Past Concert Seasons: 2012-2013

The Takács String Quartet

Sunday, September 30, 2012 at 4 p.m.


Haydn: String Quartet op. 76 no. 5
Britten: String Quartet no. 2
Dvořák: String Quartet in F "American" op. 96

Recognized as one of the world’s great ensembles, the Takács Quartet plays with a unique blend of drama, warmth and humor, combining four distinct musical personalities to bring fresh insights to the string quartet repertoire.

In 2012, Gramophone announced that the Takács was the only string quartet to be inducted into its first Hall of Fame, along with such legendary artists as Jascha Heifetz, Leonard Bernstein and Dame Janet Baker. The ensemble also won the 2011 Award for Chamber Music and Song presented by the Royal Philharmonic Society in London. Based in Boulder at the University of Colorado, the Takács Quartet performs ninety concerts a year worldwide, throughout Europe as well as in Australia, New Zealand, Japan and South Korea.

During the 2012-13 season, the Takács, newly-appointed as Associate Artists at Wigmore Hall in London, will present five concerts there, including the three Britten Quartets (to celebrate the composer’s 100th birthday year), the two Brahms viola quintets with British violist Lawrence Power, and the Schubert Cello Quintet with American cellist Ralph Kirshbaum. The Schubert Quintet will be released on Hyperion Records in the fall of 2012. The Quartet will also tour in North America with pianists Marc-André Hamelin and Garrick Ohlsson, including concerts at New York’s Lincoln Center.

The Quartet’s award-winning recordings include the complete Beethoven cycle on the Decca label. In 2005 the "Late Beethoven Quartets" won Disc of the Year and Chamber Award from BBC Music Magazine, a Gramophone Award and a Japanese Record Academy Award. Their recordings of the early and middle Beethoven quartets collected a Grammy, another Gramophone Award, a Chamber Music of America Award and two further awards from the Japanese Recording Academy. Of their performances and recordings of the "Late Quartets," the Cleveland Plain Dealer wrote "The Takács might play this repertoire better than any quartet of the past or present."

In 2006 the Takács Quartet made its first recording for Hyperion Records of Schubert’s D804 and D810. A disc featuring Brahms’ Piano Quintet with Stephen Hough was released to great acclaim in November 2007 and was subsequently nominated for a Grammy. Brahms’ Quartets Op. 51 and Op. 67 were released in the fall of 2008, and a disc featuring the Schumann Piano Quintet with Marc-André Hamelin was released in late 2009. The complete Haydn "Apponyi" Quartets, Op. 71 and 74, were released in November 2011.

The Quartet has also made sixteen recordings for the Decca label since 1988 of works by Beethoven, Bartók, Borodin, Brahms, Chausson, Dvořák, Haydn, Mozart, Schubert and Smetana. The ensemble’s recording of the six Bartók String Quartets received the 1998 Gramophone Award for chamber music and in 1999 was nominated for a Grammy. In addition to the Beethoven String Quartet cycle recording, the ensemble’s other Decca recordings include Dvořák’s String Quartet in E-flat Major, Op. 51 and Piano Quintet in A Major, Op. 81 with pianist Andreas Haefliger; Schubert’s "Trout Quintet" with Mr. Haefliger, which was nominated in 2000 for a Grammy Award; string quartets by Smetana and Borodin; Schubert’s Quartet in G Major and Notturno Piano Trio with Mr. Haefliger; the three Brahms string quartets and Piano Quintet in F Minor with pianist András Schiff; Chausson’s Concerto for violin, piano and string quartet with violinist Joshua Bell and pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet; and Mozart’s String Quintets, K515 and 516 with violist György Pauk.

The Takács Quartet is known for innovative programming. In 2007 it performed, with Academy Award–winning actor Philip Seymour Hoffman, Everyman, Quartet and A minor Quartet, opus 132 in Carnegie Hall, inspired by the Philip Roth novel. The group collaborates regularly with the Hungarian folk ensemble Muzsikas, performing a program that explores the folk sources of Bartók’s music. The Takács performed a music and poetry program on a fourteen city US tour with the poet Robert Pinsky. In 2010 the quartet collaborated with the Colorado Shakespeare Theatre and playwright David Morse in a production of Quartet, a play set in Beethoven’s later years when he was writing the A minor Quartet, Opus 132.

The members of the Takács Quartet are Christoffersen Faculty Fellows at the University of Colorado Boulder. They have helped to develop a string program with a special emphasis on chamber music, where students work in a nurturing environment designed to help them develop their artistry. The Quartet’s commitment to teaching is enhanced by summer residencies at the Aspen Festival and at the Music Academy of the West, Santa Barbara. They are also Visiting Quartet at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London.

