David Schifrin & Miro Quartet

Clarinet and String Quartet

May 6, 2018, 4 PM

Music Room

David Shifrin is one of the world’s leading clarinetists. A former principal clarinet in the Cleveland Orchestra, he is a particularly distinguished performer of chamber music, collaborating with pianists including Emanuel Ax and quartets such as the Guarneri and Emerson. Shifrin is also a highly regarded teacher and has held positions at both Yale and the Juilliard School. Formed in 1995 and well-known for its imaginative programming, the Miró Quartet is based in Austin, Texas, and takes its name from Spanish artist Joan Miró. The concert opens with Credo by Kevin Puts, composed for the Miró Quartet and first performed by them in 2007. The remainder of the program offers the two greatest clarinet quintets—Mozart’s from 1789 and Brahms’s from 1891—performed side by side.

PROGRAM:

KEVIN PUTS (b. 1972)
Credo for String Quartet (2007)
     The Violin Guru of Katonah
     Infrastructure
     Intermezzo. Learning to Dance
     Infrastructure
     Credo

WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART (1756-1791)
Clarinet Quintet in A Major, K. 581 (1789)
     Allegro
     Larghetto
     Menuetto
     Allegretto con variazioni

INTERMISSION

JOHANNES BRAHMS (1833-1897)
Clarinet Quintet in B minor, Op. 115 (1891)
     Allegro
     Adagio
     Andantino - Presto non assai, ma con sentiment
     Con moto

One of only two wind players to have been awarded the Avery Fisher Prize since the award's inception in 1974, David Shifrin is in constant demand as an orchestral soloist, recitalist, and chamber music collaborator.

Shifrin has appeared with the Philadelphia and Minnesota Orchestras and the Dallas, Seattle, Houston, Milwaukee, Detroit, and Denver symphonies among many others in the US, and internationally with orchestras in Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Japan, Korea, and Taiwan. In addition, he has served as principal clarinetist with the Cleveland Orchestra, American Symphony Orchestra (under Stokowski), the Honolulu and Dallas symphonies and the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and New York Chamber Symphony. Shifrin has also received critical acclaim as a recitalist, appearing at such venues as Alice Tully Hall, Weill Recital Hall and Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall, and the 92nd Street Y in New York City as well as the Library of Congress in Washington, DC. A sought after chamber musician, he collaborates frequently with such distinguished ensembles and artists as the Guarneri, Tokyo, and Emerson String Quartets, Wynton Marsalis, and pianists Emanuel Ax and André Watts.

An artist member of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center since 1989, Shifrin served as its artistic director from 1992 to 2004. He has toured extensively throughout the US with CMSLC and appeared in several national television broadcasts on Live From Lincoln Center. He has also been the artistic director of Chamber Music Northwest in Portland, Oregon since 1981.

David Shifrin joined the faculty at the Yale School of Music in 1987 and was appointed Artistic Director of the Chamber Music Society of Yale and Yale's annual concert series at Carnegie Hall in September 2008. He has also served on the faculties of The Juilliard School, University of Southern California, University of Michigan, Cleveland Institute of Music, and the University of Hawaii. In 2007 he was awarded an honorary professorship at China's Central Conservatory in Beijing.

Shifrin's recordings on Delos, DGG, Angel/EMI, Arabesque, BMG, SONY, and CRI have consistently garnered praise and awards. He has received three Grammy nominations - for a collaborative recording with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center of the collected chamber music of Claude Debussy (Delos), the Copland Clarinet Concerto (Angel/EMI), and Ravel's Introduction and Allegro with Nancy Allen, Ransom Wilson, and the Tokyo String Quartet (Angel/EMI). 

His recording of the Mozart Clarinet Concerto with the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra, performed in its original version on a specially built basset clarinet, was named Record of the Year by Stereo Review.

His latest recording, Shifrin Plays Schifrin (Aleph Records), is a collection of clarinet works by composer/conductor Lalo Schifrin. Both the recording of the Copland Clarinet Concerto and a 2008 recording of Leonard Bernstein's Clarinet Sonata with pianist Anne-Marie McDermott have been released on iTunes via Angel/EMI and Deutsche Grammophon.

