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Vera Quartet and Meng-Chieh Liu Travel United States for Curtis on Tour Beginning November 2019

Faculty member and string quartet in residence at Curtis Institute of Music embark on three-part tour featuring works by Beethoven, Franck, and Bright Sheng

PHILADELPHIA—November 6, 2019—The string quartet in residence and a prominent faculty performer from the Curtis Institute of Music embark on a three-part tour of the United States, beginning with venues in Pennsylvania, New York, and Massachusetts from November 11–17. These performances are part of Curtis on Tour, the Nina von Maltzahn global touring initiative of the Curtis Institute of Music, and continue to Florida in January 2020 and to California, Illinois, Michigan, and Washington, D.C. in March 2020.

Touring artists include alumnus and faculty member Meng-Chieh Liu (’93) on piano and the Vera Quartet, now its second year as string quartet in residence at Curtis. The quartet will perform Quartet No. 4 in C minor, Op. 18, No. 4 by Beethoven and Quartet No. 4 (“Silent Temple”) by Bright Sheng, Curtis’s 2019–20 composer in residence. Mr. Liu joins the group for the luxuriant Piano Quintet in F minor by César Franck to finish the program.

The first leg of this three-part tour begins Monday, November 11 in West Chester, Pa. and continues to the Brooklyn Public Library on November 12, the Corning Museum of Glass on November 15, and finally the Shalin Liu Performance Center in Rockport, Mass. on November 17. The group reassembles on January 5, 2020 for a performance at the Society of the Four Arts in Palm Beach, Fla., a frequent venue for Curtis on Tour ensembles. The final leg of the tour runs from March 8–22, 2020 and revisits popular venues in Davis and La Jolla, Calif., Chicago, and Washington, D.C., as well as new Curtis on Tour venues in Grosse Pointe, Canton, and Rochester Hills, Mich. The full tour schedule and ticket information can be found at Curtis.edu/CurtisOnTour.

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.

A recipient of the 2002 Avery Fisher Career Grant, pianist 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.

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.

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.

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 personalized attention from celebrated faculty and a “learn by doing” philosophy. 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 more than 200 orchestra, opera, and solo and chamber music offerings each year in Philadelphia and around the world.

 


 

CURTIS ON TOUR: Vera Quartet and Meng-Chieh Liu


Vera Quartet, string quartet
Meng-Chieh Liu, piano (’93)

 

BEETHOVEN
SHENG
FRANCK

Quartet No. 4 in C minor, Op. 18, No. 4
Quartet No. 4 (“Silent Temple”)
Piano Quintet in F minor


Curtis on Tour is the Nina von Maltzahn global touring initiative of the Curtis Institute of Music.

 

WEST CHESTER, PA. 
Monday, November 11 at 5 p.m.

Uptown! Knauer Performing Arts Center

Presented by the Uptown! Knauer Performing Arts Center. For tickets and more information, visit arts-people.com.

 

BROOKLYN, N.Y.
Tuesday, November 12 at 7 p.m.

Brooklyn Public Library

Presented by the Brooklyn Public Library. For more information, visit bklnlibrary.org.

 

CORNING, N.Y.
Friday, November 15 at 7:30 p.m.

Corning Museum of Glass

Presented by Corning Civic Music. For tickets and more information, visit corningcivicmusic.org.

 

ROCKPORT, MASS. 
Sunday, November 17 at 3 p.m.

Shalin Liu Performance Center

Presented by Rockport Music. For tickets and more information, visit rockportmusic.org.

 

PALM BEACH, FLA. 
Sunday, January 5 at 3 p.m.

The Society of the Four Arts, Gubelmann Auditorium

Presented by the Society of the Four Arts. For tickets and more information, visit fourarts.org.

 

DAVIS, CALIF.
Sunday, March 8 at 2 p.m.

Mondavi Center, Jackson Hall

Presented by the Mondavi Center. For tickets and more information, visit mondaviarts.org.

 

LA JOLLA, CALIF.
Tuesday, March 10 at 7:30 p.m.

Athenaeum Music and Arts Library

Presented by the Athenaeum Music and Arts Library. For tickets and more information, visit ljathenaeum.org.

 

GROSSE POINTE, MICH.
Friday, March 13 at 7:30 p.m.

Grosse Pointe War Memorial

Presented by the Chamber Music Society of Detroit. For tickets and more information, visit chambermusicdetroit.org.

 

CANTON, MICH. 
Saturday, March 14 at 7:30 p.m.

Village Theater at Cherry Hill

Presented by the Chamber Music Society of Detroit. For tickets and more information, visit chambermusicdetroit.org.

 

ROCHESTER HILLS, MICH.
Sunday, March 15 at 3 p.m.

Oakland University, Varner Recital Hall

Presented by the Chamber Music Society of Detroit. For tickets and more information, visit chambermusicdetroit.org.

 

CHICAGO
Wednesday, March 18 at 12:15 p.m.

Chicago Cultural Center, Preston Bradley Hall

Presented by Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concerts. For more information, visit imfchicago.org.

WASHINGTON, D.C. 
Sunday, March 22 at 3:30 p.m.

National Gallery of Art, West Garden Court

Presented by the National Gallery of Art. For more information, visit nga.gov.

 

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