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Gyphon Trio with guest violist Masumi Per Rostad - April 30, 2021

GyphonTrioHere’s a BCMS record: The Gryphon Trio first performed on our Series in 2009, and yet next season will mark their 6th concert for us. As I write this, many of you are remembering the recent live-stream they shared in mid-May, a lovely respite from our troubles. The endlessly inventive Gryphon Trio has impressed international audiences and the press with its highly refined, dynamic performances, and has firmly established itself as one of the world’s preeminent piano trios.  With a repertoire that ranges from the traditional to the contemporary and from European classicism to modern-day multimedia, the Gryphons are committed to redefining chamber music for the 21st century.

The ensemble-in-residence at Music Toronto for ten years, the Gryphon Trio tours extensively throughout North America and Europe. Recent performances include those for the Chamber Music Society of Detroit, Northwestern, the Eastman School of Music, Tippet Rise, and Williams College. The Trio – strongly dedicated to pushing the boundaries of chamber music – has commissioned and premiered over seventy new works from established and emerging composers around the world, and has collaborated on special projects with clarinetist James Campbell, actor Colin Fox, choreographer David Earle, and a host of jazz luminaries at Lula Lounge, Toronto’s leading venue for jazz and world music. Their most ambitious undertaking to date is a groundbreaking multimedia production of composer Christos Hatzis’s epic work Constantinople, scored for mezzo-soprano, Middle-Eastern singer, violin, cello, piano, and electronic audiovisual media, which they have brought to audiences across North America and at the Royal Opera House in London. 

MasumiPerRoastadThe Gryphon Trio has chosen Grammy Award-winning violist Masumi Per Rostad to partner with them for our concert, expanding our programming to the piano quartet. Rostad, professor of viola at the Eastman School of Music, has received praise for his rich and expressive tone, energy, and commanding presence, and has been described by critics as an “electrifying, poetic and sensitive musician.” A member of the Pacifica Quartet, Rostad started studying music at the Third Street Music School Settlement in New York City when he was three years old.


Castalian Quartet sponsored by Rarity Rugs, Kent Johnson - March 12, 2021

CastalianQuartetn the nine years since its formation, the London-based Castalian Quartet has distinguished itself as one of the most dynamic, sophisticated young string quartets performing today.  Recipient of the Royal Philharmonic Society’s 2019 Young Artists Award, the Quartet also received the prestigious inaugural Merito String Quartet Award and Valentin Erben Prize in 2018, has won a Borletti-Buitoni Trust Fellowship Award, and is beginning to gain international acclaim as they take their talents abroad. 

The Castalian Quartet will have their debut performances in Toronto, New York, Santa Fe, San Diego, and many other cities [including Boise] across North America in the 2020-21 season. In February 2019, the Quartet was joined at Wigmore Hall by guest artists Stephen Hough, Cédric Tiberghien, Michael Collins, Nils Mönkemeyer, Isabel Charisius and Ursula Smith to perform the chamber music of Brahms and Schumann.  The Guardian (UK) raved, “To hear this music, so full of poetry, joy and sorrow, realised to such perfection, felt like a miracle.” 

Formed in 2011, the Castalian Quartet studied with Oliver Wille (Kuss Quartet) at the Hannover University of Music, Drama and Media, graduating with a Master’s degree.  In addition to the above, awards include Third Prize at the 2016 Banff Quartet Competition and First Prize at the 2015 Lyon Chamber Music Competition. The Quartet was selected by Young Classical Artists Trust (YCAT) in 2016.  They have received coaching from Simon Rowland-Jones, David Waterman and Isabel Charisius. Their name is derived from the Castalian Spring in the ancient city of Delphi. According to Greek mythology, the nymph Castalia transformed herself into a fountain to evade Apollo’s pursuit, thus creating a source of poetic inspiration for all who drink from her waters. Herman Hesse chose Castalia as the name of his futuristic European utopia in The Glass Bead Game. The novel’s protagonist, a Castalian by the name of Knecht, is mentored in this land of intellectual thought and education by the venerable Music Master.

The Castalian’s Boise program is planned to include Haydn’s Quartet in G Major, Op. 77, No. 1; Thomas Larcher’s "Cold Farmer" (1990); and Sibelius’ String Quartet in D minor, Op. 56, “Voces Intimae." The Castalian Quartet members will also adjudicate the 16th Annual BCMS String Quartet Competitions on Mar. 13.

Shanghai Quartet - June 12, 2021

ShanghaiQuartetOver the past thirty-five years the Shanghai Quartet has become one of the world’s foremost chamber ensembles. The Shanghai’s elegant style, impressive technique, and emotional breadth allows the group to move seamlessly between masterpieces of Western music, traditional Chinese folk music, and cutting-edge contemporary works. Formed at the Shanghai Conservatory in 1983, soon after the end of China’s harrowing Cultural Revolution, the group came to the United States to complete its studies; since then the members have been based in the U.S. while maintaining a robust touring schedule at leading chamber-music series throughout North America, Europe, and Asia.

Highlights of the Shanghai Quartet’s 2019-20 season included performances at Carnegie Hall, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Freer Gallery (Washington, D.C.), and the Festival Pablo Casals in France, and Beethoven cycles for the Brevard Music Center, the Beethoven Festival in Poland, and throughout China. Other recent highlights include performances at the Wigmore Hall, the Budapest Spring Festival, and Suntory Hall, as well as collaborations with the NCPA and Shanghai Symphony Orchestras.

The Shanghai Quartet performs on four exceptional instruments by Stradivari, Guarneri, Goffriller, and Guadagnini, generously loaned through the Beare’s International Violin Society to honor the quartet’s thirty-fifth anniversary. Serving as Quartet-in-Residence at the John J. Cali School of Music at Montclair State University since 2002, the Shanghai Quartet will also join the Tianjin (China) Juilliard School in fall 2020 as resident faculty members. The Quartet also is the Ensemble-in-Residence with the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra and visiting guest professors of the Shanghai Conservatory and the Central Conservatory in Beijing.

Their Boise program is entitled “From Vienna with Love” and includes Haydn’s Quartet in G minor, Op. 74, No. 3, “Rider”; Tan Dun’s Feng Ya Song (2019 version - commissioned by the Shanghai Quartet); and Smetana’s Quartet No. 1 in E minor, “From My Life.”

Aulos Ensemble—The Farewell Tour! - May 21, 2021

Aulo EnsembleBack for their fourth and final appearance on the BCMS, Aulos members Christopher Krueger, transverse flute; Marc Schachman, ba¬roque oboe; Linda Quan, baroque violin; Myron Lutzke, baroque cello; and the indomitable harpsichordist Arthur Haas have decided to go out with a bang (and not a whimper). If this means re-scheduling this trip for late May 2021 depending on pandemic conditions in early October, they can and will do it. They will bring us the cream of the French baroque music that has been their mainstay over 48 years.

Formed in 1973 by five Juilliard graduates, The Aulos Ensemble was at the forefront of a movement that captured the imagina¬tion of the American listening public. In 1978 with the release of their recording, Masterpieces of the High Baroque, Aulos’ rep¬utation for exhilarating performances informed with scholarly insight was firmly established. Aulos brought an uncompro¬mising standard of excellence in performance that resulted in invitations from virtually all of America’s major chamber music presenters. This exposure helped create a new audience aware¬ness for the rich rewards of this repertoire performed on “period instruments,” and comments such as “scintillating,” “virtuosic,” and “authentic baroque performance at its best” from Amer¬ica’s most respected music critics. Aulos Ensemble’s own Youtube channel is full of beautiful performances.

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