RICMC is grateful for support from the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts.
and from the Aaron Roitman Fund for Chamber Music at the Rhode Island Foundation,
and for our partnership with WGBH Classical New England allowing WGBH members a $5 discount on single tickets.
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Wednesday • October 19, 2016, 7:30 PM
Photo: Sophie Zhai
Felix Mendelssohn: Quartet in D Major, Op. 44 no. 1
Béla Bartók: Quartet no. 2, Op. 17, Sz. 67
Antonín Dvořák: Quartet in G Major, Op. 106
Adam Barnett-Hart, violin
Aaron Boyd, violin
Pierre Lapointe, viola
Brook Speltz, cello
“They hold the listener spellbound ...”
-BBC Music Magazine
The Escher Quartet takes its name from Dutch graphic artist M.C. Escher, inspired by Escher’s method of interplay between individual components working together to form a whole. The ensemble has received acclaim for its profound musical insight and rare tonal beauty. 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 Artists of The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. In 2013, the quartet became one of the very few chamber ensembles to be awarded the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant.
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 quartet has since collaborated with artists including David Finckel, Leon Fleischer, Wu Han, Lynn Harrell, Cho Liang Lin, Joshua Bell, Vilde Frang, David Shifrin and guitarist Jason Vieaux.
The Escher Quartet has made a distinctive impression throughout Europe, with recent debuts in Amsterdam, Berlin, Geneva, London and Norway. In the current season they will debut in Heidelberg, Groningen and Paris on tour with pianist Benjamin Grosvenor.
Alongside its growing European profile, the Escher Quartet continues to flourish in its home country, performing at Alice Tully Hall in New York, Kennedy Center in Washington DC and the Ravinia and Caramoor festivals as well as in California. The ensemble has also perfomed in Australia, Hong Kong, Tel Aviv and Brazil. The quartet fervently supports the education of young musicians and frequently gives masterclasses, including regular coaching at the Royal Academy of Music in London.
In Spring 2015, the quartet released Volume 1 of the complete Mendelssohn Quartets on the BIS label, received warmly by critics with comments such as “This is full-blooded quartet playing in the grand, classic manner: extrovert and eloquent… hugely engaging music-making” (BBC Music Magazine) and “The Eschers sound warm, relaxed and responsive to all of Mendelssohn’s expressive nuances…” (The Guardian). The Mendelssohn series continues this season with the release of Volume 2. The quartet has also recorded the complete Zemlinsky String Quartets in 2 volumes, released on the Naxos label. Their great critical acclaim include 5 stars in the Guardian with “Classical CD of the Year”, a Recommendation in The Strad, “Recording of the Month” on MusicWeb International and a nomination for a BBC Music Magazine Award
Wednesday • November 16, 2016, 7:30 PM
Billy Childs: Fugue in Perpetual Motion in B-flat Major (1999)
Richard Rodney Bennett: Concerto for Wind Quintet (1983)
I. Poco Allegro
Bruce Adolphe: Night Journey (1987)
George Perle: Wind Quintet No. 4 (1960) (winner of 1986 Pulitzer)
Lee Hoiby: Diversions for Wind Quintet (1954; revised 1989)
Anniversary Variations on a theme by Reicha (2001)
Theme - Andante grazioso
Variation 1 - Con Eleganza - Sir Richard Rodney Bennett
Variation 2 - Four Variations - George Perle (2015-2009)
Variation 3 - Variation on a Reicha Theme - Billy Childs
Variation 4 - DRAINO VARIATION - Bruce Adolphe (b. 1955)
Variation 5 - Finale: Andeante - Lento- Allegro - Lee Hoiby
All works were commissioned by the Dorian Wind Quintet.
Gretchen Pusch, flute
Gerard Reuter, oboe
Benjamin Fingland, clarinet
Adrian Morejon, bassoon
Karl Kramer-Johansen, horn
“Breathtaking…” -The London Times
“Extraordinary accuracy and spirit…” -The New York Times
“One of chamber music’s most sparkling and eloquent ensembles…"
Recognized by critics, audiences, and professional musicians alike for its uniquely polished and passionate performances, The Dorian Wind Quintet is known worldwide as one of chamber music’s preeminent and longest continuously-active ensembles. The Quintet has literally been around the world – concertizing in the United States and Canada, touring Europe eighteen times, and playing throughout the Middle East, India, Africa and Asia. The Dorian made history as the first wind quintet to appear at Carnegie Hall.
