Category Archives: 2021-2022 Concert Season

Formosa Quartet–April 4, 2022

MUSIC SELECTIONS

  • Prokofiev: String Quartet No. 2 in F major, Op. 92
  • Formosa Quartet Set (A set of short works drawing on the Formosa’s exclusive collection of world, folk, and jazz arrangements ranging from Grappelli to Taiwanese folk songs to fiddle tunes.)
  • intermission
  • Dvorak: String Quartet in F major, Op. 96 “American”

Winners of both the First Prize and Amadeus Prize at the Wigmore Hall International String Quartet Competition, Formosa Quartet is “one of the very best quartets of their generation” (David Soyer, cellist, Guarneri Quartet). Hailed as “spellbinding” (The Strad) and “remarkably fine” (Gramophone), the Formosa Quartet has given critically acclaimed performances at the Library of Congress, the Da Camera Society of Los Angeles, the Chicago Cultural Center, the Walter Reade Theater at Lincoln Center, the National Concert Hall in Taipei, Wigmore Hall in London, die Glocke Bremen, and the Kammermusiksaal at the Berliner Philharmonie. Based in Chicago and Los Angeles, the ensemble is deeply committed to exploring new mediums for string quartet, while retaining its founders’ mission of championing Taiwanese music and promoting the arts in Taiwan.

The members of Formosa Quartet – Jasmine Lin, Wayne Lee, Che-Yen Chen, and Deborah Pae – have established themselves as leading solo, chamber, and orchestral musicians. With degrees from the Juilliard School, Curtis Institute of Music, and New England Conservatory, they have performed in major venues throughout the United States, Asia, and Europe, and have been top prizewinners in prestigious competitions such as the Paganini, Primrose, Fischoff, Naumburg, and Tertis competitions. As chamber musicians, they have appeared regularly at the Marlboro, Kingston, Santa Fe, and Ravinia festivals, as well as at the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, La Jolla Summerfest, and the Seattle Chamber Music Society. The members of the Formosa Quartet are currently on faculty at Eastern Michigan University, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Roosevelt University, and the University of California, Los Angeles. They have previously held principal positions in the San Diego and Cincinnati Symphonies as well as faculty positions at the University of Southern California, Taos School of Music, McGill University, and the Juilliard School.

Formosa Quartet website

Formosa Quartet

Parker Quartet–March 7, 2022

MUSIC SELECTIONS

  • Bach: The Art of the Fugue, BWV 1080 (2 mvmts)
  • Leoš Janáček: Quartet No. 2, “Intimate Letters”
  • Billy Childs: Unrequited
  • Vijay Iyer: Mozart Effects
  • Schumann: Quartet in A major, Op. 41 No. 3

Inspiring performances, luminous sound, and exceptional musicianship are the hallmarks of the Grammy Award-winning Parker Quartet. Renowned for its dynamic interpretations and polished, expansive colors, the group has rapidly distinguished itself as one of the preeminent ensembles of its generation, dedicated purely to the sound and depth of their music. The Quartet has appeared at the world’s most important venues since its founding in 2002.

Founded and currently based in Boston, the Parker Quartet’s numerous honors include winning the Concert Artists Guild Competition, the Grand Prix and Mozart Prize at France’s Bordeaux International String Quartet Competition, and Chamber Music America’s prestigious Cleveland Quartet Award. Now Blodgett Artists-in-Residence at Harvard University’s Department of Music, and also in-residence at the UofSC School of Music, the Quartet’s numerous residencies have included serving as Artists-in-Residence at the University of St. Thomas (2012–2014), Quartet-in-Residence at the University of Minnesota (2011– 2012), Quartet-in-Residence with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra (2008-2010), and as the first-ever Artists-in-Residence with Minnesota Public Radio (2009-2010).

The Parker Quartet’s members hold graduate degrees in performance and chamber music from the New England Conservatory of Music and the Juilliard School, and the Quartet was part of the New England Conservatory’s prestigious Professional String Quartet Training Program from 2006–2008. Some of their most influential mentors include the original members of the Cleveland Quartet as well as Kim Kashkashian, György Kurtág, and Rainer Schmidt.

Parker Quartet website

Parker Quartet

Escher Quartet–January 31, 2022

MUSIC SELECTIONS

  • Mozart: Quartet in C Major, K. 465 “Dissonance”
  • Bartok: Quartet No. 3, Sz. 85
  • Beethoven: Quartet in E-flat Major, Op. 127
  • George Walker: Lyric for Strings

The Escher String Quartet has received acclaim for its expressive, nuanced performances that combine unusual textural clarity with a rich, blended sound. A former BBC New Generation Artist, the quartet has performed at the BBC Proms at Cadogan Hall and is a regular guest at Wigmore Hall. In its home town of New York, the ensemble serves as Season Artists of The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, where it has presented the complete Zemlinsky Quartets Cycle as well as being one of five quartets chosen to collaborate in a complete presentation of Beethoven’s string quartets. Last season, the quartet toured with CMS to China.

