String Sextet

Acclaimed violinist and Curtis faculty member Benjamin Beilman (’12) joins former Dover Quartet violist Milena Pajaro-van de Stadt (Viola ’10, ’11), award-winning cellist Oliver Herbert (’19), and emerging professional artists from Curtis for a North American tour. This phenomenal sextet of distinguished Curtis faculty and alumni, alongside exceptionally gifted young musicians, presents an electrifying concert of curated selections, both old and new. The program includes Richard Strauss’s masterful Sextet from his final opera Capriccio, Berg’s colorful and chromatic Piano Sonata in B minor, Brahms’s exhilarating String Sextet No. 2 in G major, and a new work by Alyssa Weinberg commissioned for this tour.

Performances

Saturday, February 24 at 2 p.m.
Fort Worth, TX
Presented by Chamber Music Society of Fort Worth

Tuesday, February 27 at 7:30 p.m.
Philadelphia, PA
Presented by Curtis Institute of Music

Sunday, March 3 at 2 p.m.
Davis, CA
Presented by Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts

Tuesday, March 5 at 7:30 p.m.
Phoenix, AZ
Presented by Phoenix Chamber Music Society

Thursday, March 7 at 6 p.m.
Phoenix, AZ
Presented by Phoenix Chamber Music Society

Saturday, March 9 at 7:30 p.m.
Evanston, IL
Presented by Music Institute of Chicago

Tuesday, March 12 at 7:30 p.m.
Bradenton, FL
Presented by Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota, Inc

Artists

  • Benjamin Beilman has won international praise both for his passionate performances and deep rich tone which the Washington Post called “mightily impressive.” The New York Times has praised his “handsome technique, burnished sound, and quiet confidence,” and the Strad described his playing as “pure poetry.” The Boston Globe remarked that Mr. Beilman’s “playing already has its own sure balance of technical command, intensity, and interpretive finesse.”

    Highlights of Mr. Beilman’s 2021–22 season include performances of the Samuel Taylor Coleridge Violin Concerto with the Indianapolis, Toledo, and Charlotte Symphonies, as well as the premiere of a new Violin Concerto by Chris Rogerson with the Kansas City Symphony and Gemma New. In Europe, highlights include performances with the Swedish Radio Symphony and Elim Chan, the Antwerp Symphony and Krzysztof Urbański, the Toulouse Symphony and Tugan Sokhiev, and the Trondheim Symphony and Han-Na Chan. He will also return to the BBC Scottish Symphony, and the Tonkünstler Orchestra, with whom he has recorded a concerto by Thomas Larcher.

    Highlights in recent seasons include debuts with the Budapest Festival Orchestra; return engagements with the Philadelphia Orchestra, both at home, and at Carnegie Hall; and his return to the London Chamber Orchestra to play-direct. In early 2018 he premiered a new work dedicated to the political activist Angela Davis written by Frederic Rzewski and commissioned by Music Accord which he has performed extensively across the U.S.

    Mr. Beilman studied at the Music Institute of Chicago, the Curtis Institute of Music, and the Kronberg Academy, and has received many prestigious accolades including a Borletti-Buitoni Trust Fellowship, an Avery Fisher Career Grant, and a London Music Masters Award. He has an exclusive recording contract with Warner Classics and released his first disc Spectrum for the label in 2016. Mr. Beilman plays the “Engleman” Stradivarius from 1709 generously on loan from the Nippon Music Foundation.

    Mr. Beilman joined the faculty of the Curtis Institute of Music in 2022.

  • Na Hyun Della Kyun, from Seoul, entered the Curtis Institute of Music in 2022 and studies violin with Shmuel Ashkenasi and Benjamin Beilman. All students at Curtis receive merit-based, full-tuition scholarships, and Ms. Kyun is the Dorothy Richard Starling Foundation Fellow. 

    Ms. Kyun has received numerous awards, including second place in the Sungjung Competition, winner of Group B at the 2020 Singapore Violin Festival Online Competition, first place in the Seoul Youth Chamber Music Competition, and second place in the Ewha and Kyunghyang Music Competition. She participated in the 2014 Peabody Preparatory String Ensemble winner’s concert and performed in the 2013 Asian-American Music Society International String Competition winner’s concert at the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage in Washington, D.C.  

