Kirshbaum Associates 2019-2020 Season Highlights

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The Emerson String Quartet stands apart in the history of string quartets with over four decades of an unparalleled list of achievements: more than thirty acclaimed recordings, nine Grammys® (including two for Best Classical Album), three Gramophone Awards, the Avery Fisher Prize, Musical America’s “Ensemble of the Year”, and collaborations with many of the greatest artists of our time. With a repertoire that spans three centuries of chamber music, the Emerson also looks towards the future by collaborating with today’s most esteemed composers and premiering new works, thus proving their commitment to keeping the art form of the string quartet alive and more relevant than ever.

The coming season, beginning with a seven-city tour in Australia, reflects all aspects of the Emerson’s venerable artistry with high-profile projects, collaborations and tours.  North American highlights of the 2019-2020 season include the Emerson’s three-concert series at Lincoln Center’s Great Performers Series pairing Beethoven’s “Razumovsky” Quartets with the complete Bartók cycle, its 41st series at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC, and appearances at the Park Avenue Armory in New York, Friends of Chamber Music in Vancouver, Wharton Center for Performing Arts, South Mountain Concerts, Friends of Music Concerts, Wooster Chamber Music, Chamber Music Cincinnati and Chamber Music Louisville.  Overseas, the Emerson Quartet performs the complete Beethoven Cycle at the Seoul International Music Festival, and embarks on three European tours throughout the season in Serbia, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Germany, Denmark, Finland, Poland and Spain.

“… with musicians like this there must be some hope for humanity.”The Times (London)

“The performances were everything we have come to expect from this superb ensemble:  technically resourceful, musically insightful, cohesive, full of character and always interesting.”The New York Times

October 15 & 17, 2019 at 7:30 pm
Park Avenue Armory
643 Park Ave, New York, NY 10065

Schoenberg: String Quartet No.2

Tuesday, March 31, 2020 at 7:30 pm
Great Performers Series
Alice Tully Hall, New York, NY

Bartók: Quartet No. 3
Beethoven: “Razumovsky” Quartet, Op. 59, No. 1
Bartók: Quartet No. 1

Tuesday, April 21, 2020 at 7:30 pm
Great Performers Series
Alice Tully Hall, New York, NY

Bartók: Quartet No. 2
Beethoven: “Razumovsky” Quartet, Op. 59, No. 2
Bartók: Quartet No. 5

Tuesday, May 5, 2020 at 7:30 pm
Great Performers Series
Alice Tully Hall, New York, NY

Bartók: Quartet No. 4
Bartók: Quartet No. 6
Beethoven: “Razumovsky” Quartet, Op. 59, No. 3

Formed in 1976 and based in New York City, the Emerson was one of the first quartets whose violinists alternated in the first chair position.  The quartet, which took its name from the American poet and philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson, balances busy performing careers with a commitment to teaching and serves as Quartet-in-Residence at Stony Brook University.  In 2013, cellist Paul Watkins, a distinguished soloist, award-wining conductor, and devoted chamber musician, joined the original members of the Emerson Quartet. The reconfigured group has been praised by critics and fans alike around the world. In spring 2016, full-time Stony Brook faculty members Philip Setzer and Lawrence Dutton received the honor of Distinguished Professor, and part-time faculty members Eugene Drucker and Paul Watkins were awarded the title of Honorary Distinguished Professor.

The Emerson Quartet enthusiastically endorses Thomastik strings.



The highly sought-after Danish String Quartet returns to North America in the 2019-2020 season as one of the most prominent musical voices in the monumental celebrations of Beethoven’s 250th year.  The Quartet’s fresh, inventive approach to repertoire and warm, emotional performances keep critics wanting more and audiences “flocking to witness the combination of gritty energy and expressive urgency that these four musicians put on display.” (San Francisco Chronicle) With three sweeping North American tours, the Danish thrills and delights that expansive audience, focusing its entire performance season on the towering Beethoven string quartets, alongside many important works which inspired, and were inspired by, these revered giants of the classical canon.

As part of a three-year residency with the La Jolla Music Society, the Danish String Quartet brings a series of five concerts that mirror the programs in its ongoing recording project with ECM New Series, PRISM.  PRISM I, released in 2018, was nominated for a Grammy®, and the second disc in the series, PRISM II, is due out September/October 2019.

Each PRISM program is an exploration of the symbiotic musical and contextual relationships between Bach fugues, Beethoven string quartets, and works by Shostakovich, Schnittke, Bartok, Mendelssohn, and Webern, forming an expertly curated musical evolution within each individual program and across the entire PRISM repertory.

La Jolla Music Society
Conrad Prebys Performing Arts Center

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Bach: Wohltemporierte Klavier II, Fugue no. 7 in Eb major, BWV 876 (arr. Mozart)
Shostakovich: String Quartet No. 15 in E-flat minor, Op. 144
Beethoven: String Quartet in E-flat Major, Op. 127

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Bach: Fugue No. 24 in B minor, BWV869
Schnittke: String Quartet No. 3
Beethoven: String Quartet in B-flat Major Op. 130 with Grosse Fuge, Op. 133

Friday, November 22, 2019

Bach:Fugue no. 4 in C# minor from Well-Tempered Clavier Book 1, BWV 849 (arr. Förster)
Bartok: String Quartet No. 1
Beethoven: String Quartet in C-sharp minor, Op. 131

Saturday, November 23, 2019

Bach: Fugue no. 16 in G minor, from Well-Tempered Clavier Book 1, BWV 861 (arr. Förster)
Mendelssohn: String Quartet in A minor, Op. 13
Beethoven: String Quartet in A minor, Op. 132


Bach: Fugue No. 18: Fuga a 3 soggetti; Contrapunctus XIV from Art of Fuge, BWV 1080 Webern: String Quartet (1905)
Bach: Vor deinen Thron tret’ ich, BWV 668
Beethoven: String Quartet in F Major, Op. 135

In February 2020, the Danish returns to North America as the featured string quartet performing the entire Beethoven cycle at Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center over the course of six concerts.  The following May, the Quartet returns to the United States to perform the cycle in St. Paul, MN at the Schubert Club.

Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center:
Friday, February 7, 2020 at 7:30PM
Sunday, February 9, 2020 at 5:00PM
Tuesday, February 11, 2020 at 7:30PM
Thursday, February 14, 2020 at 7:30PM
Sunday, February 16, 2020 at 5:00PM
Tuesday, February 18, 2020 at 7:30PM

Schubert Club:
Wednesday, May 6, 2020 at 7:30PM
Friday, May 8, 2020 at 7:30PM
Sunday, May 10, 2020 at 4:00PM
Tuesday, May 12, 2020 at 7:30PM
Friday, May 15, 2020 at 7:30PM
Sunday, May 17, 2020 at 3:00PM

Additional North American Tour Dates:


Nov. 1 / Minneapolis, MN /American Swedish Institute
Nov. 3/Vancouver, BC/Vancouver Recital Society
Nov. 4-5/Portland, OR/Portland Friends of Chamber Music
Nov. 7/Seattle, WA/Meany Center for the Performing Arts
Nov. 8/Rohnert Park, CA/Sonoma State University
Nov. 10/Berkeley, CA/Cal Performances
Nov. 12-13/Santa Barbara, CA/UC Santa Barbara Arts & Lectures
Nov. 19/Irvine, CA/Philharmonic Society of Orange County


Jan. 30/Montreal, QB/Fondation Arte Musica
Jan. 31/Chicago, IL/University of Chicago
Feb. 1/Detroit, MI/Detroit Chamber Music Society
Feb. 3-5/Denver, CO/Friends of Chamber Music Denver
May 3/Boston, MA/Celebrity Series of Boston
May 4/Iowa City/University of Iowa



Jerusalem-born pianist and conductor Benjamin Hochman’s eloquent and virtuosic performances blend artistic bravura with poetic interpretation exciting audiences and critics alike Winner of the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant in 2011, Mr. Hochman has established a vibrant international musical presence through concerts with the New York and Los Angeles Philharmonics, Chicago, Pittsburgh, Houston, Seattle, San Francisco and Vancouver Symphonies, Prague Philharmonia, Istanbul State Orchestra, and his Carnegie Hall debut with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra.

A graduate of the prestigious Juilliard Conducting Program where he studied with Alan Gilbert, he has also attended the Tanglewood Conducting Seminar, performed in masterclasses for Fabio Luisi and David Zinman, and served as musical assistant to Louis Langree at the 2016 Mostly Mozart festival. Recent and forthcoming guest conducting appearances include the Orlando Philharmonic, Santa Fe Pro Musica and The Orchestra Now. He is founder and music director of the Roosevelt Island Orchestra in NYC.  As conductor and soloist, his debut album with the English Chamber Orchestra on Avie Records featuring Mozart’s Piano Concerti No. 17 and No. 24 will be released in fall 2019.

In season 2019-2020, Mr. Hochman continues his complete Mozart Piano Sonatas project at the Bard College Conservatory and the Israel Conservatory in Tel Aviv, and performs as soloist Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 3 in C major, Op. 26 with the Bargor Symphony Orchestra and Schumann’s Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 54 with the Greenwich Symphony Orchestra.  In recitals and chamber music concerts, he appears at 92nd Street Y in New York for a 2-part explorations on the usage of text painting by Brahms, Schumann, Janáček and Thomas Ades. Other chamber music appearances include Boston Chamber Music Society, Schubert Club, Linton Chamber Music Series, Coastal Concerts and the Performing Arts Center at Western Washington University.

