David Hardy

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    Composer Stephen Jaffe describes what it's like the first time a new piece is played.

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    Composer Stephen Jaffe on how form affects a piece.


David Hardy, principal cello of the National Symphony Orchestra, achieved international recognition in 1982 as the top American prize winner at the seventh International Tchaikovsky Cello Competition in Moscow. Mr. Hardy won a special prize for the best performance of the Suite for Solo Cello by Victoria Yagling, commissioned for the competition. Tass particularly praised Mr. Hardy's performance of the Dvo?ák Cello Concerto.

A native of Baltimore, Maryland, David Hardy began his cello studies there at the age of eight. He was 16 when he made his debut as soloist with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. When he was 21 years old, Mr. Hardy won the certificate in the prestigious Geneva International Cello Competition. The next year, he was graduated from the Peabody Conservatory of Music, where he studied with Laurence Lesser, Stephen Kates, and Berl Senofsky. In 1981 he was appointed to the National Symphony Orchestra as associate principal cello by its then music director, Mstislav Rostropovich. In 1994 Mr. Hardy was named principal cello of the NSO by its next music director, Leonard Slatkin.

Mr. Hardy made his solo debut with the National Symphony Orchestra in 1986 with Mstislav Rostropovich conducting. A regular soloist with the NSO, Mr. Hardy, in 2004, gave the world premiere performance, with Leonard Slatkin conducting, of Stephen Jaffe's Concerto for Cello and Orchestra, which was commissioned by the John and June Hechinger Fund for New Orchestral Works. Mr. Hardy gave the European premiere of the Jaffe concerto in Slovenia in 2007. Bridge Records released the premiere recording of the Concerto with Mr. Hardy and the Odense Symphony of Denmark.

The National Symphony Orchestra's recording of John Corigliano's Symphony No. 1 featuring Mr. Hardy's solo cello performance won the 1996 Grammy Award for Best Classical Album. Another recent recording-in collaboration with NSO principal keyboard Lambert Orkis-is Beethoven Past & Present, consisting of two complete performances of Beethoven's eight works for piano and cello, performed on both modern and period instruments.

Mr. Hardy is a founding member of the Opus 3 Trio, with violinist Charles Wetherbee and pianist Lisa Emenheiser. The Opus 3 Trio has performed to critical acclaim across the country and has commissioned, premiered, and recorded many new works. Mr. Hardy is also a founding member of the Kennedy Center Chamber Players.

Additionally, Mr. Hardy was cellist of the 20th Century Consort in Washington, D.C., where he premiered works by Stephen Albert, Nicholas Maw, and Joseph Schwantner.

Mr. Hardy's playing can be heard on recordings under the Melodyia, Educo, RCA, London, Centaur, and Delos labels. Critics in Washington and beyond have praised his virtuoso technique and deep musical sensitivity.

In addition to his performing schedule Mr. Hardy is professor of cello at the Peabody Conservatory of Music. Mr. Hardy's instruments were made by Carlo Giuseppe Testore in 1694 and Raymond Hardy in 2000.
David Hardy