Cello virtuoso Fred Sherry is one of those indefatigable, seemingly ubiquitous, multifaceted musicians whose career encompasses the full spectrum of musical activity, from performance in the chamber music realm to concert appearances as both soloist and recitalist, and finally to the considerable demands of teaching. In addition, he has served as director of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center (1989-1993) and co-founded two popular chamber ensembles, Speculum Musicae and Tashi. Sherry has also been a regular performer with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and the Brooklyn-based Bargemusic. To assert that Sherry has led a busy concert career is hardly an adequate summation: he has concertized in all 50 states of the U.S. and in countless countries across five continents. He has premiered or championed new works by Milton Babbitt, Mario Davidovsky, Elliott Carter, Lukas Foss, Steve Mackey, Peter Lieberson, Toru Takemitsu, Charles Wuorinen, and many other contemporary composers. Yet his repertory is inclusive of mainstream fare, as well, taking in works by J.S. Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Brahms, Debussy, Stravinsky, and scores of others. Not surprisingly, the busy cellist has also made numerous recordings throughout his career for such labels as Albany, Centaur, CRI, DG, Naxos, Nonesuch, RCA, and Telarc.
Fred Sherry was born in Peekskill, NY, in 1948. He studied music at Juilliard under Leonard Rose. In 1968 he won the Young Concert Artists Competition in New York City. Sherry co-founded the New York-based Speculum Musicae in 1971. This ensemble of 12 musicians has been devoted to the performance of contemporary music over the years and would commission 25 or so new works and give over 50 world premieres.
In 1973 Sherry co-founded Tashi (later Tashi Quartet), another ensemble devoted largely to new music. After a three-decade absence, the Tashi players (Ida Kavafian, violin; Richard Stoltzman, clarinet; Peter Serkin, piano; and Sherry) returned for a highly acclaimed concert tour in 2008. Meanwhile, Sherry the cello soloist was also making regular appearances, often presenting major premieres, as with the 1988 Charles Wuorinen concerto/ballet Five given at the New York City Ballet and featuring choreography by Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux. From 1992, Sherry has been on the faculty of the Juilliard School of Music. He would also join the faculties at the Mannes and Manhattan Schools of Music. Among Sherry's later recordings is the 2010 Naxos CD of Schoenberg's String Trio, Op. 45; Suite, Op. 29; and other works.