Past Concert Seasons: 2013-2014

Juilliard String Quartet

Sunday, October 20, 2013 at 4:00 pm


Beethoven: String Quartet in G major, op. 18, no. 2
Berg: Lyric Suite
Schubert: String Quartet in G Major, D. 887

Since it was founded in 1946, the Juilliard String Quartet has embodied the credo stated by its founders Robert Mann and William Schuman to “play new works as if they were established masterpieces and established masterpieces as if they were new.” It has performed over 500 works including the premieres of more than 60 by American composers and was the first ensemble to play all six Bartók quartets in the United States; its performances of Schoenberg’s quartets helped establish them as cornerstones of the modern string quartet repertory. With more than 100 releases the Juilliard Quartet is one of the most-often recorded string quartets; its recordings of the complete Bartók quartets, the late Beethoven quartets, the complete Schoenberg quartets, and the Debussy and Ravel quartets have all received Grammy Awards. Inducted into the Hall of Fame of the National Academy for Recording Arts and Sciences in 1986 for its first recording of the Bartók quartets, the Juilliard String Quartet was awarded the Deutsche Schallplattenkritik Prize in 1993 for Lifetime Achievement in the recording industry and in 2011 became the first classical music ensemble to be honored by The Recording Academy with its Lifetime Achievement Award.

Kahane/Swensen/Brey Trio

Sunday, December 1, 2013 at 4:00 pm


Schumann: Piano Trio in D minor
Mozart: Piano Trio No. 2 in G major, K. 496
Ravel: Piano Trio in A minor
Paul Schoenfield: Café Music

The Kahane-Swensen-Brey Trio last performed together in the 1980s electrifying audiences at the Spoleto Festival of Two Worlds and producing two recorded programs for national broadcast. Its members have enjoyed successful careers as soloists and chamber musicians in addition to holding leadership posts in major orchestras.

Equally at home at the keyboard and on the podium, Jeffrey Kahane has been recognized for his mastery of a wide range of repertoire. Since making his Carnegie Hall debut in 1983 he has given recitals in many of the nation’s most important music centers, appeared as concerto soloist with leading orchestras and summer festivals throughout the U.S. and Europe and collaborated with such artists and ensembles as Yo-Yo Ma, Dawn Upshaw, Joshua Bell, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and the Emerson and Takács Quartets. Mr. Kahane made his conducting debut with the Oregon Bach Festival in 1988 and has since appeared on the podiums of the New York and Los Angeles Philharmonics, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, and the Academy of St. Martin’s-in-the-Fields among others. For the past fifteen seasons he has served as music director of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra.

Before launching his conducting career in the mid-1990s Joseph Swensen enjoyed a career as a violin soloist appearing frequently with the world’s major orchestras. He is currently conductor-emeritus of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and founder/artistic director of Unity Hills Arts Centers International, a non-profit organization committed to bringing the arts of all cultures to under-served communities worldwide. He has held conducting posts with such orchestras as the Orchestre de Chambre de Paris and the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and has guest-conducted widely in Europe, the U.S., Japan, and Australia. He has made numerous recordings as a soloist, performing concertos of Brahms, Prokofieff, Beethoven and Sibelius. He is also a composer with a large catalogue of works, and his orchestration of Brahms’s Op.8 Trio along with his those of works by Robert and Clara Schumann has recently been released on Signum Classics.

Carter Brey first gained international attention in 1981 as a prizewinner in the Rostropovich International Cello Competition. He was the first musician to win the Arts Council of America’s Performing Arts Prize and was appointed principal cellist of the New York Philharmonic in 1996. As an orchestral soloist he has frequently appeared with the Philharmonic and as a guest with many other orchestras. Equally distinguished as a chamber musician, he has performed regularly with the Tokyo and Emerson Quartets, the Philharmonic Ensembles Program, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and at the Spoleto Festival of Two Worlds, the Santa Fe and La Jolla Chamber Music Festivals, among others. He has presented duo recitals with pianist Christopher O’Riley, and their disc of compositions from South America and Mexico entitled The Latin American Album has been released by Helicon Records. A CD of the complete works of Chopin for cello and piano, recorded in collaboration with Garrick Ohlsson, was released by Arabesque in 2002.

