Jupiter String Quartet and Imani Winds presented by Krannert Center for the Performing Arts
(im)migration—music of change
Music by Mongo Santamaria, Michi Wiancko, Jessie Montgomery, Roberto Sierra
Tuesday February 1, 2022 at 7:30pm
University of Illinois, Krannert Center Foellinger Great Hall
500 S Goodwin Ave. Urbana, IL
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On Tuesday, February 1, 2022 at 7:30pm, the Jupiter String Quartet, quartet-in-residence at the University of Illinois, joins forces with the Grammy Award-nominated quintet, Imani Winds, in Foellinger Great Hall (500 S. Goodwin Ave). The evening’s program, (im)migration—music of change, supports the Imani Winds’ commitment to expanding repertoire for wind quintets through commissioning works from new voices that reflect historical events and the times in which we currently live, as well as the Jupiter Quartet’s dedication to work that reflects underrepresented voices and unique musical traditions.
The first half of the program features each ensemble separately. Imani Winds will perform their take on Mongo Santamaria’s jazz standard, Afro Blue, arranged by Valerie Coleman. Jupiter Quartet performs Michi Wiancko’s To Unpathed Waters, Undreamed Shores. Intended as a response to climate change, the piece was commissioned by Bay Chamber Concerts, in partnership with the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts/University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
The groups unite for the second half to perform Jessie Montgomery’s Sergeant McCauley. The work is a Music Accord/Sphinx Organization commission, inspired by the Great Migration of African Americans during the early-to middle-20th century, which unfolds from the perspective of Montgomery’s great-grandfather William McCauley. The piece brings together spirituals and work songs that reflect McCauley’s route from Mississippi through the West, north to the Dakotas, and eventually south to Georgia. The two ensembles then close the program with a performance of Roberto Sierra’s Concierto de Cámara.
About Jupiter String Quartet: 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 Imani Winds: Celebrating over two decades of music making, the Grammy-nominated Imani Winds has led both a revolution and evolution of the wind quintet through their dynamic playing, adventurous programming, imaginative collaborations and outreach endeavors that have inspired audiences of all ages and backgrounds.
The ensemble’s playlist embraces traditional chamber music repertoire, and as a 21st century group, Imani Winds is devoutly committed to expanding the wind quintet repertoire by commissioning music from new voices that reflect historical events and the times in which we currently live.
Present and future season performances include a Jessie Montgomery composition inspired by her great-grandfather’s migration from the American south to the north, as well as socially conscious music by Andy Akiho, designed to be performed both on the concert stage and in front of immigrant detention centers throughout the country.
Imani Winds regularly performs in prominent international concert venues, including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, Walt Disney Hall and the Kimmel Center. Their touring schedule has taken them throughout the Asian continent, Brazil, Australia, England, New Zealand and across Europe. Their national and international presence include performances at chamber music series in Boston, New York, Washington D.C., San Francisco, Philadelphia and Houston. Festival performances include Chamber Music Northwest, the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, the Ravinia Festival, Chautauqua, Banff Centre and Angel Fire.
Imani Winds’ travels through the jazz world are highlighted by their association with saxophonist and composer Wayne Shorter, woodwind artist and composer Paquito D’Rivera and pianist and composer Jason Moran. Their ambitious project, "Josephine Baker: A Life of Le Jazz Hot!" featured chanteuse René Marie in performances that brought the house down in New York, Pittsburgh, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and St. Louis.
Imani Winds’ commitment to education runs deep. The group participates in residencies throughout the U.S., giving performances and master classes to thousands of students each year. Academic and institutional residencies include the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Duke University, the University of Chicago, Curtis Institute of Music, the University of Michigan, Da Camera of Houston and numerous others across the country.
The ensemble launched its annual Imani Winds Chamber Music Festival in 2010, bringing together young instrumentalists and composers from across North America and abroad for exploration and performance of the standard repertoire and newly composed chamber music. Festival participants also take part in workshops devoted to entrepreneurial and outreach opportunities, with the goal of creating the complete musician and global citizen.
In 2021, Imani Winds released their latest album, “Bruits” on Bright Shiny Things Records. Grammophone states, “the ensemble’s hot rapport churns with conviction throughout…” and the album is nominated for a 2022 Grammy Award.
Imani Winds has six albums on Koch International Classics and E1 Music, including their Grammy Award nominated recording, The Classical Underground. They have also recorded for Naxos and Blue Note and released Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring on Warner Classics. Imani Winds is regularly heard on all media platforms including NPR, American Public Media, the BBC, Sirius XM, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal.
In 2016, Imani Winds received their greatest accolade in their 20 years of music making: a permanent presence in the classical music section of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington DC.