Fri, Nov 22, 2020 at 8 pm
Buttenwieser Hall, 92nd Street Y
New York City

Brahms: Ballades, Op. 10
Thomas Ades: Darkness Visible
Schumann: Kreisleriana, Op. 16

Fri, Jan 24, 2020 at 8 pm
Buttenwieser Hall, 92nd Street Y
New York City

Benjamin Hochman, piano
Lucy Shelton, soprano
Jennifer Johnson Cano, mezzo-soprano
Bille Bruley, tenor
Tara Helen O’Connor, flute
Romie de Guise-Langlois, clarinet
Jennifer Frautschi, violin
Raman Ramakrishnan, cello

Schoenberg: Pierrot Lunaire, Op. 21
Janacek: Diary of One Who Disappeared

A graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music and the Mannes College of Music, where his principal teachers were Claude Frank and Richard Goode, he has recorded for Artek, Avie and Bridge Records.   Currently on the piano faculty of Bard College Conservatory of Music, Mr. Hochman is a Steinway Artist and lives in New York City.



Following the staggering success of Tod Machover’s newest opera, Schoenberg in Hollywood, commissioned and presented by Boston Lyric Opera, Volksoper Wien has announced it will present the next production of the acclaimed opera from April 4-16, 2020.  Praised as “ingeniously original (Wall Street Journal), “a composer biography like no other” (The Boston Globe), “dark and brilliant” (Boston Classical Review), “musically eclectic…which Machover supplied with obvious enthusiasm” (New Criterion), Schoenberg in Hollywood  was inspired by the life of Austrian composer Arnold Schoenberg following his departure from Hitler’s Europe to Los Angeles in the 1930s.  The opera made its world premiere in Boston in November 2018.

Saturday, April 4, 2020 at 8:00PM
Volksoper Wein – Kasino am Schwarzenbergplatz

TOD MACHOVER: Schoenberg in Hollywood (European Premiere)
Marco Di Sapia: 
Arnold Schoenberg
Lauren Urquhart: Girl
Jeffrey Treganza: Boy

Gerrit Prießnitz, Conductor
Helen Malkowsky, Stage Director
Sophie Lux, Set and Video Designer

“Schoenberg is a towering figure in music, a great visionary who incorporated so many things into his work that we are just beginning to understand its full impact,” Machover said. “I am intrigued with the idea of what happened when Schoenberg – the ultimate uncompromising futurist who was also a wonderful teacher and tinkerer – wound up in the center of L.A.’s film world. He struggled with how to combine art with entertainment, reflection with action, and tradition with revolution.”

Tod Machover is especially known for his visionary operas, which frequently incorporate groundbreaking technologies developed by Machover and the MIT Media Lab to expand the expressive potential of performance and staging and to bridge the gap between performers and audience. In addition to Schoenberg in Hollywood, Machover is also the composer of six other operas. VALIS (1987), based on the sci-fi classic by Philip K. Dick and commissioned by the Centre Georges Pompidou; magicians Penn & Teller premiered Machover’s 1994 opera Media/Medium in Las Vegas;  Brain Opera (1996/8), commissioned for the first Lincoln Center Festival and installed long-term at Vienna’s House of Music, and which allows an onsite and online audience to interact with – and help create –  the opera’s elements in real time; Resurrection (1999)based on Tolstoy’s final novel of the same name, commissioned by Houston Grand Opera; Skellig, premiered at the Sage Gateshead (UK), and is based on the children’s novel by David Almond, who also wrote the libretto; and the “robot opera” Death and the Powers premiered in Monaco at the Opéra de Monte-Carlo in 2010 and subsequently debuted in the United States in Chicago and Machover’s hometown, Boston; it was staged in 2014 by Dallas Opera in a production that was recorded for distribution on Blu-ray Disc, and was simulcast worldwide using specially developed technologies to allow viewers to interact with the performance onstage through handheld electronic devices. A CD recording of Death and the Powers will be released this year by BMOP Sound.

Tod Machover‘s innovative City Symphonies series – which includessymphonic works written for and with the cities of Toronto, Edinburgh, Perth (Australia), Lucerne (Switzerland), Detroit, and Philadelphia – enters new geographical and diplomatic territories over the coming seasons with Symphony for the Koreasgroundbreaking new project in collaboration with citizens of North and South Korea. Through partnership with the Lindenbaum orchestra and festival, a South Korean organization dedicated to bringing peace to the Korean Peninsula through music, Machover and the MIT Media Lab’s Opera of the Future Group will welcome musicians from both Koreas to engage in long-term creative ventures—as well as live performances—of Symphony for the Koreas. The Lindenbaum organization has been granted unprecedented permission by the South Korean government to communicate and collaborate with the North Korean Government. It has also secured an MOU with the North Korean Ministry of Culture to hold a joint concert between the two Koreas. The final performance is expected to take place at or near the Korean Demilitarized Zone with a subsequent global tour. Machover’s City Symphonies utilize special technologies developed by the composer and his Opera of the Future team at the MIT Media Lab to allow people of all ages to contribute to and help shape the sonic backdrop of each symphony, using mobile apps. Future City Symphonies are also planned for Chennai (Madras), Boston and the 2020 World Expo in Dubai.

Recently, as a part of its important initiative to support the future of the string quartet, the globally-renowned Kronos Quartet performed the first public performance of Machover’s GAMMIFIEDthrough the expansive 50 for the Future: The Kronos Learning Repertoire commissioning and education project in partnership with Carnegie Hall and others. Utilizing cutting-edge research from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Media Labthe piece for string quartet and electronics features compositional-embedded Gamma frequencies, which have begun to show highly promising results for resynching the brain and promoting mental well-being, including the reversal of Alzheimer’s disease symptoms.



The Menuhin Competition is the world’s leading international competition for young violinists, held every two years in a different city (most recently in Geneva in 2018, London in 2016, Austin, Texas in 2014, Beijing in 2012 and Oslo in 2010). It is one of the few major competitions with a Junior division, which is open to very young violinists. The co-winners of the Junior division in 2018 were ten-year-old Christian Li (the youngest-ever Menuhin Competition winner) and eleven-year-old Chloe Chua.

Founded by Yehudi Menuhin more than three decades ago, the Competition attracts hundreds of musicians from all over the world, inviting only 44 of the very best young violinists – 22 at the Junior level (under 16) and 22 at the Senior level (under 22) – to compete. The Competition discovers, encourages and nurtures exceptionally talented young artists from all corners of the globe to develop into the next generation of fine classical musicians.

The next Menuhin Competition will be held in Richmond, Virginia, in direct partnership with major local organizations, including the Richmond Symphony – which hosts the Senior Finals and Closing Gala as part of its subscription series – as well as the City of Richmond, Community Idea Stations (WCVE), University of Richmond, and Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU).  Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney, elected in 2016 as the city’s youngest mayor, is a staunch advocate for arts and culture in Richmond. He championed the city’s bid to host the 2020 Menuhin Competition, and he led a delegation to Geneva in 2018 to accept the honor. “Richmond is a thriving and diverse city that is home to a number of internationally-recognized artistic, educational and cultural attractions,” Stoney said at the announcement. “We are thrilled to be hosting the Menuhin Competition in 2020…welcoming the most talented young musicians in the world to our city.”

The Competition has been characterized as the “Olympics of the Violin,” and for more than three decades has established itself as the world’s leading international competition for young violinists.  Founded in 1983, the Menuhin Competition has served countless aspiring concert violinists as a major catalyst for initiating the trajectory from the very early days of their international solo and orchestral careers into household names. Notable alumni include Ray Chen, Tasmin Little, Julia Fischer, Chad Hoopes, Nikolaj Szeps-Znaider, and Stephen Waarts.

The jury of the Menuhin Competition Richmond 2020 represents the highest caliber of educational institutions, orchestras, and competition circuits. It comprises violinist Pamela Frank (Chair), violinist and conductor Joji Hattori (Vice-Chair), violinist Noah Bendix-Balgley, violinist Ray Chen, violinist and entrepreneur Aaron Dworkin, violinist Ning Feng, cellist Ralph Kirshbaum, pianist Anton Nel, and violinist Soyoung Yoon. “The Menuhin Competition is special for many reasons – it’s an inspiring event because it’s more like a festival than a ‘contest’ and it’s ultimately a celebration of the violin,” remarks Jury Chair Pamela Frank.  “I think the participants feel they’re able to experience the sheer joy of violin playing whilst expressing themselves, which reminds us all that the real winner is the music. It’s a friendly place and inspiring for all musicians to be a part of it.”

Concert highlights from the Menuhin Competition will include performances by last year’s joint winners of the Junior 1st Prize, Chloe Chua and Christian Li, as well as each of the jury members. Guest artists include the Richmond Symphony Youth Orchestra, Regina Carter Quartet, fiddlers and pedagogues Mark and Maggie O’Connor, the Sphinx Virtuosi, and many celebrated Menuhin Competition alumni.  Concert highlights include the world premiere of a new work for violin and string orchestra by Mason Bates and brilliant programs with selections by Shostakovich, Sarasate, Rimsky-Korsakov, Beethoven, Bloch, Schumann, Piazzolla, Jessie Montgomery and Michael Abels, among many others.