Marc-André Hamelin, Piano

Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 4:00 pm


Hamelin: Barcarolle
Medtner: Sonata in E minor “Night Wind” op. 25, no. 2
Schubert: Four Impromptus, op. 142

Marc-André Hamelin is renowned for his fresh readings of the established repertoire and for his exploration of lesser known works of the 19th and 20th centuries. He is admired for his brilliant technique and for his deep-thinking approach to everything he plays. In recent seasons he has appeared as recitalist or as soloist with orchestras in such cities as New York, Chicago, Detroit, Boston, Portland, Quebec, Antwerp, Berlin, London, Melbourne, Rotterdam, and Milan among others. A prolific recording artist, Mr. Hamelin expects to record approximately 50 CDs for the Hyperion label performing neglected masterpieces by Alkan, Ives, Medtner and Roslavets as well as the music of Haydn, Mozart, Schumann, Brahms, and Chopin. In 2010 Mr. Hamelin joined the ranks on CD of noted composer-pianists by releasing his own 12 Etudes in all the minor keys on the Hyperion label with publication by Edition Peters.

Winner of the 1985 Carnegie Hall Competition, Marc-André Hamelin was born in Montreal. He began to play the piano at the age of five and by the age of nine had already won top prize in the Canadian Music Competition. His father, a pharmacist by trade who was also an excellent pianist, had introduced Marc-André to the works of Alkan, Medtner and Sorabji when he was still very young. Mr. Hamelin is featured in the book The Composer-Pianists: Hamelin and the Eight by Robert Rimm, published by Amadeus Press.

David Shifrin, clarinet, with the Amphion String Quartet

Sunday, March 9, 2014 at 4:00 pm


Wolf: Italian Serenade
Mozart: Quintet for clarinet & strings, K. 581
Brahms: Quintet for clarinet & strings, op. 115

One of only two wind players to have been awarded the Avery Fisher Prize since the award was established in 1974, clarinetist David Shifrin is in constant demand as an orchestral soloist, recitalist, and chamber music collaborator. He has appeared with many orchestras in the U.S. including those in Philadelphia, Minnesota, Dallas, Seattle, Houston, Milwaukee, and Detroit and with orchestras in Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Japan, Korea and Taiwan. In addition, he has served as principal clarinetist with the Cleveland Orchestra, the American Symphony Orchestra, the Honolulu and Dallas symphonies, the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, and the New York Chamber Symphony. As a chamber musician he has collaborated frequently with such ensembles and artists as the Tokyo and Emerson String Quartets, Wynton Marsalis, and pianists Emanuel Ax and André Watts. As an artist member of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center since 1989, he served as its artistic director from 1992 to 2004. Mr. Shifrin joined the faculty at the Yale School of Music in 1987 and was appointed Artistic Director of the Chamber Music Society of Yale and Yale’s annual concert series at Carnegie Hall in September 2008. He has also served on the faculties of The Juilliard School, University of Southern California, University of Michigan, Cleveland Institute of Music and the University of Hawaii.

Hailed by The New York Times for its “precision, assertiveness and vigor” and by the San Francisco Classical Voice for its “gripping intensity” and “suspenseful and virtuoso playing,” the Amphion String Quartet is a winner of the 2011 Concert Artists Guild Victor Elmaleh Competition. It was recently chosen for two prestigious programs—the Ernst Stiefel String Quartet-In-Residence at the Caramoor Festival for the 2012-13 season and the CMS Two Program of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center with the ensemble’s three-year membership beginning in 2013-14. The members of the Quartet first joined together for a performance at Sprague Hall at the Yale School of Music in February 2009. The response by the audience was the inspiration behind their desire to pursue a career as the Amphion String Quartet. Recent honors include the 2012 Salon de Virtuosi Career Grant in New York; First Prize at the Hugo Kauder String Quartet Competition in New Haven, CT; and First Prize in the Piano and Strings category as well as the Audience Choice Award at the 2010 Plowman Chamber Music Competition in Columbia, MO.