Shifrin continues to broaden the repertoire for clarinet and orchestra by commissioning and championing the works of 20th and 21st century American composers including, among others, John Adams, Joan Tower, Stephen Albert, Bruce Adolphe, Ezra Laderman, Lalo Schifrin, David Schiff, John Corigliano, Bright Sheng, and Ellen Taaffe Zwilich.

In addition to the Avery Fisher Prize, Shifrin is the recipient of a Solo Recitalists' Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and the 1998 Distinguished Alumnus Award from the Music Academy of the West. At the outset of his career, he won the top prize at both the Munich and the Geneva International Competitions. Shifrin plays on MoBa cocobolo wood clarinets by Backun. He is represented by CM Artists New York.

DANIEL CHING, VIOLIN
WILLIAM FEDKENHEUER, VIOLIN
JOHN LARGESS, VIOLA
JOSHUA GINDELE, CELLO

The Miró Quartet is one of America’s most celebrated and dedicated string quartets, having been labeled by The New Yorker as “furiously committed” and noted by the Cleveland Plain-Dealer for their “exceptional tonal focus and interpretive intensity.” For the past twenty years they have performed throughout the world on the most prestigious concert stages, earning accolades from passionate critics and audiences alike. Based in Austin, TX, and thriving on the area’s storied music scene, the Miró takes pride in finding new ways to communicate with audiences of all backgrounds while cultivating the longstanding tradition of chamber music.

Highlights of recent seasons include a highly anticipated and sold-out return to Carnegie Hall to perform Beethoven’s Opus 59 quartets; a performance at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center as part of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s inaugural residency; the world premiere of a new concerto for string quartet and orchestra by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Kevin Puts; performances of the complete Beethoven Cycle at the Orcas Island Chamber Music Festival and at Tokyo’s Suntory Hall; and debuts in 2014/2015 in Korea, Singapore, and at the Hong Kong International Chamber Music Festival.

The Quartet’s 2016/2017 season features collaborations with David Shifrin, Martin Beaver, Clive Greensmith, Andre Watts, and Wu Han; a performance of the complete Beethoven cycle in just nine days for Chamber Music Tulsa; and a much-anticipated return to Carnegie Hall. During its 2015/2016 season, the Quartet returned to the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, performing Beethoven in Alice Tully Hall and the complete cycle of Ginastera’s quartets at the Rose Studio; and performed a late-Schubert quartet cycle for the prestigious Slee Series in Buffalo, NY.

A favorite of summer chamber music festivals, the Miró has recently performed at La Jolla Music Society’s SummerFest, Chamber Music Northwest, the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, OK Mozart, and Music@Menlo. The Miró regularly collaborates with pianist Jon Kimura Parker, percussionist Colin Currie, and mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke.

Formed in 1995, the Miró Quartet was awarded first prize at several national and international competitions including the Banff International String Quartet Competition and the Naumburg Chamber Music Competition. Deeply committed to music education, members of the Quartet have given master classes at universities and conservatories throughout the world, and since 2003 the Miró has served as the Quartet in Residence at the University of Texas at Austin Sarah and Ernest Butler School of Music. In 2005, the Quartet became the first ensemble ever to be awarded the coveted Avery Fisher Career Grant.

Having released nine celebrated recordings, the Miró recently produced an Emmy Award-winning multimedia project titled Transcendence. A work with visual and audio elements available on live stream, CD, and Blu-ray, Transcendence encompasses philanthropy and documentary filmmaking and is centered around a performance of Franz Schubert’s Quartet in G major on rare Stradivarius instruments. The Miró records independently and makes its music available on a global scale through Apple Music, Amazon, Spotify, Pandora, and YouTube.

The Miró Quartet took its name and its inspiration from the Spanish artist Joan Miró, whose Surrealist works—with subject matter drawn from the realm of memory, dreams, and imaginative fantasy—are some of the most groundbreaking, influential, and admired of the 20th century.