Thursday, May 14, 2020, 7:30PM
Opening Gala Concert
Carpenter Theatre, Dominion Energy Center for the Performing Arts

Chloe Chua, violin *
Christian Li, violin **
Soyoung Yoon, violin ***
Richmond Symphony
Jahja Ling, conductor

Shostakovich Festive Overture in A Major, Op. 96
Saint-Saëns Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso, Op.28 **
Sarasate Carmen Fantasy, Op. 25 *
Prokofiev Violin Concerto No. 1 in D Major, Op. 19 ***
Rimsky-Korsakov Capriccio espagnol, Op. 34

The Opening Gala Concert kicks off the Menuhin Competition in spectacular fashion, with violin solos performed by three previous winners of the 1st Prize, including an outstanding juror, alongside celebratory orchestral works. Chloe Chua and Christian Li, joint winners of the Geneva 2018 Junior 1st Prize, and Soyoung Yoon, 2020 juror and winner of the Boulogne 2002 Senior 1st Prize, are conducted by guest conductor Jahja Ling and accompanied by the Richmond Symphony, which closes the concert with Rimsky-Korsakov’s effervescent and virtuosic Capriccio Espagnol.


May 15-18, 2020, 10AM-1:30PM & 2:15PM-5:30PM
Competition Rounds
Modlin Center for the Arts, Camp Concert Hall, University of Richmond

May 15: Junior 1st Round, Day 1
May 16: Junior 1st Round, Day 2
May 17: Senior 1st Round, Day 1
May 18: Senior 1st Round, Day 2

Join our all-star jury in their search for the next generation of great artists when 44 of the best young violinists under the age of 22 from across the globe take to the stage. Each young musician will perform a recital of works for solo violin and violin with piano accompaniment. The repertoire covers three centuries including works by Bach, Telemann, Paganini, Rode, Mozart, Schubert, Franck, Ravel, Poulenc and Kreisler, as well as each Senior competitor’s choice of a recently composed work for solo violin and freestyle improvisation for the Juniors. Audience may come and go in between individual recitals


Friday, May 15, 2020, 7:30PM
Geneva Junior Prizewinners’ Concert
Thomas Dale High School

Chloe Chua, violin
Christian Li, violin

Enjoy an evening of musical mastery with two former prizewinners, 13-year-old Chloe Chua and 12-year-old Christian Li (joint winners of the Geneva 2018 Junior 1st Prize) accompanied by the Menuhin Competition’s Artistic Director, Gordon Back.


Saturday May 16, 2020, 7:30pm
Richmond Symphony Youth Orchestra Spring Concert
Carpenter Theatre, Dominion Energy Center for the Performing Arts

Ning Feng, violin
Daniel Myssyk, conductor
Richmond Symphony Youth Orchestra

Richmond’s premiere youth ensemble, the Richmond Symphony Youth Orchestra, performs Sibelius’s ever-popular Violin Concerto with virtuosic violinist and juror Ning Feng, who was a senior prizewinner of the Competition in 2000, alongside other works from the classical canon conducted by Daniel Myssyk.


Sunday May 17, 2020, 7:30pm
Jurors Showcase
Sonia Vlahcevic Concert Hall, W.E. Singleton Center for the Performing Arts, Virginia Commonwealth University

Pamela Frank, violin *
Noah Bendix-Balgley, violin **
Joji Hattori, viola ^
Ralph Kirshbaum, cello º
Anton Nel, piano ˟
Gordon Back, piano ***

Beethoven Sonata in A Major for Cello and Piano, Op. 69º ˟
Bloch Baal Shem: Three Pictures of Hassidic Life, B. 47 ** ***
Schumann Piano Quintet in E-Flat Major, Op. 44 * ** ^ º ˟

Five jurors of the Menuhin Competition Richmond 2020 join Artistic Director, Gordon Back, in a powerhouse evening showcasing chamber music at its very best. The program celebrates the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth and the 140th anniversary of Ernest Bloch and culminates with the five jurors joining together to perform the brilliant Schumann Piano Quintet in E-flat Major.


Monday May 18, 2020, 7:30pm
Regina Carter Quartet
November Theatre, Virginia Repertory Center

The American jazz violinist Regina Carter has a career that crosses genres. Recipient of some of the top musical awards in the country, including the MacArthur “genius” award, she has been widely hailed for her mastery of her instrument and her drive to expand its possibilities. This special concert featuring Regina Carter and her quartet is presented at the historic Sara Belle and Neil November Theatre. In collaboration with the Richmond Jazz Society.


Tuesday May 19, 2020, 10:00AM-1:30PM & 2:20PM-5:30PM
Junior Semi-Finals
Sonia Vlahcevic Concert Hall, W.E. Singleton Center for the Performing Arts, Virginia Commonwealth University

Giving the young competitors from all over the world an opportunity to demonstrate the diversity of their playing, this round features chamber music collaboration in Dvořák’s Terzetto, performed with previous prizewinner Timothy Chooi and Barry Schiffman and a Beethoven sonata with piano. Each semi-finalist will also play their own choice of a virtuoso work and a recently composed work for solo violin. Audience may come and go in between individual recitals.


Tuesday May 19, 2020, 7:30PM
Kreutzer Sonata and the Sonata Mulattica
Perkinson Recital Hall, North Court, University of Richmond

Ning Feng, violin
Anton Nel, piano

Beethoven Kreutzer Sonata, Violin Sonata No. 9, Op. 47
Rita Dove Sonata Mulattica : A Life in Five Movements and a Short Play (excerpts)

To honor Beethoven’s 250th centenary, arguably his greatest Sonata for piano and violin, “Kreutzer Sonata” will be performed interwoven with readings from U.S. poet laureate Rita Dove’s collection of poems “Sonata Mulattica: A Life in Five Movements and a Short Play”, published in 2009 about the life of Afro-European violinist George Bridgetower (1778–1860).  Bridgetower was the original dedicatee of Beethoven’s sonata, as well as the violinist at the premiere. After the premiere performance Beethoven and Bridgetower had a falling out, causing Beethoven to change the dedication to Rodolphe Kreutzer.


Wednesday May 20, 2020, 10:00AM-1:30PM & 2:20PM-4:30PM
Senior Semi-Finals
Sonia Vlahcevic Concert Hall, W.E. Singleton Center for the Performing Arts, Virginia Commonwealth University

Nine Senior semi-finalists will play for their place in the coveted Senior Finals. This round sees each violinist collaborate with guitarist Chaconne Klaverenga in Piazzolla’s “Histoire du Tango” and give world premiere performances of a new commission by Mark O’Connor. Each semi-finalist will also perform the 1st movement of a Mozart concerto and a virtuoso work of their choice with or without piano. Audience may come and go in between individual recitals.


Wednesday May 20, 2020, 7:30PM
Mark and Maggie O’Connor
The Byrd Theatre

The American fiddling legend Mark O’Connor comes to the Byrd Theatre with his wife Maggie as the violin duo highlights Virginia’s own fiddling roots through their music. The program offers a broad and interconnecting collection of American music through violin/fiddle solos and duos, with additional music by Mark O’Connor on guitar.


Thursday May 21, 2020, 10:00am-12:00 noon, 12:30pm-2:30pm & 3:00pm-5:00pm
Academic Learning Commons, Virginia Commonwealth University

Watch our jury of internationally acclaimed performers guide the next generation of outstanding musicians. Each juror will lead a two-hour open masterclass at Virginia Commonwealth University.


Thursday May 21, 2020, 7:30PM
Sphinx Virtuosi Showcase
Modlin Center for the Arts, Camp Concert Hall, University of Richmond

Sphinx Virtuosi
Joji Hattori,
violin *
Elena Urioste, violin **
Jessie Montgomery Starburst for string orchestra
Walker Lyric for Strings

Piazzolla Cuatro Estaciones Porteñas [The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires] **
Svendsen Romance, Op. 26 *
Perkinson Alla Burletta, 3rd movement from Generations: Sinfonietta No. 2 for Strings
Michael Abels Delights and Dances

The Sphinx Virtuosi is one of the United States’ most dynamic professional chamber orchestras. Comprised of 18 of the nation’s top Black and Latinx classical soloists, primarily alumni of the internationally renowned Sphinx Competition, these artists come together as cultural ambassadors to reach new audiences. As Artist-in-Residence at the Menuhin Competition, this concert showcases their mission of advancing diversity in classical music by presenting varied programs of works by composers of color alongside well-known masterpieces.  This concert will include a pre-concert talk at 6:00pm with Aaron Dworkin, juror as well as Founder of the Sphinx Organization, and Dr. Ronald Crutcher, President of the University of Richmond.


Friday May 22, 2020, 3:30PM
The Danger of a Single Story: The Importance of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion in the Arts and their Role in Society – Panel Discussion
Institute for Contemporary Art at Virginia Commonwealth University

Aaron Dworkin, 2020 Juror, violinist, and founder of the Sphinx Organization, leads a panel discussion facilitated by University of Richmond president Dr. Ronald Crutcher. The role and importance of diversity in art – not only in music, but also in dance and visual art – will be discussed, featuring an audience Q&A session as well.


