C h iar a
String Quartet A musical co nve rsati o n bet we e n fri e nds S u n day Jan 29 | 2:00 p.m.
Black Hills Energy is pleased to be the Lied Centerâ€™s VIP Sponsor for todayâ€™s concert with the Chiara String Quartet. Prior to the performance, instructors from the Americana Music Academy offered a free String Instrument Exploration event. During the event, community members were able to try playing the cello, violin or viola. This event is sponsored, in part, by the Lied Performance Fund. This performance was made possible through the generous support of the Eugene A. and C. Florence Stephenson Chamber Music Fund. Audio description services and recorded program notes are provided through a partnership between the Lied Center and Audio-Reader Network. Please turn off or silence cellular phones and other electronic devices during performances. Food and drink are not allowed inside the hall. Cameras and recording devices are strictly prohibited in the auditorium.
C h iar a String Quartet Franz Schubert (1797-1828) String Quartet in A minor, Op. 29, No. 1, D. 804 I. II. III. IV.
Allegro ma non troppo Andante Menuetto: Allegretto Allegro moderato
Gabriela Lena Frank (b. 1972 ) “Milagros” I. II. III. IV. V. VI. VII. VIII.
Milagrito — Capilla del Camino Milagrito — Zampoñas Rotas Milagrito — Mujeres Cantando Milagrito — Danza de Tingo María Milagrito — Sombras de Amantaní Milagrito — Adios a Churín Milagrito — Danza de los Muñecos Milagrito — Capilla del Camino INTERMISSION (20 Minutes)
Johannes Brahms (1833-1897) String Quartet in B flat Major, Op. 67 I. II. III. IV.
chiara string quartet
Vivace Andante Agitato (Allegretto non troppo) Poco allegretto con variazioni
PROG R A M N OT ES Franz Schubert – String Quartet in A minor Berger’s Guide to Chamber Music Franz Schubert is a classic example of a composer who only received international attention after his death. Schubert composed more than 600 songs, nine symphonies, numerous operas, more than twenty quartets, a good deal of chamber music and many solo pieces. However, almost none of his works were published, nor heard by audiences outside his closest friends. Schubert, the son of a poor teacher, first learned music in a family setting. His father taught him violin and viola, he learned cello from an amateur cellist and took piano lessons from his older bother. Throughout his teen years, he was a choirboy in the chapel of the Austrian Emperor and studied music at the Imperial and Royal State School. He also spent a few years teaching at his father’s school, but left in 1817 and slowly fell into a bohemian existence. By the time Schubert began his String Quartet in A minor, he had already completed 12 string quartets. However, this quartet is considered his first mature work. He began work on the quartet in early 1824, after having spent two years in the hospital. The achingly beautiful music of the quartet reflects the depression Schubert experienced while composing the work. The A minor quartet premiered in Vienna by the Schuppanzigh Quartet on March 14, 1824. Published the following September, this quartet was the only chamber work printed in Schubert’s lifetime. Allegro ma non troppo contains an accompaniment by the second violin that is reminiscent of Schubert’s 1814 song, Gretchen am Spinnade (Gretchen at the Spinning Wheel). Through the exposition and the development, the violin explores a melancholy and wistful theme. However, during the recapitulation Schubert brings back themes from the earlier in a more cheerful, Major character. The coda, though, ends in a sorrowful minor. The Andante movement borrows the theme from the incidental music Schubert wrote for Wilhelm von Chezy’s play Rosamunde. Theories on why he adapted the theme are, in part, he liked it and, in part, to rescue it from the disastrous production of Chezy’s play. The theme is from the entr’acte before the fourth act, where Rosamunda tends to her flock in a tranquil valley. Menuetto can be traced back to Schubert’s 1819 song, Die Gotter Griechenlands (The Greek Gods). The cello introduces the Menuetto with the same melodic-rhythmic figure that words are sung over in the song. The trio is an elaboration on the opening motif and it serves as a break before the Menuetto is repeated. The Allegro Moderato is a jolly, peasant-like tune that is indicative of Hungarian origin. Through the development of the fourth movement, Schubert experiments with the rhythm, accenting the second beat. The rest of the movement is devoted to returning this material, while keeping up good spirits right to the end.
