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Anthony Roth Costanzo and the Shanghai String Quartet

Countertenor and String Quartet

Sunday Concert

In-Person Sold Out. Livestream Tickets Available. / Online / In-Person

Virtual Tickets
$15 virtual tickets | $10 members
shanghai arc

Superstar countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo returns to the Phillips to perform with the world-renowned Shanghai Quartet. Anchoring the program is the world premiere of a new 25-minute work for string quartet and countertenor by Brazilian-American composer Marcos Balter, co-commissioned by The Phillips Collection and Chamber Music America.

Following the effects of the global pandemic, Balter focused his new work—titled Therapy—on concepts of catharsis and the healing potential of creativity, with fragmented text drawn from Gertrude Stein’s Tender Buttons. Balter chose Alfonso Ossorio’s Recovery Drawings from the Phillips’s permanent collection as inspiration. Ossorio sketched the 42 Recovery Drawings while in the hospital recovering from heart failure. The wildly evocative set of drawings proves that physical restrictions need not constrain imagination, and that limitations can be both generative and transformative.

Funding for this commission was generously provided by the Sachiko Kuno Philanthropic Fund.

Funding for the performance was generously provided by an anonymous donation.

This event will be broadcast live from the Music Room on April 14 at 4pm. To reserve a ticket, follow the link above to register. All registered ticket holders will receive a link directing them to a livestream webpage where the performance can be accessed. Ticket holders will be able to watch this performance “On Demand” for 48 hours following the broadcast time.

Countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo began performing professionally at the age of 11 and has since appeared in opera, concert, recital, film, and on Broadway. He was recently awarded a GRAMMY, an Honorary Doctorate from Manhattan School of Music, a visiting fellowship from Oxford University, and the History Makers Award from the New York Historical Society. He is a recipient of the 2020 Beverly Sills Award from the Metropolitan Opera, a winner of the 2020 Opera News Award, and Musical America’s 2019 Vocalist of the Year.

This coming season, he returns to the Metropolitan Opera in another title role, after two sold-out runs of Philip Glass’s Akhnaten, as Gluck’s Orfeo. His season also includes a chamber concert with the Met Orchestra at Carnegie Hall, his Paris Opera Debut under the baton of Gustavo Dudamel in a new production of Thomas Adès’s The Exterminating Angel, a world premiere at Santa Fe Opera, solo recitals at the Kennedy Center and Boston Celebrity Series, a return to Madrid’s Teatro Real, his Wigmore Hall debut, performances at the new Perelman Arts Center in New York. He will also be a distinguished visiting scholar at Harvard. Last season he was artist-in-residence with the New York Philharmonic, and artist-in-residence at Glimmerglass Opera, where he will sang the title role in Rinaldo and performed with Natalie Merchant. He also returned to the Spoleto Festival USA for orchestra and chamber concerts, and he is brought the show he created with Justin Vivian Bond, based on his second album for Decca Gold, where he is an exclusive recording artist. His first album, with music by Glass and Handel, was nominated for a GRAMMY.

Costanzo has appeared with many of the world’s leading opera houses including the Metropolitan Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, San Francisco Opera, English National Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Opera Philadelphia, Los Angeles Opera, Canadian Opera Company, Glyndebourne Opera Festival, Dallas Opera, Teatro Real Madrid, Spoleto Festival USA, Glimmerglass Festival, and Finnish National Opera. In concert he has sung with the New York Philharmonic, The Cleveland Orchestra, The Philadelphia Orchestra, Berlin Philharmonic, London Symphony Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, NDR at the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg, and Philharmonia Baroque, among others.

He has performed at many different types of venues including Carnegie Hall, Versailles, The Kennedy Center, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, National Sawdust, Minamiza Kyoto, Joe’s Pub, The Guggenheim, The Park Avenue Armory, and Madison Square Garden.

Costanzo works as a producer and curator in addition to performing, creating and producing the New York Philharmonic’s celebrated Bandwagon initiative during the Covid pandemic, as well as shows for The BBC Proms, St. Ann’s Warehouse, Opera Philadelphia, National Sawdust, Philharmonia Baroque, The Barnes Foundation, St. John The Divine, Princeton University, WQXR, The State Theater in Salzburg, Master Voices and Kabuki-Za Tokyo. To continue and expand these pursuits, he has received major support from the Mellon Foundation. He is a founding member of the American Modern Opera Company. In film, he played Francis in the Merchant Ivory feature, “A Soldier’s Daughter Never Cries,” for which he was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award, and he’s singing in the forthcoming “She Came to Me” with Anne Hathaway. He also operatically launched the purple M&M in a national commercial.

