Albert Christ-Janer Creative Research Award 2022
David Starkweather, professor of cello in the Hugh Hodgson School of Music since 1983, has profoundly affected the cello world. He is internationally known as a consummate interpreter of Johann Sebastian Bach’s Six Suites for Violoncello Solo, a keystone of the cello repertoire. Most likely written in 1720, the original manuscript in Bach’s hand is lost. The lack of a clear primary source is an interpretive challenge for cellists. Over three decades, Starkweather has researched, edited and published innovative editions of the Bach suites, culminating in a comprehensive 614-page edition which vertically aligns the various sources line by line. The pdf (optimized for iPad) is navigated with a system of hyperlinks. He meticulously marks all differences in pitch, rhythm, slurs and articulations, allowing performers to make informed choices when grappling with interpretive decisions. This career-capping work seamlessly combines the best of two worlds: meticulous research and practical performance.