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Bach’s six solo cello suites remain not only one of the summits of the repertoire for the instrument but have won an equally legendary status among the entire classical repertoire as a whole: music historian Wilfrid Mellers described them as ‘monophonic music wherein a man has created a dance of God.’ Thought to date from Bach’s period as Kapellmeister in Köthen, they are generally dated to the years 1717-20. Unpublished until 1824, the suites only really became well known due to the advocacy of Pablo Casals, who first encountered them in 1889 and who studied and performed them in the early 20th Century: it was he who first recorded them in the late 1930s.
Making his debut at Wigmore Hall at the age of 15, Gary Hoffman went on to win the Premier Grand Prix of the Rostropovich International Competition in Paris and has enjoyed a long and wide-ranging career that has included much involvement with new works written specially for him as well as a generous traversal of the standard repertoire for his instrument. In 2011 he was appointed Maître en Résidence for cello at the Chapelle Musicale Reine Elisabeth in Brussels.