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

7 Questions with PHOENIX


The countdown is real. The world premiere of Jeffrey Mumford’s new concerto, of radiances blossoming in expanding air…, is taking place on MAY 4, 2019. I sat down with Phoenix in Boston and answered seven questions about this final show of their 18/19 concert season, the concerto, and what I’m looking forward to most when I’m back in the New England area. There are some fun tidbits about food, which should not be a surprise!

Pae & Namirovsky Return to Brussels


Last May, cellist Deborah Pae and pianist Misha Namirovsky enthralled audiences on their recital tour in Antwerp, Brussels, and Waterloo including an international livestream from the Chapelle Musicale Reine Elisabeth in partnership with Musiq3 Radio and WASH Productions. 

After nearly a year, they are returning to Brussels under the auspices of MGConcerts and Domusica to present two recitals featuring works by Schumann, Beethoven, de Falla, Lecuona, Cervantes, and Brahms.  Do not miss this dynamic duo on May 1 and 3, 2017.  

MAY 1, 2017 at 6:00PM

Private Residence
Brussels, Belgium

For info regarding location and to R.S.V.P., please contact Maria Grazia Tanese :

MAY 3, 2017 at 7:30PM

Private Residence
Brussels, Belgium

For info regarding location and to R.S.V.P, please contact Chantal Despot & Danielle Llewellyn:

Admission : 40 €
For musicians and individuals under the age of 25 ans : 10 €
Reservation deposits can be made directly to the Domusica account :  
BE14 3630 5671 0583

"What does the dream classical music career look like? One example is that of cellist Deborah Pae."

A wonderful interview with Deborah Pae and Mike Telin of Cleveland Classical talking about the many facets of her career and her all solo-cello program featuring works by Bach, Mayuzumi, and Mumford; which took place at the Stocker Arts Center's Signature Series on November 3, 2016.

May 26, 2016: Antwerp (Plus an International LIVESTREAM on May 30th!)

I've been away for a year and have finally returned to my European home, Brussels, for a series of recitals!  My recital tour begins this Thursday in Antwerp at OPUS4 Gallery.  I am extremely excited for audiences to hear me with my wonderful pianist, duo and trio partner, Misha Namirovsky.  If you are in Antwerp or nearby, please join us!  

We'll be playing the same program in Brussels (May 29 at 7:30PM, for more info check out the concert pages) and at the Queen Elisabeth Music Chapelle (May 30 at 8:00PM), which will be broadcast Live Stream on YouTube and on MUSIQ3 Radio.  Technology is making the world a smaller and more wonderful place so please tune in.  I will have all the info 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


Trio Modetre Returns to Boston for a Great Cause

On Monday February 22, I was thrilled to return to Boston with my piano trio, Trio Modetre, with violinist Tessa Lark and pianist Misha Namirovsky.  After several years of living on different continents, traveling and performing across the globe, we finally made our much anticipated return at the invitation of Music for Food Boston (MFF) at the New England Conservatory, our alma mater.  Performing in Boston seemed very fitting as the trio was founded at NEC in 2012 where we were all students and we got to share the stage with wonderful violinist and NEC faculty, Soovin Kim, who gave a powerful performance of Bach's Solo Sonata in D minor, BWV 1004.  Our concert that evening served as a vehicle to raise awareness and support for the Women's Lunch Place, one of MFF's affiliate partners and a sanctuary for women experiencing homelessness or poverty in the Boston community.  This shelter holds a special place in my heart as I curated a concert series there in 2011.  The series is still flourishing today under the leadership of current students at the Conservatory.

For those of you who are just hearing about Music for Food, MFF is a musician-led initiative to raise awareness about local hunger relief.  The concert series brings artists, musicians, audiences, and the people of our communities together to contribute their talents and gifts towards a very important issue in our society.  MFF began in 2010 and through their grassroots movement, they have flourished nationally and internationally.  Their model is sustainable and can be replicated for musicians to bring to their own communities which is why you can find Music for Food in BostonAppletonChicagoCincinnatiClevelandDallasLos AngelesNew YorkPhiladelphiaWashington D.C., and Berlin!  If you haven't heard about their growing partnerships, please visit their website to find out more.  Even if you're not a musician, you can still be part of this incredible organization. 

Thanks to a wonderful friend, SoYoung Sarah Yang, who has some nifty skills capturing photos on her phone, we're able to share a bit of the evening with you here.  Additionally, we would like to thank Kim Kashkashian, violist and artistic director of Music for Food; Cashman Kerr Prince, general manager; their entire team, and the Boston community for welcoming us so warmly. 