Within months of its inception in 2005, the ensemble came to the attention of key musical figures worldwide. Championed by the Emerson Quartet, the Escher Quartet was invited by both Pinchas Zukerman and Itzhak Perlman to be Quartet in Residence at each artist’s summer festival: the Young Artists Programme at Canada’s National Arts Centre; and the Perlman Chamber Music Programme on Shelter Island, NY. The quartet has since collaborated with artists including David Finckel, Leon Fleischer, Wu Han, Lynn Harrell, Cho Liang Lin, Joshua Bell, Paul Watkins and David Shifrin, as well as jazz saxophonist Joshua Redman, vocalist Kurt Elling, legendary Latin artist Paquito D’Rivera and Grammy award-winning guitarist Jason Vieaux. In 2013, the quartet became one of the very few chamber ensembles to be awarded the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant.

Escher Quartet website

Escher Quartet

Horszowski Trio–December 6, 2021

MUSIC SELECTIONS

  • Babajanian: Trio in F-sharp minor
  • Debussy: Trio in G Major
  • Dvorak: Trio, Op. 90 “Dumky”

Giving performances that are “lithe, persuasive” (The New York Times), “eloquent and enthralling” (The Boston Globe), and described as “the most compelling American group to come on the scene” (The New Yorker), the Horszowski Trio has quickly become a vital force in the international chamber music world. Since their debut performance in New York City in 2011, they have toured extensively throughout North America, Europe, the Far East, and India, traversing the extensive oeuvre of traditional piano trio repertoire and introducing audiences to new music that they have commissioned and premiered.

Described as “power players” by the Los Angeles Times, the Horszowski Trio’s repertoire includes works by many of the composers with whom Mr. Horszowski had personal interaction, including Gabriel Fauré, Enrique Granados, Bohuslav Martinů, Maurice Ravel, Camille Saint-Saëns and Heitor Villa-Lobos. The Horszowski Trio’s debut recording – an album of works by Gabriel Fauré, Camille Saint-Saëns, and Vincent d’Indy on the Bridge label – was released in 2014 and dedicated to the memory of Mieczysław Horszowski. Gramophone praised the “exemplary performance” of the “highly accomplished group,” concluding, “I long to hear more of the Horszowski Trio.”

Horszowski Trio website

Horszowski Trio

Ariel Quartet–October 25, 2021

MUSIC SELECTIONS

  • Wolf: Italian Serenade
  • Schubert: Quartet No. 13 in A minor “Rosamunde”
  • Beethoven: Quartet in C major, Op. 59, No. 3

Distinguished by its virtuosity, probing musical insight, and impassioned, fiery performances, the Ariel Quartet has garnered critical praise worldwide over the span of nearly two decades.  Formed in Israel as teenagers at the Jerusalem Academy Middle School of Music and Dance and celebrating their 20th anniversary in 2020-21, the Ariel was named recipient of the prestigious Cleveland Quartet Award, granted by Chamber Music America in recognition of artistic achievement and career support. The ensemble serves as the Faculty Quartet-in-Residence at the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music, where they direct the chamber-music program and present a concert series in addition to maintaining a busy touring schedule in the United States and abroad.

The ensemble has dedicated much of its artistic energy and musical prowess to the groundbreaking Beethoven quartets, and has performed the complete Beethoven cycle on five occasions throughout the United States and Europe. The Quartet has written a powerful and comprehensive series of program notes on the sixteen quartets, open to the public on their website. The Ariel Quartet regularly collaborates with today’s eminent and rising young musicians and ensembles, including pianist Orion Weiss, violist Roger Tapping, cellist Paul Katz, and the American, Pacifica, and Jerusalem String Quartets.  The Quartet has toured with cellist Alisa Weilerstein and performed frequently with pianists Jeremy Denk and Menahem Pressler.  In addition, the Ariel served as Quartet-in-Residence for the Steans Music Institute at the Ravinia Festival, the Yellow Barn Music Festival, and the Perlman Music Program, as well as the Ernst Stiefel String Quartet-in-Residence at the Caramoor Festival.

Ariel Quartet website

Ariel Quartet

Boston Trio—September 20, 2021

MUSIC SELECTIONS

  • Haydn: Piano Trio No. 35 in C, Op. 71, No. 1, Hob. XV:21
  • Faure: Piano Trio in d minor, Op. 120
  • Brahms: Piano Trio No. 1 in B major, Op. 8

“Whenever this trio plays, drop everything and go hear them!” hailed the Boston Globe on the occasion of The Boston Trio’s Tanglewood debut at Ozawa Hall. Since their formation in 1997, the trio has become one of today’s most exciting chamber ensembles. Acclaimed for their superb sense of ensemble and wondrous balance, these virtuosic and profound musicians are committed to creating exceptional and daring performances of standard and contemporary repertoire.

Violinist Irina Muresanu, cellist Jonah Ellsworth, and pianist Heng-Jin Park each have distinguished careers as soloist, recitalist, chamber musician, and have appeared with major orchestras and premier chamber music festivals throughout the United States and Europe. Cellist Mr. Ellsworth has performed as soloist with the Boston Symphony, Akron Symphony, Boston Philharmonic, Jacksonville Symphony, Johnstown Symphony, Symphony by the Sea and New Bedford Symphony. Additionally, Ellsworth attended the Marlboro Music Festival from 2014-2016. Ms. Muresanu, who has appeared as soloist with the Boston Philharmonic, the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, and other top international orchestras, is the recipient of top prizes at the Montreal International Competition and the Queen Elizabeth Violin Competition. Ms. Park, who made her solo debut with the Boston Pops at the age of 15, is the founding member of the Boston Trio and founder and artistic director of Halcyon Music Festival.

Boston Trio website

Boston Trio