Feder Duo to perform live for WFMT Chicago

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Harpist Cheryl Losey Feder and husband, cellist Abraham Feder, will perform live on Chicago’s WFMT radio on March 31, 2021, at 12:15 p.m. CST. The pair, known as the Feder Duo, will perform works by J.S. Bach, Johann Strauss, Henriette Renié, and Castelnuevo-Tedesco. The program is presented by the International Music Foundation as part of WFMT’s Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concerts.  We caught up with Losey Feder to learn more about the duo’s upcoming performance.

How did you come up with the idea for this performance?

Surprisingly, there is very little original repertoire written for harp and cello. When the opportunity to share this beautiful combination of instruments with a large radio audience came, we hoped to both highlight some of the beautiful existing repertoire, and explore transcriptions of some classic works.

How long have you and your husband been performing together?

Abe and I began performing together in the Sarasota Orchestra in 2008. We started our orchestral careers there on the same day, Abe as the new principal cello, and me as the new principal harp! He introduced himself while I was tuning my harp. While we have done a few short duo recitals in the past, the pandemic and the resulting lighter performance schedule gave us the opportunity to delve into the repertoire a bit more.

You transcribed some of the works you are performing on March 31. What inspired you to do so?
Ever since Abe and I started playing together, I have wanted to transcribe the Bach gamba sonatas for us. I adore playing Bach on the harp, and the gamba sonatas are stunning works. The writing is very dense and almost orchestral, so I knew I needed a large chunk of time to work on it. An upside of the pandemic was that I finally had time to tackle the Bach!
We transcribed the Strauss Romanze the summer we got married. It’s a gorgeous solo work for cello and orchestra that opens with a harp cadenza. It is a favorite of ours to perform.
Do you have a favorite piece on the program?

It is hard to choose, but I have especially enjoyed getting to know the writing of Castelnuovo-Tedesco. He treats both instruments as true equals, requiring lyrical and agile playing from each. It is charming, passionate and exciting!

To learn more about the Feder Duo’s upcoming performance, including program information, visit WFMT’s website. To learn more about Losey Feder, visit her website.

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