    Ms. Kyun has performed as a soloist with the Mostly Philharmonic Orchestra and was featured in the 2021 House Concert July Festival and the 2019 Kumho Prodigy Concert. She has been a member of the Korea National Institute for the Gifted in Arts Ensemble, the Seoul Arts High School Ensemble, the Korea National institute for the Gifted in Arts Symphony Orchestra, and the Yewon School Orchestra and its chamber ensemble. 

    Ms. Kyun has attended Music Academy of the West in 2023, the Gifu International Summer Camp, the MusicAlp Festival in France, the Belgium International Academy of Arts Summer Festival, and recently participated in a master class with Glenn Dicterow. She studied with Matthew Horwitz-Lee at Peabody Preparatory and Sung-Ju Lee at the Korean National Institute for the Gifted Arts. When Ms. Kyun is not performing, she is an avid reader and enjoys playing sports. 

  • Violist Milena Pajaro-van de Stadt, the founding violist of the Dover Quartet, performed with the Grammy-nominated string quartet until 2022. She has appeared as a soloist with the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra, the Jacksonville Symphony, and the Sphinx Chamber Orchestra; has performed in recitals and chamber music concerts throughout the United States, Latin America, Europe, and Asia including an acclaimed 2011 debut recital at London’s Wigmore Hall; and has served on the juries of the Sphinx Competition and the Banff International String Quartet Competition.  

    With the Dover Quartet she won first prize and every special award at the Banff International String Quartet Competition in 2013, and the gold medal and grand prize in the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition in 2010. Her numerous awards also include first prize at the Lionel Tertis International Viola Competition, and top prizes at the Tokyo International Viola Competition and the Sphinx Competition.   

    A violin student of Sergiu Schwartz and Melissa Pierson-Barrett for several years, she began studying viola with Michael Klotz at the Bowdoin International Music Festival in 2005. Ms. Pajaro-van de Stadt graduated from the Curtis Institute of Music, where she studied with Roberto Díaz, Michael Tree, Misha Amory, and Joseph de Pasquale. She received a master’s degree in string quartet performance from Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music, where she studied with James Dunham as a member of the Dover Quartet.   

  • Emad Zolfaghari, from Oakville, Ontario, entered the Curtis Institute of Music in 2021 and studies viola with Hsin-Yun Huang and Misha Amory. All students at Curtis receive merit-based, full-tuition scholarships, and Mr. Zolfaghari is the Elaine W. Camarda and A. Morris Williams Jr. Fellow. 

    Mr. Zolfaghari has received many prestigious awards, including first prize at the 2023 Irving M. Klein International String Competition, the François Schubert Grand Prize at the 2022 OMNI Music Competition, second prize at the 2022 Johansen International String Competition, and in 2023 was the first violist to receive first prize at the International Morningside Music Bridge Competition. His other accolades include second prize at the 2021 Ronald Sachs International Music Competition, fourth prize and the Paul J. Bourret Memorial Award for Best Performance of the Test Piece at the 2021 Shean Strings Competition, and first prize at the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra Competition.  

    Mr. Zolfaghari has appeared as a soloist with several major symphony orchestras, including l’Orchestre Métropolitain at the Maison Symphonique in Montréal under the baton of Yannick Nézet-Séguin, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra in Roy Thomson Hall, the National Philharmonic in Strathmore Hall, the Oakville Chamber Orchestra, and the National Metropolitan Philharmonic.  

    Mr. Zolfaghari was member of the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra, often performing as principal viola, and a member of the Phil and Eli Taylor Performance Academy for Young Artists where he studied with Theresa Rudolph, assistant principal viola of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. In May 2023, Mr. Zolfaghari served as principal viola for the Curtis Symphony Orchestra during its West Coast Tour. He has attended summer festivals including the Perlman Music Program, Morningside Music Bridge, Center Stage Strings, and Music from Angel Fire. He currently plays a 1785 Lorenzo Storioni viola on generous loan from Reuning & Sons Violins, Brookline. 