'Bach in Church' in Burlington, VT

I spent ten wonderful days in Burlington, Vermont at the Lake Champlain Chamber Music Festival at the end of August.  It was my first time there and I was moved by the generosity of the festival, all the artists and staff, and the entire Vermont community surrounding it.  I had a particularly special experience performing the Third and Fifth Bach Suites for Solo Cello to a packed audience at St. Paul's Church in downtown Burlington. 

I had been wanting to perform these two Suites on one program not only for their parallel relationship (the Third Suite is in C-major and the Fifth, in C-minor) but because these two works have been a subject of exploration and re-exploration over the past three years.  I made several extended trips to Amsterdam to play these Suites for renowned Dutch cellist Anner Bylsma last year and the year before, and he certainly had a huge influence on how I listened to and approached them.  There are obvious challenges of physical endurance and mental concentration as the Fifth Suite is played scordatura (the technique of altering the normal tuning of a stringed instrument to give a particular effect. In this case, tuning the A string down to a G which creates a deeper resonance) and the normal fingering positions naturally shift as well.  But it was the musical continuity throughout each movement of one suite and keeping it alive throughout the next, which took the most energy.  It made me think how pianists are so much more acclimated to playing solo works because they are, so much of the time, playing by themselves.  But it also made me aware of how stirring that vulnerability can be when you have an audience equally focused and eager to go through that experience with you.  I could feel how meditative the atmosphere was during the Sarabande of the Fifth Suite and could hear them exhale after the last running flourish of the Courante of the Third Suite.  I also remember hearing sirens from nearby firetrucks driving by just as I was beginning the fugue of the Fifth Suite's Prelude and they happened to be a half or semi-tone below the pitches I was playing...a very interesting cacophony of sounds which I'm thankful did not throw me off that afternoon!

Below is a beautiful essay of photos captured by Dana Govett.  If you're curious, you can see even larger collection of photographs on the Lake Champlain Chamber Music Festival's website.  Just click here.  


#TBT : US Mission to the European Union

Today's #ThrowbackThursday is from June 17, 2015 when I had the honor of being a cultural ambassador to the United States and performed at the Belgian residence of the U.S. Ambassador to the European Union, Anthony L. Gardner.  There are not many occasions when musicians and artists come in contact with the world's most influential leaders, but that evening, my entire audience was made of up members of the EU Commission, European Parliament, and EU Council.  I was very humbled to be in their presence and as an American artist, thrilled to have performed and offered music as my contribution to their Mission to the European Union! 

From left to right:  Mrs. Alessandra Mac Crohon Gardner, cellist Deborah Pae, Ambassador Anthony L. Gardner, and pianist Dana Protopopescu

The French Alps: Musique à Flaine

The Alps are a powerful place.  Crisp air, miles (or kilometres...whichever you prefer) of majestic mountain peaks covered in crystal white snow, hundreds of ski lifts and slopes, and as one would expect just near the Mont Blanc, a beautiful concert hall.

During the last four weeks, I've had two incredible opportunities to play in the Alps.  The first was in Crans-Montana, Switzerland at the selt-titled Crans-Montana Classics and two weeks ago, an 8-day residency in Flaine on the other side of the mountains in France.  There in Flaine lies a beautiful festival called 'Musique à Flaine' and each August, a wonderful summer académie takes place for strings and piano.   I joined French pianist Nathanael Gouin, and French violinist/violist and brother/sister extraordinaries Guillaume and Marie Chilemme.  The idea of skiing and playing concerts simultaneously makes people nervous especially since most musicians I know avoid doing high-risk physical activities or sports around the time of performance (or, ever).  But as we are artistic risk-takers, it only seemed fitting that our residency consisted of skiing near the Mont Blanc and performing four concert programs including a children's program about Schubert! 

All programs during this week were Carte Blanche (def: unrestricted power to act at one's discretion) and as I've had a constant love affair with the music of Schubert, naturally, there was an all-Schubert program including his Notturno Op. 148 in E-flat, Impromptu Op. 142 No. 3 in B-flat, Arpeggione Sonata, and his Fantaisie for Violin and Piano, Op. 159 in C major.  We also did a program of Debussy, Ysaye, Ravel, and Fauré; and another of Brahms and Schumann.  Musique à Flaine is a beautiful place and the spirit of the residency was generous, honest, and focused on the music which surprisingly, can be a difficult thing to hold onto when you are constantly traveling and playing.

