Never one to miss a great party, the Dover Quartet took a three-day break from annual duties at the Artosphere Festival – one of their longest-standing supporters – and jetted to London last weekend, where they took part in the Wigmore Hall’s 70th-birthday celebration of their dear friend and collaborator Emanuel Ax. It’s not just any string quartet that a legend like Ax invites to play with him: he first heard the Dover at Tanglewood and was so taken by what he heard that he invited them to perform with him first at Northwestern, now at Wigmore, and in the fall at Carnegie’s Zankel Hall.
The exceptional pianist Orion Weiss was the featured soloist on Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 21 with the Detroit Symphony in late June, with Ankush Kumar Bahl conducting the all-Mozart program. Earlier in the month Orion performed Gershwin’s Piano Concerto in F major, which was greeted with raves: “Thursday’s explosive midday performance of it by pianist Orion Weiss was Gershwin par excellence — jaunty and jazz-flavored yet with arresting moments of melancholy and earnest cries of individuality amid a work full of big-city bustle. It was unquestionably the climax of a concert with four distinctly different views of what ‘modernism’ means.”
The summer of 2019 is shaping up to be a typically whirlwind summer for the Pacifica Quartet, starting first with a visit to the Sarasota Music Festival and a collaboration with Jeffrey Kahane, then off to a four-week residency at Aspen, where it was their recital that started the whole celebration. Next they’ll take a quick visit to the Eastern Music Festival to play the Schoenberg Concerto for String Quartet and Orchestra with Gerard Schwarz, and then will travel to the Victoria Music Festival, the Interlochen Center for the Arts, the Montreal International String Quartet Academy, and Music in the Vineyards before taking a well-deserved break before their 2019-20 season begins.
After much anticipation from fans and audiophiles alike, the Hermitage Piano Trio released its first CD on Reference Records in May. The album is comprised of the piano trios of Sergei Rachmaninoff: Trio élégiaque No. 1 in G minor; Trio élégiaque No. 2 in D minor, Op. 9; and Vocalise. Descending from the great Russian musical tradition, the Hermitage is distinguished by its exuberant musicality, interpretative range, and sumptuous sound, and this gorgeous recording does justice both to the group’s sound and that of Rachmaninoff.
“I’m so happy to welcome the Shanghai Quartet to MKI Artists. As you know, it’s an absolute joy to hear them perform, and we look forward to helping them build on their rich history as an ensemble. We’re especially excited about what’s coming next: a fascinating full-length documentary film that tells the story of their origin in Cultural Revolution-era China, their journey to America, and the growth of the Quartet’s international career; a new work from the legendary Krzysztof Penderecki; and close collaborations with Tan Dun, Wu Man, and many of the other leading musical figures and organizations in China.” – John Zion | Managing Director
The astonishing young cellist Andrei Ioniță continues to amaze critics and audiences alike. The release of his first album on Orchid Classics, Oblique Strategies, is “…a vivid portrait of Ioniță’s virtuosity and imaginative command of colour.” (Gramophone); The Strad calls the recording “superb” and raves that Andre’s playing “demands attention: the sinewy depth and richness of the tones he’s drawing from his 1671 Rogeri, the fluid technique…his power and lyricism.”
The extraordinary Ying Quartet has partnered with PUSH Physical Theatre to create a genre-bending, utterly engaging project. PUSH – fully deserving of its international reputation as one of the U.S.’s leading physical theatre companies – is defined by intense athleticism, gravity-defying acrobatics, and soulful artistry, created out of a desire to “push” the boundaries of conventional theatre. The Ying Quartet, greatly respected for its role in the hierarchy of string quartets, here shows a side that is both tongue-in-cheek and deeply skilled.
As the Macedonian pianist Simon Trpceski wraps up his ‘American season’ we’re thrilled that he’s continued his very regular presence in North America, having performed with another six this spring bringing his total appearances with major U.S. orchestras to 15 of the top orchestras: the Chicago, Nashville, Houston, Milwaukee, San Diego, and Utah Symphonies. The Chicago Tribune called Trpceski “an artist of remarkable subtlety and craft” while the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel found him “thrilling.” Performances last fall and summer included appearances performances with the New York Philharmonic, Cleveland Orchestra, National Symphony, Atlanta Symphony, and more.
The globe-trotting Miró Quartet made some room in its busy schedule to take part in the La Jolla Music Society’s grand opening of The Conrad – officially the Conrad Prebys Performing Arts Center – which featured star-studded performers including Hilary Hahn, Jake Shimabukuro, Lil Buck, Inon Barnatan, Seal, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, and many more.
The Quatuor Danel undertook one of its most ambitious projects recently: the first performance of the complete string quartet cycle of Mieczysław Weinberg in the United States. The Washington Post declared the cycle “one of the greatest music events in Washington this year” and described how “the four players of the Quatuor threw themselves into each piece with a life-or-death, seize-you-by-the-throat approach that demanded the attention and thrilled the senses, whether in searingly fierce unison chords in the Third Quartet or in the achingly beautiful melodic phrases rising from the first violin in the Second.” Taking place over three consecutive weekends, the cycle represents a significant moment for the Quartet as well as for the music world.