[ Concerts ]

Orion String Quartet performs Bach, Beethoven, and Kirchner

February 5, 2010

Pianist Peter Serkin joins the ensemble for the Brahms piano quintet

orion_blogThe Orion String Quartet, one of America’s foremost chamber ensembles, will perform with the stellar pianist Peter Serkin at the Yale School of Music on Tuesday, February 23 at 8 pm. The first half of the program will offer string quartets by Bach, Kirchner, and Beethoven: Contrapunctus I from Bach’s Art of the Fugue; Kirchner’s String Quartet No. 4, written in 2006; and Beethoven’s “Harp” Quartet in E-flat major, Op. 74. The evening will conclude with the Brahms Piano Quintet, featuring Serkin in the demanding piano part.

The members of the Orion String Quartet are violinists Daniel Phillips and Todd Phillips, violist Steven Tenenbom, and cellist Timothy Eddy. Daniel and Todd Phillips are brothers who share the first violin chair equally. Serkin, recognized as one of America’s leading pianists for over forty years, has been nominated for numerous Grammy Awards and is a versatile artist who has recorded and performed music from Bach to Brahms to the twenty-first century. He is the son of the pianist Rudolf Serkin and the grandson of the violinist and composer Adolf Busch.

The performance will take place in Morse Recital Hall in Sprague Hall (470 College Street, New Haven) and is presented by the Chamber Music Society at Yale. David Shifrin is the series’ artistic director.

Tickets to the performance are $27 to $34, $14 for students. For more information, visit the Yale School of Music website or call 203 432-4158.

About the performers

The Orion String Quartet is one of the most sought-after ensembles in the United States, consistently praised for its fresh perspective. It remains on the cutting edge of programming with wide-ranging commissions from composers Chick Corea, David Del Tredici, John Harbison, Leon Kirchner, Lowell Liebermann, Peter Lieberson, Wynton Marsalis, and others. The members of the quartet – violinists Daniel Phillips and Todd Phillips (brothers who share the first violin chair equally), violist Steven Tenenbom, and cellist Timothy Eddy – have worked with Pablo Casals, Rudolf Serkin, Isaac Stern, Pinchas Zukerman, Yo-Yo Ma, Peter Serkin, András Schiff, members of TASHI and the Beaux Arts Trio, and the Budapest, Végh, Galimir and Guarneri String Quartets. The Orion serves as Quartet-in-Residence at the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Mannes College of Music, and Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music, and maintains a summer residency at the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival. Heard on National Public Radio’s Performance Today, the Orion has also appeared on PBS’s Live from Lincoln Center, A&E’s Breakfast with the Arts, and three times on ABC-TV’s Good Morning America. In October 2004, they participated in the first WNYC Radio collaboration with BBC World Service’s popular syndicated program, Music Party. Formed in 1987, the Quartet chose its name from the Orion constellation as a metaphor for the unique personality each musician brings to the group in its collective pursuit of the highest musical ideals.

serkin_emailRecognized as an artist of passion and integrity, the distinguished American pianist Peter Serkin is one of the most thoughtful and individualistic musicians appearing before the public today. Throughout his career he has successfully conveyed the essence of five centuries of repertoire and his performances with symphony orchestras, recital appearances, chamber music collaborations and recordings are respected worldwide. Making his Marlboro Music Festival in 1959 at the age of twelve, Mr. Serkin has since performed with the world’s major symphony orchestras with such eminent conductors as George Szell, Eugene Ormandy, Seiji Ozawa, Pierre Boulez, Daniel Barenboim, Claudio Abbado, Simon Rattle, James Levine, Herbert Blomstedt and Christoph Eschenbach. Also a dedicated chamber musician, Mr. Serkin has collaborated with Alexander Schneider, Pamela Frank, Yo-Yo Ma, and the Budapest, Guarneri and Orion string quartets, and TASHI, of which he was a founding member. He has performed many important world premieres, including works by Toru Takemitsu, Peter Lieberson, Charles Wuorinen, and Elliot Carter, Oliver Knussen and Alexander Goehr. Mr. Serkin’s recording of six Mozart concerti with Alexander Schneider and the English Chamber Orchestra was nominated for a Grammy and received the prestigious Deutsche Schallplatten as well as “Best Recording of the Year” by Stereo Review magazine. Other Grammy-nominated recordings include music by Messiaen, Stravinsky, Wolpe, and Lieberson.