Also, I won't ever forget former ski racing champion and my instructor for the week, Denis, who completely took me by surprise when he professed his love for Shostakovich, Prokofiev, and Stravinsky while we were skiing downhill!  He even sang his favorite themes of the Shostakovich String Quartets and Piano Trios while on the ski lift and described in detail what he likes most about the Violin Concerto.  Who knew...!  It's exciting to know even in the mountains, music is being appreciated so passionately.  I shall call him ‪#‎hotshostyskier‬ from now on.

Palais des Beaux-Arts, the Gym, the Swiss Alps, and an Abbey

Bizarre title, eh?  It's Sunday so technically it is the beginning of a 'new' week or for normal folk, the end to a restful weekend.  But, I'm at the final stretch of a 10-day marathon, jam-packed with fantastic music, people, lots of travel and some interesting destinations!

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'Sweet Music for Winter Afternoons'

Shelter Island.jpg

Who says you can't go to the beach in the dead of winter?  Because I am!  And I wouldn't have it any other way...even if it's a deadly 6-10 degrees (F).  I'm on the last leg of my trip in the States before heading back to Brussels and I'm excited to return to my old stomping grounds at the Perlman Music Program (PMP) on Shelter Island this Saturday, February 7 for a romantic program of Miaskovsky, Barber, and Brahms.  It is a magical place and since the Shelter Island Reporter says it will be 'Sweet Music for Winter Afternoons' in their preview, I hope to swoon you all with some sweet slides and melodies.  If you are nearby, please do come!

NOTE:  This concert starts at 5:00PM!

Here is an enlarged version of the article:

First Concert of 2015: Food for the Body and Soul

My first concert this 2015 will be in Boston!  I'm excited to join the incredible artists of Music for Food, a benefit series seeking to raise awareness and resources for hunger relief in local communities.  They are partnered with Food For Free, a brilliant non-profit organization whose goal is to minimize food waste and provide meals to the hungry, and guess what?  100% of the proceeds are donated to them!  This concert series is very dear to my heart so if you are in or nearby Boston, I encourage you to come Monday evening!

Haydn Concerto (12 Dec 2014)

After a week-long festival of Beethoven, I'll be going a bit further back in musical time and performing Haydn's Cello Concerto No. 1 in C Major with Orchestre Royal de Chambre de Wallonie.  Join me on 12 December 2014 at the new and beautiful space at the Korean Cultural Centre in the Sablon, Brussels.  Admission is free but reservation is required because spaces are limited!

Festival Beethoven @ FLAGEY RADIO HALL

Générale Rehearsal at Flagey Radio Hall

Sometimes, all you need is Beethoven!  Really.

It's been an exciting few weeks preparing for Festival Beethoven at Flagey Radio Hall, a week-long festival in Brussels hosted by the Chapelle Musicale Reine Elisabeth.  Our concert on Friday night in the intimate space of Studio 1 was a great occasion to hear his earlier chamber music works.  I had the pleasure of performing with three incredible female artists from Latvia, France, and Armenia-Germany (Elina Buksha, violin; Helene Desaint, viola; and Lilit Grygorian, piano) in a program of Beethoven's Piano Quartet in E-flat, Op. 16 (originally for Winds and Piano, and later arranged by the composer himself for Strings and Piano), Violin Sonata No. 8 in G minor, and the dynamic String Trio Op. 9 No. 3 in C minor.  

I first heard the Piano Quartet in its original form at Marlboro Festival last summer and didn't realize there was a version for strings until I was asked to collaborate on this project.  It's alleged to have been inspired by Mozart's Quintet K. 452 which is in the same key and has the same instrumentation.  And there are qualities of a Mozart opera in the slow movement where each instrument gets it's own an aria-like moment.  The register and color of each voice reflects a different kind of emotion.  I can assure you: we had a verklempt (German for choked with emotion) when we read through the piece for the first time!

The string trio, in particular, is the most intense of all three pieces on the program.  The absence of a fourth voice (or a second violin) to help fill out the sound challenged us to create the sonority of a full string quartet.  On top of that, each instrument is forced to simultaneously rally between being a virtuoso and supporting voice.  It was the first time I performed this trio despite reading it with friends years ago and I can only imagine what it would be like to learn and perform all three string trios as a cycle...perhaps it's a new project in the making?  Just because the third trio is from an earlier period of Beethoven, it is by no means 'simple' or one dimensional in character.  It is intensely dark and the moments of urgency are paralleled by moments of deep expression and rhetorical beauty.  From our morning générale rehearsal until the concert, I think all of us were in deep concentration and hoping to maintain that focus throughout the performance.  Here are a few photos from our concert in Flagey's Studio 1 by the wonderful photographer Michel Cooreman.