Jupiter String Quartet Performs Music by Felix Mendelssohn and Michi Wiancko
Presented by Austin Chamber Music Center on New Virtual Concert Series
Saturday, January 23, 2021
Live Chat with the Musicians at 7:30pm CST
Pre-Performance Talk at 7:45pm CST
Performance at 8pm CST
Tickets ($0-$40) and Information: www.austinchambermusic.org/event/inspiration
“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
Austin, TX – On Saturday, January 23, 2021 at 7:30pm CST, the Jupiter String Quartet is presented by Austin Chamber Music Center (ACMC) on its new series of virtual events, Chamber Connect: Spring Sessions, in a program entitled Inspiration. This online performance was recorded exclusively for this event at the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana, where the ensemble has been artists-in-residence since 2012. Access to the performance is available through ACMC’s website on a sliding scale, starting at $0, and it will be available to stream for a limited time after the initial presentation. The musicians will join the audience in a live chat when the event begins at 7:30pm CST, and will give a pre-concert talk at 7:45pm CST. The performance will begin at 8pm CST.
The Jupiter Quartet’s program includes Michi Wiancko’s To Unpathed Waters, Uncharted Shores, a recent commission for them by Bay Chamber Concerts with the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, alongside Mendelssohn’s exuberant Quartet in E-flat Major, Op. 12.
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.” The work was premiered in a virtual performance on August 6, 2020 presented by Bay Chamber Concerts.
About the Jupiter String 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 next album, a collaborative recording with the Jasper String Quartet, will be released February 5, 2021 on Marquis Classics. It features the world premiere of Dan Visconti’s Eternal Breath along with Osvaldo Golijov’s Last Round and Mendelssohn’s Octet in E-flat, Op. 20. Their recent album, Metamorphosis (Marquis Classics, 2020), includes 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 Austin Chamber Music Center
The Austin Chamber Music Center is dedicated to serving Central Texans by expanding knowledge, understanding, and appreciation of chamber music through the highest quality instruction and performance.
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