Jupiter String Quartet Gives Virtual Concert presented by Bay Chamber Concerts
Featuring the World Premiere of Michi Wiancko’s To Unpathed Waters, Uncharted Shores
Thursday, August 6, 2020 at 7:30pm ET
Free Livestream at www.baychamberconcerts.org
“Like the planet which inspired their name, the Jupiter String Quartet, or the Jupiters as they are often called, inspire us to grow, expand and take risks.” – Smile Politely
Rockport, ME/Urbana, IL – The Jupiter String Quartet remains committed to making music during these challenging times, and in place of its scheduled in-person performance, will give a virtual concert presented by Rockport, Maine’s Bay Chamber Concerts on August 6, 2020 at 7:30pm, recorded from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana, where the ensemble has been artists-in-residence since 2012. The concert will be available for the public worldwide to watch at www.baychamberconcerts.org.
The Jupiter is a particularly intimate group, consisting of violinists Nelson Lee and Meg Freivogel, violist Liz Freivogel (Meg’s older sister), and cellist Daniel McDonough (Meg’s husband, Liz’s brother-in-law). Now enjoying their 19th year together, this tight-knit ensemble is firmly established as an important voice in the world of chamber music. The New Yorker writes, “The Jupiter String Quartet, an ensemble of eloquent intensity, has matured into one of the mainstays of the American chamber-music scene.”
On August 6, the Jupiter will give the world premiere of composer Michi Wiancko’s To Unpathed Waters, Uncharted Shores, a new commission for them by Bay Chamber Concerts with the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, alongside Beethoven’s monumental String Quartet No. 15 in A minor, Op. 132. The new work was commissioned in celebration of the 60th anniversary of the founding of Bay Chamber Concerts as well as Maine’s Bicentennial, and is paired with Beethoven’s music in honor of the 250th anniversary of the composer’s birth.
Artistic Director of Bay Chamber Concerts Manuel Bagorro said, “We are delighted to support the creation of a new work that provides a crucial space for hope and inspiration while acknowledging our shared fears for the planet. It is an absolute pleasure to work with Michi Wiancko, a composer I admire enormously, writing for the astonishingly gifted Jupiter String Quartet to create a unique addition to the string quartet repertoire. Given Beethoven’s love of nature and its inspirational impact on his music, the combination of a major work by Beethoven with Michi’s celebration of the natural world feels beautiful and right.”
To Unpathed Waters, Uncharted Shores celebrates the beauty and vitality of the natural world. Listeners will travel through deserts, forests, and along coastlines and glaciers, visiting grand landscapes, colorful birds, and fascinating underwater creatures. Embedded in the work will also be sonic interpretations of extreme weather events related to droughts, fires, and rising sea levels as influenced by climate change. Wiancko writes, “I believe that a musical work that engages with regeneration, resilience, and collective humanity has the potential to be a powerful and unique contribution to the string quartet repertoire.”
Michi Wiancko is a composer, arranger and violinist whose work has been performed by ensembles, bands and orchestras around the world. She has collaborated with artists from across a wide musical spectrum and performed with some of the great musical artists of our time. Her first opera, Murasaki’s Moon, premiered at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in May 2019. She co-composed, performed, engineered, and mixed the original score of the film The Mend, profiled by Time Magazine as one of the Top 10 films at SXSW. She has been commissioned by American Lyric Theater, On Site Opera, Ecstatic Music Festival, The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Patricia Kopatchinskaja, Camerata Bern, Liquid Music, Aizuri Quartet, Enso Quartet, Sybarite5, East Coast Chamber Orchestra, Metropolis Ensemble, and many more. For more information, visit www.michiwiancko.com.
Based in Rockport, Maine, Bay Chamber is dedicated to transforming lives through high-quality concert programs, music education and community outreach. Bay Chamber acknowledges the importance of all musical languages and encourages people of all ages and abilities to explore them both in concerts and in the classroom. A 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization, for over 60 years, Bay Chamber offers year-round concert programming and lessons and classes for all ages through its community music school. For more information, visit www.baychamberconcerts.org.
More about the Jupiter String Quartet: The Jupiter has performed in some of the world’s finest halls, including New York City’s Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center, London’s Wigmore Hall, Boston’s Jordan Hall, Mexico City’s Palacio de Bellas Artes, Washington, D.C.’s Kennedy Center and Library of Congress, Austria’s Esterhazy Palace, and Seoul’s Sejong Chamber Hall. Their major music festival appearances include the Aspen Music Festival and School, Bowdoin Music Festival, Cape Cod Chamber Music Festival, Rockport Music Festival, the Banff Centre, Virginia Arts Festival, Music at Menlo, Maverick Concerts, Caramoor International Music Festival, Lanaudiere Festival, West Cork (Ireland) Chamber Music Festival, Skaneateles Festival, Madeline Island Music Festival, Yellow Barn Festival, Encore Chamber Music Festival, the inaugural Chamber Music Athens, and the Seoul Spring Festival, among others. In addition to their performing career, they have been artists-in-residence at the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana since 2012, where they maintain private studios and direct the chamber music program.
Their chamber music honors and awards include the grand prizes in the Banff International String Quartet Competition and the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition; the Young Concert Artists International auditions in New York City; the Cleveland Quartet Award from Chamber Music America; an Avery Fisher Career Grant; and a grant from the Fromm Foundation. From 2007-2010, they were in residence at the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s Chamber Music Two.
The Jupiter String Quartet feels a particular connection to the core string quartet repertoire; they have presented the complete Bartok and Beethoven string quartets on numerous occasions. Also strongly committed to new music, they have commissioned works by Syd Hodkinson, Hannah Lash, Dan Visconti, Mark Adamo, Pierre Jalbert, and Kati Agócs.
The quartet’s latest album, Metamorphosis (Marquis Classics, 2020), features Beethoven’s Quartet Op. 131 and Ligeti’s Quartet No. 1 “Métamorphoses nocturnes.” Other recordings on Marquis include Alchemy with Australian pianist Bernadette Harvey (2019), Shostakovich & Britten (2007), and Mendelssohn & Beethoven (2009). The quartet’s discography also includes releases on Azica Records and Deutsche Grammophon.
The Jupiters place a strong emphasis on developing relationships with future classical music audiences through educational performances in schools and other community centers. They believe that, because of the intensity of its interplay and communication, chamber music is one of the most effective ways of spreading an enthusiasm for “classical” music to new audiences. The quartet has also held numerous masterclasses for young musicians at Northwestern University, Eastman School of Music, the Aspen Music Festival, Encore Chamber Festival, Madeline Island Music Festival, and Peabody Conservatory.
The quartet chose its name because Jupiter was the most prominent planet in the night sky at the time of its formation and the astrological symbol for Jupiter resembles the number four. They are also proud to list among their accomplishments in recent years the addition of seven quartet children: Pablo, Lillian, Clara, Dominic, Felix, Oliver, and Joelle. You may spot some of these miniature Jupiters in the audience or tagging along to rehearsals, along with their grandparent babysitters. For more information, visit www.jupiterquartet.com.
# # #