2: Juno in June

head shot of man with cello scroll

Eric Bartlett, soloist

When cellist Eric Bartlett joins the Juno Orchestra on June 9 and 10 for performances of the second cello concerto by Franz Joseph Haydn, a number of interconnected circles will, once again, be realized.

Eric grew up in Marlboro, on South Road, the son of an exacting recording engineer and a gifted elementary school teacher. He received his earliest musical training in this area and is now a long-standing member of the esteemed New York Philharmonic. Eric has played for an even longer time with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and Spectrum Musicae.

Why the cello?

“My first exposure to music was really the folk-songs that Margaret MacArthur brought into the elementary school. I think I was noodling a bit on the piano before that, but no formal lessons.” It was Stan Eukers, via a program called the Green Mountain Fiddlers (under the auspices of the Vermont Symphony) that introduced Eric to the cello. He began playing the cello when he was eight. He recalls, “My father thought that a scratchy out-of-tune cellist would be less painful to listen to than a violinist.”

First cello studies took place after a drive over the mountain to Bennington, where Eric met George Finckel of the famed family of cellists. He then studied with Leopold Teraspulsky at UMass before heading to Juilliard. All the while, Eric played in three community orchestras, one at Marlboro College, conducted by Blanche Moyse, the Windham Orchestra, led by Joe Schor, and the Keene State College Orchestra.

“My father had always been a serious listener and appreciator of classical music, and I was well into my tenure at the New York Philharmonic before I felt I knew more music than he did.” Read Eric’s complete biography on the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra webpage.

Eric’s ties to Vermont have remained steady. He participated for two summers in the Marlboro Music Festival, performed as soloist and section member with the New England Bach Festival Orchestra, and appeared on the BMC’s Chamber Music Series. His mother, Gussie, lives in the family home on South Road. Eric visits often.

The concerto 

Haydn’s D Major Cello Concerto is one of the most elegant, poised pieces in the cello repertoire. Composed in 1783, about a dozen years after his Sturm und Drang period, the work was designed for court cellist Anton Kraft. Full of flourishes and operatic lyricism, some estimate that Haydn was perhaps nostalgic about opera, as the concerto was composed in the same year as his last opera, Armida.

Eric Bartlett’s performance is bound to inspire.

Concert information 

Saturday, June 9, 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, June 10, 3 p.m.
Brattleboro Music Center, 72 Blanche Moyse Way, Brattleboro

Charles Avison Concerto Grosso No. 5 in D minor
Haydn Cello Concerto in D Major, Eric Bartlett, cello
Michael Mauldin Petroglyph
Haydn Symphony No. 59 in A Major, The Fire

$40, $20, $10. Available online.

This concert is part of Vermont Arts 2018.

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