Hudson Valley Chamber Music Circle at Bard Announces 2008 Series
ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.—The 2008 Hudson Valley Chamber Music Circle (HVCMC) series at Bard College presents three concerts in June by world-renowned musicians. The Saturday evening concerts, presented by The Bard Center, begin at 8:00 p.m. in Olin Hall. A subscription to the three-concert series is $60 ($50 for senior citizens). Individual tickets are $28; for senior citizens, $20; for students, $5.
The artistic directors of the HVCMC are Jaime Laredo and Sharon Robinson. “We are thrilled to have the beloved Tokyo String Quartet opening the HVCMC 2008 series in the acoustically perfect Olin Hall,” says Robinson. “This series offers three informal, intimate evenings of the best chamber music around. What’s more, we are having an early 70th birthday celebration for Joan Tower with the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio and introducing a sensational young piano trio from Denmark, Trio con Brio Copenhagen, which was recently awarded the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson International Trio Award.”
On Saturday, June 7, the Hudson Valley Chamber Music Circle presents the Tokyo String Quartet. “The Tokyo is in a new era of musical power and finesse. The four players lavished tonal lustrousness and virtuosic ease” (Los Angeles Times). The quartet—violinists Martin Beaver and Kikuei Ikeda, violist Kazuhide Isomura, and cellist Clive Greensmith—perform Franz Joseph Haydn’s String Quartet in G Major, Op. 76, No. 1; Anton Webern’s String Quartet, Op. 28, and Rondo in D Minor for String Quartet; and Ludwig van Beethoven’s String Quartet in A Minor, Op. 132.
Performing on Saturday, June 14, is the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio, “one of the best-blended, most sensitive and intelligent piano trios in the world today,” (New York Times). The trio—pianist Joseph Kalichstein, violinist Jaime Laredo, and cellist Sharon Robinson—perform Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Trio Elegiac; Katherine Hoover’s El Andalus; Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s Trio in A Minor; and Joan Tower’s “For Daniel,” chosen in honor of the Grammy Award–winning composer’s 70th birthday. Tower, the Asher B. Edelman Professor in the Arts at Bard, wrote this work for the trio in 2004. It is dedicated to Tower’s late nephew.
The 2008 series concludes on Saturday, June 28, with the Trio con Brio Copenhagen—violinist Soo-Jin Hong, cellist Soo-Kyung Hong, and pianist Jens Elvekjaer. “The Copenhagen plays with a single mind . . . each of the three is a virtuoso of the highest order” (Palm Beach Post). The trio performs Bent Sørensen’s Phantasmagoria, written for and dedicated to the trio and commissioned by the International Franz Schubert Society of Denmark; Felix Mendelssohn’s Piano Trio No. 2 in C Minor, Op. 66; and Maurice Ravel’s Piano Trio in A Minor.
The Hudson Valley Chamber Music Circle, an association of chamber music lovers that is celebrating its 58th season, was founded by Helen Huntington Hull and two friends from Staatsburg, New York. They enlisted the help of violinist Emil Hauser, then a member of the Bard College faculty and original first violinist of the Budapest Quartet, to invite musicians to perform at the Mills and Vanderbilt Mansions. In 1979, the concert series began its association with Bard College. The HVCMC remains a venue that attracts many of the world’s preeminent chamber music artists. In 2000, Robinson and Laredo assumed artistic directorship of the chamber music series.
These performances are made possible, in part, through the generosity of the Homeland Foundation and the Leon Levy Endowment at Bard College, as well as the J. M. Kaplan Fund and the David G. Whitcomb Foundation. For further information, call 845-339-7907 or e-mail email@example.com.
About the Artists
Concert 1: June 7, 2008
The Tokyo String Quartet has captivated audiences and critics alike since it was founded more than 30 years ago. Regarded as one of the supreme chamber ensembles of the world, the Tokyo Quartet has collaborated with a remarkable array of artists and composers, built a comprehensive catalogue of critically acclaimed recordings, and established a distinguished teaching record. Performing more than 100 concerts worldwide each season, the Tokyo String Quartet has a devoted international following that includes the major capitals of the world and extends to all four corners, from Australia to Estonia to Scandinavia and the Far East. Officially formed in 1969 at the Juilliard School of Music, the quartet traces its origins to the Toho School of Music in Tokyo, where the founding members were profoundly influenced by Professor Hideo Saito. Soon after its formation, the quartet won first prize at the Coleman Competition, Munich Competition and the Young Concert Artists International Auditions. An exclusive contract with Deutsche Grammophon firmly established it as one of the world’s leading quartets, and it has since released more than 40 landmark recordings. The ensemble now records on the Harmonia Mundi label. The members of the Tokyo String Quartet have served on the faculty of the Yale School of Music as quartet-in-residence since 1976. Deeply committed to coaching young string quartets, they devote much of the summer to teaching and performing at the prestigious Norfolk Chamber Music Festival. They also conduct master classes in North America, Europe, and the Far East throughout the year. The ensemble performs on the “Paganini Quartet,” a group of renowned Stradivarius instruments named for legendary virtuoso Niccolò Paganini, who acquired and played them during the 19th century. The instruments have been on loan to the ensemble from the Nippon Music Foundation since 1995, when they were purchased from the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.
