio said “this young master cellist is blazing his own trail as he seeks to make a personal statement in each of these works. If you're interested in hearing where this generation is taking classical music, you'll want to add Zuill Bailey's new release to your personal music library.” In August of the same year, he partnered once again with his longtime recital partner, pianist Simone Dinnerstein for Beethoven’s Complete Works for Piano and Cello for which International Piano called “one of the finest sets of the Beethoven cello sonatas currently available.”
Bailey’s rare combination of compelling artistry, technical finesse, and engaging personality has secured his place as one of the most sought-after cellists and recording artists today. A consummate concerto soloist, Bailey performs with the symphony orchestras of Chicago, San Francisco, Israel, Minnesota, Indianapolis, Dallas, Louisville, Honolulu, Milwaukee, Nashville, Toronto and Utah, among other leading orchestras around the world. He has collaborated with such conductors as Itzhak Perlman, Alan Gilbert, Andrew Litton, James DePriest, and Stanislav Skrowacezewski, and has been featured with musical luminaries Leon Fleisher, Jaime Laredo, the Juilliard String Quartet, Lynn Harrell and Janos Starker. Mr. Bailey has appeared at the Kennedy Center, Alice Tully Hall, the 92nd Street Y, and Carnegie Hall, where he made his debut performing the U.S. premiere of Miklos Theodorakis' Rhapsody for Cello and Orchestra.
His international appearances include celebrated performances with the Moscow Chamber Orchestra in its 50th anniversary tour of Russia, as well as concerts in Australia, the Dominican Republic, France, Israel, Spain, Hong Kong, Jordan, Mexico, South America and the United Kingdom. Zuill Bailey is a member of the acclaimed Perlman-Schmidt-Bailey Trio, featuring pianist Navah Perlman and violinist Giora Schmidt. He also performs regularly with pianists Awadagin Pratt and Simone Dinnerstein in recitals and chamber music.