Since its formation at Tanglewood in 1961, the Quintet has collaborated with numerous well-known artists, commissioned nearly 40 new works of wind chamber music, and held residencies at some of the world’s most prestigious music festivals and educational institutions. The members of the Dorian Wind Quintet are each associated with other prominent performing ensembles, venues, and musical institutions, and have united in the group out of their passion for the wind chamber music repertoire.
“Chamber music as it was meant to be..."
-Los Angeles Times
Wednesday • March 15, 2017, 7:30 PM
Anthony Green: "Chance"
W. A. Mozart: Viola Quintet in D major, K. 593 (with Jesse Holstein, viola)
Pavel Haas: String Quartet No. 2 "From the Monkey Mountains" Op. 7
Elise Kuder, violin
Colleen Jennings, violin
Mike Kelley, viola
Rupert Thompson, cello
with Jesse Holstein, viola
Since its founding in 2007, the Apple Hill String Quartet has earned praise around the world for its concerts presenting interpretive mastery of traditional repertoire – including Haydn, Mozart, Schubert, Schumann, Beethoven, and Ravel – as well as for world premieres and commissioned pieces. As resident musicians at the Apple Hill Center for Chamber Music, the Quartet is featured in the summer concert series held every Tuesday night at the Center in Nelson, N.H. These concerts attract hundreds of visitors and have become a mainstay of the Monadnock area summer music offerings.
Education is an integral part of the Quartet’s mission. For three months in the summer, the Quartet comprises the core faculty for five separate 10-day summer workshops held at Apple Hill and attended by 300 participants. During the regular concert season, the Quartet conducts mini-residencies in embassies, communities, schools, and universities from the Monadnock region to major U.S. cities and around the world as part of Apple Hill’s Playing for Peace program.
As 21st-century musicians, members of the Quartet are deeply committed to the performance of new works. Recent premieres include "Traces" by Syrian composer Kareem Roustom, commissioned by Apple Hill, Dartmouth College, and Arizona State University, featuring Israeli pianist Sally Pinkas, Syrian clarinetist Kinan Azmeh, and the Apple Hill String Quartet; Crossroads by John Harbison, co-commissioned by Apple Hill and 15 music organizations throughout the U.S., featuring soprano Kendra Colton, oboist Peggy Pearson, string bassist Susan Hagen, and the Apple Hill String Quartet; and Quartet No. 1 by Daniel Sedgwick, commissioned by Apple Hill. The Quartet’s project, “Around the World with Playing for Peace,” features the rich multicultural repertoire of countries visited through the Playing for Peace program. Featured composers have included Victor Ullman and Erwin Schulhoff, both of whom perished in Nazi concentration camps (as did Pavel Haas); Turkish composer Ekrem Zeki Ün; Armenian composers Alan Hovhaness and A. Zohrabian; Syrian composer Kareem Roustom; and American composers Roger Sessions, John Harbison, Tom Oboe Lee, Meredith Monk, Lawrence Siegel, and Charles Ives.
Jesse Holstein, violinist & violist, was a founding member of the Providence String Quartet and has been a resident musician since 2001. Prior to studying with Marilyn McDonald at Oberlin and James Buswell at the New England Conservatory, he worked with Philipp Naegele in Northampton, MA. Aside from being an active recitalist and chamber musician, he has served as Concertmaster of the New Bedford Symphony since 2003. Each summer Jesse teaches and performs at the Apple Hill Center for Chamber Music in New Hampshire, and is on the faculty at the Greenwood Music Camp, where he studied as a teenager. In 2009, Jesse was a Violin Professeur at L’Ecole de Musique, Dessaix Baptiste in Jacmel, Haiti. In 2012, an interview with Jesse was published in Strings Magazine about his teaching philosophy. He is on the faculty at Brown University, where he teaches chamber music.