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Gabriela Lena Frank – Milagros Gabriela Lena Frank Milagros (Miracles) is inspired by my mother’s homeland of Perú. It has been a remarkable, often difficult, yet always joyous experience for me to visit, this small Andean nation that is home to not only foggy desert coasts but also Amazonian wetlands. Although usually a religious and marvelous occurrence, “milagro” here refers to the sights and sounds of Perú’s daily life, both past and present, that I’ve stumbled upon in my travels. While probably ordinary to others, to me, a gringa-latina, they are quietly miraculous and are portrayed in eight short movements as follows: I. Milagrito — Capilla del Camino (Shrine by the Road): A brief, earnest and somewhat austere solo violin opening pays homage to the ubiquitous tiny Catholic shrines erected along the highways throughout the “altiplano”, or highlands, silently honoring those who have been killed in roadside accidents. These shrines are humble standouts against large expansive landscapes, seemingly unchanging through time. II. Milagrito— Zampoñas Rotas (Broken Panpipes): A depiction of ceramic panpipes found at the Cahuachi Temple that were ritualistically broken by a fiery pre-Inca civilization, the Nazca (200 BC to 500 AD), this movement has a violent, jagged-edge quality, employing motifs commonly found in panpipe and other wind instrument music. III. Milagrito — Mujeres Cantando (Women Singing): Inspired by the sound of indigenous women singing, this movement exaggerates their “clustery” pitch and how their voices separate and converge. IV. Milagrito — Danza de Tingo María (Dance of Tingo María): As one who avoids the largely impenetrable “selvas”, or jungles, I did take away a strong impression of this border jungle town as lively and cacophonous. Water drums inspire the relentless rhythm and the melodic line of pizzicatos that drive this movement. V. Milagrito — Sombras de Amantaní (Shadows of Amantaní): The remarkable starry nights of this barren island in Lake Titicaca, between Perú and Bolivia, made for eerie shadows that I could not dodge on my nocturnal walks. VI. Milagrito — Adios a Churín (Goodbye to Churín): Churín is a small city on the side of a mountain with seemingly little horizontal ground, famous for its healing bath waters. I visited during a time when it was on the verge of becoming a ghost town as its youth were migrating in droves to urban coastal cities. Allusions to guitar music are made against a melancholy singing cello line. VII. Milagrito — Danza de los Muñecos (Dance of the Dolls): Playful in character, this movement is inspired by the brightly colored, almost mannequin-like dolls from the colonial era that are found in small museums and private collections. VIII. Milagrito — Capilla del Camino (Shrine by the Road): Throughout my travels over the years, these “capilla” sightings have been constant and unyielding, as I expect they will always be as I continue to travel in the future. Where the second violin introduced the piece with “una capilla,” it is the first violin who takes up the “capilla” theme and ends our journey for now.