Concert 2: June 14, 2008
Selected as Musical America’s 2002 Ensemble of the Year, the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio was described as the “. . . foremost trio with the greatest longevity . . . bring[ing] to worldwide audiences their expressive and exhilarating interpretations.” Since making their debut as the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio at the White House for President Carter’s inauguration in January 1977, pianist Joseph Kalichstein, violinist Jaime Laredo, and cellist Sharon Robinson have set the standard for performance of the piano trio literature for 27 consecutive seasons. The trio is one of the only chamber ensembles today with all its original members, who balance their individual careers of three internationally acclaimed soloists while as a trio making annual appearances at many of the world’s major concert halls, commissioning spectacular new works, and maintaining an active recording agenda. The Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio began the 2007–08 season with a special Beethoven trio marathon performance at the 92nd Street Y (New York City) followed by concerts in Massachusetts; Arizona; North Carolina; Virginia; Washington, D.C. (Kennedy Center); Detroit; Indianapolis; Albuquerque; and back to the 92nd Street Y for the New York premiere of Richard Danielpour’s piano quartet Books of Hours—a special commission for the trio’s 30th anniversary last season. On the recording front, the Trio partners with KOCH International Classics, which released their Arensky and Tchaikovsky disc. KOCH will also rerelease many of the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio’s hallmark recordings, including chamber works of Maurice Ravel; A Child’s Reliquary (piano trio) and In the Arms of the Beloved (double concerto), by Richard Danielpour; the complete sonatas and trios of Shostakovich; trios by Pärt, Zwilich, Kirchner, and Silverman written especially for the group, and their beloved collection of the complete Beethoven Trios. The trio is the recipient of the first annual Samuel Sanders Collaborative Artists Award by the Foundation for Recorded Music.
Concert 3: June 28, 2008
Trio con Brio Copenhagen—the Korean sisters Soo-Jin Hong and Soo-Kyung Hong and the Danish pianist Jens Elvekjaer—was the recipient in 2005 of the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson International Trio Award. This biennial award, one of the most coveted in the world of chamber music, honors in perpetuity the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio by encouraging and enhancing the career of an extraordinarily accomplished “rising” piano trio. The American Record Guide wrote of the Copenhagen trio’s début CD: “One of the greatest performances of chamber music I’ve ever encountered . . . What stands out from this ensemble is the range of tone and sound . . . They command an amazing range of timbres. Melodies sing with an aching sweetness, or seduce with wild eroticism, or haunt with impenetrable mystery.” Gramophone magazine wrote: “it’s easy to see what so impressed the judges . . . [the] performances can compete with the best available . . . airtight ensemble . . . a superb, greatly gifted chamber group.” Founded in Vienna in 1999, the trio first drew attention with a sensational performance that took the highest prize at Germany’s prestigious ARD-Munich Competition in 2002. Since then, they have won first prize in several more competitions: Italy’s Premio Vittorio Gui (Florence), Norway’s Trondheim Chamber Music Competition, and the Danish Radio Competition. They also won the “Allianz Prize” for Best Ensemble in Germany’s Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, and second prize in the Vienna Haydn Competition and the Premio Trio di Trieste (Italy, 2002). Critics have praised the trio for their “sparkling joie de vivre” and “magic dialogue”; a review of their performance at the Salzburg Mozarteum said, “they cast a spell over their audience . . . so alive, so musical . . . ravishing.” The trio’s schedule includes appearances at major concert halls in Europe, United States, and Asia, with additional appearances broadcast on the BBC, Korean Broadcasting Systems, Norwegian Radio, Swedish Radio, Radiotelevisione Italiana, and on the major German networks (ARD, NDR, Hessischer Rundfunk and Radio Berlin).
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(Editor’s Note: To schedule interviews with the musicians in advance of the concerts, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 845-758-7512.)
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