Curtis on Tour
Sunday, January 5, 2020, 3:00PM
Walter S. Gubelmann Auditorium

One of the finest music conservatories in the world, showcasing rising stars and imaginative programs, has become an annual favorite at The Four Arts. This year’s visit by the Nina von Maltzahn global touring initiative of the Curtis Institute of Music features the Vera Quartet, a recent Banff Competition finalist, performing Beethoven’s early masterpiece, the String Quartet No. 4 in C Minor, and a commission by Curtis alumni composer, David Hertzberg. Pianist Meng-Chien Liu will join the ensemble for Franck’s Quintet in F Minor.

PROGRAM 

Quartet No. 4 in C minor, Op. 18, No. 4 Ludwig van Beethoven 

Allegro ma non tanto (1770–1827)
Scherzo: Andante scherzoso, quasi allegretto
Menuetto: Allegretto
Allegro  

Quartet No. 4 (“Silent Temple”) Bright Sheng

INTERMISSION

Quintet in F minor César Franck
Molto moderato quasi lento—Allegro
Lento, con molto sentimento
Allegro non troppo, ma con fuoco

Vera Quartet
The Vera Quartet is in its second season as quartet in residence at the Curtis Institute of Music. In 2019–20 the quartet appears with piano faculty member Meng-Chieh Liu in performances across the United States for Curtis on Tour, the Nina von Maltzahn global touring initiative.

The Vera Quartet shares the uniquely democratic dynamic of a string quartet with diverse audiences, both within and beyond the concert hall. Winner of the 2018 Astral Artists National Auditions, the quartet has also received grand prizes at the Plowman Chamber Music Competition and the Chamber Music in Yellow Springs Competition for Emerging Professional Ensembles, top prizes from the M-Prize Chamber Arts Competition, and the St. Lawrence String Quartet Prize from the Wigmore Hall International String Quartet Competition. In 2017 the group participated in the Robert Mann and Juilliard string quartet seminars, and was selected by NPR’s Performance Today as Young Artists in Residence.

The Vera Quartet has attended the chamber music residency program at the Banff Centre, the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, the McGill International String Quartet Academy, and the Center for Advanced Quartet Studies at the Aspen Music Festival and School, where they worked closely with composer Augusta Read Thomas and gave the local premiere of her Selene. The quartet previously held a residency at the Beethoven-Haus in Bonn, Germany; and served as the graduate quartet in residence at the Jacobs School of Music, where they worked with the Pacifica Quartet, collaborated with the IU Latin American Music Center and the IU New Music Ensemble, and partnered with the Musical Arts Youth Organization.

Meng-Chieh Liu, piano
A recipient of the 2002 Avery Fisher Career Grant, Meng-Chieh Liu first made headlines in 1993 as a 21-year-old student, when he substituted for André Watts at the Academy of Music in Philadelphia with three hours’ notice. His acclaimed performance was followed by a recital at the Kennedy Center, among other highly praised appearances.

Mr. Liu’s early career was abruptly halted for several years by a rare and debilitating illness that prevented him from playing. Through arduous physical therapy, he was restored to full health and has been performing actively for two decades. He has appeared with orchestras under conductors Christoph Eschenbach, Gustavo Dudamel, and Alan Gilbert, among others. His concerts have been broadcast around the world, and Taiwanese National Television has aired a documentary on his life. A dedicated chamber musician, he has collaborated with Shmuel Ashkenasi, James Buswell, Bernard Greenhouse, David Soyer, Wendy Warner, and the Borromeo and St. Lawrence string quartets. He was artistic director of Chicago Chamber Musicians from 2011 to 2014; and has also collaborated with artists in other disciplines, including Mikhail Baryshnikov and his White Oak Dance Project.

Mr. Liu received a Bachelor of Music degree from the Curtis Institute of Music, where he studied with Jorge Bolet, Eleanor Sokoloff, and Claude Frank. He won first prizes in the Stravinsky, Asia Pacific Piano, and Mieczyslaw Munz competitions.

Mr. Liu has been a member of the Curtis Institute of Music faculty since 1993 and also serves on the faculty of the New England Conservatory.

ABOUT CURTIS
In the 2019–20 school year, the Curtis Institute of Music celebrates 95 years of educating and training exceptionally gifted young musicians to engage a local and global community through the highest level of artistry. With a small student body of about 175, Curtis provides each young musician with an unparalleled education alongside musical peers, distinguished by a “learn by doing” philosophy and personalized attention from a faculty that includes a high proportion of actively performing musicians.

To ensure that admissions are based solely on artistic promise, Curtis makes an investment in each admitted student so that no tuition is charged for their studies.

Curtis students hone their craft through than 200 orchestra, opera, and solo and chamber music offerings each year and programs that bring arts access and education to the community. This real-world training allows these extraordinary young musicians to join the front rank of performers, composers, conductors, and musical leaders, making a profound impact on music onstage and in their communities. To learn more, visit Curtis.edu.

ABOUT CURTIS ON TOUR
Curtis on Tour is the Nina von Maltzahn global touring initiative of the Curtis Institute of Music. Grounded in the school’s “learn by doing” philosophy, it offers students real-world, professional touring experience alongside celebrated alumni and faculty. In addition to performing, musicians offer master classes, interactive programs, and community engagement activities while on tour. Curtis on Tour also facilitates solo performances of Curtis students and alumni with professional orchestras and recital series. Since the program was established in 2008, students, faculty, and alumni have performed more than 300 concerts in over 100 cities in Europe, Asia, and the Americas.