Friday May 22, 2020, 7:30PM
Junior Finals
Carpenter Theatre, Dominion Energy Center for the Performing Arts

Sphinx Virtuosi
Five Junior finalists

Mason Bates New commission for violin and string orchestra (world premiere)
The Four Seasons, Op. 8, Nos. 1-4

The Finals of the Junior section in the Menuhin Competition Richmond 2020. Five of the world’s best young violinists under the age of 16 will compete for one of the coveted awards. Each finalist will lead one of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons from the violin and perform a new commission for violin and string orchestra written by Mason Bates.

Audience members will also have the opportunity to vote for a finalist to be awarded the Audience Prize.  The prizewinners will be announced at the end of the evening.

Saturday May 23, 2020, 7:30pm
Senior Finals
Carpenter Theatre, Dominion Energy Center for the Performing Arts

Richmond Symphony
Andrew Litton
, conductor
Four Senior finalists

Lalo Symphonie Espagnole for violin and orchestra in D minor, Op. 21 (without 3rd movement)
Mendelssohn Violin Concerto in E minor, Op. 64
Saint-Saëns Violin Concerto No. 3 in B minor, Op. 61
Wieniawski Violin Concerto No. 2 in D minor, Op. 22

Witness the culmination of the Menuhin Competition Richmond 2020. Four of the world’s best young violinists perform their choice of violin concerto from the Competition repertoire in the final stage of their journey to be awarded one of the sought-after prizes.

Audience members will also have the opportunity to vote for a finalist to be awarded the Audience Prize. The prizewinners will be announced at the end of the evening.


Sunday, May 24, 2020, 5:00pm
Closing Gala Concert
Carpenter Theatre, Dominion Energy Center for the Performing Arts

Richmond Symphony
Sphinx Virtuosi
Andrew Litton
, conductor
Junior Competition winner*
Senior Competition winner**
Ray Chen, violin***
Michael Abels Delights & Dances
Vivaldi Concerto from The Four Seasons, Op. 8 * Concerto movement to be announced**
Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto in D Major, Op. 35 (1st movement) ***
De Falla Suite No. 2 from The Three-Cornered Hat

The Closing Gala Concert brings the Menuhin Competition Richmond 2020 to a rousing conclusion, featuring the Junior and Senior winners, inspirational juror and previous winner of the Senior 1st Prize Ray Chen, the Sphinx Virtuosi, and the Richmond Symphony with guest conductor Andrew Litton. The joyful Three-Cornered Hat Suite draws the 2020 Competition to a thrilling close



Now the oldest running chamber music series in the nation, the venerable, Connecticut-based Music Mountain concert series celebrates its 90th continuous year of presenting outstanding artists and beloved repertoire to East Coast concertgoers this season.  Founded by Jacques Gordon in 1930 and directed by his son, Nicholas, for 45 years until his passing in 2017, Music Mountain is housed in Falls Village, a bucolic community in Northern Connecticut, where the 355-seat Gordon Hall provides an intimate concert experience and remarkable acoustics. The hall was designed and built to mimic the curvature of the belly of a violin, and has been drawing artists and audiences back to Music Mountain year after year for decades. It was called “an acoustical marvel” by Nick Gordon, “an extraordinary place to hear a concert…both spiritual and beautiful.”

Directed by distinguished clarinetist Oskar Espina-Ruiz, Music Mountain celebrates its 90th anniversary this summer with a series of outstanding string quartets on Sunday afternoons at 3:00. This season’s remaining concerts, through September 22, feature performances by the Penderecki, Ariel, Harlem, Emerson, St. Petersburg, Cassatt, Daedalus, Dover, and Juilliard String Quartets, as well as the 30th anniversary return of the Shanghai Quartet.  Acclaimed soloists include pianist Tanya Bannister and cellist Paul Katz.

Music Mountain’s Twilight Series, on Saturday evenings, features concerts of traditional jazz and American Songboook repertoire through August 24.


Peter & Will Anderson Quartet:
The Magic of Benny Goodman

“These guys flood the room with joy” –Seattle Times

Penderecki String Quartet
Stewart Goodyear, Piano

Haydn: String Quartet in D Major, Op. 76 #5
Mendelssohn: String Quartet in E Flat Major, Op. 12
Brahms: Piano Quintet in F Minor, Op. 34

New Black Eagle Jazz Band

The very best in New Orleans Jazz, Gospel and Blues.

Ariel Quartet
Victoria Schwartzman, Piano
Beethoven: String Trio in C Minor, Op. 9 #3 (1797-98)
Beethoven: Cello Sonata #3 in A Major, Op. 69 (1807-08)
Brahms: Piano Quartet in G Minor, Opus 25
*Including a Silent Auction, beginning at 2 PM

This program has changed since its initial announcement. 

Swingtime Big Band

Big Band classics from the Great American Songbook

“Musicians who make the sounds of the pre-rock era rock” –The New York Times

Harlem String Quartet
Francine Kay, Piano

Debussy: String Quartet in G Minor, Op. 10
Gabriela Lena Frank: Milagros (Miracles) for string quartet*
William Bolcom: Three Rags for String Quartet
Franck: Piano Quintet in F Minor

Michael Berkeley & No Tune Like a Show Tune:

The Envelope, Please
A celebration of award-winning songs from the Tonys, Oscars, Emmys, Grammys, and
Country Music Awards

Underwritten by an Anonymous Donor

Emerson String Quartet

Mozart: String Quartet in D Major, K. 575 “Prussian”
Dvořák: String Quartet in E Flat Major, Op. 51
Shostakovich: String Quartet #5 in B Flat Major, Op. 92
Underwritten by Harold and Deko Klebanoff

Wolverine Jazz Band

Kings of Swing, Ragtime and Hot Dance

St. Petersburg String Quartet
Tao Lin, Piano

Turina: La oración del torero (The bullfighter’s prayer), Op. 34
Ravel: String Quartet in F Major
Sofia Gubaidulina: Piano Quintet*

Barbara Fasano & Eric Comstock:

Busy Being Free

“Meet the new fun couple on the cabaret block. Mr. Comstock and Ms. Fasano are turning the neighborhood into a hotbed of pleasure.” –The New York Times

St. Petersburg String Quartet & Piano Quartet

Glazunov: String Quartet #1 in D Major, Op. 1*
Beethoven: Grosse Fuge, Op. 133
Schumann: Piano Quartet in E Flat Major, Op. 47

Galvanized Jazz Band

The “best Jazz Band in the State” (Connecticut Magazine) “gets your blood running” (Jazzbeat) with hot Dixieland, New Orleans Jazz, and more

Cassatt String Quartet
Paul Katz, Cello
Pei Shan, Piano

Mozart: Piano Quartet in E Flat Major, K. 493
Beethoven: String Quartet in B Flat Major, Op. 18 #6
Brahms: Cello Quintet in F Minor (precursor of Piano Quintet in F Minor, Op. 34, arr. Anssi Karttunen)*

Shanghai Quartet

Haydn: String Quartet in G Major, Op. 77 #1
Penderecki: String Quartet #3 “Leaves of an unwritten diary
Beethoven: String Quartet in A Minor, Op. 132


Shanghai Quartet
Todd Crow, Piano

Beethoven: String Quartet in G Major, Op. 18 #2
Frank Bridge: Novelletten*
Brahms: Piano Quartet in A Major, Op. 26

Daedalus Quartet
Tanya Bannister, Piano

Bach: Selections from ‘Art of the Fugue’ BWV 1080
Beethoven: String Quartet in E Flat Major, Op. 74 “Harp”
Elgar: Piano Quintet in A Minor, Op. 84

Dover Quartet

“Bound by Brahms”

Mozart: Adagio and Fugue in C Minor, K. 546
Hindemith: Quartet No. 3
Brahms: Quartet No. 3 in B-flat Major, Op. 67
Underwritten by Joyce Schwartz

Juilliard Quartet

Mozart: String Quartet in B Flat Major, K. 458 “The Hunt”
Britten: String Quartet No. 3 in G Major, Op. 94
Brahms: String Quartet in A minor, Op. 51 No. 2

*Denotes Series Premier



Four years after the unprecedented success of the 2016 Piatigorsky International Cello Festival, which welcomed more than 5,300 Festival attendees, the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music and the Los Angeles Philharmonic bring the third iteration of this truly unsurpassed, 10-day, 42-event festival back to Los Angeles March 13-22, 2020. Uniting masters and young cellists from around the world, this joyous celebration of the cello, its mus ic and musicians will once again present a “Who’s Who” of the cello – more than 30 renowned international artists representing 15 countries and four continents. The Festival’s roster includes some of the world’s most revered cellists – Mischa Maisky, Steven Isserlis, Jean-Guihen Queyras, David Geringas, Frans Helmerson, Raphael Wallfisch, and Wendy Warner, among others – some of whom carry on Piatigorsky’s legacy as his former pupils.

This overabundance of world-class talent on stage would be enough to make the Festival a remarkable and artistically significant event. But the Piatigorsky Festival’s transformative power is rooted in its congenial atmosphere beyond the stage, which removes the barriers between master and student, between artist and audience. Alex Ross wrote in The New Yorker that the festival “was not the place to muse on the cello’s reputation for solemnity. A try-anything atmosphere prevailed, with a hint of late-night collegiate shenanigans sneaking in. Cellists sang, shouted, and banged gongs during performances.” The best cellists in the world – who are usually touring the globe – enjoy a rare opportunity to share their knowledge and love of the cello with the next generation and to collaborate with and listen to each other. The result is a singular and unforgettable experience for cellists and listeners alike.

