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Chiara String Quartet gives New York premiere of Philip Glass' Piano Quintet in final major perf

On Saturday, May 12, 2018 at 2pm the Chiara String Quartet (Rebecca Fischer and Hyeyung Julie Yoon, violins; Jonah Sirota, viola; Gregory Beaver, cello) will give its final major performance presented by MetLiveArts in Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium at The Metropolitan Museum of Art (1000 5th Avenue). This culminating concert, celebrating 18 years together, is centered around the New York premiere of Philip Glass’ Piano Quintet “Annunciation,” with pianist Paul Barnes. The Chiara String Quartet opens the program with Nico Muhly's Diacritical Marks, written for them in 2011, and concludes with Beethoven's String Quartet in A minor, Op.132—one of the composer's most poignant final works.

Tickets available here

Drawing upon Barnes and Glass’ mutual love of ancient traditions, Glass based the melodic material for his Piano Quintet “Annunciation” on the Greek Orthodox byzantine hymn for the Annunciation. The text comes from Psalm 133:13, “The Lord has chosen Zion, he has desired her for his dwelling place.” Part One opens with an ethereal chromatic chord progression leading to the first entrance of the chant stated by the piano and later developed by other members of the ensemble. In Part Two is a poignant meditation in which Glass connects the transcendental ethos of the original chant with his own spacious approach to musical time. The work ends with an increasingly energetic and ecstatic coda based on the opening chant transformed into scale passages that ascend and dissipate into a pianissimo chromatic flourish evocative of incense rising. This performance will be paired with the Byzantine strains sung by the Axion Estin Chanters.

Philip Glass’ Piano Quintet “Annunciation,” was commissioned by the Pearle Francis Finigan Foundation, Mike & Amber Kutayli, Rhonda Seacrest, and the Hixson-Lied College of Fine and Performing Arts at the University of Nebraska in celebration of over twenty years of collaboration between pianist Paul Barnes and composer Philip Glass. The world premiere is Tuesday, April 17, 2018 at the Lied Center for the Performing Arts.

The Chiara String Quartet will end full-time work performing together in September 2018, and characterizes its decision as made, "in a spirit of tremendous gratitude and love." Although the members of the group are each planning solo performance and teaching careers moving forward, the group plans to reunite regularly for special projects and performance opportunities. Learn more about future plans for the Chiara members at


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