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The Shanghai Quartet with Wu Man (Pipa)

Coming to San Antonio on February 28, 2016

Renowned for its passionate musicality, impressive technique and multicultural innovations, the Shanghai Quartet has become one of the world’s foremost chamber ensembles.  Its elegant style melds the delicacy of Eastern music with the emotional breadth of Western repertoire, allowing it to traverse musical genres including traditional Chinese folk music, masterpieces of Western music and cutting-edge contemporary works.

Formed at the Shanghai Conservatory in 1983, the Quartet has worked with the world’s most distinguished artists and regularly tours the major music centers of Europe, North America and Asia. Among innumerable collaborations with noted artists, they have performed with pipa virtuoso Wu Man.

Recognized as the world’s premier pipa virtuoso and leading ambassador of Chinese music, Grammy Award-nominated musician Wu Man has carved out a career as a soloist, educator and composer giving her lute-like instrument—which has a history of over 2,000 years in China—a new role in both traditional and contemporary music. Most recently, she has been featured on the soundtrack of the blockbuster “Kung Fu Panda 3”.

Having been brought up in the Pudong School of pipa playing, one of the most prestigious classical styles of Imperial China, Wu Man is now recognized as an outstanding exponent of the traditional repertoire as well as a leading interpreter of contemporary pipa music by today’s most prominent composers.

During the 2015-16 season, Wu Man embarks on an extensive North American tour with longtime colleagues, the Shanghai Quartet.

“Brilliantly original and inarguably gorgeous.” The Washington Post

“Wu Man is one of the rare musicians who has changed the history of the instrument she plays.” Boston Globe

“A wonderfully ferocious and illuminating performance.” The Washington Post

Members:

Weigang Li (violin)
Yi-Wen Jiang (violin)
Honggang Li (viola)
Nicholas Tzavaras (cello)
Wu Man (pipa)

Program

“Music from Ancient and New China”

YI-WEN JIANG (arr.)
“China Song”

ZHOU LONG
“Song of the Ch’in”
String Quartet

ZHAO LIN
“Red Lantern”, Quintet
for Pipa & String Quartet

-Intermission-

BEETHOVEN
Quartet in f minor, Op.95
“Serioso”

TAN DUN
“Ghost Opera”
Pipa & String Quartet

Venue

Temple Beth-El
Address: 211 Belknap Place
Time: 3:15 PM

Gryphon Trio

Coming to San Antonio on January 24, 2016

Recently celebrating its 20th anniversary, the Gryphon Trio has impressed international audiences and the press with its highly refined, dynamic performances and has firmly established itself as one of the world’s preeminent piano trios. With a repertoire that ranges from the traditional to the contemporary and from European classicism to modern-day multimedia, the Gryphons are committed to redefining chamber music for the 21st century.

The Trio tours regularly throughout North America and Europe and their 17 recordings are an encyclopedia of works for the genre. They have commissioned over 75 new works, and regularly collaborate on projects that push the boundaries of chamber music. Honours include two Juno Awards for Classical Album of the Year, and the prestigious 2013 Walter Carsen Prize for Excellence in the Performing Arts from the Canada Council.

Deeply committed to the education of the next generation of audiences and performers alike, the Gryphons frequently conduct masterclasses and workshops at universities and conservatories, and are Artists-in-Residence at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Music and Trinity College.

Gryphon cellist Roman Borys is Artistic Director of Ottawa’s Chamberfest. Annalee Patipatanakoon and Jamie Parker serve as the festival’s Artistic Advisors in addition to their responsibilities at the University of Toronto Faculty of Music, where Mr. Parker is the Rupert E. Edwards Chair in Piano Performance and Ms. Patipatanakoon is Associate Professor of Violin.

This concert is part of the LAS AMÉRICAS FESTIVAL

“This is a piano trio that plays with strength and unanimity… big, bold, almost orchestral performances.”

Los Angeles Times

“From the first measures you could hear the mastery the Gryphons bring to their core repertoire. The coloration was ravishing, especially in places like the last few minutes of the first movement where the violinist and cellist play in unison (or fifteenths more exactly) against dark sounds from the piano. The counterpoint in the slow movement was also striking”

Ottawa Citizen

Members:

Annalee Patipatanakoon (violin)
Roman Borys (cello)
James Parker (piano)

Program

DEBUSSY Trio in G Major

WIJERATNE Love Triangle

—Intermission—

RAVEL Trio in a minor

Venue

Temple Beth-El
Address: 211 Belknap Place
Time: 3:15 PM

Zemlinsky String Quartet

Coming to San Antonio on November 8, 2015

Founded in 1994 as the Penguin Quartet, the Zemlinsky String Quartet has become a much lauded example of the Czech string quartet tradition. The members of the ensemble grew up together and have a distinctive style that sets them apart from other string quartets.

