Met Museum Presents
Chiara String Quartet
2015-2016 Quartet in Residence
Friday, October 2, 2015 at 7pm
Brahms by Heart
Friday, November 13, 2015 at 7pm
Piano Quintets with Simone Dinnerstein
Friday, March 18, 2016 at 7pm
Bartók and Frank
Friday, May 6, 2016 at 7pm
Death and the Maiden
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
The Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium
1000 Fifth Avenue | New York, NY
Tickets: Start at $50; Series of four concerts $170
at 212.570.3949 or www.metmuseum.org/tickets
Bring the Kids for $1*
“masterly conviction…with both gusto and finesse” – The Strad
Chiara Quartet: www.chiaraquartet.com
New York, NY – The Metropolitan Museum of Art presents the 2015-2016 Quartet in Residence, the Chiara String Quartet, in four Met Museum Presents concerts over the course of the season on October 2, November 13, March 18 and May 6 in The Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium (1000 Fifth Ave). Now in its 16th season, the Chiara (Rebecca Fischer and Hyeyung Julie Yoon, violins; Jonah Sirota, viola; Gregory Beaver, cello) has adopted a new way of performing: from memory, without printed sheet music. For almost all of the Quartet’s upcoming concerts, they will be performing entirely “by heart.” Of the process, the Chiara’s cellist Gregory Beaver says, “Each member must find a way to know the music inside and out – it has brought us much closer together in our music-making.” After memorizing a work, the Quartet is rewarded with deeply gratifying performances where each member feels fully present in the moment, truly performing with heart, by heart.
The Chiara’s opening concert on Friday, October 2, 2015 is titled Brahms by Heart and includes three of Brahms’ string quartets performed from memory. The Chiara recorded all of Brahms’ quartets from memory for the Azica Records label in 2014, on an album of the same title. Strings Magazine raved, “The recording contributes to the feeling of being inside the music, indivisible from the beauty of the playing.” The album was featured by The New York Times and the Chiara performed by heart in a special album release concert webcast by WQXR from The Greene Space, which can be viewed online here.
A concert of music made by and for old friends, the November 13, 2015 program, Piano Quintets with Simone Dinnerstein, features the New York premiere of Jefferson Friedman’s new piano quintet for the Chiara and pianist Simone Dinnerstein. Composed in six short movements, the combination of the individual movement titles forms a six-line poem written by Margaret LeMay. Each movement is a poetic work unto itself as well as a portrayal of a shifting mental state. The quintet was premiered by the Chiara and Dinnerstein at the Library of Congress in December 2014 and will be paired with Brahms’ Piano Quintet in F minor.
Bartók and Frank on Friday, March 18, 2016 will feature Gabriela Lena Frank’s Leyendas: An Andean Walkabout, a work written for Chiara that celebrates Frank’s Peruvian roots. The group contrasts the piece with Bartók’s Quartet No. 4 and the New York premiere of Frank’s Bartók piano transcriptions arranged for string quartet. Bartók greatly influenced Frank’s passion for ethnomusicology.
The final concert on May 6, 2016 is titled Death of the Maiden and includes two meditations on death. Schubert tackled his own mortality in the dramatic String Quartet No. 14 and Beethoven composed his String Quartet No. 12 – the first of his groundbreaking “late” quartets – when he was completely deaf and near the end of his life.
Renowned for bringing fresh excitement to traditional string quartet repertoire as well as for creating insightful interpretations of new music, the Chiara String Quartet captivates its audiences throughout the country. The Chiara has established itself as among America’s most respected ensembles, lauded for its “highly virtuosic, edge-of-the-seat playing” (The Boston Globe). They are currently Hixson-Lied Artists-in-Residence at the Glenn Korff School of Music at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and were the Blodgett Artists-in-Residence at Harvard University from 2008-2014. For the 2015-2016 season, the Chiara will be the Quartet in Residence at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
The Chiara is currently recording Bartók by Heart, a 2-CD set featuring Bartók’s six string quartets, played entirely from memory, slated for release in 2016 on Azica. The quartet’s latest album, Brahms by Heart, was released on Azica in March 2014. The 2-CD set includes Brahms’ String Quartets and his String Quintet No. 2 in G Major, Op. 111 with violist Roger Tapping. The album, played “with infectious charm, exultant phrasing and nostalgic affection” (The Strad), was recorded by Grammy Award-winning producer Judith Sherman at the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall in Troy, New York.