It is fitting that this global gathering of cellists takes place against the backdrop of Los Angeles, one of the most culturally diverse and progressive metropolitan areas in North America, and the place where Piatigorsky settled and taught at the end of his life. Two of the city’s most treasured artistic institutions – USC Thornton School of Music and the Los Angeles Philharmonic – make it a musical reflection of this extraordinary, creative locale, with music from across several centuries, right up to the current moment. Two brilliant pieces make their world premieres: an LA Phil Commission for Ralph Kirshbaum by Julia Adolphe with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and a New Music USA Commission for the SAKURA Cello Quintet by Donald Crockett. In addition, Quirine Viersen performs the US Premiere of Glacier by Dutch “avante pop” composer Jacob TV.  Six evening recitals will also be devoted to the entire Bach Cello Suites, each performed by a different cellist.

The Festival also boasts eleven masterclasses, an Improvisation Workshop led by composer/cellist Giovanni Sollima, an Instrument Forum & Exhibition, a Workshop for Young Cellists, Lectures, and a documentary on the life of the Festival’s namesake, Gregor Piatigorsky.  The closing gala concert at Walt Disney Concert Hall features works by Villa-Lobos and Bach arranged for mass cello ensemble, which comprises over 100 cellists on one stage.



Ye Lin (Stella) Cho • Thomas DemengaEvan DrachmanChiara EnderleDavid GeringasClive GreensmithNarek HakhnazaryanFrans HelmersonSteven IsserlisMichael KaufmanTerry KingRalph KirshbaumMaria KliegelJakob KoranyiBenjamin LashLaurence LesserAntonio LysyJens Peter MaintzMischa MaiskyYoshika MasudaPeter MyersJean-Guihen QueyrasWolfgang Emanuel SchmidtInbal SegevAndrew ShulmanGiovanni SollimaJeffrey SolowKian SoltaniTorleif ThedeenCamille ThomasLaura Van der HeijdenIstvan VardaiQuirine ViersenRaphael WallfischWendy Warner

Hilo CarrielKaren KamensekCarl St.Clair

LA PhilUSC Thornton Symphony •  Piatigorsky Festival Orchestra •  SAKURA Cello Quintet

Yura Lee

Collaborative Pianists
Bernadene BlahaYa-Fei ChuangVivian FanKevin Fitz-Gerald •  Lily Maisky • Alin Melik-Adamyan • Juho PohjonenRobert Thies



All venues are located at USC, with the exception of concerts at the Walt Disney Concert Hall.

Friday, March 13, 2020
Opening Gala Concert
7:30PM • Bovard Auditorium

USC Thornton Symphony
Carl St.Clair,
Mischa Maisky, cello

  1. Strauss: Don Quixote, Op. 35

Saturday, March 14, 2020
Maisky Discussion
11:00AM-12:30PM • Alfred Newman Recital Hall

Piatigorsky Film and Panel

Cellist: The Legacy of Gregor Piatigorsky

3:00PM • Alfred Newman Recital Hall

Panel featuring students of Piatigorsky

Terry King (Official Biographer of Piatigorsky)
Laurence Lesser
Mischa Maisky
Jeffrey Solow
Raphael Wallfisch

Recital Gala
7:30PM • Bovard Auditorium


Thomas Demenga
Chiara Enderle
David Geringas

Frans Helmerson
Antonio Lysy
Mischa Maisky
Andrew Shulman
Quirine Viersen
Raphael Wallfisch


Bernadene Blaha
Jujo Pohjonen
Robert Thies

With a 7:00PM Pre-Concert Talk presented by American cellist, Jeffrey Solow

                       Schumann: Five Pieces in Folk Style, Op. 102 (Demenga)
Adagio and Allegro  (Enderle)
Fantasy Pieces, Op. 73 (Helmerson)

                       Mendelssohn: Sonata in B-flat Major, Op. 45, Op. 3, No. 1 (Lysy)
Cello Sonata in D Major, Op. 58, No. 2 (Geringas)
Variations Concertantes, Op. 17 (Shulman)
Song Without Words (Viersen)

                       Brahms: Sonata in E Minor, Op. 38 (Wallfisch)
Sonata in F Major, Op. 99 (Maisky)

Sunday, March 15, 2020
Master Class with Maria Kliegel
10:00AM • Alfred Newman Recital Hall

Lunch Series Concert
1:00PM • Alfred Newman Recital Hall

Jakob Koranyi, cello
Juho Pohjonen, piano

  1. Hillborg: Duo for Cello and Piano
    M. Lysenko: Sum, Elegy for Cello and Piano
    Shostakovich: Sonata for Cello and Piano, Op. 40

Master Class with Frans Helmerson
3:00PM • Alfred Newman Recital Hall

Bach Series
7:00PM • Alfred Newman Recital Hall

Thomas Demenga, cello
Bach: Cello Suite No. 1

Piatigorsky Festival Orchestra
8:00PM  Bovard Auditorium

Thomas Demenga, cello
Jens Peter Maintz, cello
SAKURA Cello Quintet
Wolfgang Emanuel Schmidt, cello
Giovanni Sollima, cello
Istvan Vardai, cello
Raphael Wallfisch, cello

Vivaldi: Concerto for two cellos in g minor, RV 531(Maintz and Schmidt)
Weinberg: Concertino(Wallfisch
Sallinen: Nocturnal Dances of Don Juan Quixote (Demenga)
Sollima: Violoncelles vibrez! (Sollima, Vardai, and SAKURA)
Costanzi: Concerto in G major (Sollima)
Costanzi: Concerto in F major (Sollima)

Monday, March 16, 2020
Master Class with Wolfgang Emanuel Schmidt
10:00AM • Alfred Newman Recital Hall

Lunch Series Concert
1:00PM • Alfred Newman Recital Hall

Quirine Viersen, cello
JacobTV: Glacier (US Premiere)
Cello Suite No. 1

Master Class with Ralph Kirshbaum
3:00PM • Alfred Newman Recital Hall

Bach Series
7:00PM • Alfred Newman Recital Hall

Frans Helmerson, cello
Bach: Cello Suite No. 2

Evening Recital
8:00 PM • Bovard Auditorium

Maria Kliegel, cello/Robert Thies, piano
David Geringas, cello/Bernadene Blaha, piano

George Onslow: Sonata Op. 16, No. 3 (Kliegel)
Camillo Schumann: Cello Sonata in G Minor, Op. 59, No. 1 (Kliegel)
Fazil Say: Four Cities: IV. Bodrum  (Kliegel)
Weinberg: Sonata, Op. 63, No. 2 (Geringas)
Grigory Krein: Poéme (Geringas)
Julian Krein: Sonata-Poem for Cello and Piano (Geringas)

Tuesday, March 17, 2020
Master Class with Torleif Thedeen
Alfred Newman Recital Hall

Lunch Series Concert
Alfred Newman Recital Hall

Kian Soltani, cello
Bernadene Blaha, piano

Arvo Pärt: Fratres
Reza Vali: Persian Folk Songs (Set.16C)
                   The Girl from Shiraz
                   Love Drunk (mastom-mastom)
Rachmaninov: Cello Sonata, Op. 19

Master Class with Thomas Demenga
Alfred Newman Recital Hall

Bach Series
Alfred Newman Recital Hall

Jakob Koranyi, cello

Bach: Cello Suite No. 3

Evening Recital
Bovard Auditorium

Cello Duello

     Jens Peter Maintz
Wolfgang Emanuel Schmidt

Haydn: Duo in G Major Hob: XII:1+4
Dutilleux: Trois strophes sur le nom de Sacher (Maintz)
Paganini: Cantabile (arr. Cello Duello)
Prokofiev: March for Children (arr. Piatigorsky) (Schmidt)
Weinberg: Prelude No. 21
Piatigorsky: Promenade: Prokofiev Meets Shostakovich
Rostropovich: Etude
Weber: Adagio und Rondo (arr. Piatigorsky, transcribed for two cellos) (Cello Duello)
Offenbach: Duo in E Major, Op. 54
Händel-Halvorsen: Passacaglia (ar. Cello Duello)

Wednesday, March 18, 2020
Master Class with Jens Peter Maintz
10:00AM Alfred Newman Recital Hall

Lunch Series Concert
Alfred Newman Recital Hall

Inbal Segev, cello
Juho Pohjonen, piano

Poulenc: Sonata for Cello and Piano
Gity Razaz: Legend of Sigh: Concerto for Cello and Electronics

Improvisation Workshop
Alfred Newman Recital Hall

Led by Giovanni Sollima, cello

Bach Series
Alfred Newman Recital Hall

Laurence Lesser, cello

Bach: Cello Suite No. 4

Pre-concert talk at 6:30PM on the Bach Suites presented by Jeffrey Solow

Evening Recital
Bovard Auditorium

Torleif Thedeen, cello/Juho Pohjonen, piano
Wendy Warner, cello/Kevin Fitz-Gerald, piano

