/ News / Piano and Brass Recital February 25 Continues Celebration of Meng-Chieh Liu at Curtis

Piano and Brass Recital February 25 Continues Celebration of Meng-Chieh Liu at Curtis

A Silver Touch series continues with Hindemith’s sonatas for brass and piano

PHILADELPHIA—February 20, 2019—The three-part series A Silver Touch continues on Monday, February 25 at 6:30 p.m. in Gould Rehearsal Hall at the Curtis Institute of Music with a program featuring the complete brass sonatas by Paul Hindemith performed by Curtis faculty and alumni.

In the 25 years since his graduation, pianist Meng-Chieh Liu has earned a place among the most respected musicians of his generation. Throughout that time he has continuously been a vital presence at Curtis as a performer, teacher, and mentor. In the second of three programs celebrating this milestone, Liu delves into the world of Paul Hindemith, the prolific composer of chamber music who produced some of the most original and idiomatic sonatas of the 20th century. He is joined by an incomparable roster of Curtis brass faculty and alumni—trombonist Nitzan Haroz, trumpeter Nathaniel Hepler, tubist Craig Knox, and hornist Jennifer Montone—who themselves hold positions in the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Pittsburgh Symphony, and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.

Single tickets for $25 are available from the Patron Services Office at (215) 893-7902 or Curtis.edu/Performances.

The third and final program on March 31 features chamber concertos by Bach, Mozart, Shostakovich, and Zhou Tian played by Curtis musicians, including the school’s new string quartet in residence, the Vera Quartet.

Past and future meet through the Curtis Presents series, which features a diverse collection of artists—alumni, faculty, students, and friends—whose musical foundations are rooted in the Curtis community. This series of intimate and innovative recitals offers a unique experience that transcends generations and genres, with exceptional artistry and one-of-a-kind programs.

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 number of widely praised appearances, including a recital at the Kennedy Center.

A recipient of the 2002 Avery Fisher Career Grant, Mr. Liu has performed 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 musicians in North America, Europe, and Asia, in addition to working with artists in other disciplines, including Mikhail Baryshnikov and his White Oak Dance Project. He is the artistic director of Chicago Chamber Musicians, which he joined in 2009.

Mr. Liu received his Bachelor of Music degree from the Curtis Institute of Music, where he studied with Jorge Bolet, Eleanor Sokoloff, and Claude Frank. He received 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 faculties of Roosevelt University and the New England Conservatory.

Nitzan Haroz, a native of Israel, joined the Philadelphia Orchestra as principal trombone in 1995. He served as assistant principal trombone of the New York Philharmonic and principal trombone of the Rishon-Le Zion Symphony and Opera Orchestra. He was also first trombone of the Israel Defense Forces Orchestra and performed with the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra.

Mr. Haroz has appeared as a soloist with the Philadelphia Orchestra, Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, Rishon-Le Zion Symphony, and the Sofia Radio Symphony, among others, and is an active chamber musician.

He won first prize at the François Shapira Competition and received America-Israel Cultural Foundation Scholarships. He has commissioned and premiered several works for trombone and harp and has given recitals and master classes in Israel, the United States, Europe, and Asia. Mr. Haroz has also performed with the New York, Philadelphia, and Israel brass ensembles and the Rishon-Le Zion and Israel Defense Forces brass quintets.

Mr. Haroz joined the faculty of the Curtis Institute of Music in 1998. He also teaches at the Esther Boyer College of Music and Dance at Temple University.

Nathaniel Hepler joined the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra as second trumpet in 2013. Previously he enjoyed an active schedule as a Philadelphia-based freelancer and teacher, also serving as principal trumpet of the Sarasota Opera and second trumpet of Symphony in C. He has performed in the New World, Utah, and Harrisburg symphonies; the Grand Park and IRIS orchestras; Military Academy Band at West Point; the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia; and the orchestras of Opera Philadelphia and the Pennsylvania Ballet. He has attended the Spoleto festivals in the U.S. and in Italy; Music Academy of the West; and the Aspen, Artosphere, Santo Domingo, and Verbier music festivals.

