[ Concerts ]

Brentano String Quartet performs season-closing concert May 13

Concert features music by Haydn, Brahms, and James MacMillan
May 8, 2015

brentano_vThe Yale School of Music presents the Brentano String Quartet on Wednesday, May 13, 2015 at 7:30 pm. The acclaimed ensemble will play music by Haydn, Brahms, and James MacMillan.

This concert, which was rescheduled from January because of snow, is the last event in the 2014–2015 season of the Oneppo Chamber Music Series, which is under the artistic direction of David Shifrin. The concert will also stream live on the School of Music’s website.

The concert will begin with the first in Haydn‘s set of “Prussian” quartets, his Quartet No. 36 in B-flat major, Op. 50, No.1. Haydn’s six quartets comprising Op. 50 were a response to a gift of a golden ring to Haydn by King Frederick William II of Prussia. The B-flat major quartet features the cello in an interesting solo role, playing lone B-flats at significant moments throughout the piece. It is no coincidence that the King of Prussia happened to be an avid cellist.

Next on the program is the String Quartet No. 3 by by the Scottish composer James MacMillan. Though perhaps best known for this choral works, MacMillan has also written a significant body of instrumental music, including a widely-performed percussion concerto. Of the piece on Tuesday’s program, the San Francisco Chronicle wrote, “MacMillan’s String Quartet No. 3 operates at the boundary between the physical and the ethereal, between sounds and silence.”

The final piece on the program is Brahms‘ Quartet No. 3 in B-flat major. Composed in the summer of 1875, the work is clever and lighthearted. Composed “to avoid the serious countenance of a symphony,” Brahms called it “a useless trifle”. (He was procrastinating work on his masterful Symphony No. 2.)

This concert caps off the Brentano Quartet’s inaugural season as the School of Music’s new ensemble in residence. The members of the quartet are Mark Steinberg and Serena Canin, violins; Yale graduate Misha Amory, viola; and Nina Lee, cello.

The concert takes place in Morse Recital Hall, located in Sprague Hall at 470 College Street (corner of Wall Street), New Haven. Tickets start at $26, $13 with student ID, and are available at the Sprague Hall box office, by phone at 203 432-4158, or online.


For more information, the public should visit music.yale.edu or contact the Yale School of Music concert office at 203 432-4158.


About the Brentano String Quartet

Since its inception in 1992, the Brentano String Quartet has appeared throughout the world to popular and critical acclaim. Beginning in 2014, the Brentano Quartet succeeds the Tokyo Quartet as Artists-in-Residence at Yale University, departing from their 14-year residency at Princeton University. The quartet also currently serves as the collaborative ensemble for the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. In recent seasons, the Quartet has traveled widely, appearing all over the United States and Canada, in Europe, Japan, and Australia. It has performed in the world’s most prestigious venues, including Carnegie Hall; the Library of Congress; the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam; the Konzerthaus in Vienna; and the Sydney Opera House. In 2012, the Brentano String Quartet provided the central music (Beethoven’s Opus 131) for the critically-acclaimed independent film A Late Quartet. The feature film, directed by Yaron Zilberman, starred Philip Seymour Hoffman, Catherine Keener, Christopher Walken and Mark Ivanir.

In addition to performing the entire two-century range of the standard quartet repertoire, the Brentano Quartet has worked closely with some of the most important composers of our time, among them Elliott Carter, Charles Wuorinen, Chou Wen-chung, and György Kurtág. The Quartet has been privileged to collaborate with such artists as soprano Jessye Norman, pianist Richard Goode, and pianist Mitsuko Uchida. In spring 2013, the second of three recordings featuring the late Beethoven Quartets was released on Aeon Records. Previous recordings include a disc of Mozart (also on Aeon) and the Opus 71 quartets of Haydn. In the area of newer music, the Quartet has released a disc of the music of Steven Mackey on Albany Records, and has also recorded the music of Bruce Adolphe, Chou Wen-chung and Charles Wuorinen.

Within a few years of its formation, the Quartet garnered the first Cleveland Quartet Award and the Naumburg Chamber Music Award. In 1998, cellist Nina Lee joined the Quartet, succeeding founding member Michael Kannen. The Quartet is named for Antonie Brentano, whom many scholars consider to be Beethoven’s “Immortal Beloved,” the intended recipient of his famous love confession. WEBSITE