The acclaimed Aviv String Quartet, one of today’s finest up-and-coming chamber ensembles, brings the Wellesley College Fall 2011 Concert Series to a rousing finale on Saturday, December 10 at 8 p.m. The quartet’s program features Erwin Schulhoff’s String Quartet No. 1, Felix Mendelssohn’s String Quartet No. 6 in F minor, Op. 80, and Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s String Quartet No. 3, Op. 30. Held at Wellesley College’s Houghton Chapel, the concert is free and open to the public.
Founded in Tel Aviv, Israel and more than a decade into its expanding musical life, the Aviv String Quartet (Sergey Ostrovsky, Evgenia Epshtein, violins; Timur Yakubov, viola; Aleksandr Khramouchin, cello) has given critically acclaimed performances at leading worldwide venues from New York’s Carnegie Hall to London’s Royal Festival Hall. The numerous prizes they have received include Grand Prize and four special prizes at the Melbourne Chamber Music Competition, top prize and Critics’ Prize at the Bordeaux String Quartet Competition, and First Prize (Amadeus Prize) at Holland’s Charles Hennen Competition.
Aviv means “spring” in Hebrew – signifying new beginnings, a fresh outlook, the season of birth, and the shedding of coverings to reveal true nature, sharper definition and heightened awareness. Since its formation, the Aviv String Quartet has developed an international reputation for the eloquence and conviction of its interpretations of everything from Viennese masterworks to the riches of Russian chamber music, past and present.
The quartet has performed at Weill Recital Hall, Alice Tully Hall, the Kennedy Center, Library of Congress, Ottawa Chamber Music Society, Herbst Theatre for San Francisco Performances in North America; Wigmore Hall and the South Bank Centre in London; the Louvre Auditorium, Chatelet, and Théâtre de la Ville in Paris; the Sydney Opera House, the Verbier Festival in Switzerland (complete Shostakovich quartet cycle), Vienna Konzerthaus, Cologne Philharmonie, Beethovenhaus in Bonn and Palais des Beaux Arts in Brussels. They give masterclasses around the world – recently at Georgetown University in Washington D.C., Mizra Chamber Music seminar in Israel, the University of Southern California, and the University of Winnipeg.
They have counted among their mentors Isaac Stern, the Alban Berg Quartet, Walter Levin, Henry Meyer, and Ben-Zion Shamir and have collaborated with artists such as Yefim Bronfman, Boris Petrushansky, Anton Dressler, Toby Appel, Boris Berman and Pierre-Laurent Aimard.
Most recently, the quartet recorded string quartets of Ernst von Dohnányi for Naxos and a CD of three quartets of Erwin Schulhoff has been released on the same label. A month-long tour in North America and Israel and summer at the Kfar Blum Festival in Israel were followed by concerts in Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Sweden, and the United Kingdom – including two appearances at Wigmore Hall – and the complete cycle of Shostakovich quartets in Canada.
ABOUT THE PROGRAM
Largely forgotten in the decades after his death during the Holocaust, the wide-ranging output of the Czech composer Erwin Schulhoff has come to greater prominence over the last quarter-century. His Quartet for Strings No. 1 dates from a productive period in which he forged a distinctive and highly personal musical style. The work, which fuses Czech and Slovak folk influences with expressionist style, achieved a notable success at its première in 1924, and is among the most enduring of Schulhoff’s compositions.
Felix Mendelssohn composed his String Quartet No. 6 in F minor, Op. 80, in 1847 and it is essentially his last major composition (he died prematurely at the age of 38 only two months after its completion). Composed during a very tumultuous time in his life, only months after the death of his beloved sister Fanny, the powerful and highly emotive music is somewhat uncharacteristic of Mendelssohn’s five previous quartets.
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s String Quartet No. 3 in E-Flat minor, Op. 30, was composed in 1876, and is the last of his three string quartets. The work is dedicated to the memory of Ferdinand Laub, a violinist who was not only Tchaikovsky’s friend, but also a fellow professor atthe Moscow Conservatory and the leader of the string quartets that premiered his first two string quartets.
THE CONCERT SERIES AT WELLESLEY COLLEGE
Orchestrated by the Department of Music, the Concert Series at Wellesley College brings a diverse array of world-class performers to campus, complementing the department’s academic offerings and augmenting the cultural life of the College and surrounding community.
For more information about the Concert Series at Wellesley College, call Jennifer Ritvo Hughes, director of publicity and coordination for the arts, at 781-283-2028 or visit the Music Department website at web.wellesley.edu/Acad/Music Concerts are free and open to the public.
Wellesley College is located at 106 Central St., Wellesley, Mass. Free parking is available in the Davis Parking Facility and the Founders Parking Lot. Directions and a map of the campus are online at web.wellesley.edu/web/AboutWellesley/VisitUs/mapsanddirections.psml.
ABOUT WELLESLEY COLLEGE & THE ARTS
The Wellesley College arts curriculum and the highly acclaimed Davis Museum and Cultural Center are integral components of the college’s liberal arts education. For decades, various departments and programs from across the campus have enlivened the community with world-class programming — classical and popular music, visual arts, theater, dance, author readings, symposia, and lectures by some of today’s leading artists and creative thinkers — most of which are free and open to the public. For information about upcoming events, visit web.wellesley.edu:80/web/Events.
Since 1875, Wellesley College has been a leader in providing an excellent liberal arts education for women who will make a difference in the world. Its 500-acre campus near Boston is home to 2,400 undergraduate students from all 50 states and 75 countries.