chiara string quartet
Johannes Brahms – String Quartet in B flat Major Pamela F. Starr, University of Nebraska-Lincoln Johannes Brahms wrestled for decades with the demon of Beethoven’s outsized reputation and heroic achievements in the large-scale instrumental genres that really mattered, the symphony and the string quartet. Dozens of drafts went into the waste-basket before Brahms felt ready to bring forth his first symphony and his first two string quartets. These works exhibit the earmarks of a composer exerting himself to excel at Beethoven’s stylistic game. Once Brahms had produced them, he breathed a figurative sigh of relief. In 1875, he took a summer holiday in Ziegelhausen, Germany, where his third string quartet, op. 67, emerged with no visible sign of the struggle that had haunted its predecessors. The shadow of Beethoven having departed, Brahms turned to a different classical period inspiration, that of Mozart—specifically Mozart’s string quartet in B-flat, K. 458, nicknamed, The Hunt. The first movement of op. 67 palpably resembles Mozart’s quartet with the similar choice of key and of meter (6/8); the fanfare-like first theme, presented in thirds with staccato articulation, simulating the hunting horn; the transparent texture; the classical balance and periodicity of phrasing; the Classical-period harmonic relationships of tonic and dominant keys in as unambiguously sonata form as Brahms ever wrote. But this movement is no mere Mozart clone. Everywhere Brahms’s unique voice is heard, most especially in the intricate play of rhythm and meter, where each instrument presents its own “take” on the possibilities of compound meter. The later movements reflect a distinctly Romantic trajectory, of increasing seriousness and emotional weight. The Andante is an exquisite ternary song without words, “à la Mendelssohn”, with a dramatically contrasting central section and the final benediction of a plagal “amen” cadence. For the Scherzo, Brahms substitutes a second “alto rhapsody,” a passionate intermezzo scored for a viola solo with muted accompaniment from the other strings The finale employs a formal design fairly rare in final movements of the Classical period: a series of seven increasingly rich variations on a lyrical theme, concluding with an extended coda that brings in the themes of the first movement, as if to demonstrate the emotional distance traversed from the genial opening.
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B I O G R A PH I CA L N OT ES CHIARA STRING QUARTET Renowned for bringing fresh excitement to traditional string quartet repertoire, as well as, creating insightful interpretations of new music, the Chiara String Quartet – Rebecca Fischer and Julie Hye-Yung Yoon, violins; Jonah Sirota, viola; Gregory Beaver, cello – captivates its audiences throughout the country. During 2011-2012, the quartet is celebrating twelve seasons of playing together. Chiara has established itself as among America’s most respected ensembles, lauded for its “highly virtuosic, edge-of-the-seat playing” (The Boston Globe). The Chiara String Quartet serves as Blodgett Artists-in-Residence at Harvard University, where it recently finished a complete cycle of the Beethoven quartets. Chiara’s honors include winning a top prize at the Paolo Borciani International Competition, the Astral Artistic Services National Audition, and First Prize at the Fischoff Chamber Music Competition. Awarded the Guarneri Quartet Residency Award for artistic excellence by Chamber Music America, Chiara has also been the recipient of grants from Meet the Composer, The Aaron Copland Foundation and the Amphion Foundation. Chiara performs in major concert halls across the country, including Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, Philadelphia’s Kimmel Center, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the National Gallery in Washington D.C., and the Aspen Music Festival. The ensemble also devotes a portion of its performance season to concerts in non-classical venues including the 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 Chiara’s international performances include the American Academy in Rome, a critically-acclaimed eight-city tour of Sweden with clarinetist Håkan Rosengren and a performance of Steve Reich’s Different Trains in Munich. Described by the Seattle Post-Intelligencer as “vastly talented, vastly resourceful, and vastly committed to the music of their time,” Chiara has commissioned and premiered new works since its inception. In the 2010-11 season, Chiara embarked upon a large-scale project in four cities called Creator/Curator, commissioning new works for string quartet by composers Nico Muhly, Huang Ruo, Daniel Ott and Gabriela Lena Frank. Each composer curated the concert on which his/her piece premiered, choosing music that complemented and gave context. The Chiara has also commissioned works from Jefferson Friedman, Robert Sirota, Michael Wittgraf, and Carl Voss, among others. In the 2011-12 season, Chiara will premiere Harvard faculty composer Hans Tutschku’s new work for string quartet and electronics, as well as perform Richard Beaudoin’s String Quartet No. 2, Étude d›un prélude X. In April 2011, New Amsterdam Records released Chiara’s recording of composer Jefferson Friedman’s String Quartets No. 2 and 3 to great critical acclaim. Both celebrated pieces, which “already deserve to be heard as classics of this decade” (The New York Times) were commissioned by the quartet and are the result of a more than ten-year friendship with the composer. The New York Times called Chiara’s performances “vital,” and the San Francisco Chronicle commented on the quartet’s “lush ensemble sound that brings out the hidden depths of Friedman’s harmonic language.” The quartet’s discography includes the Mozart and Brahms clarinet quintets with Håkan Rosengren for SMS Classical; the world premiere recordings of Robert Sirota’s Triptych; and Gabriela Lena Frank’s Leyendas: An Andean Walkabout for the Quartet’s own New Voice Singles label. Chiara is also featured on Nadia Sirota’s debut recording for New Amsterdam Records, First Things First, which was included on “Best of” lists in The New York Times, The New Yorker, Time Out New York and many more. Other recent collaborators of the quartet include The Juilliard String Quartet, Joel Krosnick, Todd Palmer, Simone Dinnerstein, Norman Fischer and Paul Katz, as well as members of the Orion, Ying, Cavani and Pacifica Quartets.
