Curtis on Tour in Phoenix, AZ

Curtis On Tour | March 5, 2024 7:30 p.m.

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.


Program
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
  • March 5, 2024
  • 7:30 p.m.
  • ASU Kerr Cultural Center

Artists

  • Benjamin Beilman is one of the leading violinists of his generation. He has won international praise for his passionate performances and deep rich tone which the Washington Post called “mightily impressive,” and the New York Times described as “muscular with a glint of violence.” The Times has also praised his “handsome technique, burnished sound, and quiet confidence,” and the Strad described his playing as “pure poetry.”

    Highlights of Mr. Beilman’s 2023–24 season include his debut with the St. Louis Symphony and performances with the Minnesota Orchestra, the Oregon Symphony, and the Pacific Symphony. This season he also tours throughout Europe, with performances in Germany, Austria, France, the United Kingdom, and more.

    In recent seasons Mr. Beilman’s commitment to and passion for contemporary music, has led to new works written for him by Frederic Rzewski (commissioned by Music Accord), and Gabriella Smith (commissioned by the Schubert Club in St. Paul, and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music). He has also given multiple performances of Jennifer Higdon’s violin concerto, recorded Thomas Larcher’s concerto with Hannu Lintu and the Tonkünstler Orchester, and premiered Chris Rogerson’s violin concerto (“The Little Prince”) with the Kansas City Symphony and Gemma New.

    In past seasons, Mr. Beilman has performed with many major orchestras worldwide including the Chicago Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, Rotterdam Philharmonic, London Philharmonic, Trondheim Symphony, Oslo Philharmonic, Taipei Symphony, Frankfurt Radio Symphony, Zurich Tonhalle, Sydney Symphony, and Houston Symphony. He has also toured Australia in recital under Musica Aviva, including stops in in Melbourne, Sydney, Newcastle, Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, and Sydney.

    In recital and chamber music, Mr. Beilman performs regularly at the major halls across the world, including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Kölner Philharmonie, Berlin Philharmonie, Wigmore Hall, Louvre (Paris), Bunka Kaikan (Tokyo) and at festivals he has performed at Verbier, Aix-en-Provence Easter, Prague Dvorak, Robeco Summer Concerts (Amsterdam), Music@Menlo, Marlboro and Seattle Chamber Music, amongst others. He also continues to perform with Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center.

    Mr. Beilman studied at the Curtis Institute of Music with Ida Kavafian and Pamela Frank, and with Christian Tetzlaff at 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 also recorded works by Stravinsky, Janáček, and Schubert for Warner Classics. He performs with the ex-Balaković F. X. Tourte bow (c. 1820) and plays the “Ysaÿe” Guarneri del Gesù from 1740, 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. 

  • Praised by Strad magazine as having “lyricism that stood out…a silky tone and beautiful, supple lines,” violist Milena Pajaro-van de Stadt has established herself as one of the most sought-after violists of her generation. In addition to appearances as soloist with the Tokyo Philharmonic, the Jacksonville Symphony, and the Sphinx Chamber Orchestra, she 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, which was described in Strad as being “fleet and energetic…powerful and focused”.

    Ms. Pajaro-van de Stadt was the founding violist of the Dover Quartet, and played in the group from 2008-2022. During her time in the group, the Dover Quartet was the First Prize-winner and recipient of every special award at the Banff International String Quartet Competition 2013, and winner of the Gold Medal and Grand Prize in the 2010 Fischoff Chamber Music Competition. Her numerous awards also include First Prize of the Lionel Tertis International Viola Competition and top prizes at the the Sphinx Competition and the Tokyo International Viola Competition. While in the Dover Quartet, Ms. Pajaro-van de Stadt was on the faculty at The Curtis Institute of Music and Northwestern University’s Bienen School of Music, and a part of the Quartet in Residence of the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. She is a member of the newly formed piano quartet “Espressivo!” along with acclaimed artists Jaime Laredo, Sharon Robinson, and Anna Polonsky.

    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 Diaz, Michael Tree, Misha Amory, and Joseph de Pasquale. She then received her Master’s Degree in String Quartet with the Dover Quartet at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music, as a student of James Dunham.

  • 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 (Cello ’19) 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.

    Learn more about Oliver.

  • 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.  

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