Matthew Zalkind plays the third movement of Zoltan Kodaly's Solo Cello Sonata in B minor. Recorded March 29, 2016, in the CPR Performance Studio.

Matthew Zalkind, a new addition to the University of Denver music faculty, wowed us recently with his virtuosic performance of music from Zoltan Kodaly’s Solo Cello Sonata in B Minor.

Kodaly’s sonata, written in 1915, tests the player and thrills the listener. It’s often mentioned in the same breath as J.S. Bach’s unaccompanied Cello Suites, which have fascinated cellists (and other musicians) for centuries.

Kodaly's piece swings between major and minor keys, creating harmonies that recall the music of Kodaly’s fellow Hungarian composer Bela Bartok.

It’s a fiery composition, full of lightning-fast arpeggios that require the player to use every inch of the cello's fingerboard.  

Zalkind embraced music early in life as the son of a trombonist and violist in the Utah Symphony. The cellist, a devoted chamber musician, has performed at Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center as well as festivals like Marlboro and Music From Angel Fire. He’s also played with the Harlem String Quartet, performing alongside jazz musicians Stanley Clarke and Chick Corea.

Watch Zalkind play the sonata’s whirlwind final movement in the video above, filmed in the (newly redesigned) CPR Performance Studio.

For more music from a Colorado cello teacher, watch University of Colorado faculty member David Requiro play music by Brahms during his CPR Performance Studio session last fall:

Cellist David Requiro, accompanied by pianist Margaret McDonald, plays the second movement of Johannes Brahms' Cello Sonata No.2. Recorded Nov. 4, 2015, in the CPR Performance Studio.