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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

Cure for Footballitis (and related ailments)

Footballitis:  the all-American ailment.  Symptoms include backache, blurry vision, weight gain, headaches (from slapping the forehead forcefully), bladder dysfunction (from waiting for half-time), disregard of hygiene and personal appearance and, the most common symptom, beer and bean dip-induced burps.  Depending on the month, footballitis is also commonly known as basketballitis and, in some areas of the country, hockeyitis.

Long term effects of these syndromes affect a number of neuromuscular and psychosocial systems.  Flaccid muscles – except those used for grasping beer cans and chair arms – are common sequelae as is abandonment by family members.  Sufferers may also experience tooth grinding, changes in blood pressure, spinal curvature and lower extremity edema from lack of movement.  Unused joints – especially knees, ankles and hips – may develop stiffness, arthralgia and, possibly, cobwebs.

There’s a cure!!

Sunday, January 24th is the day your footballitis will be completely – and inexpensively – cured.  Imagine!  No one will ask for your Medicare card or your insurance carrier, you will not be asked to sign 35 consent forms.  All you have to do is extract yourself from that Lazy-Boy and hobble over to Temple Beth-el by 3:15.  In that beautiful, peaceful space, you will absolutely forget about that blasted team, you will relax and you will just listen.  Listening to a group of Canadians (who are NOT playing hockey) perform wonderful, soothing music.  Better than Ben-Gay is the Gryphon Trio.

Guaranteed.

– E Doyle

Enthralled!

Reading through the SACMS program on November 8 and seeing the photo of the four members of the Zemlinsky Quartet on page 14, I anticipated a pleasing Sunday afternoon of classical music. But wait, the photo of the foursome showed one bearded face and three cleanly-shaven ones, not what I was looking at on the Temple Beth-El stage. Before me stood just the opposite, three beards and one cleanly-shaven (a later explanation was that the photo was taken before the group went on tour two weeks ago.)

Their energy and enthusiasm was palpably transmitted from the stage to the rapt audience.

The program, as anticipated, was powerful and melodious. The four members, playing two violins, one viola and one cello were outstanding in their delivery of Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy’s String Quartet No. 1 in E-Flat Major, Op 12; Ernst Krenek’s String Quartet No. 7, Op. 96; and Leos Janacek’s String Quartet No. 2 “Intimate Letters.” Their energy and enthusiasm was palpably transmitted from the stage to the rapt audience.

And, as if icing were necessary, the group presented the final movement of Dvorak’s “America” Quartet as an encore for the enjoyment of the audience of some 300, who, judging by their spontaneous applause at every chance, were as enthralled as I was with the program.

-DSimon

I’ve never heard anything like the last set of Krenek—almost like a jam session.
– Audience Member

It is always interesting to learn about the instruments of the musicians—the viola was made for Petr Holman in 2013 while the other musicians perform with century old instruments.
– Nancy Shivers

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

Memo to Ruth Jean

Dear RJ,

This was a concert you would have loved!  It was a progressive musical feast:

Hors d’ouvres –  Concertino Strings from YOSA, the Youth Orchestra of San Antonio, expertly directed by our friend Eugene Dowdy.  These young musicians (some so young that their parents are, no doubt, buying new concert clothes every six months) demonstrated their considerable talent and musical understanding.  Janacek and Purcell must be smiling – I certainly was!   I was thinking about the hours of practice that went into their performance; all the more remarkable when considering the electronic temptations that must pull at them.

First course – the YOSA Alumni String Quartet. This youthful foursome performed with confidence and mastery of the chamber music genre. Their abilities place them on the road to classical stardom. They are young, but very classy and professional.  Again, evident hours devoted to their craft.

The Temple filled with the glorious sounds of the music as I’m sure it was meant to be heard.  It left everyone with the feeling that they were hearing this music for the very first time.

Main course – the Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields Chamber Ensemble. Here, having exhausted my meager supply of adjectives, I defer to those around me in the audience: gentleman behind me trying to find a way to wrap the word “impeccable” around what he’d heard after the Rossini; lady next to me who could only say “Wow!”; a lady in the row ahead, who I know to be a professional musician, not saying a word – just smiling, enraptured. The Temple filled with the glorious sounds of the music as I’m sure it was meant to be heard.  It left everyone with the feeling that they were hearing this music for the very first time.

RJ, you would have loved this afternoon’s concert!  Even though we had a huge audience, in the pauses between movements, you wouldn’t have heard a sound – no one talking, no dropped programs, no coughing,  not even a hearing aid pinging!

And at the lovely dinner afterwards, the Academy violist, Robert Smissen, spoke of something near to your heart.  He said that the eight musicians who had provided such a splendid concert had been listening to the young musicians who had preceded them on stage and like me, marveling at their skills.  Then he talked about how important it is to teach the young the “language of serious music,” how, like any other language one learns, the young are quick to pick up the accents, the phrasing, the metaphors of music.  That is a truth I know you understood very well.

I’ve gone on,  rhapsodizing, long enough, my friend.  I can’t help but think you were there, too, smiling.

– E Doyle

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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