Violinist Madalyn Parnas and cellist Cicely Parnas are gifted young soloists and chamber musicians in their own right. Together, they have collaborated as duo parnas since 1997, winning first prize in international chamber music competition at Carnegie Hall, releasing two internationally acclaimed recordings, and earning rave reviews in The New York Times. A Symphony Space performance earned “The duo parnas gave … an electrifying reading, couching it in a lush tone and executing its complex interplay with pinpoint precision." At Le Poisson Rouge, the critic proclaimed “… the duo parnas gave a stunning account of Martinu’s lively, sometimes prickly Duo for Violin and Cello. The intricate give-and-take between the cello and violin lines was perfectly balanced and suffused with … electricity and drama ...”
This year duo parnas toured as guest soloists with the French Orchestre National des Pays de la Loire under John Axelrod, performing for seven concerts a trilogy of Saint-Saëns’ works including the Violin Concerto No.3, his Cello Concerto in A Minor, and the beautiful duo concerto, La Muse et Le Poéte. They performed numerous times as artists-in-residence at the 2013 El Paso Pro-Musica Festival, including performances as soloists with the El Paso Symphony Orchestra and chamber music concerts. Previous appearances as duo soloists with orchestra include the New York String Orchestra under the baton of Jaime Laredo, the Hudson Valley Philharmonic conducted by Randall Fleisher, and the Albany Symphony Orchestra led by David Alan Miller, among many others.
In addition to performing countless chamber music concerts across the globe as duo parnas, Madalyn and Cicely have had the honor of collaborating with the great artist Peter Serkin. The Parnas/Serkin Trio concertized at The New School, People’s Symphony Concerts, Brattleboro Music Center, and twice at the Music Mountain Festival, among several other venues. duo parnas has collaborated with world-renowned artists Jaime Laredo and Sharon Robinson.
Recording for Sheffield Lab, duo parnas has released two CDs with a third available January 2014. Parnas Double (2008) includes music by Handel-Halvorsen, Kodaly, Ravel, and Tcherepnin; Gare du Nord (2010) concentrates on music inspired by Parisian culture, featuring works by Martinu, Milhaud, Glière, Fennelly, and Honegger; and most recently, duo parnas NOW! presents duos written by living composers Auerbach, Bolcom, Moravec, and Wuorinen, among others. The Other Side of Time (Albany Records, 2012) is a collection of works by Brian Fennelly, including his duo concerto, Fantasia Concertante, written for and performed live by duo parnas.
Madalyn, 22, and Cicely, 20, hold Artist Diplomas from Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, where they studied with Jaime Laredo and Sharon Robinson, respectively. Madalyn also holds an undergraduate degree in Music Industry and French, and a Masters from London’s Royal Academy of Music, where she studied as a 2012 Marshall Scholar. Madalyn performs on a 1715 Allessandro Gagliano violin, and Cicely on a 1712 Giovanni Grancino cello. They are the granddaughters of the legendary cellist Leslie Parnas.
"The duo parnas [...] gave the piece an electrifying reading, couching it in a lush tone and executing its complex interplay with pinpoint precision."
-- Allan Kozinn, The New York Times
"It truly was a breathtaking moment. Each soloist played with a flair and zest that seemed way beyond their years, and the sound quality and intonation was truly extraordinary. The result was a resounding standing ovation from the delighted crowd."
-- J. Warren Cahill, Mid-Hudson Times
"...the display of artistry on the part of the soloists was breath-taking."
-- Sam Goodyear, Cooperstown Freeman’s Journal
"The Sisters Parnas, violinist Madalyn and cellist Cicely, are poised for potential major careers in an increasingly superstar-oriented classical music business. The winsome Stephentown, N.Y., duo made that perfectly clear in their performance with the Albany Symphony..."
-- Clarence Fanto, Berkshire Living
"The Parnas sisters...could just as well have been gazelle and antelope, so thoroughly did they erase programmatic connotations with the suavity and assurance of their playing... They are real talents. There is nothing showy in their playing. Everything is for musical value..."
-- Andrew L. Pincus, Berkshire Eagle
"...as Duo Parnas walked on stage in gowns of peach and pink, it felt like the blooming of roses in winter. No less radiant was their playing..."
-- Joseph Dalton, Times Union
"Although the violin-cello duo of Madalyn and Cicely Parnas have local roots, they’re destined for an international career that could make this area but a memory. Neither is 20; both have impressive virtuoso chops that they’ve already wielded to great acclaim as soloists and in chamber music performances...."
-- B.A. Nilsson, Metroland
"...violinist Madalyn Parnas, 19, and cellist Cicely, 17, were the stars of the Albany Symphony Orchestra concert Thursday night at the Canfield Casino..."
-- Geraldine Freedman, The Daily Gazette