John-Henry Crawford, cello and Victor Asuncion, piano


  • Sergei Rachmaninoff (1873-1943) Cello Sonata Op. 19, (1901) (35’)
  • I. Lento – Allegro moderato (G minor)
  • II. Allegro scherzando (C minor)
  • III. Andante (E-flat major)
  • IV. Allegro mosso (G major)
  • Amy Beach (1867-1944) 4 Sketches, Op.15: III Dreaming (1892) (5')

Louisiana-born cellist John-Henry Crawford has been lauded for his “polished charisma” and “singing sound” (Philadelphia Inquirer). In 2019, he won First Prize in the IX International Carlos Prieto Cello Competition, was named Young Artist of the Year by the Classical Recording Foundation, and in 2021, was named the National Federation of Music Clubs’ 2021-2023 Young Artist in Strings. An avid recording artist, Crawford’s albums have garnered wide appeal. Corazón: The Music of Latin America(Orchid Classics-2022) was selected as Editor’s choice in Gramophone Magazine and was #5 on the Billboard Classical Charts in its first week. His most recent release Voice of Rachmaninoff (2023) and his debut album Dialogo (2021) also appeared on the Billboard Top 10 Classical chart. At age 15, John-Henry was accepted into the Curtis Institute of Music and went on to complete a Master of Music at The Juilliard School and an Artist Diploma at the Manhattan School of Music. He has given concerts in 30 states as well as Brazil, Canada, Costa Rica, France, Germany, Mexico, and Switzerland at venues such as The International Concert Series of the Louvre in Paris and Volkswagen’s Die Gläsern Manufaktur in Dresden. Crawford gave his solo debut with The Philadelphia Orchestra as First Prize Winner of the orchestra’s Greenfield Competition. Crawford is from a musical family and performs on a rare 200-year old European cello smuggled out of Austria by his grandfather, Dr. Robert Popper, who evaded Kristallnacht in 1938. In addition to music, he enjoys learning languages, performing magic tricks, and photography.

Hailed by The Washington Post for his “poised and imaginative playing,” Filipino- American pianist Victor Santiago Asuncion has appeared in concert halls in Brazil, Canada, Ecuador, France, Italy, Germany, Japan, Mexico, the Philippines, Spain, and Turkey as a recitalist and concerto soloist. He played his orchestral debut at the age of 18 with the Manila Chamber Orchestra, and his New York recital debut in Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall in 1999. Additionally, he has worked with conductors including Sergio Esmilla, Enrique Batiz, Mei Ann Chen, Zeev Dorman, Arthur Weisberg, Corrick Brown, David Loebel, Leon Fleisher, Michael Stern, Jordan Tang, and Bobby McFerrin. A chamber music enthusiast, he has performed with artists such as Lynn Harrell, Zuill Bailey, Andres Diaz, James Dunham, Antonio Meneses, Joshua Roman, Cho-Liang Lin, Giora Schmidt, the Dover, Emerson, Serafin, Sao Paulo, and Vega String Quartets. His recordings include the complete Sonatas of L. van Beethoven with cellist Tobias Werner, Sonatas by Shostakovich and Rachmaninoff with cellist Joseph Johnson, and the Chopin and Grieg Sonatas with cellist Evan Drachman. He is featured in the award-winning recording “Songs My Father Taught Me” with Lynn Harrell, produced by Louise Frank and WFMT-Chicago. Mr. Asuncion is the Founder, and Artistic and Board Director of FilAm Music Foundation, a non-profit foundation that is dedicated to promoting Filipino classical musicians through scholarship and performance. He received his Doctor of Musical Arts Degree in 2007 from the University of Maryland at College Park under the tutelage of Rita Sloan. Victor is a Steinway artist.

About the Dame Myra Hess Concerts

The concerts are generously sponsored by the Paul M. Angell Family Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Illinois Arts Council and by individual donors.

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