Barber: Cello Sonata, Op. 6 (Thedeen)
Grieg: Cello Sonata in A Minor, Op. 36 (Thedeen)
Myaskovsky: Cello Sonata No. 2 in A Minor, Op. 81 (Warner)
Britten: Cello Sonata in C Major, Op. 65 (Warner)

Thursday, March 19, 2020
Master Class with Laurence Lesser
Alfred Newman Recital Hall

Lunch Series Concert
Alfred Newman Recital Hall

Chiara Enderle, cello
Robert Thies, piano

Beethoven: Sonata in C Major, Op. 102, No. 1
Penderecki: Capriccio per Siegfried Palm
Stravinsky: Suite Italienne

Master Class with Steven Isserlis

3:00PM Alfred Newman Recital Hall

Bach Series

7:00PM Alfred Newman Recital Hall
Jean-Guihen Queyras,

Bach: Cello Suite No. 5

Evening Recital
Bovard Auditorium

Giovanni Sollima, cello
Istvan Vardai, cello/Bernadene Blaha, piano

Giovanni Sollima: Concerto rotondo (Sollima)
Giulio de Ruvo (sec XVII): Romanella and Tarantella for violoncello senza basso (Sollima)
Alfredo Piatti: Tema con variazioni sul Carafa (Sollima)
Eliodoro Sollima: Sonata 1959 for cello solo (Sollima)
Francesco Corbetta: Caprice de Chaconne (arr. G. Sollima) (Sollima)
Traditional Salento: Santu Paulu (Sollima)
Giovanni Sollima:  Fandango after Boccherini (Sollima)
Kodály: Capriccio for Solo Cello (Vardai)
Janáček: Pohadka (Vardai)
Schubert: Sonata in A Minor, D. 821 Arpeggione Sonata (Vardai)
Popper: Hungarian Rhapsody, Op. 68 (Vardai)

Friday, March 20, 2020
Exhibition Hall
9:00AM – 6:00PM

Laura Van der Heijden with Los Angeles Philharmonic
Walt Disney Concert Hall

Haydn: Cello Concerto No. 1 in C Major

Lunch Series Concert
Alfred Newman Recital Hall

Camille Thomas, cello
Kevin Fitz-Gerald, piano

Prokofiev: Cello Sonata
Beethoven: Cello Sonata in A Major, Op. 69

Master Class with David Geringas
Alfred Newman Recital Hall 

Bach Series
Alfred Newman Recital Hall
Istvan Vardai,

Bach: Cello Suite No. 6

Evening Recital
Bovard Auditorium
Jean-Guihen Queyras,
Steven Isserlis, cello/Ya-Fei Chuang, piano

Ligeti: Solo Sonata (Queyras)
Kodály: Solo Sonata, Op. 8 (Queyras)
Beethoven: 12 Variations in F Major Ein Mädchen oder Weibchen (Isserlis)
Schumann: Three Romances, Op. 94 (Isserlis)
Kabalevsky: Sonata in B-flat Major, Op. 71 (Isserlis)

Saturday, March 21, 2020
Exhibition Hall
9:00AM – 6:00PM

Instrument Forum
Alfred Newman Recital Hall

Featuring Joseph Bein/Bein & Fuschi
Florian Leonard/Florian Leonard Violins
Simon Morris/J & A Beare
Bruno Price/Rare Violins of New York
Jason Price/Tarisio
Chris Reuning/Reuning Violins

Lunch Series Concert
Alfred Newman Recital Hall

Clive Greensmith, cello/Robert Thies, piano
Narek Hakhnazaryan, cello/Kevin Fitz-Gerald, piano

Pál Hermann: Cello Concerto, First Movement (Greensmith)
Martinů: Cello Sonata No. 1 (Greensmith)
Tsintzadze: Five Folk Pieces for Cello and Piano (Hakhnazaryan)
Bagdasaryan: Nocturne (Hakhnazaryan)
Harutyunyan: Impromptu (Hakhnazaryan)
Tchaikovsky: Nocturne No. 4, Op. 19 (Hakhnazaryan)
Rostropovich:  Humoresque (Hakhnazaryan)

Master Class with Jean-Guihen Queyras
Alfred Newman Recital Hall

Kian Soltani with the Los Angeles Philharmonic
Walt Disney Concert Hall

Schumann: Cello Concerto in A Minor, Op. 129

Sunday, March 22, 2020
Workshop for Young Cellists
Alice and Eleonore Schoenfeld Symphonic Hall

Led by Clive Greensmith, cello

Ralph Kirshbaum with the Los Angeles Philharmonic
Walt Disney Concert Hall

Julia Adolphe: World Premiere with the LA Phil Commission

Colburn Celebrity Series Recital
Walt Disney Concert Hall

Jean-Guihen Queyras, cello/Juho Pohjonen, piano
Camille Thomas, cello/Bernadene Blaha, piano
Narek Hakhnazaryan, cello/Kevin Fitz-Gerald, piano
SAKURA Cello Quintet
Mass Cello Ensemble

Franck: Sonata (Queyras)
Debussy: Sonata (Thomas)
Milhaud: Braziliera (Thomas)
Faure: Elegy, Op. 24 (Hakhnazaryan)
Paganini: Variations on the G String (Hakhnazaryan)
Donald Crockett: World Premiere, Comissioned by New Music USA (SAKURA)
Debussy:  The Girl with the Flaxen Hair (SAKURA)
Villa-Lobos: Bachianas Brasilieras No. 5 (Mass Cello Ensemble)
Bach: Air (Mass Cello Ensemble)



Quartetto di Cremona is admired as a preeminent quartet of its generation, noted for its lustrous sound, refined musicianship, and stylistic versatility.  Since its founding in 2000 at the Accademia Walter Stauffer in Cremona, the Quartet has toured extensively in Europe, the United States, South America, and Asia, appeared at leading festivals, and performed regularly on radio and television broadcasts, including RAI, BBC, Westdeutscher Rundfunk, and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.  The Quartetto di Cremona’s extensive repertoire encompasses key masterworks—Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert—and essential twentieth-century literature by Berg, Schoenberg, Webern, Bartók, Shostakovich, and Mauricio Kagel.

After last season’s debut performance at the Frick Collection in New York and a major tour throughout Europe—Milan, Verona, Florence, Rome, Genoa, Bergamo, Berlin, Hamburg, Stockholm, Amsterdam, Leiden, Geneva, Zurich, and Valencia, in the 2019-2020 season, Quartetto di Cremona embarks on a ten cities-North America tour, appearing at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts, Wallis Annenberg Center, Music Toronto, Parlance Chamber Concerts, Rockefeller University, Houston da Camera, Dumbarton Concerts, Boise Chamber Music Series, American Music Festival and Chamber Music Wilmington.

In July 2018, the German label Audite issued the box set of Quartetto di Cremona’s complete cycle of the Beethoven quartets, recorded during the period 2013-2016, which includes the String Quintet in C major, Op. 29 with Lawrence Dutton, violist of the Emerson String Quartet.  The box set received widespread and immediate recognition, including a five-star rating in BBC Music Magazine, the International Classical Music Awards 2018, the Echo Klassik 2017 prize, Supersonic Award from the German magazine Pizzicato and selection as album of the month by the German Journal Fonoforum.  The Quartet’s latest all-Schubert album featuring Death and the Maiden and String Quintet in C major with cellist Eckart Runge, released by Audite in May 2019, was recorded on Stradivarius’s Paganini Quartet, one of the few quartet “sets” completed by Antonio Stradivari and once owned by the legendary violinist Niccolò Paganini. Eckart Runge plays a rare cello made by Hieronymus and Antonio Amati in their Cremonese atelier.

One of the earliest recipients of the Borletti-Buitoni Trust,  Quartetto di Cremona is supported by the Kulturfond Peter Eckes. Awarded with the BBT Fellowship in 2005, the Quartetto di Cremona is the recipient of the second “Franco Buitoni Award” (2019), in recognition of their contribution in promoting and encouraging chamber music in Italy and throughout the world.

In 2015, the musicians were awarded honorary citizenship by the city of Cremona.  The Quartet resides in Genoa.

“This is the most exciting new disc of string quartet playing that I have come across for a long time…Altogether a revelation.” — BBC Music Magazine

“The Cremona Quartet completes its Beethoven series with a fine coupling, combining exemplary technique and intonational purity with an interpretive acuity that strips away 19th-century rhetoric while avoiding the pitfalls of sounding merely ‘historically informed’.”  — The Strad

2019-2020 North American Tour

Oct. 17                       Toronto                                   Jane Mallett Theatre
Oct. 19                       Washington D.C.                    Dumbarton Church
Oct. 21-22                  Houston                                 The Menil Collection
Oct. 24                       Costa Mesa, CA                     Samueli Theater
Nov. 2                         Morehead City, NC                First Presbyterian Church
Nov. 3                         Wilmington, NC                      Beckwith Recital Hall



Sir András Schiff has distinguished himself throughout the course of an exceptional international career that has spanned over 40 years.  He is universally esteemed as a pianist, conductor, pedagogue and lecturer. “An undisputed master of the German repertory,” (The New Yorker), Sir András has been focusing his exquisite interpretations of German master composers, featuring works by Schubert, Bach, Brahms, Beethoven, Mozart and Mendelssohn during the past seasons.  Over the past two seasons, Sir András Schiff appeared as both conductor and soloist with the New York Philharmonic, the Chicago, San Francisco, and Seattle Symphony Orchestras.

