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Jupiter String Quartet

“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

“The Jupiter began the Schubert in rich, relaxed fashion, and I liked the way that, from the outset, the four players kept looking at one another. Now teasing, now petulant, now songful, the performance ranged through all of Schubert’s adolescent moods, ending in a witty romp. The Webern was intriguingly unblended, its anguish palpable, its intensity not easing till the final moments. Both pieces were firmly outlined and sensitively phrased, with the occasional pregnant pause.” – The Boston Globe


"Opening with a dense and driven opening, [Bartok’s Quartet No. 4] sweeps across an arc of two scherzos and a shadowy middle movement, before dancing itself nearly to death in the full-throttle close. The Jupiter gave it a characterful, illuminating and utterly committed account." – The Washington Post


“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

The Jupiter String Quartet is a particularly intimate group, consisting of violinists Nelson Lee and Meg Freivogel, violist Liz Freivogel (Meg’s older sister), and cellist Daniel McDonough (Meg’s husband, Liz’s brother-in-law). Now enjoying their 20th year together, this tight-knit ensemble is firmly established as an important voice in the world of chamber music. The New Yorker claims, “The Jupiter String Quartet, an ensemble of eloquent intensity, has matured into one of the mainstays of the American chamber-music scene.” 


The quartet has performed in some of the world’s finest halls, including New York City’s Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center, London’s Wigmore Hall, Boston’s Jordan Hall, Mexico City's Palacio de Bellas Artes, Washington, D.C.’s Kennedy Center and Library of Congress, Austria’s Esterhazy Palace, and Seoul’s Sejong Chamber Hall. Their major music festival appearances include the Aspen Music Festival and School, Bowdoin International Music Festival, Cape Cod Chamber Music Festival, Rockport Music Festival, Caramoor International Music Festival, Music at Menlo, the Banff Centre, the Seoul Spring Festival, and many others. In addition to their performing career, they have been artists-in-residence at the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana since 2012, where they maintain private studios and direct the chamber music program. 


Their chamber music honors and awards include the grand prizes in the Banff International String Quartet Competition and the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition; the Young Concert Artists International auditions in New York City; the Cleveland Quartet Award from Chamber Music America; an Avery Fisher Career Grant; and a grant from the Fromm Foundation. From 2007-2010, they were in residence at the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s Chamber Music Two. 


The Jupiter String Quartet feels a particular connection to the core string quartet repertoire; they have presented the complete Bartok and Beethoven string quartets on numerous occasions. Also strongly committed to new music, they have commissioned string quartets from Nathan Shields, Stephen Andrew Taylor, Michi Wiancko, Syd Hodkinson, Hannah Lash, Dan Visconti, and Kati Agócs; a quintet with baritone voice by Mark Adamo; and a piano quintet by Pierre Jalbert. 


The quartet's latest album is a collaboration with the Jasper String Quartet (Marquis Classics, 2021), produced by Grammy-winner Judith Sherman. This collaborative album features the world premiere recording of Dan Visconti’s Eternal Breath, Felix Mendelssohn’s Octet in E-flat, Op. 20, and Osvaldo Golijov’s Last Round. The Arts Fuse acclaimed, “This joint album from the Jupiter String Quartet and Jasper String Quartet is striking for its backstory but really memorable for its smart program and fine execution.” The quartet’s discography also includes numerous recordings on labels including Azica Records and Deutsche Grammophon. 


Highlights of the Jupiter Quartet’s 2022-23 season include performances presented by Cleveland Chamber Music Society, Chamber Music Monterey Bay, Tucson Winter Chamber Music Festival, Northwestern University’s Winter Chamber Music Festival, Chamber Music in Napa Valley, and many others, as well as a residency at Middlebury College with the Jasper Quartet. Jupiter will also perform residency concerts at the Krannert Center at the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana. 


The quartet chose its name because Jupiter was the most prominent planet in the night sky at the time of its formation and the astrological symbol for Jupiter resembles the number four.


Jupiter String Quartet

Photo by Sarah Gardner



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