Category Archives: 2018-2019 Concert Season

REBEL – April 9, 2019

Hailed by the New York Times as “Sophisticated and Beguiling” and praised by the Los Angeles Times for their “astonishingly vital music-making,” the award-winning, New York-based ensemble, REBEL (pronounced “Re-BEL”) is one of North America’s top-tier ensembles specializing in 17th- & 18th-century repertoire performed on period instruments.

Named after the innovative French Baroque composer Jean-Féry Rebel (1666-1747), REBEL was formed in The Netherlands in 1991; that same year the ensemble took first prize in the Van Wassenaer International Competition in Utrecht and gave their critically-acclaimed American début in New York City in 1992.  Since then the ensemble has garnered an impressive international reputation, enchanting diverse audiences with their unique style and their virtuosic, highly expressive and provocative approach to the baroque and classical repertoire. The core formation of two violins, recorder/traverso, cello/ viola da gamba and harpsichord/ organ/ fortepiano expands with additional strings, winds, brass, theorbo and vocalists, as needed.

Arguably the most aired American baroque ensemble in the U.S. today, REBEL is regularly featured on the nationally syndicated shows Performance Today and Sunday Baroque, and has appeared several times on MPR’s St. Paul Sunday. REBEL remains the only period instrument ensemble ever to have been awarded an artists’ residency at National Public Radio, has been featured on BBC’s Radio 3 and has recorded over twenty CDs on Deutsche Harmonia Mundi, Naxos, Dorian, Sono Luminus, ATMA, Hänssler Classic and Bridge Records.

Highlights of the 2017-’18 season include engagements in San Antonio, TX, Joplin, MO, Tulsa, OK, Pittsburgh, PA, Columbus OH and Concord, NH, and collaborations with soprano Yulia Van Doren in November 2017, and baroque dancers Thomas Baird and Paige Whitley-Bauguess in March 2018.

Telegraph Quartet – March 12, 2019

The Telegraph Quartet was formed in 2013 with an equal passion for the  standard chamber music repertoire as well as contemporary and non-standard repertoire, alike.  Described by the San Francisco Chronicle in 2017 as “…an incredibly valuable addition to the cultural landscape” and “powerfully adept… with a combination of brilliance and subtlety,” the Telegraph Quartet was most recently awarded the prestigious 2016 Walter W. Naumburg Chamber Music Award. Past prizes include the Grand Prize at the 2014 Fischoff Chamber Music Competition.  The Quartet has since gone on to perform in concert halls, music festivals, and academic institutions from Los Angeles and New York to Italy and Taiwan, including Carnegie Hall, San Francisco’s Herbst Recital Hall and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music Chamber Masters Series and at festivals including the Chautauqua Institute, Kneisel Hall Chamber Music Festival, and the Emilia Romagna Festival.  In 2016, the Quartet was invited as one of a handful of emerging professional string quartets from around the world to perform in Paris, France at the Biennale de quatuors à cordes, a showcase for major concert presenters of Europe and Asia taking place at the Philharmonie de Paris.

The Telegraph Quartet gave its first Carnegie Hall appearance in Weill Recital Hall in 2015 along with violinist Ian Swensen and pianist Jeff LaDeur and the Quartet will return to Carnegie Hall in 2018 for its Naumburg Award Recital featuring the world premiere of Robert Sirota’s third string quartet. Notable collaborations have included projects with cellist Norman Fischer, pianist Simone Dinnerstein and the Henschel Quartett. A fervent champion of contemporary and 20th century repertoire, the Telegraph Quartet has co-commissioned John Harbison’s String Quartet No. 6, which is scheduled for its West-Coast premiere in the fall of 2017 at San Francisco State University’s Morrison Artist Series.  In 2017 the Quartet plans to release its debut album featuring works by Anton Webern, Benjamin Britten, and Leon Ki­­­rchner.

Trio Karénine – January 15, 2019

Founded in Paris in 2009, Trio Karénine bears the name of Tolstoï’s beautiful and emotionally honest heroine. The trio is lauded for its musical integrity and joie de vivre by critics and audiences alike. Top prize winner at the ARD international Competition in 2013, the ensemble has performed in major halls including Wigmore Hall in London, Salle Pleyel and Auditorium du Louvre in Paris, Musée des Beaux-Arts in Montréal, Palazzetto Bru Zane in Venice, Laeiszhalle in Hamburg, and Prinzregentheater and Herkulessaal in Munich. The trio has toured Asia, both in China with the Festival Croisements, and in Japan.

In Germany, the trio received the prestigious Nordmetall-Ensemble Prize from the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Festspiele in 2015 with bassist Laurène Durantel and violist Krzysztof Chorzelski. The trio also appeared in the prestigious Arte’s series Stars von Morgen, presented by Rollando Villazon. Trio Karénine received First Prize at the International Chamber Music Competition in the Netherlands, laureate of the “Joseph Haydn” Competition in Vienna, and the prestigious Banque Populaire grant. The trio was unanimously awarded the International Pro Musicis Prize in Paris, and is laureate of the Maurice Ravel Academy, and the Charles Oulmont Foundation.

Schumann Quartett – November 13, 2018

The Schumann Quartet has reached a stage where anything is possible, because it has dispensed with certainties. This also has consequences for audiences, which from one concert to the next have to be prepared for all eventualities: “A work really develops only in a live performance,” the quartet says. “That is the ‘real thing’, because we ourselves never know what will happen. On the stage, all imitation disappears, and you automatically become honest with yourself. Then you can create a bond with the audience – communicate with it in music.”