Costanzo’s other awards include first place in the Operalia competition, a Grand Finals Winner of the 2009 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, a George London Award, a career grant from the Richard Tucker Foundation, and the first countertenor to win First Place in the Houston Grand Opera Eleanor McCullom competition, where he also won the audience choice prize. He has also received a Sullivan Foundation Award, and won First Place in the Opera Index Competition, the National Opera Association Vocal Competition, and the Jensen Foundation Competition.

He graduated Magna Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Princeton University, where he has returned to teach, and received his Masters of Music from the Manhattan School of Music, where he now serves on the board of Trustees along with being on the board of National Black Theater.

Over the past 40 years, the Shanghai Quartet has become one of the world’s foremost chamber ensembles. The Shanghai’s elegant style, impressive technique, and emotional breadth allows the group to move seamlessly between masterpieces of Western music, traditional Chinese folk music, and cutting-edge contemporary works. Formed at the Shanghai Conservatory in 1983, soon after the end of China’s harrowing Cultural Revolution, the group came to the United States to complete its studies; since then the members have been based in the U.S. while maintaining a robust touring schedule at leading chamber-music series throughout North America, Europe, and Asia. 

Recent performance highlights include performances at Carnegie Hall, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Freer Gallery (Washington, D.C.), and the Festival Pablo Casals in France, and Beethoven cycles for the Brevard Music Center, the Beethoven Festival in Poland, and throughout China. The Quartet also frequently performs at Wigmore Hall, the Budapest Spring Festival, Suntory Hall, and has collaborations with the NCPA and Shanghai Symphony Orchestras. Upcoming highlights include the premiere of a new work by Marcos Balter for the Quartet and countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo for the Phillips Collection, return performances for Maverick Concerts and the Taos School of Music, and engagements in Los Angeles, Syracuse, Albuquerque, and Salt Lake City.

Among innumberable collaborations with eminent artists, they have performed with the Tokyo, Juilliard, and Guarneri Quartets; cellists Yo-Yo Ma and Lynn Harrell; pianists Menahem Pressler, Peter Serkin, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, and Yuja Wang; pipa virtuoso Wu Man; and the vocal ensemble Chanticleer. The Shanghai Quartet appears regularly at many of North America’s most prominent chamber-music festival, including annual performances for Maverick Concerts, the Brevard Music Center, and Music Mountain.

The Shanghai Quartet has a long history of championing new music, with a special interest in works that juxtapose the traditions of Eastern and Western music. The Quartet has commissioned works from an encyclopedic list of the most important composers of our time, including William Bolcom, Sebastian Currier, David Del Tredici, Tan Dun, Vivian Fung, Lowell Lieberman, Zhou Long, Marc Neikrug, Krzysztof Penderecki, Bright Sheng, Chen Yi, and Du Yun. The Quartet had a particularly close relationship with Krzysztof Penderecki; they premiered his third quartet – Leaves From an Unwritten Diary – at the composer’s 75th birthday concert and repeated it again at both his 80th and 85th birthday celebrations. Forthcoming and recent commissions include new works from Judith Weir, Tan Dun, and Wang Lei, in addition to a new work from Penderecki.

The Shanghai Quartet has an extensive discography of more than thirty recordings, ranging from Schumann and Dvorak piano quintets with Rudolf Buchbinder to Zhou Long’s Poems from Tang for string quartet and orchestra with the Singapore Symphony. The Quartet has recorded the complete Beethoven string quartets and is currently recording the complete Bartók quartets.

A diverse array of media projects run the gamut from a cameo appearance playing Bartók’s String Quartet No. 4 in Woody Allen’s film Melinda and Melinda to PBS television’s Great Performances series. Violinist Weigang Li appeared in the documentary From Mao to Mozart: Isaac Stern in China, and the family of cellist Nicholas Tzavaras was the subject of the film Music of the Heart, starring Meryl Streep.

Serving as Quartet-in-Residence at the John J. Cali School of Music at Montclair State University since 2002, the Shanghai Quartet joined The Tianjin (China) Juilliard School in fall 2020 as resident faculty members. The Quartet also is the Ensemble-in-Residence with the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra and visiting guest professors of the Shanghai Conservatory and Central Conservatory in Beijing. They are proudly sponsored by Thomastik-Infeld Strings and BAM Cases.

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