During his highly anticipated 2019-2020 North American fall tour, Sir András Schiff conducts and plays with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, pairing concerti by Bach, Beethoven and Haydn with Brahms’s Variations on a Theme by Haydn and Bartók’s colorful Dance Suite.   In addition to the orchestral appearances, he is joined by violinist Yuuko Shiokawa for an all-Mozart sonata program at New York’s 92nd Street Y.  The fall tour concludes with a solo recital in Toronto, Canada, featuring a rich and imaginative program of selected works by Beethoven and Schumann.

“But so successful was the evening that the critic can only throw up his hands, wish you had been there, and quote Ira Gershwin’s endearing tombstone inscription: ‘Words Fail Me.’” — The New York Times

2019 North American Fall Tour

Sunday, October 13, at 3 PM
Kaufmann Concert Hall, 92nd Street Y
New York, NY

With Yuuko Shiokawa, violin

All-Mozart Sonata Program

Sonata No. 27 in G Major, K. 379/373a
Sonata No. 32 in B-flat Major, K. 454
Sonata No. 21 in E Minor, K. 304
Sonata No. 35 in A Major, K. 526

Thursday, October. 17 at 8 PM
Friday, October 18 at 1:30 PM  
Saturday, October 19 at 8 PM

Symphony Hall
301 Massachusetts Ave, Boston, MA 02115

Boston Symphony Orchestra
Sir András Schiff
, Conduct & Play

Bach: Concerto in D minor for three pianos, BWV 1063
Beethoven: Concerto No. 1
Brahms: Variations on a Theme by Haydn, op. 56a
Bartók: Dance Suite, Sz. 77

Wednesday, October 23 at 8 PM
Thursday, October 24 at 8 PM
La Maison Symphonique
1600 St Urbain St, Montreal, QC H2X 0S1, Canada

Orchestre symphonique de Montréal
Sir András Schiff, Conduct & Play

Haydn: Piano Concerto in D major, Hob.XVIII:11
Beethoven: Piano Concerto no. 2 in B-flat major, op. 19
Brahms: Variations on a Theme by Haydn, op. 56a
Bartók: Dance Suite, Sz. 77

Saturday, October 26 at 8 PM
Koerner Hall
273 Bloor St W, Toronto, ON M5S 1V6, Canada

Beethoven: Sonata No.12 in A-flat Major, Op. 26
Schumann: Sonata No. 1 in F-sharp Minor Op. 11
Schumann: Fantasy in C Major Op. 17
Beethoven: Sonata No. 21 in C Major Op. 53 “Waldstein”

Since 2004, Sir Andras has performed complete cycles of the 32 Beethoven Sonatas worldwide and recorded the cycle live for ECM Records. As the 2019-2020 season celebrates Beethoven’s 250th anniversary,  Sir András returns to North America in spring 2020 with two thoughtfully selected all-Beethoven recital programs, presenting a musical biography of the composer.

An exclusive ECM recording Artist, his recordings of works by Schubert, Schumann, Janáček, Beethoven and Bach have been released to the highest of critical acclaim. His newest all-Schubert recording, released in April 2019, features on the composer’s two late sonatas, Four Impromptus D899 and Drei Klavierstücke D946.  The Gramophone opined, “In Schubert Schiff has a claim to be considered sovereign among today’s players, carrying forward the reading and interpretation of him into areas that others have not fully explored.”



Piano Sonata No. 12 in A flat major, Op. 26
Piano Sonata No. 13 in E-flat major, Op. 27, No. 1
Piano Sonata No. 14 in C-Sharp Minor, Op. 27 No. 2 “Moonlight”
Piano Sonata No. 15 in D major, Op. 28


Piano Sonata in F sharp major, Op 78
Piano Sonata No. 25 in G major, Op. 79
Piano Sonata No. 26 in E flat major, “Les Adieux”, Op. 81a
Piano Sonata No. 27 in E minor, Op. 90
Piano Sonata No. 28 in A major, Op. 101

2020 North American Spring Recital Tour

Mar. 22 / Vancouver, BC / Chan Centre for the Performing Arts / Goldberg Variations

Mar. 24 / Vancouver, BC / Vancouver Playhouse / Beethoven program II

Mar. 26 / San Francisco, CA / Herbst Theatre / All Beethoven I

Mar. 29 / Chicago, IL / Chicago Symphony Center / All Beethoven I

Mar. 31/ Chicago, IL / Chicago Symphony Center / All Beethoven II

Apr. 2 / New York, NY/ Stern Auditorium, Carnegie Hall / All Beethoven I

Apr. 5 / New York, NY / Stern Auditorium, Carnegie Hall / All Beethoven II



Beginning his 19th season as Music Director of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and first season as Principal Guest Conductor of the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, conductor Robert Spano returns to Carnegie Hall in spring 2020 with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, performing Beethoven’s magnificent Missa Solemnis with soprano Susanna Phillips, mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke, tenor Benjamin Bliss, and bass Matthew Rose, in celebration of Beethoven’s 250th year.  This performance takes place on April 4, 2020 and marks Maestro Spano’s 15th Carnegie Hall engagement in 16 years; the work will also be performed by the Orchestra and outstanding vocalists in Atlanta on March 26 and 27, 2020. “Missa solemnis is one of the most profound works in the choral literature,” said Spano. “I can’t think of a more appropriate celebration of this major milestone in the life of the Orchestra than a return to Carnegie Hall with our beloved Chorus.”

Saturday, April 4, 2020, 8:00 p.m.
Robert Spano leads Missa solemnis at Carnegie Hall
Carnegie Hall, New York

Robert Spano, conductor
Susanna Phillips, soprano
Sasha Cooke, mezzo-soprano
Benjamin Bliss, tenor
Matthew Rose, bass
Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Chorus
Atlanta Symphony Orchestra

BEETHOVEN: Missa solemnis

Spano’s regular conducting duties with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra are a reflection of his musical vision and programming genius.  His ardent commitment to presenting a diverse, thoughtful range of orchestral works is the pillar upon which he builds an engaged musical community of artists and audiences as they experience timeless music of the classical canon alongside compelling new commissions, cohesively and brilliantly woven together.

This season, Spano opens the ASO’s season with violinist Joshua Bell, performing works by Wagner, Jennifer Higdon, Wienawski and Sarasate.  Further highlights include Mahler’s “Symphony of a Thousand” featuring a spectacular roster of vocalists, including sopranos Evelina Dobračeva, Erin Wall and Nicole Cabell, mezzos Michelle DeYoung and Kelley O’Connor, tenor Toby Spence, baritone Russell Braun, and bass Morris Robinson.  Additionally, Emanuel Ax performs Brahms’s first piano concerto in a performance which also features ASO-commissioned works by Brian Nabors and Richard Prior. The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra inaugurates the Tristan und Isolde Festival by performing the complete Wagner opera in a three-night presentation. Each evening will feature one act of the colossal work, paired with a selection which reflects Wagner’s influence on future composers and whose influence helped shape the opera.

Also highly coveted as a guest conductor, Spano leads the Dallas Symphony, BBC, Singapore, and NHK Symphony Orchestras, and the Auckland Philharmonic.


Friday, Sept. 20, 2019, 8:00 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 21, 2019, 8:00 p.m.
Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019, 3:00 p.m.

Violin Sensation Joshua Bell Returns
Atlanta Symphony Hall, Memorial Arts Building, Woodruff Arts Center

Robert Spano, conductor
Joshua Bell, violin
Atlanta Symphony Orchestra

WAGNER Prelude to Act I of Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg
JENNIFER HIGDON Concerto for Orchestra
WIENIAWSKI Violin Concerto No. 2
SARASATE Zigeunerweisen

October 25, 26, 27, 2019
Dallas Symphony Orchestra

TSONTAKIS Violin Concerto (World Premiere)
VAUGHAN WILLIAMS Symphony No. 1 (A Sea Symphony)

Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019, 8:00 p.m.
Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019, 8:00 p.m.
An All-Star Cast Sings Mahler’s “Symphony of a Thousand”
Atlanta Symphony Hall, Memorial Arts Building, Woodruff Arts Center

Robert Spano, conductor
Evelina Dobračeva, soprano
Erin Wall, soprano*
Nicole Cabell, soprano
Michelle DeYoung, mezzo-sporano
Kelley O’Connor, mezzo-soprano
Toby Spence, tenor*
Russell Braun, baritone
Morris Robinson, bass

Morehouse College Glee Club
Spelman College Glee Club
Gwinnett Young Singers
Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Chorus
Atlanta Symphony Orchestra

MAHLER Symphony No. 8, “Symphony of a Thousand”

Thursday, Nov. 21, 2019, 8:00 p.m.*
Saturday, Nov. 23, 2019, 8:00 p.m.
Emanuel Ax Plays Brahms
Atlanta Symphony Hall, Memorial Arts Building, Woodruff Arts Center

Robert Spano, conductor
Emanuel Ax, piano
Atlanta Symphony Orchestra

BRIAN NABORS (Rapido! Winner) TBA (ASO Commission)
Symphony No. 4 (ASO Commission)
Piano Concerto No. 1

*Thursday evening includes a pre-concert chamber music recital at 6:45 p.m. in Atlanta Symphony Hall. Free for all ticket holders of the Nov. 21 and 23, 2019 concerts.

