Presented by The Society of the Four Arts
Curtis on Tour features the Vera Quartet performing alongside faculty pianist Meng-Chieh Liu in Franck’s luxuriant masterwork. The Vera opens the program with an early Beethoven quartet.
Having received top prizes at multiple competitions, the Vera began a residency at Curtis in 2018. Liu launched his celebrated career in 1993 when, as a 21-year-old Curtis student, he substituted for André Watts on three hours' notice.
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 a Young Artist 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, 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.
|BEETHOVEN||Quartet No. 4 in C minor, Op. 18, No. 4|
|SHENG||Quartet No. 4 ("Silent Temple")|
|FRANCK||Piano Quintet in F minor|