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DOVER QUARTET with Josef Špaček, Violin and Xiaohui Yang, Piano

Mendelssohn, Quartet in f minor Op. 2 , Chausson Concerto in D for Violin, Piano, and String Quartet

January 7, 2024 | 4:00 pm | Villa dei Fiori

Named one of the greatest string quartets of the last 100 years by BBC Music Magazine, the Grammy-nominated Dover Quartet has followed a "practically meteoric" trajectory to become one of the most in-demand chamber ensembles in the world.  In addition to its faculty role as the Penelope P. Watkins Ensemble in Residence at the Curtis Institute of Music, the Dover Quartet holds residencies with the Kennedy Center, Bienan School of Music at Northwestern University, Artosphere, and the Amelia Island Chamber Music Festival. The group's awards include a stunning sweep of all prizes at the 2013 Banff International String Quartet Competition, grand and first prizes at the Fischoff Chamber Music Competition, and prizes at the Wigmore Hall International String Quartet Competition.  Its prestigious honors include the Avery Fisher Career Grant, Chamber Music America's Cleveland Quartet Award, and Lincoln Center's Hunt Family Award.

Josef Špaček, Violin

Praised for his remarkable range of colours, his confident and concentrated stage presence, his virtuosity and technical poise as well as the beauty of his tone, Josef Špaček has gradually emerged as one of the leading violinists of his generation.  His performances of a wide range of repertoire demonstrate his "astonishing articulation and athleticism" (The Scotsman) and "a richness and piquancy of timbre." (The Telegraph) Špaček has appeared with orchestras including the Orchestre de Paris, the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, the Bamberger Symphoniker, the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields orchestra, the Konzerthausorchester Berlin, the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, the Tonhalle-Orchester Zurich, and the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra.  Josef studied with Itzhak Perlman at The Juilliard School in New York, Ida Kavafian and Jaime Laredo at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, and Jaroslav Foltyn at the Prague Conservatory.  He was laureate of the International Queen Elizabeth Competition in Brussels and won top prizes at the Michael Hill International Violin Competition in New Zealand, the Carl Nielson International Violin Competition in Denmark, and the Young Concert Artist International Auditions in New York.

February 18, 2024 | 4:00 pm | Villa dei Fiori

​Works by Mozart, Schubert and Rachmaninor

Chinese pianist Xiaohui Yang, a winner of the 2017 Naumberg International Piano Competition has been hailed by the press as a "tastefully polished musician" (Haaretz, Israel).  She has been featured in performances throughout four continents, including in venues such as Carnegie Hall, Ozawa Hall, New Jersey Performing Arts Center, Tel Aviv Museum of Art, and the Seoul Arts Center.  A dedicated chamber musician, Ms. Yang has taken part in renowned North American festivals such as Marlboro, Tanglewood, Ravinia, Banff, and Taos, and has performed with luminaries such as Peter Wiley, Charles Neidich, and Roberto Diaz.  Ms. Yang has been invited to perform on tours with Ravinia's Steans Music Institute and Curtis on Tour at concert halls in the United States, Korea, and Greece.  She is also a founding member of the Steans Piano Trio, alongside Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra violinist Eunice Kim and Boston Symphony Orchestra Assistant Principal cellist Oliver Aldort.  Ms. Yang is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music, where she studied with Ignant Solzhenitsyn and was a recipient of the Festorazzi Prize for the best graduating piano student.  She earned her master's at Juilliard School as a student of Robert McDonald, and currently is a Doctor of Musical Arts candidate at the Peabody Conservatory, under the tutelage of Boris Slutsky.  Before moving to the United States, Ms. Yang studied at the Attached Music School of Shenyang Conservatory of Music with Danwen Wei, Xianwei Cheng, and Rosemary Platt.


Works by Schubert, Shaw, Grau and Ljova

March 17, 2024 | 4:00 pm | Villa dei Fiori

With their gripping performance style and unquenchable appetite for musical adventure, Brooklyn Rider has carved a singular space in the world of string quartets over their fifteen-plus-year history. Defining the string quartet as a medium with deep historic roots and endless possibility for invention, they find equal inspiration in musical languages ranging from late Beethoven to Persian classical music to American roots music to the endlessly varied voices of living composers. Claiming no allegiance to either end of the historical spectrum, Brooklyn Rider most comfortably operates within the long arc of the tradition, seeking to illuminate works of the past with fresh insight while coaxing the malleable genre into the future through an inclusive programming vision, deep-rooted collaborations with a wide range of global tradition bearers, and the creation of thoughtful and relevant frames for commissioning projects.  

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