Sunday, November 24, 2019, 3:00 p.m.
Emanuel Ax Plays Brahms at UGA
Hugh Hodgson Concert Hall, University of Georgia – Athens, GA

Robert Spano, conductor
Emanuel Ax, piano
Atlanta Symphony Orchestra

RICHARD PRIOR Symphony No. 4 (ASO Commission)
Piano Concerto No. 1

January 29, 2020
BBC Symphony Orchestra

SKYLLAS (world premiere)
PÄRT Cantus in Memoriam Benjamin Britten
RACHMANINOV Concerto for Piano No. 3 in D minor, Op.30

February 29, 2020
Singapore Symphony Orchestra

KNUSSEN The Way to Castle Yonder
TAN DUN The Tears of Nature, Percussion Concerto (2012)
RACHMANINOV Symphony No. 3 in A minor, Op.44

March 5, 2020
Auckland Philharmonic

HIGDON Cityscape, “River Sings a Song to Trees” (middle movement)
MOZART Concerto for Flute and Harp in C major, K. 299
VAUGHAN WILLIAMS Symphony No. 2 in G major (“A London Symphony”)

April 29, 2019
NHK Symphony Orchestra

RODRIGO Concierto de Aranjuez
BERLIOZ Sinfonie Fantastique

May 4, 2020
NHK Symphony Orchestra
Music Tomorrow Series

NHK Commission  TBD
Otaka Prize winner TBD

JONATHAN LESHNOFF: Chamber Concerto for Violin

Thursday, June 11, 2020, 8:00 p.m. Act I
Saturday, June 13, 2020, 8:00 p.m. Act II
Sunday, June 14, 2020, 3:00 p.m. Act III
Atlanta Symphony Hall, Memorial Arts Building, Woodruff Arts Center

Robert Spano, conductor
Tamara Wilson/Isolde*
Simon O’Neill/Tristan*
Jamie Barton/Brangäne
Ryan McKinny/Kurwenal*
Andrea Mastroni/King Marke
Ric Furman/Melot
Atlanta Symphony Orchestra

Wagner: Tristan und Isolde (Atlanta Premiere)

Thursday, June 11, 2020, 8:00 p.m
Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Chamber Chorus (June 11 only)

BACH Cantata No. 12, “Weinen, Klagen, Sorgen, Zagen”
WAGNER Tristan und Isolde Act I

Saturday, June 13, 2020, 8:00 p.m.

SCHOENBERG Verklärte Nacht
WAGNER Tristan und Isolde Act II

Sunday, June 14, 2020, 3:00 p.m.

PURCELL Selections from Dido and Aeneas
WAGNER Tristan und Isolde Act II



German conductor Markus Stenz is known for his vibrant, masterful musical interpretations; the breadth of his artistry has placed him in international standing as a prized collaborator and passionate performer, especially of German orchestral music, and of operatic scores. Stenz has appeared at many of the world’s major opera houses and international festivals including La Scala in Milan, La Monnaie in Brussels, English National Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, San Francisco Opera, Stuttgart Opera, Frankfurt Opera, Glyndebourne Festival Opera, Edinburgh International Festival, the Bregenz Festival (with the world premiere of Solaris by Detlev Glanert in July 2012) and Salzburg Festival.  Since his debut as an opera conductor at La Fenice in Venice, he has conducted many world premieres and first performances including Henze’s Das Verratene Meer in Berlin, Venus und Adonis at the Bavarian State Opera in Munich and L’Upupa at the 2003 Salzburg Festival. Most recently, Stenz conducted the world premiere of the highly anticipated Fin de Partie by Hungarian composer György Kurtág at La Scala in November, 2018.  Critics around the world were enamored with the score and his performances in Milan and Amsterdam. About this collaboration, The New York Times remarked: “Glistening and nimble, the Scala orchestra is conducted by Markus Stenz, who leads an exceptionally delicate score — its balances and pauses fragile and exposed — with naturalness and a sense of spontaneity.”

In addition to his regular duties as Principal Guest Conductor of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Chief Conductor of the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra  and Conductor-in-Residence of the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra, Stenz will make his conducting debuts with the New Jersey and Detroit Symphony Orchestras this season in programs that feature solosists Juho Pohjonen and Alexander Gavrylyuck, performing exciting programs with works by Rebel, Grieg, Brahms, Rachmaninoff, Busoni, and Scriabin.  In August 2019, he returns to the Aspen Music Festival to conduct the Aspen Chamber Symphony with violinist Sergey Khachatryan and mezzo-soprano Isabel Leonard in a program that includes Chabrier’s España, rhapsody, Khachaturian’s Violin Concerto, and Bizet’s Carmen Suite. In Fall 2019, Stenz leads a program of Mozart and Bruckner with the Indianapolis Symphony.

Friday, August 2, 2019 at 6:00PM
Aspen Music Festival – Benedict Music Tent

Aspen Chamber Symphony
Markus Stenz
, conductor
Sergey Khachatryan, violin
Isabel Leonard, mezzo-soprano

CHABRIER España, rhapsody
KHACHATURIAN Violin Concerto
RAVEL Shéhérazade
BIZET Carmen Suite

Thursday, October 24, 2019 at 11:15AM
Friday, October 25, 2019 at 8:00PM
Saturday, October 26, 2019 at 5:30PM
Hilbert Circle Theater

Markus Stenz, conductor
Indianapolis Symphony

MOZART Piano Concerto No. 19 in F Major, K. 459
BRUCKNER Symphony No. 4; “Romantic”

Thursday, October 31, 2019 at 7:30PM – Bergen Performing Arts Center
Friday, November 1, 2019 at 8:00PM – Princeton University Richardson Auditorium
Saturday, November 2, 2019 at 8:00PM – Count Basie Center for the Performing Arts (Red Bank)
Sunday, November 3, 2019 at 3:00PM – New Jersey Performing Arts Center (Newark)

New Jersey Symphony Orchestra
Markus Stenz,
Juho Pohjonen, piano

REBEL “Chaos” from les elemens
GRIEG Piano Concerto
BRAHMS Symphony No. 2 in D Major, Op. 73

Friday, April 17, 2020 at 8:00PM
Saturday, April 18, 2020 at 8:00PM
Sunday, April 19, 2020 at 3:00PM
Orchestra Hall

Markus Stenz, conductor
Alexander Gavrylyuck, piano
Detroit Symphony Orchestra

RACHMANINOFF Concerto for Piano No. 3
BUSONI Berceuse élégiaque
SCRIABIN Le Poème de l’extase (The Poem of Ecstasy)



Pinchas Zukerman has remained a phenomenon in the world of music for over four decades. His musical genius, prodigious technique and unwavering artistic standards are a marvel to audiences and critics. Devoted to the next generation of musicians, he has inspired younger artists with his magnetism and passion. His enthusiasm for teaching has resulted in innovative programs in London, New York, China, Israel and Ottawa, and this artist is highly regarded as violinist, violist, conductor, pedagogue and chamber musician.

On June 27, 2019, Pinchas Zukerman, cellist Amanda Forsyth and the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra gave the world premiere of Israli composer, Avner Dorman’s Double Concerto for violin, cello, and orchestra. Co-commissioned by the Adelaide, Boston and The National Arts Centre Orchestras, this piece was written in celebration of Mr. Zukerman’s 70th birthday.  The American premiere will take place on August 3, 2019 with the Boston Symphony Orchestra at the Tanglewood Festival, followed by its Candadian premiere on November 27, 2019 with the National Arts Centre Orchestra in Ottawa.

As season 2019-2020 marks his eleventh season as Principal Guest Conductor of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in London and his fifth as Artist-in-Association with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, he leads the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra on two seven-city tours in the U.S. and in Spain, and brings the Adelaide Symphony to China.  In addition, he conducts and plays with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Dallas Symphony Orchestra.  As soloist, he embarks on a European tour with Zubin Mehta and the Vienna Philharmonic for the Elgar Violin Concerto, and appears with Lincoln, Prague, Kansas, Madison and Meyerson Symphonies, Staatskapelle Berlin, Polish National Radio, Verbier Festival and Iris Orchestras, and For Wayne and Rhode Island Philharmonics.  In chamber music, Mr. Zukerman travels with the Zukerman Trio in South Africa, U.S. and Europe.

As this season celebrates Beethoven’s 250th anniversary, Mr. Zukerman partners with pianist Daniel Barenboim for a rare journey that features all ten Beethoven’s Sonatas for Violin and Piano at the Pierre Boulez Saal, dedicating this concert cycle to the memory of the great violinist Isaac Stern, who would have celebrated his 100th birthday in 2020.  In June 2020, Cadogan Hall in London hosts Pinchas Zukerman Summer Music Festival, a 5-day All-Beethoven event featuring a series of orchestral and chamber concerts with Mr. Zukerman and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, as well as other artists including cellist Amanda Forsyth, Zukerman Trio and the Jerusalem Quartet.

“The most distinctive aspect of Mr. Zukerman’s playing, something that struck the ear right away, was his remarkable tone production. He is a total hedonist at heart, and without pressing or forcing his instrument he generated a warm, liquid sound that effortlessly filled the hall.”— The New York Times


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