Jupiter String Quartet Gives Three Virtual Concerts in May
Saturday, May 1, 2021 at 8pm ET
With the Jasper String Quartet Presented by Ringwood Friends of Music
Wednesday, May 12, 2021 at 11:30am CT
Presented by Chicago Chamber Music Society
Sunday, May 16, 2021 at 1pm PT
Presented by Chamber Music at the Clark, UCLA
The Jupiter String Quartet will give three virtual concerts online in May – on Saturday, May 1 at 8pm ET with the Jasper String Quartet, presented by Ringwood Friends of Music in New Jersey; on Wednesday, May 12 at 11:30am CT presented by Chicago Chamber Music Society; and on Sunday, May 16 at 1pm PT presented by Chamber Music at the Clark at UCLA.
For their Ringwood Friends of Chamber Music concert on May 1, the Jupiter joins forces with the Jasper String Quartet to perform Mendelssohn’s Octet in E-flat, Op. 20. Their recording of the work was released in February 2021 on Marquis Classics and praised by All Music as, “one of the best versions [of Mendelssohn’s Octet] available, with a crackling finale and plenty of energy throughout.” The concert also includes Florence Price’s String Quartet in G Major performed by the Jasper and George Walker’s moving “Lyric” for String Quartet performed by the Jupiter.
The Jupiter’s concert presented by Chicago Chamber Music Society on May 12 includes Walker’s “Lyric” for String Quartet; excerpts from Michi Wiancko’s To Unpathed Waters, Undreamed Shores; and Schubert’s String Quartet No. 14 in D minor, “Death and the Maiden.” Michi Wiancko’s To Unpathed Waters, Undreamed Shores was written for the Jupiter in 2020, commissioned and premiered virtually by Bay Chamber Concerts in Maine and Krannert Center for the Performing Arts. Wiancko writes that the piece, “celebrates the beauty and vitality of the natural world, suggesting hope and inspiration as humanity addresses fears and worries for our planet. The central themes of regeneration and resilience highlight the need to help protect each other and our most vulnerable populations.”
On May 16, the Jupiter’s performance presented by Chamber Music at the Clark at UCLA features Felix Mendelssohn’s String Quartet No. 6 in F minor, Op. 80; Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel’s String Quartet in E-flat Major; and Judd Greenstein’s Four on the Floor. Of his piece, written in 2006, Greenstein writes, “I wanted to write a piece that really rocked, not in the easy sense of writing out rock chords, but in the energy and vibe that would be conveyed in the music. To get this effect, I took advantage of the precise playing of a good string quartet, as well as the dramatic sounds of strings moving with and against each other.”
The Jupiter Quartet remains strongly committed to making music during these challenging times. Other recent and upcoming livestream concerts include performances presented by Bay Chamber Concerts, Bowdoin International Music Festival, Asheville Chamber Music Series, CU Presents at the University of Colorado Boulder, and Arizona Friends of Chamber Music, as well as virtual residencies with the University of Iowa and Middlebury College.
About the Jupiter String Quartet: The Jupiter 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 19th year together, this tight-knit ensemble is firmly established as an important voice in the world of chamber music. The New Yorker writes, “The Jupiter String Quartet, an ensemble of eloquent intensity, has matured into one of the mainstays of the American chamber-music scene.”
The Jupiter 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 Music Festival, Cape Cod Chamber Music Festival, Rockport Music Festival, the Banff Centre, Virginia Arts Festival, Music at Menlo, Maverick Concerts, Caramoor International Music Festival, Lanaudiere Festival, West Cork (Ireland) Chamber Music Festival, Skaneateles Festival, Madeline Island Music Festival, Yellow Barn Festival, Encore Chamber Music Festival, the inaugural Chamber Music Athens, and the Seoul Spring Festival, among 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 works by Syd Hodkinson, Hannah Lash, Dan Visconti, Mark Adamo, Pierre Jalbert, and Kati Agócs.
The quartet’s latest album a collaborative recording with the Jasper String Quartet, was released in February 2021 on Marquis Classics. It features the world premiere of Dan Visconti’s Eternal Breath along with Osvaldo Golijov’s Last Round and Mendelssohn’s Octet in E-flat, Op. 20. Their recent album, Metamorphosis (Marquis Classics, 2020), includes Beethoven’s Quartet Op. 131 and Ligeti’s Quartet No. 1 “Métamorphoses nocturnes.” Other recordings on Marquis include Alchemy with Australian pianist Bernadette Harvey (2019), Shostakovich & Britten (2007), and Mendelssohn & Beethoven (2009). The quartet’s discography also includes releases on Azica Records and Deutsche Grammophon.
The Jupiters place a strong emphasis on developing relationships with future classical music audiences through educational performances in schools and other community centers. They believe that, because of the intensity of its interplay and communication, chamber music is one of the most effective ways of spreading an enthusiasm for “classical” music to new audiences. The quartet has also held numerous masterclasses for young musicians at Northwestern University, Eastman School of Music, the Aspen Music Festival, Encore Chamber Festival, Madeline Island Music Festival, and Peabody Conservatory.
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. They are also proud to list among their accomplishments in recent years the addition of seven quartet children: Pablo, Lillian, Clara, Dominic, Felix, Oliver, and Joelle. You may spot some of these miniature Jupiters in the audience or tagging along to rehearsals, along with their grandparent babysitters. For more information, visit www.jupiterquartet.com.