Jupiter Quartet Returns to Krannert Center Presenting American Prism with pianist Gloria Chien

Music by Florence Price, Joan Tower, John Adams, Charles Ives, William Bolcom, Plus Amy Beach’s Piano Quintet with Pianist Gloria Chien


Thursday, November 4, 2021 at 7:30pm

University of Illinois | Krannert Center Foellinger Great Hall | 500 S Goodwin Ave. Urbana, IL

On Thursday, November 4, 2021 at 7:30pm, the Jupiter String Quartet, quartet-in-residence at the University of Illinois, performs for a live, in-person audience in Foellinger Great Hall (500 S. Goodwin Ave) for the first time since February 2020. The Jupiter’s program, entitled American Prism, is 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. Tickets are available at www.krannertcenter.com/events/jupiter-string-quartet-gloria-chien-piano-american-prism.

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, including “Incineratorag” from William Bolcom’s Three Rags for String Quartet and excerpts from Florence Price’s Five Folksongs in Counterpoint – complex and rich interpretations on simple folk tunes. Then, the audience experiences upbeat dances from John Adams’ John’s Book of Alleged Dances; the tragedy and shared grief embodied by Joan Tower's 9/11 tribute, In Memory; and the gorgeous “Lyric” from George Walker’s first string quartet. To conclude the program, Gloria Chien will join the quartet for Amy Beach’s Piano Quintet in F sharp minor, a beautifully rhapsodic work by one of the earliest female American composers to be widely recognized for her work.

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 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, Music at Menlo, 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 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 quartet’s discography also includes numerous recordings on labels including Azica Records and Deutsche Grammophon.

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. For more information, visit www.jupiterquartet.com.

About Gloria Chien: Taiwanese-born pianist Gloria Chien has one of the most diverse musical lives as a noted performer, concert presenter, and educator. She was selected by the Boston Globe as one of its Superior Pianists of the year, “… who appears to excel in everything.” She made her orchestral debut at the age of 16 with the Boston Symphony Orchestra with Thomas Dausgaard, and performed again with the BSO with Keith Lockhart. In recent seasons she has performed as a recitalist and chamber musician at Alice Tully Hall, the Library of Congress, the Phillips Collection, the Kissingen Sommer festival, the Dresden Chamber Music Festival, and the National Concert Hall in Taiwan. A former member of CMS Two, she performs frequently with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. In 2009 she launched String Theory, a chamber music series at the Hunter Museum of American Art in downtown Chattanooga, that has become one of Tennessee’s premier classical music presenters. The following year she was appointed Director of the Chamber Music Institute at the Music@Menlo festival by Artistic Directors David Finckel and Wu Han. In 2017, she joined her husband, violinist Soovin Kim, as Co-Artistic Director of the Lake Champlain Chamber Music Festival in Burlington, Vermont. Chien received her B.M., M.M., and D.M.A. degrees from the New England Conservatory of Music as a student of Russell Sherman and Wha-Kyung Byun. She holds the position of artist-in-residence at Lee University in Cleveland, Tennessee. She is a Steinway Artist. For more information, visit www.gloriachien.com.

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