  • Oliver Herbert is a cello soloist, recitalist, and chamber musician with a rapidly growing international presence. The recipient of a 2021 Avery Fisher Career Grant, Oliver’s natural musicianship and connective performances are carving a unique path in the world of music. As a soloist, Oliver’s collaborations include appearances with the San Francisco Symphony, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, New World Symphony, Buffalo Philharmonic, Warsaw Philharmonic, Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional de Colombia, Erfurt Philharmonic, and Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, among others. He has worked with conductors such as Michael Tilson Thomas, Juanjo Mena, and Alexander
    Shelley.

    Driven by the living quality and relevance of the works he presents to audiences, Oliver sees his role as a cellist as being a conduit for magical musical messages. His work is fueled by a passion for music ranging from past centuries to the present, with concerto performances spotlighting works from C.P.E. Bach to Haydn, Schumann, Tchaikovsky, Dvorak, Ibert, Elgar, Barber, Shostakovich, Schnittke, Lutoslawski, and Vasks, among others. Current collaborations with composers include premieres of a new solo work by Chelsea Komschlies as well as a piece for cello, percussion, and electronics by Andrew Moses. His recent projects include performances of the complete Bach Cello Suites at Capital Region Classical and the complete Beethoven Cello Sonatas at Guarneri Hall in Chicago.

    Oliver’s recital engagements have brought him across the United States to venues such as the Ravinia Festival and Kravis Center, as well as on tour to Greece, Germany, Switzerland, and Hong Kong. His programs are known for combining beloved with lesser known works, contextualizing them with equal advocacy and commitment. With an interest in capturing the essence of historical repertoire, Oliver is developing his collaborations with fortepiano and harpsichord and performs occasionally on a 1776 five string piccolo cello.

    As a chamber musician, Oliver appears regularly at leading festivals and venues such as the Rheingau Festival, Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, Marlboro, La Jolla SummerFest, Verbier Festival, ChamberFest Cleveland, Bridgehampton, Caramoor, CMS Palm Beach, and the Ravinia Festival. During his two summers at Marlboro, Oliver had the opportunity to work closely and perform with legendary pianist Mitsuko Uchida, the festival’s director.

     

    Oliver’s debut in 2018 with Michael Tilson  Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony led to a re-engagement in the following season featuring Haydn’s D Major Cello Concerto. A recording of the performance was subsequently released by Warner Classics as part of highlights of MTT’s final season as music director. In June of 2020, Oliver released his debut album with pianist Xiaohui Yang, Frame of Mind: Fauré and Janáček, featuring the two cello and piano sonatas of Gabriel Fauré, as well as Leoš Janáček’s Pohádka (Fairy Tale).

    Oliver’s awards include the Verbier Festival’s Jean-Nicolas Firmenich Prize in 2017, as well as top prizes in the Lutoslawski International Cello Competition, Klein Competition, and Stulberg Competition. He has been featured on PBS’s Now Hear This, NPR’s From the Top, the popular online interview series, Living the Classical Life, and more.

    Born in 1997 in San Francisco, Oliver is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music and the Colburn School, where he studied with Carter Brey, Pamela Frank, Clive Greensmith, and Peter Wiley. He plays on a Guadagnini cello that belonged to the great Italian cellist Antonio Janigro, on generous loan from the Janigro family.

     

  • English cellist Frankie Carr was born into a family of string players. Following studies at the Yehudi Menuhin School, he performed at festivals across Europe and North America, including Kneisel Hall, Music from Angel Fire, Four Seasons Chamber Music, Loon Lake Live, Stichting Kamermusiek Amsterdam, YPF Amsterdam, the Menuhin Festival Gstaad, and Greenwood. 

    Mr. Carr’s principal teachers include Colin Carr, Melissa Phelps, Thomas Carroll, Darrett Adkins, Carter Brey, and Peter Wiley. He has also worked with Johannes Goritsky, Joel Krosnick, and members of the Chiara, Emerson, and Juilliard string quartets. Mr. Carr is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music (Cello ʼ21 and Community Artist Fellow ʼ23) and from 2023 to 2025 he will participate in Carnegie Hall’s Ensemble Connect Fellowship program. In his free time, he enjoys long walks and bird watching.  

Repertoire

STRAUSS Sextet from Capriccio, Op. 85

BERG Piano Sonata in B minor, Op. 1 (Trans. by Heime Müller)

WEINBERG Illuminating Arches

—intermission—

BRAHMS String Sextet No. 2 in G major, Op. 36

Subject to change.

Media

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