Fiste-Becker cello and piano duo return to Schwan Concert Hall

Date Posted: March 12, 2009

MILWAUKEE – Cellist James Fiste, Jr. and pianist Juanita Becker return to Wisconsin Lutheran College's Schwan Concert Hall on Tuesday, April 7 at 7:30 p.m. to perform chamber music by Claude Debussy, Mario Castelnuovo Tedesco and Julius Röntgen.  

The faculty recital includes Debussy's 1915 Sonata for cello and piano, which received its first run-through during World War I by two musician/soldier friends of the composer directly behind the front lines. The virtuosic concert transcription of Rossini's Figaro arranged by the Italian-American composer and pianist Mario Castelnuovo Tedesco for the Russian-American cellist Gregor Piatigorsky is scheduled to be performed as well as the lyrical Sonata in G Minor by the undeservedly neglected Dutch composer-pianist Julius Röntgen, composed in 1905 for a concert tour he undertook with cellist Pablo Casals.

James Fiste is professor of cello at Central Michigan University, where he is active as a recitalist, chamber musician, orchestral player and teacher. This is his third recital appearance at Wisconsin Lutheran College in six years. Other recent solo recital appearances have been in the Academy of Sciences in Budapest, Hungary, the Notre Dame Alumni Series and the Ashmont Hill Chamber Music Series in Boston, Massachusetts. Fiste is heard each summer performing chamber music in the Plymouth Chamber Music Festival, of which he is co-founder and co-artistic director, in Plymouth, Massachusetts. Fiste holds degrees in music from the University of Notre Dame and the University of Illinois. He is a prizewinner in the Rolland Competition, the Cello Society Competition and the University of Illinois Concerto Competition. 

Juanita Becker is associate professor of music at Wisconsin Lutheran College. A founding member of the Lake Cottage Duo, with performances in October 2008 at the Milwaukee Art Museum, the University of Central Missouri, and WLC, Becker performed last summer with Strings on the Bay in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Other local performances have been with Alan Baer, principal tuba with the New York Philharmonic, at Wisconsin Lutheran College, and flutist Cindy Solfest-Wallis at Carroll College and Wisconsin Lutheran. Becker holds degrees from the Oberlin College Conservatory of Music, the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Florida State University. She taught at the Oberlin College Conservatory of Music, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Stetson University School of Music, Stubbs Music Center and Truman State University before coming to Wisconsin Lutheran College. 

The Schwan Concert Hall is located at 8815 West Wisconsin Avenue. The recital is free and open to the public. For more information please call the Wisconsin Lutheran College box office at (414) 443-8802. 

Wisconsin Lutheran College is a Christian liberal arts college located on the west side of Milwaukee.