Event Info

One of the finest music conservatories in the world, showcasing rising stars and imaginative programs, has become an annual favorite at The Four Arts. This year’s visit by the Nina von Maltzahn global touring initiative of the Curtis Institute of Music features the Vera Quartet, a recent Banff Competition finalist, performing Beethoven’s early masterpiece, the String Quartet No. 4 in C Minor, and a commission by Curtis alumni composer, David Hertzberg. Pianist Meng-Chien Liu will join the ensemble for Franck’s Quintet in F Minor.

Program Notes

PROGRAM 

Quartet No. 4 in C minor, Op. 18, No. 4 Ludwig van Beethoven 

Allegro ma non tanto (1770–1827)
Scherzo: Andante scherzoso, quasi allegretto
Menuetto: Allegretto
Allegro  

Quartet No. 4 (“Silent Temple”) Bright Sheng

INTERMISSION

Quintet in F minor César Franck
Molto moderato quasi lento—Allegro
Lento, con molto sentimento
Allegro non troppo, ma con fuoco

More About The Artist

Vera Quartet
The Vera Quartet is in its second season as quartet in residence at the Curtis Institute of Music. In 2019–20 the quartet appears with piano faculty member Meng-Chieh Liu in performances across the United States for Curtis on Tour, the Nina von Maltzahn global touring initiative.

The Vera Quartet shares the uniquely democratic dynamic of a string quartet with diverse audiences, both within and beyond the concert hall. Winner of the 2018 Astral Artists National Auditions, the quartet has also received grand prizes at the Plowman Chamber Music Competition and the Chamber Music in Yellow Springs Competition for Emerging Professional Ensembles, top prizes from the M-Prize Chamber Arts Competition, and the St. Lawrence String Quartet Prize from the Wigmore Hall International String Quartet Competition. In 2017 the group participated in the Robert Mann and Juilliard string quartet seminars, and was selected by NPR’s Performance Today as Young Artists in Residence.

The Vera Quartet has attended the chamber music residency program at the Banff Centre, the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, the McGill International String Quartet Academy, and the Center for Advanced Quartet Studies at the Aspen Music Festival and School, where they worked closely with composer Augusta Read Thomas and gave the local premiere of her Selene. The quartet previously held a residency at the Beethoven-Haus in Bonn, Germany; and served as the graduate quartet in residence at the Jacobs School of Music, where they worked with the Pacifica Quartet, collaborated with the IU Latin American Music Center and the IU New Music Ensemble, and partnered with the Musical Arts Youth Organization.

Meng-Chieh Liu, piano
A recipient of the 2002 Avery Fisher Career Grant, Meng-Chieh Liu first made headlines in 1993 as a 21-year-old student, when he substituted for André Watts at the Academy of Music in Philadelphia with three hours’ notice. His acclaimed performance was followed by a recital at the Kennedy Center, among other highly praised appearances.

Mr. Liu’s early career was abruptly halted for several years by a rare and debilitating illness that prevented him from playing. Through arduous physical therapy, he was restored to full health and has been performing actively for two decades. He has appeared with orchestras under conductors Christoph Eschenbach, Gustavo Dudamel, and Alan Gilbert, among others. His concerts have been broadcast around the world, and Taiwanese National Television has aired a documentary on his life. A dedicated chamber musician, he has collaborated with Shmuel Ashkenasi, James Buswell, Bernard Greenhouse, David Soyer, Wendy Warner, and the Borromeo and St. Lawrence string quartets. He was artistic director of Chicago Chamber Musicians from 2011 to 2014; and has also collaborated with artists in other disciplines, including Mikhail Baryshnikov and his White Oak Dance Project.

Mr. Liu received a Bachelor of Music degree from the Curtis Institute of Music, where he studied with Jorge Bolet, Eleanor Sokoloff, and Claude Frank. He won first prizes in the Stravinsky, Asia Pacific Piano, and Mieczyslaw Munz competitions.

Mr. Liu has been a member of the Curtis Institute of Music faculty since 1993 and also serves on the faculty of the New England Conservatory.

ABOUT CURTIS
In the 2019–20 school year, the Curtis Institute of Music celebrates 95 years of educating and training exceptionally gifted young musicians to engage a local and global community through the highest level of artistry. With a small student body of about 175, Curtis provides each young musician with an unparalleled education alongside musical peers, distinguished by a “learn by doing” philosophy and personalized attention from a faculty that includes a high proportion of actively performing musicians.

To ensure that admissions are based solely on artistic promise, Curtis makes an investment in each admitted student so that no tuition is charged for their studies.

Curtis students hone their craft through than 200 orchestra, opera, and solo and chamber music offerings each year and programs that bring arts access and education to the community. This real-world training allows these extraordinary young musicians to join the front rank of performers, composers, conductors, and musical leaders, making a profound impact on music onstage and in their communities. To learn more, visit Curtis.edu.

ABOUT CURTIS ON TOUR
Curtis on Tour is the Nina von Maltzahn global touring initiative of the Curtis Institute of Music. Grounded in the school’s “learn by doing” philosophy, it offers students real-world, professional touring experience alongside celebrated alumni and faculty. In addition to performing, musicians offer master classes, interactive programs, and community engagement activities while on tour. Curtis on Tour also facilitates solo performances of Curtis students and alumni with professional orchestras and recital series. Since the program was established in 2008, students, faculty, and alumni have performed more than 300 concerts in over 100 cities in Europe, Asia, and the Americas.

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