This live situation will gain an added energy in the near future: Sabine Meyer, Menahem Pressler, Albrecht Mayer, Kit Armstrong, Edgar Moreau and Anna Lucia Richter are among the quartet’s current partners. A highlight in the 17/18 season is still its three-year residency at the Chamber Music Society of the Lincoln Center in New York City, which began back in December 2016. The quartet will go on a USA tour and give guest performances at festivals in South America, Italy and Switzerland as well as at the Mozart Week in Salzburg. It will also perform concerts in the big musical metropolises of London, Hamburg, Berlin, Amsterdam, Florence and Paris. In addition, the ensemble is “artiste étoile” at the Mozartfest in Würzburg and at the “Oraniensteiner Konzerte” concert series and is looking foward once more to the two concerts it will give as part of its long-term residency at the Robert-Schumann-Saal in Düsseldorf. Its current album, LANDSCAPES, in which the quartet traces its own roots by combining works of Haydn, Bartók, Takemitsu and Pärt, has been hailed enthusiastically both at home and abroad, among other things receiving the “Jahrespreis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik”, five Diapasons and being selected as Editor’s Choice by the BBC Music Magazine. The Schumann Quartet was already accorded the 2016 Newcomer Award at the BBC Music Magazine Awards in London for its previous CD “Mozart Ives Verdi”.

The three brothers Mark, Erik and Ken Schumann have been playing together since their earliest childhood. In 2012, they were joined by violist Liisa Randalu, who was born in the Estonian capital, Tallinn, and grew up in Karlsruhe, Germany. Those who experience the quartet in performance often remark on the strong connection between its members. The four musicians enjoy the way they communicate without words: how a single look suffices to convey how a particular member wants to play a particular passage. Although the individual personalities clearly manifest themselves, a common space arises in every musical work in a process of spiritual metamorphosis. The quartet’s openness and curiosity may be partly the result of the formative influence exerted on it by teachers such as Eberhard Feltz, the Alban Berg Quartet, or partners such as Menahem Pressler.

Teachers and musical partners, prestigious prices, CD releases – it is always tempting to speculate on what factors have led to many people viewing the Schumann Quartet as one of the best in the world. But the four musicians themselves regard these stages more as encounters, as a confirmation of the path they have taken. They feel that their musical development over the past two years represents a quantum leap. “We really want to take things to extremes, to see how far the excitement and our spontaneity as a group take us,” says Ken Schumann, the middle of the three Schumann brothers. They charmingly sidestep any attempt to categorise their sound, approach or style, and let the concerts speak for themselves.

And the critics approve: “Fire and energy. The Schumann Quartet plays staggeringly well […] without doubt one of the very best formations among today’s abundance of quartets, […] with sparkling virtuosity and a willingness to astonish” (Harald Eggebrecht in Süddeutsche Zeitung). So there is plenty of room for adventure.

Prima Trio – October 9, 2018

PRIMA TRIO was founded in 2004 while its members were studying at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music in Ohio. The Trio triumphed at the 2007 Fischoff Chamber Music Competition, winning the coveted Grand Prize (out of no fewer than 137 entries from across the country and around the world) as well as the Gold Medal in the Senior Division. In addition, the Prima Trio was awarded a Midwest Winner’s Tour and a European début at Italy’s Emilia Romagna Festival, as well as a total of $10,500 in prize money. The final round and grand-prize winner’s concert were held at the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center on the campus of the University of Notre Dame in Indiana.

Prima Trio has performed throughout the United States and Europe on such series as Chicago Chamber Music Society, The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Dumbarton Oaks, La Jolla Athenaeum, the Dayton Art Institute, CityMusic Columbus, Da Camera Society, Fontana Chamber Arts and Cleveland Chamber Music Society and Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Music Festival in Germany, to name a few.

Recently, Prima Trio released their debut CD album, PRIMA, and is currently working on their second album.

Attacca Quartet – September 18, 2018

Praised by The Strad as “stunning” and for possessing “a musical maturity far beyond its members’ years,” the Attacca Quartet is currently celebrating its 15th season. From sold out concerts at Carnegie Hall and Radio City Music Hall to National Public Radio’s far reaching Tiny Desk Concerts, the Attacca Quartet celebrates the timeless beauty of the string quartet for a broad audience and this sublime art form.

First prize winners of the 7th Osaka International Chamber Music Competition, top prize and Listeners’ Choice award recipients of the Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition, and Grand Prize Winners of the 60th annual Coleman Chamber Ensemble Competition, the Attacca Quartet has received international acclaim and become one of America’s premier young performing ensembles. They have served as Juilliard’s Graduate Resident String Quartet, the Quartet in Residence at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Quartet in Residence at Texas State University.

The Quartet recently completed The 68, a six year performance project in New York City featuring the complete string quartets of Franz Joseph Haydn. They are currently producing two new series in the New York area: Recently Added at Brooklyn’s National Sawdust featuring the complete string quartets of living composers, and Based on Beethoven a project juxtaposing the complete Beethoven string quartets with new works from Recently Added.

The Attacca Quartet has released three critically acclaimed albums with Azica Records: Fellow Traveler: String Quartets of John Adams, Franz Joseph Haydn’s Seven Last Words (arranged by Andrew Yee) and Songlines: String Quartets of Michael Ippolito.