The Zemlinsky Quartet performs regularly in the Czech Republic and abroad. Recent major appearances of the Zemlinsky Quartet include Wigmore Hall (London, 2012, 2014), Cité de la Musique (Paris, 2010, 2012), Library of Congress (2009), Place des Arts (Montreal, 2009, 2012), Prague Spring Festival (2005, 2009, 2011), and their New York debut on Schneider/New School Concerts (2009).

The repertoire of the ensemble is far ranging containing more than 200 works by many leading composers, including contemporary music. The group has made many recordings for Czech Radio. Most recently, the quartet has won the 1st Grand Prize in the Bordeaux International String Quartet Competition (2010). The members of the ensemble also perform as soloists and are prizeholders of several individual competitions.

They were named after the Austrian composer, conductor and teacher Alexander Zemlinsky (1871-1942), whose enormous contribution to Czech, German and Jewish culture during his 16-year stay in Prague was underestimated for decades. Since 2005, the quartet has maintained a special relationship with the Alexander Zemlinsky Foundation in Vienna.

“The enjoyment of music-making is evident in everything these musicians play, and each is an exemplary performer”

Peter Johnson

Malvern Concert Club Review

“…immaculate intonation, amazing tonal variety, perfectly clear articulation and an exceptional sense of architecture…”

Harry Halbreich

Bohuslav Martinů Newsletter

Members:

František SOUČEK (1st violin)
Petr STŘÍŽEK  (2nd violin)
Petr HOLMAN  (viola)
Vladimír FORTIN (violoncello)

Program

MENDELSSOHN String Quartet in E-Flat Major, Op.12

KRENEK String Quartet No.7, Op.96

—Intermission—

JANACEK String Quartet No.2 “Intimate Letters”

Venue

Temple Beth-El
Address: 211 Belknap Place
Time: 3:15 PM

The Academy of St Martin in the Fields Chamber Ensemble

Coming to San Antonio on October 11, 2015

The Academy of St Martin in the Fields is one of the world’s premier chamber orchestras, renowned for its fresh, brilliant interpretations of the world’s most-loved classical music. Their Chamber Ensemble will be opening our 73rd Season with an amazing program at Temple Beth-El on Sunday, October 11.

Formed by Sir Neville Marriner in 1958 from a group of leading London musicians, the Academy gave its first performance in its namesake church in November 1959. Their first three recordings led to a succession of long-term contracts and the Academy quickly took their place among the most recorded ensembles in history.

The Academy of St Martin in the Fields Chamber Ensemble was created in 1967 to perform the larger chamber works – from quintets to octets – with players who customarily work together, instead of the usual string quartet with additional guests. Drawn from the principal players of the orchestra, the Chamber Ensemble tours as a string octet, string sextet, and in other configurations including winds. Its touring commitments are extensive and have included visits to France, Germany, Spain and Australia, as well as North and South America. Recording contracts with Philips Classics, Hyperion, and Chandos have led to the release of over thirty CDs by the Chamber Ensemble.

 

“What an awesome octet is the Academy Chamber Ensemble. Packing the punch of two quartets, their sound is vivid: bright and highly saturated”

Opus One, Nov 2013

“Their sound is sweet and pure, their ensemble work airtight, and the playing purred along effortlessly”

The Washington Post, Oct 2012

Members:

Tomo Keller (violin, leader)
Harvey de Souza (violin)
Robert Smissen (viola)
Stephen Orton (cello)
Lawrence O’Donnell (bassoon)
Lynda Houghton (double bass)
Stephen Stirling (horn)
Timothy Orpen (clarinet)

Program

ROSSINI String Sonata in G Major

MOZART Quintet in E-Flat Major for Horn & Strings, K.407

—Intermission—

SCHUBERT Octet in F Major for Winds & Strings, D.803

Venue

Temple Beth-El
Address: 211 Belknap Place
Time: 3:15 PM

*This concert will open with a musical tribute to Ruth Jean Gurwitz performed by YOSA

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