Jupiter String Quartet Gives Virtual Concert with Jasper String Quartet
Presented by Syracuse Friends of Chamber Music
Friday, September 25, 2020 at 7:30pm ET
Tickets & Information: www.syrfcm.org/jupiter-and-jasper-quartets
“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
Syracuse, NY/Urbana, IL – The Jupiter String Quartet remains committed to making music during these challenging times, and in place of its scheduled in-person performance in Syracuse, will give a virtual concert presented by Syracuse Friends of Chamber Music, recorded from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana, where the ensemble has been artists-in-residence since 2012. Presented through high quality video recordings, this concert will be available to online ticketholders on Friday, September 25, 2020 at 7:30pm ET and for a few days after.
Originally scheduled to perform together in Syracuse, the Jupiter Quartet will share the concert with frequent collaborators, the Jasper String Quartet. The Jupiter Quartet will perform Beethoven’s “Harp” Quartet No. 10 in E-flat Major, Op. 74, paying tribute to Beethoven’s 250th birthday year. The Jasper Quartet will play music by Lera Auerbach and Joan Tower, from 4 Seasons | 4 Composers, a project they have commissioned this year bringing the brilliant muse of the seasons to the string quartet genre. The evening concludes with Mendelssohn’s monumental Octet in E-flat, Op. 20. Since the Jupiter is unable to fly to Syracuse, four outstanding local musicians will join the Jaspers for the Octet performance: Peter Rovit and Sonya Williams, violins; Arvilla Wendland, viola; and Heidi Hoffman, cello. All works performed by the Jasper Quartet will be pre-recorded in Syracuse.
The two quartets have deep connections that go beyond simply enjoying playing music together. Jupiter Quartet violist Liz Freivogel explains, “The Jupiter Quartet relishes any opportunity to play with the Jasper String Quartet, a wonderful group based in Philadelphia, both for musical and familial reasons. The first violinist of the Jaspers is J Freivogel, younger brother of Jupiter members Meg and Liz (and brother-in-law of Jupiter cellist Daniel McDonough). J’s wife is Jasper cellist Rachel Henderson Freivogel, which makes her the sister-in-law of both Meg and Liz. Octet concerts together are mini-family reunions as well as musical collaborations.”
About the Jupiter Quartet: 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.”
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.
About the Jasper Quartet: Winner of the prestigious CMA Cleveland Quartet Award, Philadelphia’s Jasper String Quartet is the Professional Quartet in Residence at Temple University’s Center for Gifted Young Musicians. The Jaspers have been hailed as “sonically delightful and expressively compelling” (The Strad) and The New York Times named their recent album, Unbound, as one of the 25 Best Classical Recordings of 2017. They have performed throughout the United States and in Canada, England, Italy, Japan, Korea, Norway and Panama.
Quartet completed its latest commission tour of Aaron Jay Kernis’ 3rd String Quartet “River” at Wigmore Hall. Their Carnegie Hall Recital with the work received a glowing review in The Strad. Other 2019-20 highlights include engagements with The Maestro Foundation, Coleman Chamber Concerts, The Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, Pro Musica San Miguel, Arizona Friends of Chamber Music, Boise Chamber Music Series, and Chamber Music Northwest.
The Jasper Quartet’s repertoire is based on material of emotional significance to its members, ranging from Haydn and Beethoven through Berg, Ligeti, and living composers. They have commissioned string quartets from some of today’s foremost composers, including Andrew Norman, Nicholas Omiccioli, Conrad Tao and Annie Gosfield, in addition to Aaron Jay Kernis.
Their competition successes include the Grand Prize and the Audience Prize in the Plowman Chamber Music Competition, the Grand Prize at the Coleman Competition, First Prize at Chamber Music Yellow Springs, and the Silver Medal at the Fischoff Chamber Music Competition. They were also the first ensemble honored with Yale School of Music’s Horatio Parker Memorial Prize, an award established in 1945 and selected by the faculty for “best fulfilling… lofty musical ideals.” In addition to their concert schedule, they continue their work in the Philadelphia Public Schools through Astral Artists’ Colors of Classical Music, a project funded through a grant from the William Penn Foundation.
The Quartet’s latest release on Sono Luminus features their commission of Aaron Jay Kernis’ Quartet No. 3 and Debussy Quartet Op. 10. This, their 5th album, adds to their recordings of Beethoven Op. 59, No. 3, Beethoven Op. 131, Schubert “Death and the Maiden” and Unbound, exclusively featuring contemporary composers Donnacha Dennehy, Annie Gosfield, Judd Greenstein, Ted Hearne, David Lang, Missy Mazzoli and Caroline Shaw.
Formed at Oberlin Conservatory, the Jasper String Quartet studied with James Dunham, Norman Fischer, and Kenneth Goldsmith as Rice University’s Graduate Quartet-in-Residence. The quartet continued its training with the Tokyo String Quartet as Yale University’s Graduate Quartet-in-Residence. It takes its name from Jasper National Park in Alberta, Canada. The quartet receives career development support from Astral Artists and is represented exclusively by Dispeker Artists. For more information, visit www.jasperquartet.com.
# # #