Curtis on Tour and the Chamber Music Society of Detroit offer online-only performance at Curtis.edu/YouTube as alternative to United States tour locations
PHILADELPHIA—March 12, 2020—The string quartet in residence and a prominent faculty performer from the Curtis Institute of Music, in collaboration with the Chamber Music Society of Detroit, will offer a live-streamed performance on Friday, March 13 at 7:30 p.m. ET. A preconcert talk with David Serkin Ludwig, chair of composition studies at Curtis, will begin at 7 p.m. ET. The live stream will be available at Curtis.edu/YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wIDffmGiHP0).
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 Vera 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, which was prepared for a three-part United States tour.
The touring artists previously performed this program at venues in Pennsylvania, New York, and Massachusetts in November 2019 and in Florida in January 2020. Of a recital in Rockport, Mass., the Boston Musical Intelligencer wrote, “Meng-Chieh Liu…wove magic into every note (or bundle of notes) he sent our way,” and “The [Vera Quartet] made the most of Beethoven’s dramatic contrasts.”
Due to declarations of a state of emergency as coronavirus cases increase, Curtis on Tour has cancelled the third leg of this tour, including in-person performances in California, Michigan, Chicago, and Washington D.C. originally scheduled throughout March 2020. The decision was made out of concern for the health and well-being of the artists, and aligns with Curtis’s school-wide modifications to operations.
The Chamber Music Society of Detroit (CMSD), which was to present three performances in the greater Detroit area, has collaborated with Curtis to offer this live stream and has invited interested local patrons to view it collectively in Grosse Pointe Farms, Michigan. Visit chambermusicdetroit.org/curtis for more information about the screening in Michigan.
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. Learn more at Curtis.edu/Tour.
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.
Friday, March 13 at 7:30 p.m.
Preconcert talk at 7 p.m.
Vera Quartet, string quartet
Meng-Chieh Liu, piano (’93)
Quartet No. 4 in C minor, Op. 18, No. 4
Curtis on Tour is the Nina von Maltzahn global touring initiative of the Curtis Institute of Music.
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