The Chiara’s recent honors include the nomination of its recording of Jefferson Friedman’s String Quartet No. 3 for a Grammy Award in 2011 and the ASCAP/Chamber Music America Award for Adventurous Programming for the 2010-2011 season. Past awards include a top prize at the Paolo Borciani International Competition, winning the Astral Artistic Services National Audition, and winning First Prize at the Fischoff Chamber Music Competition. Awarded the Guarneri Quartet Residency Award for artistic excellence by Chamber Music America, the Chiara Quartet has also been the recipient of grants from Meet The Composer, The Aaron Copland Foundation, and the Amphion Foundation.
In addition to the Chiara Quartet’s regular performances in major concert halls across the country, including Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall, Carnegie Hall, Philadelphia’s Kimmel Center, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the National Gallery in Washington DC, the ensemble was one of the first string quartets to perform in alternative venues for chamber music performance. The Chiara Quartet has performed innovative concerts in non-classical spaces including (le) Poisson Rouge and Galapagos Art Space in New York, The Tractor Tavern in Seattle, Avant Garden in Houston, and the Hideout in Chicago, among many others. Recent highlights of the Chiara Quartet’s international performances include extensive tours of China, Korea, and Sweden as well as performances at the American Academy in Rome, the Montreal Chamber Music Festival, and of Steve Reich’s Different Trains in Munich.
The Chiara Quartet is widely sought out for its innovative work in engagement with urban and rural communities of all ages. In 2012 the Chiara appeared with the University Musical Society in Ann Arbor, Michigan as residents in the community, performing in unusual venues including a vacant storefront and a Toyota factory. In 2011, the Chiara was the first judge of the online string quartet competition “The Quartet Project Challenge,” an opportunity for young quartets from around the world to post performances on YouTube and receive comments from a professional quartet. In the 2011-12 season, the Chiara presented a concert series at Matt Talbot Kitchen and Outreach, a unique organization serving the working poor and homeless in Lincoln, Nebraska.
In addition to Brahms by Heart and the forthcoming Bartók by Heart, the complete Chiara discography includes a Grammy-nominated recording of Jefferson Friedman’s String Quartets Nos. 2 and 3 on New Amsterdam Records, praised by the San Francisco Chronicle for its “lush ensemble sound that brings out the hidden depths of Friedman’s harmonic language;” the Mozart and Brahms clarinet quintets with Håkan Rosengren for SMS Classical; and the world premiere recordings of Robert Sirota’s Triptych and Gabriela Lena Frank’s Leyendas: An Andean Walkabout on the Quartet’s own New Voice Singles label. The Chiara is also featured on Nadia Sirota’s debut recording for New Amsterdam Records, first things first.
The Chiara has been committed to the creation of new music for string quartet since its inception, and has commissioned composers including Gabriela Lena Frank, Jefferson Friedman, Nico Muhly, Daniel Ott, Huang Ruo, Robert Sirota, Hans Tutschku, Carl Voss, and Michael Wittgraf, among others. Recent collaborators in performance include The Juilliard String Quartet, Joel Krosnick, Roger Tapping, Todd Palmer, Robert Levin, Simone Dinnerstein, Norman Fischer, Nadia Sirota, and Paul Katz, as well as members of the Orion, Ying, Cavani, and Pacifica Quartets.
In the summer, the Chiara Quartet is in residence at Greenwood Music Camp as well as the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Chamber Music Institute. The Chiara trained and taught at The Juilliard School, mentoring for two years with the Juilliard Quartet, as recipients of the Lisa Arnhold Quartet Residency.
Chiara (key-ARE-uh) is an Italian word, meaning “clear, pure, or light.”
For information, visit www.chiaraquartet.com.
About Met Museum Presents:
The live arts series at The Metropolitan Museum of Art that explores contemporary innovations through the lens of the Museum’s exhibitions and unparalleled gallery spaces with singular performances and talks. Met Museum Presents invites artists, performers, curators, and thought-leaders to explore and collaborate within The Met, leading with groundbreaking commissions, world premieres, and site-specific durational performances.
For more information and tickets, visit www.metmuseum.org/tickets or call 212-570-3949. Tickets are also available at the Great Hall Box Office, which is open Monday-Saturday, 11:00 a.m.–3:30 p.m.
*One full-price adult ticket allows you to purchase up to three kids’ (ages 7-16) tickets for $1 each.
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