News about upcoming projects, concerts, recordings, travels, and fun discoveries from Deborah...

SALT Arts Documentation Presents: 'FORMOSA QUARTET | Meet Cellist Deborah Pae'

Deborah is embarking on her ninth month of being cellist of the critically acclaimed Formosa Quartet. During this short time, in addition to her tours as a solo artist, she has traveled and performed extensively with the quartet in the States, Canada, and Asia.  To learn more about her story -- where her love of the cello began and her many passions / interests -- enjoy watching her Artist Profile.  

Special thanks to SALT Arts Documentation for this wonderful short film about Deborah.  


Haven't met the rest of the quartet yet?  To 'Meet the Formosa Quartet' (and their humorous side showcased by an extraordinary reel of bloopers), please enjoy the short films below!

A Blissful Week in Paris and Colmar, France

A few weeks ago, I returned to Paris after a year of living back in New York.  A year isn't terribly long, but a lot can happen during that time and a lot certainly has.  Paris (and Brussels) suffered the horrible attacks within a span of a few months and Europe's political and cultural landscape has been quickly shifting.  Just last week, the European Union Youth Orchestra, the brainchild of the celebrated and legendary conductor Claudio Abbado and an organization that has impacted hundreds and thousands of our most brilliant musicians, had their funding cut by the European Union bringing their operations to an end.  It's sending shockwaves throughout the entire continent and it seems we need music and art more than ever.  

But, even with this madness going on around the world, I left Paris (on my way to Brussels) feeling inspired.  People are still living their lives, not letting fear take over, and they are working as passionately as ever towards bringing people together through music and art.  It leaves you and those around you feeling more human.  I traveled to Colmar, in the beautiful region of Alsace, to perform a week of concerts at the festival Festival Les Musicales de Colmar run by artistic director and fabulous French cellist, Marc Coppey.  My week there reinforced why I shouldn't be worried about where the world is heading.  Not only did I perform with a group of stellar artists, each extremely accomplished in their careers but also individuals with such uniques voices and personalities; I was surrounded by people who were so passionate about the musical experience and building something memorable for the community at large.  The personnel and volunteers of the festival who worked tirelessly around the clock to make sure every detail from programs to meals for the artists were taken care of to the people from Colmar and audience members coming from near and far to attend the concerts and support the festival.  I was moved to see this.

Did I mention Colmar is a magical city?  It's like stepping back in time, so beautifully preserved (you almost wonder if people really do live there), and a traveling gourmand's dream.  It made me reflect on how important and necessary it is to share, to include people, to talk to them, to listen to them, to play for them, and to appreciate them even if other circumstances (whatever they may be - personal, professional, global) present themselves.  I am now in Brussels preparing for three recitals this week and everyone I have seen, old and new friends, have imparted the same kind of generosity of spirit.  The photos below are a glimpse into the fabulous week I spent in Paris and Colmar (action shots of the performances are by the wonderful Michel Spitz).  Enjoy.

Award-Winning Formosa Quartet Welcomes New Cellist

Formosa Quartet (from left to right):  Che-Yen Chen, Deborah Pae, Wayne Lee, Jasmine Lin

It seems like March flew by in a flash and now we are already at the end of April!  I have been on 8 flights and 7 concerts in the last four weeks, and will be on a plane to Paris this Wednesday.  There is so much I want to share with you and will get to in the coming week.  But in the meantime, I wanted to share this honor and highlight!  The members of the Formosa Quartet have been a joy to perform, travel, and spend time with during the last few weeks.  I am thrilled to be part of their global family and to join them in this new chapter of their 14-year history.  The official press release is below.

To learn more about the Formosas, please go to the Formosa Quartet website where you can watch our performances, attend our concerts, much more.

It is with great pleasure that the Formosa Quartet announces its new member, cellist Deborah Pae.