chiara string quartet
The Chiara String Quartet is widely sought out for its innovative work in outreach to urban and rural communities of all ages throughout the United States. In 2011, 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 of new works by composer Geoffrey Hudson and receive comments from a professional quartet. Earlier in the 2011-12 season, Chiara presented a four concert series at Matt Talbot Kitchen and Outreach, a unique organization serving the working poor and homeless in Lincoln, NE. Chiara has been artists-in-residence at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln since 2005. In the summer, they are in residence at Greenwood Music Camp, as well as, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Chamber Music Institute. The members of Chiara trained and taught at The Juilliard School, mentoring for two years with the Juilliard Quartet, as recipients of the Lisa Arnhold Quartet Residency from 2003-2005. Chiara(key-ARE-uh) is an Italian word, meaning “clear, pure, or light.” More information about the Chiara Quartet can be found online at www.chiaraquartet.net, and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/chiarastringquartet.
M E M B E R S O F CH I A R A ST R I N G Q UA RT E T REBECCA FISCHER Rebecca Fischer, violinist in the Chiara String Quartet, tours regularly in North America and Europe. Fischer has appeared as a soloist with several orchestras and has served as concertmaster of the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra, the Juilliard Symphony, and assistant concertmaster of the Spoleto Festival Orchestra in Spoleto, Italy. A passionate educator, Fischer is a research assistant professor and artist-in-residence at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Blodgett Artist-in-Residence at Harvard University, and teaches at Greenwood Music Camp in the summer. Fischer graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts from Columbia University in Music and Religion and holds a Master of Music and an Artist Diploma from The Juilliard School. Her primary violin teachers include Kathleen Winkler, Joel Smirnoff and Masao Kawasaki. In her free time, Fischer loves spending time with her husband and their two daughters. Fischer plays on a Cremonese violin made by Carlo Bergonzi II in the early 1800s. JULIE HYE-YUNG YOON Adding an intense and a unique sound to the Chiara String Quartet, second violinist Julie Hye-Yung Yoon has performed in the United States and abroad. Her solo work includes performing Beethoven’s Triple Concerto with pianist Stewart Goodyear and cellist Gregory Beaver with the Greater Grand Forks Symphony; and recently performing Beethoven’s Violin Concerto with the University of Nebraska Orchestra. She has also soloed with the Charlotte Symphony; the Mannes Orchestra; and has performed at the prime minister’s residence in Seoul, South Korea for the first-woman prime minister and other government officials. Future projects include a commission of a violin and piano work written by composer Robert Sirota and performing all six of Bach’s Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin in Spring 2012. As a devoted teacher, she currently teaches at Harvard University and serves as research assistant professor and artist-in-residence at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She has taught at The Juilliard School, Greenwood Music Camp and The Chamber Music Institute at the University of Nebraska. She graduated from The Juilliard School with a Bachelor of Music and an Artist Diploma in String Quartet Studies. Her teachers and mentors include Sally Thomas, Ernest Pereira, and members of the Juilliard String Quartet. When she isn’t playing in quartet or practicing, she spends time with her husband Gregory Beaver, who is also in the quartet, her daughter and their two cats. Yoon plays on a Roman violin from 1790 made by Giulio Cesare Gigli.