Mr. Hepler earned a Bachelor of Music degree from the Curtis Institute of Music, studying with Frank Kaderabek and David Bilger. He earned a Master of Music from the Manhattan School of Music, studying with Mark Gould. He teaches at Temple University and arranges music for his own company, Valley Music Press.

Principal tuba of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra since 2005, Craig Knox was previously acting principal tuba of the San Francisco Symphony and principal tuba of the Sacramento Symphony. He has performed with the orchestras of Philadelphia, Chicago, Cleveland, Minnesota, Detroit, and Seattle, as well as the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande.

As a soloist, Mr. Knox premiered Jennifer Higdon’s Tuba Concerto and André Previn’s Triple Concerto for trumpet, horn, and tuba, both with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. He has also appeared as a soloist with the U.S. Army Band “Pershing’s Own” and the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra, and has toured with the Empire Brass. He is co-founder of the Center City Brass Quintet, which has made six recordings for the Chandos and Cryston labels. He has made recordings for Naxos with the Chicago Chamber Musicians Brass Quintet and for the Albany label with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra low brass section; and has recorded a solo album, A Road Less Traveled.

Mr. Knox graduated from the Curtis Institute of Music, where he studied with Paul Krzywicki. His previous teachers included Samuel Pilafian, Chester Schmitz, and Gary Ofenloch. He joined the tuba faculty of the Curtis Institute of Music in 2014. He also teaches at Carnegie Mellon University and has presented master classes, seminars, and recitals worldwide.

Jennifer Montone joined the Philadelphia Orchestra as principal horn in 2006. She was the principal horn of the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra from 2003 to 2006. Formerly associate principal of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, she was an adjunct professor at Southern Methodist University and was a faculty performer at the Aspen Music Festival and School from 2005 to 2009.

She has performed concertos with the Saint Louis, Dallas, and National symphony orchestras; the Philadelphia Orchestra; and the Polish National Radio Symphony, among others, and has performed chamber music with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, as well as at festivals in La Jolla, Santa Fe, Marlboro, Bay Chamber Concerts, and Spoleto, Italy.

Ms. Montone’s numerous honors and awards include a prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant (2006), Paxman Young Horn Player of the Year in London (1996), and Presidential Scholar for musical achievement (1995).

She is a graduate of the Juilliard School, where she was a student of Julie Landsman. A native of northern Virginia, she was a student of Edwin Thayer in the National Symphony Orchestra Youth Fellowship Program and a fellow in the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra. Ms. Montone joined the faculty of the Curtis Institute of Music in 2007. 

The Curtis Institute of Music educates and trains exceptionally gifted young musicians to engage a local and global community through the highest level of artistry. One of the most selective schools in the United States, Curtis accepts four percent of applicants each year on average. A tuition-free policy ensures that talent and artistic promise are the only considerations for admission. With a small student body of about 175, Curtis ensures that each young musician receives an education of unparalleled quality, distinguished by personalized attention from a celebrated faculty and a “learn by doing” philosophy. Curtis students hone their craft through than 200 orchestra, opera, and solo and chamber music offerings each year in Philadelphia and around the world.


CURTIS PRESENTS: A Silver Touch – Part Two

Monday, February 25 at 6:30 p.m.

Gould Rehearsal Hall, Lenfest Hall, Curtis Institute of Music, 1616 Locust Street, Philadelphia



Alto Horn Sonata 

Jennifer Montone, horn
Meng-Chieh Liu (’93), piano 


Tuba Sonata

Craig Knox (’89), tuba
Meng-Chieh Liu, piano


Trombone Sonata

Nitzan Haroz, trombone
Meng-Chieh Liu, piano 


Trumpet Sonata

Nathaniel Hepler (’05), trumpet 
Meng-Chieh Liu, piano 


Horn Sonata

Jennifer Montone, horn
Meng-Chieh Liu, piano 

Tickets: $25, sold by the Curtis Patron Services Office, Curtis.edu/Performances, or (215) 893-7902.


The Curtis Presents season is sponsored by Blank Rome LLP.


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