‘Heavenly Voices’ highlight second Chiara series concert

Chiara String Quartet
Chiara String Quartet

‘Heavenly Voices’ highlight second Chiara series concert

calendar icon04 Oct 2017    

LINCOLN, Neb.— On Wednesday, October 18, 2017 at 7:30 p.m., the Chiara String Quartet (Rebecca Fischer and Hyeyung Julie Yoon, violins; Jonah Sirota, viola; Gregory Beaver, cello) continue their performances on 2017-2018 Hixson-Lied Concert Series at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Glenn Korff School of Music in Kimball Recital Hall (11th and R Streets). Single tickets $20 for adults; $10 for seniors (62 and over) and $5 for students are available the night of the performance or call the Lied Center Box Office 402-472-4747.


This program brings together two different kinds of heavenly voices: the stunning soprano Jamie Reimer, with whom the Chiara Quartet will collaborate on Karl Weigl’s Five Songs for Soprano and String Quartet; and the ethereal String Quartet No. 1, subtitled “Musica Celestis,” (“Music of the Heavens”) by Aaron Jay Kernis.


“The second movement of this work, especially, captures a celestial sound with stunning harmonies and harmonics that ring beautifully into space,” notes violist Jonah Sirota.


The Chiara String Quartet has announced that 2017-2018 will be its final concert season. The group will end full-time work performing together in September 2018, and characterizes its decision as made, "in a spirit of tremendous gratitude and love." Although the members of the group are each planning solo performance and teaching careers moving forward, the group plans to reunite regularly for special projects and performance opportunities. Learn more about future plans for the Chiara members at www.chiaraquartet.net.


About the Chiara String Quartet

Renowned for bringing fresh excitement to traditional string quartet repertoire as well as for creating insightful interpretations of new music, the Chiara String Quartet captivates its audiences throughout the country. The Chiara’s "highly virtuosic, edge-of-the-seat playing" (The Boston Globe) has established the quartet as among America’s most respected ensembles. They are currently Hixson-Lied Artists-in-Residence at the Glenn Korff School of Music at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and were the Blodgett Artists-in-Residence at Harvard University from 2008-2014. For the 2015-2016 season, the Chiara was the quartet-in-residence at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.


The Chiara’s latest recording is Bartók by Heart, a 2-CD set featuring Bartók’s six string quartets, played entirely from memory, released in August 2016 on Azica. The quartet’s previous album, Brahms by Heart, was released on Azica in March 2014. The 2-CD set includes Brahms’ String Quartets and his String Quintet No. 2 in G Major, Op. 111 with violist Roger Tapping. The album, played “with infectious charm, exultant phrasing and nostalgic affection” (The Strad), was recorded by Grammy Award-winning producer Judith Sherman at the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall in Troy, New York. Strings raved, “The recording contributes to the feeling of being inside the music, indivisible from the beauty of the playing.” The Chiara discography also includes Jefferson Friedman’s String Quartets Nos. 2 and 3 on New Amsterdam Records, the Mozart and Brahms clarinet quintets with Håkan Rosengren for SMS Classical, and the world premiere recordings of Robert Sirota's Triptych and Gabriela Lena Frank's Leyendas: An Andean Walkabout on the Quartet's own New Voice Singles label. The Chiara is also featured on Nadia Sirota's debut recording for New Amsterdam Records, first things first.


The Chiara's honors include the nomination of its recording of Jefferson Friedman’s String Quartet No. 3 for a Grammy Award in 2011 and the ASCAP/Chamber Music America Award for Adventurous Programming for the 2010-2011 season. Past awards include a top prize at the Paolo Borciani International Competition, winning the Astral Artistic Services National Audition, and winning First Prize at the Fischoff Chamber Music Competition. Awarded the Guarneri Quartet Residency Award for artistic excellence by Chamber Music America, the Chiara Quartet has also been the recipient of grants from Meet The Composer, The Aaron Copland Foundation, and the Amphion Foundation.


In addition to the Chiara Quartet’s regular performances in major concert halls across the country, including Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall, Carnegie Hall, Philadelphia's Kimmel Center, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the National Gallery in Washington DC, the ensemble was one of the first string quartets to perform in alternative venues for chamber music performance. The Chiara Quartet has performed innovative concerts in non-classical spaces including (le) Poisson Rouge and Galapagos Art Space in New York, The Tractor Tavern in Seattle, Avant Garden in Houston, and the Hideout in Chicago, among many others. Recent highlights of the Chiara Quartet's international performances include extensive tours of China, Korea, and Sweden as well as performances at the American Academy in Rome, the Montreal Chamber Music Festival, and of Steve Reich's Different Trains in Munich.


The Chiara Quartet is widely sought out for its innovative work in engagement with urban and rural communities of all ages. In 2012 the Chiara appeared with the University Musical Society in Ann Arbor, Michigan as residents in the community, performing in unusual venues including a vacant storefront and a Toyota factory. In 2011, the Chiara was the first judge of the online string quartet competition “The Quartet Project Challenge,” an opportunity for young quartets from around the world to post performances on YouTube and receive comments from a professional quartet. In the 2011-12 season, the Chiara presented a concert series at Matt Talbot Kitchen and Outreach, a unique organization serving the working poor and homeless in Lincoln, Nebraska.


The Chiara has been committed to the creation of new music for string quartet since its inception, and has commissioned composers including Gabriela Lena Frank, Jefferson Friedman, Nico Muhly, Daniel Ott, Huang Ruo, Robert Sirota, Hans Tutschku, Carl Voss, and Michael Wittgraf, among others. Recent collaborators in performance include The Juilliard and St. Lawrence String Quartets, Joel Krosnick, Roger Tapping, Todd Palmer, Robert Levin, Simone Dinnerstein, Norman Fischer, Nadia Sirota, and Paul Katz, as well as members of the Orion, Ying, Cavani, and Pacifica Quartets.


In the summer, the Chiara Quartet is in residence at Greenwood Music Camp as well as the University of Nebraska-Lincoln's Chamber Music Institute. The Chiara trained and taught at The Juilliard School, mentoring for two years with the Juilliard Quartet, as recipients of the Lisa Arnhold Quartet Residency.


Chiara (key-ARE-uh) is an Italian word, meaning “clear, pure, or light.” For information, visit www.chiaraquartet.net.