Learn more about Apple Hill
Wednesday • April 19, 2017, 7:30 PM
Claude Debussy: String Quartet in G minor
Anna Weesner: Clarinet Quintet (2016), written for the Lark Quartet
Johannes Brahms: Clarinet Quintet in B minor, Op. 115
Deborah Buck, violin 1
Basia Danilow, violin 2
Kathryn Lockwood, viola
Caroline Stinson, cello
with Todd Palmer, clarinet
“Impressive… Breathtaking… Brilliant……"
– Laurence Vittes (Gramophone Magazine)
The Lark Quartet continues to delight audiences with its energy, passionate commitment and artistry since its inception in 1985. The Lark has performed in many of the world’s great cultural centers including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, The Library of Congress, London’s Wigmore Hall, L’Opéra de la Bastille in Paris, and appeared at international festivals including Lockenhaus, the Schleswig-Holstein Festival, Mostly Mozart, Istanbul Festival, Wolftrap and the Beethoven Festival in Moscow. Promising to deliver “a performance of grace, proportion and burnished brilliance” (The Washington Post), The Lark Quartet offers audiences new insights into the art of chamber music through programs that begin with the ensemble virtuosity of the western tradition and continue into recent music from Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East, all while regularly sharing the stage with dynamic collaborators.
The Lark has a distinguished tradition of working closely with the country’s most celebrated composers and commissioning new works, many of which have become mainstays of the chamber music repertoire. This history includes works such as Billy in the Darbies by William Bolcom with Stephen Salters, baritone; Scenes from the Poet’s Dreams by Jennifer Higdon with Gary Graffman, piano; Quartet no. 1 Musica celestis and Quartet no. 2 Musica instrumentalis (winning the 1997 Pulitzer Prize) by Aaron Jay Kernis; Piano Quintet by Paul Moravec with Jeremy Denk, Quartet no. 2 In Memoriam and Piano Quintet no. 2, by Peter Schickele; Early That Summer by Julia Wolfe; Viaggio in Italia by Giovanni Sollima; Intarsio by Glen Velez and Big Time by Nico Muhly (commissioned by the Central Vermont Chamber Music Festival) for Lark and Yousif Sheronick, percussion. The Quartet continues to build on its commitment to providing free concerts of great music presented with intelligence and vitality through its series Lark About Town. These family concerts, free to all and open to the public, will be held throughout the city of New York, Westchester and New Jersey.
With a discography comprising more than a dozen CDs, the Lark has recorded for the Decca/Argo, Arabesque, Bridge, ERI, Endeavor, Koch, Point and New World labels. Lark Quartet: Composing America, comprising works by Adams, Bolcom, Moravec and Copland, was released on Bridge Records in 2014 to international acclaim. WQXR of New York said of the quartet’s 2013 release of An Exaltation of Larks: Music of Jennifer Higdon: “the strings soar as a single entity” and chose it as Album of the Week upon its release in March of 2013. The Lark served as Quartet-in-Residence at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst from 2004-08 and has performed and taught as part of residencies across the United States. The Lark Quartet members, Deborah Buck and Basia Danilow, violins, Kathryn Lockwood, viola and Caroline Stinson, cello, all live in the New York City area with their families.
Clarinetist Todd Palmer has appeared as soloist, recitalist, chamber music collaborator, educator, arranger, and presenter in a variety of musical endeavors around the world. A three time Grammy nominated artist, he has appeared as soloist with the Atlanta, Houston, BBC Scotland orchestras; St. Paul, New York, Cincinnati, Montréal, and Metamorphosen chamber orchestras, as well as many others. He has collaborated with many of the world’s finest string ensembles such as the St. Lawrence, Brentano, Borromeo, Pacifica, Daedalus and Ying quartets. He was a winner of the Young Concert Artist International Auditions, and has participated in numerous music festivals in the US and abroad including 18 years at Spoleto Festival USA in Charleston, SC, 5 years at the Marlboro Festival and the Tanglewood Institute, where he was awarded the Leonard Bernstein Fellowship. He has also held principle clarinet positions in the Minnesota Orchestra, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Orchestra of St. Lukes, the Gotham Chamber Opera and the Grand Teton Festival. In 2008 he premiered David Bruce’s Gumboots, a Carnegie Hall commission that was written especially for him and the St. Lawrence Quartet, and for two years appeared in Lincoln Center’s revival of South Pacific. Last season he appeared as soloist in Robert Lepage’s staging of Stravinsky’s The Nightingale and Other Fables at BAM – dressed as a Cossack. This season he performed the Mozart clarinet concerto as a part of Great Performers at Lincoln Center’s What Makes It Great series.
Learn more about the Lark Quartet
Learn more about Todd Palmer