An internationally acclaimed artist, Deborah has built a rich and varied career as a soloist, chamber musician, recording artist, teacher, and pioneer of new music. Her numerous awards include grants from the Frank Huntington Beebe Fund, DoMusica Foundation, and National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts, as well as the silver medal in the Fischoff Chamber Music Competition with Trio Modetre, the ensemble she co-founded. She has been a featured artist at renowned festivals including Marlboro, Ravinia, Crans-Montana Classics, and Open Chamber Music at Prussia Cove. After three years as Artist-in-Residence at the Chapelle Musicale Reine Elisabeth in Belgium, Deborah has recently returned to the United States where she continues a full concert season of solo recitals and chamber music appearances in Europe, Asia, and North America.  Hailed by Gramophone as "exceptionally gifted" and "breathtaking", Deborah has shared the stage with many of the world's celebrated artists including Itzhak Perlman, Miriam Fried, Pamela Frank, and Kim Kashkashian, and members of the Guarneri, Juilliard, and Cleveland Quartets.

The Formosa Quartet is thrilled to welcome both Deborah and her Vincenzo Postiglione (c. 1885) cello, generously on loan from the Arts and Letters Foundation, and looks forward to an exciting musical future in its new formation. Deborah begins playing as a part of Formosa immediately commencing with a 4-day residency at UCSD from April 18-21, 2016, during which Formosa will record Lei Liang's Verge Quartet as well as perform Liang's Song Recollections, a piece based on aboriginal Taiwanese folk songs — whose premiere, presented by Art of Élan in San Diego, was recently given by Formosa with Deborah as cellist. This June Deborah will make her inaugural trip to Taiwan with Formosa to premiere a commission by New-Zealand composer Garreth Farr for harp and string quartet.

Deborah succeeds cellist and founding member Ru-Pei Yeh, who remains in the Formosa Quartet family and whose warmth, humor, and artistry will be much missed by Formosa's audiences. Formosa extends its heartfelt thanks to Ru-Pei and celebrates her artistic contribution with its new CD on the Delos label (released April 6, 2016), featuring Brahms and Gernsheim piano quintets with pianist Reiko Uchida.


Emily Motherwell, Marketing & Publicity Director
392 Belmont Street
Quincy, MA 02170-4011
United States
Ph: +1 646-266-6918


This Is What All Our Concerts Should Be Like

If you have 3 minutes to be browsing the internet (i.e. Facebook, Reddit, get the idea), then you DEFINITELY have 3 minutes (actually, 2 minutes and 53 seconds) to watch this!  Bravo to Carnegie Hall and all my friends at Ensemble ACJW for spicing up the lives of these 40 New York City second graders!  Get ready to dance.

What happens when you invite 40 New York City second graders to a surprise concert at Carnegie Hall? Celebrating 125 years, and the audience of tomorrow:

Living the Classical Life

I have been watching a new film series called Living the Classical Life which is wonderfully hosted by pianist and journalist Zsolt Bognár, and I'm a big fan.  Episode 27 was released earlier last week and it features one of my favorite people: the multi-talented, award-winning cellist of the Cavani String Quartet, teacher at the Cleveland Institute of Music, director of the Perlman Music Program's Chamber Music Workshop, host of a radio talk show, comedian, and overall an A+ of a human being...(wait for it)...Merry Peckham!  Merry has been a longtime mentor and is the one who made me fall in love with Chamber Music (yes, that deserves capitals) when I was a young and curious cellist of 12 attending the utopia of music festivals, the Perlman Music Program on Shelter Island, NY.  She opened up a whole new world of music to me and all of my childhood camp mates with her energetic spirit, and revealed how fun, dramatic, intimate, beautiful, hilarious, and expressive playing chamber music could be.  This interview captures her perfectly and is a beautifully honest look into her tremendous contribution to the world.  Watch it, you will love it.

Merry Peckham is a founding member of the Cavani String Quartet, winner of numerous awards and prizes including the Naumburg Chamber Music Award. She has toured extensively throughout the United States and abroad, and won the overall string category as well as the cello division of the National Federation of Music Clubs Competition. Ms. Peckham and her colleagues in The Cavani Quartet were named Musical America’s Young Artists of the Year, received the ASCAP-Chamber Music America Award for Adventurous Programming of Contemporary Music, the Guarneri String Quartet Residency Award, the Ohio Governor’s Award and five Chamber Music America Residency Partnership Grants. Ms. Peckham is Assistant Director of The Perlman Music Program, Director of The Chamber Music Workshop @ The Perlman Music Program and is on the cello and chamber music faculties at The Cleveland Institute of Music. She is also host of the radio program Offbeat which is aired weekly on WCLV, 104.9 FM.