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JONAH SIROTA Chiara String Quartet violist Jonah Sirota is known as a soloist and chamber musician of great range and depth. Since making his concerto debut with Alan Gilbert and the Juilliard Pre-College Symphony at age 17, he was third prize-winner in the 2006 Naumburg Viola Competition, and won further concerto competitions at both Rice University and at The Juilliard School. A champion of new music, he has commissioned and premiered new viola works from Gabriela Lena Frank, Arthur Joseph McCaffrey and Alexis Bacon, as well as, a concerto by his father, composer Robert Sirota. He has performed at the Marlboro, Norfolk, Yellow Barn, and Aspen music festivals. Sirota has studied with Martha Katz, Roberto Diaz, and Samuel Rhodes, among others. He graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Music degree from Rice University and then received both a Master of Music and an Artist Diploma in String Quartet Studies from The Juilliard School. He also studied aesthetic education and audience engagement at The Juilliard School with master teacher Eric Booth. In addition, he has written a travel blog for the Journal of the American Viola Society. As a viola professor, Sirota specializes in highlighting awareness of the body-mind connection as it applies to technique and musicianship. He uses his own successful experiences in fighting performance-related injuries to help students fix injuries, reduce tension in their playing and reduce fear in their approach to performing and career. He helps them become engaging, as well as, engaged musicians and artists. Sirota plays on a copy of a 1755 Testore viola made by Gregg Alf of Ann Arbor, Michigan in 2009. GREGORY BEAVER Gregory Beaver is the cellist of the Chiara String Quartet. Along with the other Chiara members, he is research assistant professor and artist-in-residence at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln where he coaches chamber music, teaches cello and helps coordinate the chamber music program. Beaver won the 1997 Corpus Christi Young Artist’s Competition and was selected as one of the two quarterfinalists from the United States for the Australasian International Cello Competition in Christchurch, New Zealand. His recent solo performances include a recital program with Naumburg Piano Competition winner Soyeon Lee and a New York recital event where he presented the complete cycle of Beethoven’s cello and piano music. Beaver has worked with great artists such as Pierre Boulez in a special Carnegie Hall performance of Messagesquisse and as principal cellist of the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra where he worked with conductors such Claudio Abbado and Robert Spano. Gregory graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Music in Cello Performance from Rice University and with a Master of Music in Cello Performance and Artist Diploma in String Quartet Studies from The Juilliard School. Beaver’s principal teachers include Louis Potter, Jr., Norman Fischer and Joel Krosnick. He is also an internationally recognized expert in the PHP, a computer programming language, and his book The PEAR Installer Manifesto: Revolutionizing PHP Application Development and Deployment was released by Packt Publishing in October of 2006. Beaver is married to Julie Hye-Yung Yoon, second violinist of the Chiara Quartet. He plays on a Parisian cello from the 1720s attributed to Jacques Bocquay.
chiara string quartet
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Open House and Community Arts Festival
An Evening with David Sedaris
The National Acrobats of China FARFALLE (Butterflies) Suzanne Farrell Ballet The Intergalactic Nemesis & Chiara String Quartet forté Herbie Hancock
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An Evening with David Sedaris
The Intergalactic Nemesis
A SALUTE TO OUR VIP SPONSORS
PERFORMING ARTS UPcoming Performances
Chamber Ensemble of the Shanghai Chinese Orchestra Traditional music from Shanghai MONDAY, FEB 13 — 7:30 p.m.
The smash hit musical based on the songs of ABBA TuesDAY, FEB 14 — 7:30 p.m.
Matt Haimovitz, cello and Christopher O’Riley, piano Shuff le.Play.Listen Saturday, Feb 18 — 7:30 p.m.
Jin Xing Dance Theatre Contemporary modern dance from Shanghai Thursday, Feb 23 — 7:30 p.m.
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PERFORMING ARTS UPcoming Performances
Modern jazz masters celebrate Stevie Wonder Wednesday, March 14 — 7:30 p.m.
Tuba, trombones and trumpets from Austria Saturday, March 31 — 7:30 p.m.
Interactive theatre for children and adults April 10, 11, 13, 14
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