Clarion Concerts Welcomes Spring at Stissing Center with the Brentano Quartet
The Brentano Quartet, left to right: Nina Lee, Serena Canin, Mark Steinberg, Misha Amory
Photo by Christian Steiner
PINE PLAINS — Clarion Concerts, an essential part of the cultural life of the Hudson Valley and the Berkshires, celebrates its 66th year of providing a diverse array of musical experiences to its loyal and ever-widening audience on Saturday, 01 April 2023 at 7pm. In partnership with the The Stissing Center in Pine Plains, Clarion will present the Brentano Quartet (“Passionate, uninhibited and spellbinding” -London Independent) in a program of string quartets ranging from the 18th to the 21st century. “We couldn’t be more pleased to be inaugurating our 66th year with these extraordinary artists”, says Clarion Concerts board president Dave Hall. Notes Artistic Director Emerita Eugenia Zukerman, “We chose them because they share our enthusiasm for combining the greatest music from the standard repertoire with the most exciting and well-crafted works of today and tomorrow. The program they are bringing does exactly that”:
Franz Josef Haydn
String Quartet in C Major, Op. 33, No.3 (the “Bird”) (1781)
“Memento” for String Quartet (1994)
“Sonny” for String Quartet (2011)
— Intermission —
Ludwig van Beethoven
String Quartet in B-flat major, Op. 130 (1827)
WHAT: Clarion Concerts at The Stissing Center
WHO: Brentano Quartet
WHEN: Saturday April 01 at 7 p.m.
WHERE: The Stissing Center / 2950 Church St. / Pine Plains NY 12567
TICKETS: $35 / Students pre-K to grads: Free / 518-771-3339
Next up for Clarion Concerts is their annual gala, which will feature pianist Zhu Wang (“a thoughtful, sensitive performer...balanced lyrical warmth and crisp clarity” -New York Times) in an intimate concert at a private residence in Ancram, NY, on Saturday, 10 June at 3pm. Further details to be announced.
Photo by Christian Steiner
Since its inception in 1992, the Brentano Quartet (Mark Steinberg, violin, Serena Canin, violin, Misha Amory, viola, Nina Lee, cello) has won multiple awards and prizes and appeared throughout the world to popular and critical acclaim. In addition to performing the entire two-century range of the standard quartet repertoire, the Brentano Quartet maintains a strong interest in new music, and has commissioned many compositions. Their latest project, a monodrama for quartet and voice called Dido Reimagined, was composed by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Melinda Wagner and librettist Stephanie Fleischmann, and premiered in spring 2022 with soprano Dawn Upshaw. Other recent commissions include works by Matthew Aucoin, Lei Liang, Vijay Iyer, James Macmillan, and a cello quintet by Steven Mackey (with Wilhelmina Smith, cello.)
The Brentano Quartet has worked closely with other important composers of our time, among them Elliot Carter, Charles Wuorinen, Chou Wen-chung, Bruce Adolphe, and György Kurtág. They have also been privileged to collaborate with such artists as soprano Jessye Norman, mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato, and pianists Richard Goode, Jonathan Biss, and Mitsuko Uchida. The Quartet has recorded works by Mozart and Schubert for Azica Records, and all of Beethoven’s late Quartets for the Aeon label. In 2012, they provided the central music (Beethoven Opus 131) for the critically-acclaimed independent film A Late Quartet.
Since 2014, the Brentano Quartet has served as Artists-in-Residence at the Yale School of Music. They were formerly the Ensemble-in-Residence at Princeton University, and were twice invited to be the collaborative ensemble for the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition.
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.
Newell Jenkins and Jack Hurley established the Clarion Music Society in New York City in 1957. Jenkins, who specialized in music of the Baroque period, studied extensively in Europe and there unearthed the music of Giovanni Battista Sammartini, ultimately introducing his work and that of many other composers of the Baroque era to music lovers in the United States. Under Jenkins’ direction, Clarion became known worldwide for early music concerts played on both modern and period instruments. For nearly forty years Jenkins programmed the Leaf Peeper Concerts in Columbia County. Upon Mr. Jenkins’ death in 1996 Clarion Concerts of Columbia County, Inc., became independent of the New York City organization and New York Philharmonic violinist Sanford Allen was appointed Music Director. Mr. Allen expanded Clarion’s range of repertoire to music of the 19th and 20th centuries, and under his leadership Clarion began commissioning new works. He retired in 2014 and until her retirement in 2023, flutist/broadcaster/author/poet Eugenia Zukerman served as the third Artistic Director of Clarion Concerts. Under her leadership and that of Clarion’s Board President Dave Hall, Clarion has continued to commission new works, present exciting new artists, expand the breadth of styles and periods of music presented, and has also established music education programs in schools in the city of Hudson NY.
For more information about Clarion Concerts, visit kathrynkingmedia.com, clarionconcerts.org and call 917-751-8228.
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