The Takács Quartet was formed in 1975 at the Franz Liszt Academy in Budapest by Gabor Takács-Nagy, Károly Schranz, Gabor Ormai and András Fejér, while all four were students. It first received international attention in 1977 winning First Prize and the Critics’ Prize at the International String Quartet Competition in Évian, France. The Quartet also won the Gold Medal at the 1978 Portsmouth and Bordeaux Competitions and First Prizes at the Budapest International String Quartet Competition in 1978 and the Bratislava Competition in 1981. The Quartet made its North American debut tour in 1982. Violinist Edward Dusinberre joined the Quartet in 1993 and violist Roger Tapping in 1995. Violist Geraldine Walther replaced Mr. Tapping in 2005. In 2001 the Quartet was awarded the Order of Merit of the Knight’s Cross of the Republic of Hungary, and in March of 2011 each member of the Quartet was awarded the Order of Merit Commander’s Cross by the President of the Republic of Hungary.

The Windscape Wind Quintet

Sunday, October 14, 2012, at 4 pm

Tara Helen O’Connor, flute; Randall Ellis, oboe; Alan R. Kay, clarinet;
Frank Morelli, bassoon; David Jolley, horn


Reicha: Quintet op. 88 no.2
Nielsen: Quintet op. 43
Werner: Riverside
Françaix: Quintet No. 1

Created in 1994 by five eminent wind soloists, Windscape has won a unique place for itself as a vibrant, ever-evolving group of musical individualists, an "unquintet" which has delighted audiences throughout the US, Canada, and Asia. Windscape’s innovative programs and presentations are designed to take listeners on a musical and historical world tour; music and engaging commentary evoke vivid cultural landscapes of distant times and places. As Ensemble-in-Residence at the Manhattan School of Music, Windscape brings extensive teaching experience to motivational residencies. Their most recent CD features the works of Dvořák. Their performance of Bach’s Art of the Fugue with the Orion String Quartet, premiered for New York’s Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, was recorded for Deutsche Grammophon and will be available on iTunes. Forthcoming performances include the Terrace Theater at the Kennedy Center.

Bradley Brookshire, Harpsichordist, and Anthony Roth Costanzo, Countertenor

Sunday, January 20, 2013, at 4 pm


Handel: Cantata for Soprano and Basso Continuo
Scarlatti: Cantata for Soprano and Basso Continuo
Purcell: Songs
Handel: Arias
Bach: Chromatic Fantasy and Fugue

As a solo harpsichordist, Bradley Brookshire has distinguished himself with an ongoing series of recitals encompassing all of J.S. Bach’s works for solo harpsichord. A pioneer in the union of early music and current technology, Brookshire (in conjunction with Purchase faculty members James McElwaine and Satoshi Arai) has initiated a new tradition of live, multimedia presentations of Bach’s works. This approach to the contrapuntal intricacies of Bach’s music projects a streaming video in open-score format. Contrapuntal devices are made clear by a running analysis, complemented by a rendering of the themes in contrasting colors. Mr. Brookshire tours widely with this presentation, bringing Bach’s music to audiences outside the mainstream of concert life; a recent performance (and a good example of his target audience) was held at the international headquarters of IBM, where the concert was presented to a live audience and via the Internet to the entire IBM community worldwide.

Mr. Brookshire is also a noted conductor of Baroque opera. His controversial 1995 Vox Classics recording of Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas has become a standard alternative reading of the classic. He has served as Assistant Conductor at Glimmerglass Opera, Cover Conductor at Virginia Opera, and has twice conducted concertante performances at the New York City Opera.

Bradley Brookshire has taught at Yale University, where he led the Collegium Musicum; at Mannes College, where he led the Mannes Madrigal Singers; and at the Escuela Nacional de Musica in Mexico City, where he has mounted several concertante performances of Baroque operas. A member of the Purchase College Conservatory of Music faculty since 1998, Brookshire holds the position of Director of Graduate Studies and leads the Purchase College Camerata.

Anthony Roth Costanzo began performing professionally at the age of 11 and has since appeared in opera, concert, recital, film, and on Broadway.

2011/12 marked Mr. Costanzo’s debut at the Metropolitan Opera as Unulfo in Rodelinda with Renee Fleming. He subsequently created the role of Ferdinand in the Met’s new Baroque pastiche, The Enchanted Island, and later stepped into the lead role of Prospero. He also made his debut with Canadian Opera Company in Semele. In 2011 he appeared with the Opera Company of Philadelphia, the Boston Lyric Opera, and the Palm Beach Opera. In 2010 he made his debuts with the New York Philharmonic and the New York City Opera.

