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Jupiter String Quartet Makes Music Mountain Debut Performing Music by Franz Joseph Haydn

Jupiter String Quartet Makes Music Mountain Debut

Performing Music by Franz Joseph Haydn, Steve Taylor,

and Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

Photo of the Jupiter Quartet by Sarah Gardner available in high resolution at

Sunday, August 28, 2022 at 3pm

Gordon Hall | 225 Music Mountain Road | Falls Village, CT


$45 Gordon Hall General Admission /

$15 Student General Admission / $15 Audio-Only Lawn

“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

Falls Village, CT – On Sunday, August 28, 2022 at 3pm, the internationally acclaimed Jupiter String Quartet, winner of the Banff International String Quartet Competition and the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition, will make their debut appearance at Music Mountain at Gordon Hall (225 Music Mountain Rd.). Celebrating its 93rd Season, Music Mountain will also be commemorating the 250th Anniversary of Haydn’s “Sun” Quartets, which are credited with having led to the formation of the string quartet medium as it is currently known. Jupiter Quartet’s performance is the fifth of the series’ six scheduled performances.

The Jupiter Quartet will perform a program featuring Franz Joseph Haydn’s Quartet in D Major, Op. 20 No. 4, Steve Taylor’s Chaconne/Labyrinth, and Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s Quartet No. 1 in D Major, Op. 11. Haydn’s String Quartet in D Major showcases a clever, conversational interplay of all four instruments—a hallmark of the composer considered the “grandfather” of string quartet writing.

Steve Taylor says about the juxtaposition between the structure and concept behind his piece Chaconne/Labyrinth:

“‘Chaconne’ is an old-fashioned word for a repeating chord progression, like the 12-bar blues…The chords keep returning, only to point in new directions. This is how [I] felt over [2020]: stuck in a loop, but at the same time lost in a maze, desperately seeking the way out. At the center of this maze, like the Minotaur of Greek myth, lies a depiction of the coronavirus that has so profoundly changed our world. After this encounter—marked by strange, percussive sounds—the quartet traces their way, like following Ariadne’s thread, back through the labyrinth.”

Chaconne/Labyrinth was commissioned by Arizona Friends of Chamber Music.

Tchaikovsky’s String Quartet No. 1 in D Major, Op. 11 was composed in February 1871, premiering in Moscow the following month. The piece’s slower second movement, Andante cantabile, is known for its especially expressive musicality — so much so that following a performance of the movement by the Zoellner Quartet during their 1916-1917 season, Helen Keller reportedly said in a letter to the quartet, “sight is given the blind, and deaf ears hear sweet, strange sounds.”

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

About Music Mountain: Since 1930 generations of music lovers have come to Music Mountain for an exceptional concert experience and, today, audiences continue to praise the outstanding quality and consistency of the events at Music Mountain, the exceptional acoustics of air-conditioned Gordon Hall, and the beauty and peaceful serenity of Music Mountain’s mountaintop grounds. Recent concertgoers see Music Mountain as “a peaceful green oasis” and highlight its “amazing venue, ambience, and experience.”

Music Mountain, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, began as the unique vision of Jacques Gordon, Chicago Symphony concertmaster from 1921 to 1930 and the founding first violinist of the Gordon String Quartet, one of the leading quartets of its time. The buildings at Music Mountain form a well-designed campus in the Colonial Revival style. They were built by Sears, Roebuck & Company’s pre-fabricated housing division and are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Today, artistic director Oskar Espina-Ruiz and Music Mountain’s dedicated board of directors steer Music Mountain through a period of continued growth.

Music Mountain is supported in part by the Connecticut State Department of Economic and Community Development Office of the Arts, the Peter N. Krysa Fund of Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation, and two funds of the Northwest Connecticut Community Foundation, Inc.: the Khurshed Bhumgara Fund, and the Lucia Tuttle Fritz Fund.

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