Curtis on Tour: Cello Quintet

Esteemed faculty Ida Kavafian, violin, and Peter Wiley (’74), cello, lead a quintet of string players in a program centered on Schubert’s beloved String Quintet in C major, D. 956—often termed the “Cello Quintet” for its use of a second cello. A newly commissioned work by Curtis composition faculty member Richard Danielpour rounds out the program, which will be taken to venues in California, Florida, and New York in March 2021.


Internationally acclaimed as a violist as well as violinist, the versatile Ida Kavafian is an artist-member of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and former violinist of the Beaux Arts Trio. For 34 years she has been artistic director of Music from Angel Fire in New Mexico, where some 200 Curtis students have participated in the Young Artist Program to date. She was a founder of the Bravo! Colorado festival, serving as its artistic director for ten years; and co-founded the chamber ensembles Opus One, Tashi, and Trio Valtorna. She also performs as a soloist and in recital with her sister, violinist Ani Kavafian.

Ms. Kavafian has premiered numerous works, including concertos by Toru Takemitsu and Michael Daugherty, whose Fire and Blood she recorded with the Detroit Symphony. She has toured and recorded with jazz artists Chick Corea and Wynton Marsalis, and with fiddler/composer Mark O'Connor.

Born in Istanbul of Armenian parentage, Ms. Kavafian is a graduate of the Juilliard School, where she studied with Oscar Shumsky. She made her debut through Young Concert Artists with the pianist Peter Serkin, and also received the coveted Avery Fisher Career Grant. She resides with her husband, violist Steven Tenenbom, in Philadelphia and Connecticut, where they breed and train prizewinning Hungarian vizsla show dogs.

Since 1998 Ms. Kavafian has served on the faculty of the Curtis Institute of Music, where she received the 2013 Lindback Foundation Award for Distinguished Teaching. She also teaches at the Juilliard School and the Bard College Conservatory of Music.


Peter Wiley, a 1974 graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music, has played at leading festivals including the Marlboro Music Festival, for which he also tours and records. As a recitalist he has appeared at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall. A member of the Beaux Arts Trio from 1987 to 1998, Mr. Wiley also succeeded his teacher, David Soyer, as cellist of the Guarneri String Quartet from 2001 to 2009. He is a member of the piano quartet Opus One, with Curtis faculty members Ida Kavafian and Steven Tenenbom and pianist Anne-Marie McDermott.

Mr. Wiley entered Curtis at age thirteen. At twenty he was named principal cello of the Cincinnati Symphony, after one year with the Pittsburgh Symphony. He made his concerto debut at Carnegie Hall in 1986 with the New York String Orchestra conducted by Alexander Schneider.

A past recipient of an Avery Fisher Career Grant, Mr. Wiley joined the faculty of the Curtis Institute of Music in 1996. He also teaches at the University of Maryland and Bard College Conservatory of Music.

Lun Li, from Shanghai, entered the Curtis Institute of Music in 2016 and studies violin with Ida Kavafian. All students at Curtis receive merit-based, full-tuition scholarships, and Mr. Li is the Jean J. Sterne Fellow.

Mr. Li has attended the Pacific Music Festival, where he served as concertmaster of the orchestra; and the New York String Orchestra Seminar, where he served as the assistant concertmaster. He has also participated in the Music@Menlo international program, Verbier Festival Academy, and Music From Angelfire. He has participated in master classes with Arnold Steinhardt, Midori Goto, and Pierre Amoyal.

Mr. Li began violin lessons at the age of eight. Prior to attending Curtis, he attended Bard College. In his spare time, he enjoys organic farming.

Cara Pogossian, from Glendale, Calif., entered the Curtis Institute of Music in 2017 and studies viola with Hsin-Yun Huang. All students at Curtis receive merit-based, full-tuition scholarships, and Ms. Pogossian is the James and Betty Matarese Annual Fellow.

Ms. Pogossian served as co-principal viola of the Curtis Symphony Orchestra during its 2019–20 season, which included the orchestra’s first-ever United States tour. She is a recipient of the AGBU Performing Arts Scholarship, performing a recital at Weill Recital Hall in New York for Musical Armenia’s 36th annual concert. She has performed with the Colburn Academy Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra and the Colburn Youth Orchestra, and has been featured on National Public Radio’s From The Top.

Ms. Pogossian won the bronze medal in the 2017 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition (Junior Division) and third prize in the 2016 Occidental College String Competition. She has attended the Perlman Music Program, the Yellow Barn Young Artists Program, and the Taos School of Music. Her previous teachers include Paul Coletti, Che-Yen Chen, and Helen Callus. She began violin lessons at age four and viola lessons at age thirteen.

Francis Carr, from Oxford, England, entered the Curtis Institute of Music in 2018 and studies cello with Carter Brey and Peter Wiley. All students at Curtis receive merit-based, full-tuition scholarships, and Mr. Carr is the Edward A. Montgomery Jr. Annual Fellow.

Mr. Carr has given recitals at London’s Wigmore Hall, Milton Court in Surrey, the Berlin Konzerthaus, Brussels Bozar, and Amsterdam’s Muziekgebouw. He has attended the Greenwood Music Camp, Four Seasons Winter Workshop, and Kneisel Hall Chamber Music School and Festival.

Mr. Carr began playing the cello at age five and has studied with Melissa Phelps, Thomas Carroll, Darrett Adkins, and his father, the cellist Colin Carr. He previously attended the Juilliard School and the Yehudi Menuhin School. In his spare time, he enjoys reading, drawing, and playing soccer.



DANIELPOUR     String Quintet ("A Shattered Vessel")

SCHUBERT          Quintet in C major, D. 956



Davis, Calif.
Sunday, March 14 at 2 p.m.
Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts
Presented by the Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts

Buffalo, N.Y.
Tuesday, March 16 at 8 p.m.
Kleinhans Music Hall
Presented by the Buffalo Chamber Music Society

Palm Beach, Fla.
Sunday, March 21 at 3 p.m.
The Society of the Four Arts
Presented by The Society of the Four Arts

Additional performances to be added