Mr. Costanzo was named a Grand Finals winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions in 2009, won a George London Award and a career grant from the Richard Tucker Foundation. He became the first countertenor to win first place in the Houston Grand Opera Eleanor McCullon Competition.

Mr. Costanzo graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Princeton University and was awarded the Lewis Sudler Prize for extraordinary achievement in the arts. He received his Master of Music at Manhattan School of Music, where he received the Hugh Ross Award for a singer of unusual promise.

Stephen Hough, Pianist

Sunday, March 3, 2013, at 4 pm


Chopin: Nocturnes op. 27 nos. 1 and 2
Brahms: Sonata No. 3  in  F minor op. 5
Hough: Sonata No. 2 “Notturno Luminoso”
Schumann: Carnival op. 9

With a singular artistic vision that transcends musical fashions and trends, Stephen Hough is widely regarded as one of the most important and distinctive pianists of his generation. In recognition of his achievements, he was awarded a prestigious MacArthur Fellowship in 2001, joining prominent scientists, writers and others who have made unique contributions to contemporary life.

Stephen Hough has appeared with most of the major European and American orchestras and plays recitals regularly in the major halls and concert series around the world. He is also a guest at festivals such as Salzburg, Mostly Mozart, Aspen, Ravinia, Tanglewood, Blossom, Hollywood Bowl, Edinburgh, Aldeburgh and the BBC Proms, where he has made over 15 concerto appearances. Recent engagements include performances with the New York and London Philharmonics, the London and San Francisco Symphonies, a US tour with the Russian National Orchestra led by Vladimir Jurowski, and a worldwide televised performance with the Berlin Philharmonic under Sir Simon Rattle.

In 2009 Hough played recitals in the Royal Festival Hall as well as becoming the first British instrumentalist to give a solo recital on the main stage of Carnegie Hall in nearly 20 years. He also performed all of the works for piano and orchestra of Tchaikovsky over four BBC Proms and will return to the Chicago Symphony in 2010/11 to play the same Tchaikovsky cycle over six concerts. Other engagements include appearances with the orchestras of Pittsburgh, Madrid, Los Angeles, Budapest, Montreal, Houston, Gothenberg, Cleveland and Philadelphia, among others.

Mr. Hough is an exclusive Hyperion recording artist, and many of the over 50 CDs in his catalog have garnered international prizes, including the Deutsche Schallplattenpreis, Diapason d’or, Monde de la musique, several Grammy nominations, and eight Gramophone Magazine Awards, including Record of the Year in 1996 and 2003, and the Gramophone Gold Disc Award in 2008, which named his complete Saint-Saëns Piano Concertos as the best recording of the past 30 years. His 2005 live recording of the Rachmaninoff Piano Concertos became the fastest selling recording in Hyperion’s history while his 1987 recording of Hummel concertos is Chandos’ best-selling disc to date. His most recent releases are the “Complete Works for Piano and Orchestra” by Tchaikovsky with the Minnesota Orchestra led by Osmo Vänskä, and a Chopin recital, “Late Masterpieces.”

Stephen Hough is also an avid writer and composer. In addition to scholarly and critically-acclaimed CD liner notes and articles for music publications, he has written for The Guardian, The Times, and was invited by the Telegraph Media Group in December 2008 to start a cultural blog. Hough has written extensively about theology for the print media and has been interviewed on two special guest-edited episodes of BBC Radio 4’s The Today Programme by Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor and Baroness Shirley Williams. Hough’s book, The Bible as Prayer, was published by Continuum and Paulist Press in 2007.

Earlier in 2007 Hough’s cello concerto The Loneliest Wilderness was premiered by Steven Isserlis and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, and two choral works, Mass of Innocence and Experience and Missa Mirabilis, were performed at London’s Westminster Abbey and Westminster Cathedral respectively. In January 2009 Hough’s trio, Was mit den Tränen geschieht, commissioned by members of the Berlin Philharmonic, received its world premiere at the Berlin Philharmonie. A string sextet, Requiem Aeternam: after Victoria, was commissioned by the National Gallery for its major autumn 2009 exhibition, “The Sacred Made Real: Spanish Painting and Sculpture 1600-1700.” Hough has also published numerous compositions with Josef Weinberger Ltd.

A resident of London, Stephen Hough is a visiting professor at the Royal Academy of Music in London and holds the International Chair of Piano Studies at his alma mater, the Royal Northern College in Manchester. In 2011 he was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Liverpool.