American Prism – A Community Experience
American Prism is a continuous, evening- length presentation by the Jupiter String Quartet, inspired by America's wonderfully diverse and unique musical traditions as they are brought to life in the string quartets of some of the country’s most beloved composers from the last 125 years.
The performance begins at the turn of the twentieth century with Charles Ives, and journeys through contemporary re-imaginings of popular music from the 1910s and 1920s, the pioneering string quartet (1931) of Ruth Crawford Seeger, the gorgeous “Lyric” from George Walker’s first string quartet, and Ben Johnston's beautiful and inventive variations on “Amazing Grace.” Then, the audience experiences the upbeat dances from John Adams, and the tragedy and shared grief embodied by Joan Tower's 9/11 tribute, In Memory, and Barber's Adagio for Strings. Finally, the Jupiter Quartet features voices from the current generation of musicians, including works from Jessie Montgomery, Michi Wiancko, and Judd Greenstein.
This program can be offered as a quartet-only performance or as a collaboration with pianist Gloria Chien performing Amy Beach’s piano quintet.
(Program subject to change)
Charles Ives: selection from String Quartet No. 1, "The Salvation Army"
William Bolcolm: selections from Three Rags for String Quartet
Dan Visconti: “Humble Pie” from Ramshackle Songs**
George Walker: “Lyric” from String Quartet No. 1
Ruth Crawford Seeger: String Quartet
Ben Johnston: String Quartet No. 4, "Amazing Grace"
John Adams: selections from John's Book of Alleged Dances
Joan Tower: In Memory
Samuel Barber: Adagio for Strings
Jessie Montgomery: selections from Break Away
Michi Wiancko: selection from To Unpathed Waters, Undreamed Shores*
Judd Greenstein: Four on the Floor
Amy Beach: Piano Quintet, Op. 67 (with pianist Gloria Chien)
*commissioned by Bay Chamber Concerts, in partnership with the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts/University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
**commissioned by Jupiter Quartet
Photo by Elle Logan
“The Jupiter String Quartet, an ensemble of eloquent intensity, has matured into one of the mainstays of the American chamber-music scene.”
– The New Yorker
“Like the planet which inspired their name, the Jupiter String Quartet, or the Jupiters as they are often called, inspire us to grow, expand and take risks.”
– Smile Politely