We’re excited to announce that in the 2019-20 season, the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra will welcome the composer, violinist, and educator Jessie Montgomery as its first-ever Artistic Partner. Her post includes taking part in Orpheus' educational initiatives throughout the season and having two works premiered by Orpheus in concert: the world-premiere of Shift, Change, Turn, and Variations on the season-opening concert September 26 at Carnegie Hall, and a reimagining of Tchaikovsky’s The Seasons, Op. 37a, co-arranged with Jannina Norpoth, to be performed in January 2020.
Renowned for its dynamic interpretations and polished, expansive colors, the Parker Quartet has rapidly distinguished itself as one of the preeminent ensembles of its generation, dedicated purely to the sound and depth of their music. Their luminous sound and exceptional musicianship set them apart, along with their fearless approach to repertoire. This summer, the Parker completed its second summer in residence at the Banff Centre in Canada coaching top young ensembles and explored Erich Korngold works for ensemble at the Bard Festival. The two works – his sextet and piano quintet – are orchestral and even cinematic in scope, perfect for the Parker.
This summer the Miró Quartet’s longtime friend Kevin Puts completed his fantastically unusual second quartet for the group, “Home”; the work had its premiere at the Orcas Island Chamber Music Festival. The work was inspired and informed by the refugee crisis in Europe, and raises questions of who belongs where and what the idea of ‘home’ means to all of us.
I’m delighted to welcome the composer Jessie Montgomery to the roster at MKI Artists. One of the most unique artistic voices of our time, her profoundly impactful music overflows with energy, color, and life. We are thrilled to begin work as the exclusive representative for Jessie’s commissions and appearances as a composer. Just a few of her upcoming commissions include major works for the New York Philharmonic, National Symphony Orchestra, Carnegie Hall, and the Imani Winds.
Two of the hottest young artists performing today – cellist Andrei Ioniță and violinist William Hagen – teamed up at the Aspen Music Festival to play the Brahms Double Concerto with conductor Scott Terrell and the Aspen Philharmonic Orchestra, followed by stunning trios with the elegant pianist Anton Nel which was "one of the most invigorating half-hours of the season." In their free time they hung out, hiked in the perfect weather, and played with Will’s hysterically violin-hating dog Zuzu.
The irrepressible Gryphon Trio performed from the southern border of the United States to the northern border during July, first offering a barnburner of a program at Arizona State University and then a series of collaborative and trio performances at the jaw-dropping Tippet Rise in Montana. The performances perfectly encapsulated the Gryphon’s repertoire, with both the genre-defining Ravel Piano Trio and a new work by a fellow Canadian. On the way from Arizona to Montana the Trio took a detour to the Grand Canyon; once at Tippet Rise they found other kinds of beauty in the Art Center’s stunning sculptures and eight pristine Steinway Ds to choose from.
The charismatic Ariel Quartet premiered the renowned composer Christopher Theofanidis’s new clarinet quintet in an exciting program featuring the clarinetist Alexander Fiterstein. On a sultry summer evening at the Manchester Music Festival in southern Vermont, a rapt audience listened to the evocative and colorful music. The Quartet will be touring the new work in the 2019-20 and 2020-21 seasons.
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.