Between January and March 2011, the following musicians performed at the Flagler Museum. Audio clips from some of the performances have been included for your listening pleasure.
Enso String Quartet
January 11th 7:30 p.m.
With a 2010 Grammy nomination for "Best Chamber Music Performance," the Enso String Quartet has quickly become one of the country's most accomplished young ensembles. Shortly after the group's inception at Yale University in 1999, the Enso String Quartet had success at the Banff International String Quartet Competition and won the Concert Artists Guild International Competition, and has consistently received high praise for performances ever since. The quartet's debut recording was described by Strad Magazine as "an auspicious start to their recording career," and was followed by the recent Grammy-nominated release of the quartets of Ginastera. MusicWeb International summed up this album as "playing of jaw-dropping prowess revealing masterpieces of the 20th century quartet literature ... seek out this group – they are clearly bound for greatness." The disc was selected as one of MusicWeb's Recordings of the Year for 2009.
In addition to the success of their recordings, the Enso String Quartet's live concerts have been highlighted by audiences and critics alike - for their "edge-of-the-seat vitality few groups maintain throughout a performance" (Houston Chronicle), "thrillingly athletic performance" (Washington Post) and "neat, well balanced and lyrical...lively and intelligent" playing (Gramophone).
The Enso String Quartet members hold degrees from Yale University, The Juilliard School, Curtis Institute of Music, New England Conservatory, Guildhall School of Music (UK) and the University of Canterbury (New Zealand). Together they held residencies at Northern Illinois University with the Vermeer Quartet and at the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University.
The Ying Quartet occupies a position of unique prominence in the classical music world, combining brilliantly communicative performances with a fearlessly imaginative view of chamber music in today's world. In its second decade the Quartet has established itself as an ensemble of the highest musical qualifications in its tours across the United States and abroad. Their performances regularly take place in many of the world's most important concert halls, from Carnegie Hall to the Sydney Opera House.
The Ying Quartet's recordings have generated consistent, enthusiastic acclaim. Their much-heralded collaboration with the Turtle Island Quartet, "Four + 4," won a Grammy award in 2005. The recording explored the common ground between the classic string quartet tradition and jazz and other American vernacular styles. The Group was nominated for a 2007 Grammy award for Best Chamber Music Performance for their release of the three Tchaikovsky Quartets and the Souvenir de Florence (with James Dunham and Paul Katz).
The Ying Quartet first came to professional prominence in the early 1990s as the resident quartet of Jesup, Iowa, a farm town of 2000 people. The residency was supported by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. The Quartet is the ensemble-in-residence at the Aspen Music Festival and also have performed and taught for several summers at the Bowdoin International Music Festival. They have been the Artists-in-Residence at the Eastman School of Music and the Blodgett Artists-in-Residence at Harvard University.
Alianza String Quartet
February 8th 7:30 p.m.
Grand-prize winners of the 2007 Plowman National Chamber Music competition and the 2008 Chamber Music Foundation of New England International competition, the Alianza String Quartet have been described as "a showstopper" (Columbia [Mo.] Daily Tribune), "among the best in the USA" (President of the American Academy of Arts and Letters), "a group of tremendous vision and integrity" (Clive Greensmith, cellist, Tokyo String Quartet). Following their 2007 Carnegie Hall debut, the New York Times reported that "the Alianza players are musical, well trained and have an unusually elegant sound – they boil over with an edge-of-the-seat eagerness." Classical Source praised their "elegant phrasing – rock-steady intonation, burnished sound and lively, characterful playing."
The Alianza String Quartet formed in 2004 at Yale University's School of Music and mentored by the Tokyo String Quartet. The Alianza Quartet have had successful summer residences at the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, Pacific Music Festival, Japan, French Academy in Rome (Villa Medici), Italy, Aix-en-Provence Festival, France, and the Aldeburgh Festival, England. The quartet have performed throughout the USA at venues such as Carnegie Hall's Weill and Zankel recital halls, Merkin Concert Hall and Juilliard's Paul Recital Hall. They have performed extensively in Japan, and while in Europe, they worked closely with pianist Pierre-Laurent Aimard, and members of the Berlin Philharmonic and Mahler Chamber Orchestra.
The Storioni Trio regularly performs at all major venues in the Netherlands, and they are the Artistic director of the "Storioni Festival" at the Muziekcentrum Frits Philips in Eindhoven. The Trio developed ensemble-playing techniques with great musicians such as Isaac Stern, Mstislav Rostropovich, Menahem Pressler, and Ralph Kirshbaum, as well as members of the Emerson Quartet and the Vermeer Quartet. The Trio was founded in 1995, and derives its name from the Laorentius Storioni violin from Cremona, which dates from 1794 and is played by group member Wouter Vossen.
The trio has received various prizes and awards, and performs regularly on radio and television. The CDs recorded by the Storioni Trio Amsterdam have all received great critical acclaim.
The trio also performed at the most important music centers in the world, such as the Weill Recital Hall (Carnegie Hall), the Frick Collection in New York, and the Wigmore Hall in London. Moreover, the trio regularly performs at various festivals worldwide.
The Lincoln Trio is the ensemble-in-residence at the Music Institute of Chicago, and has become Chicago's most celebrated chamber ensemble. Formed in 2003, the Trio's polished presentations of well-known chamber works earned critical acclaim, including "they are one of the best trios that I have ever heard" (Classical Voice of New England), and "bewitching" (Strad Magazine).
Overwhelming critical acclaim led to the group's reputation as a first rate ensemble, drawing an eclectic audience of sophisticated music lovers, young admirers of contemporary programs, and students discovering chamber music for the first time. Bringing together performing experience spanning the globe, the Lincoln Trio won the 2008 Masterplayers International Competition in Venice Italy. In 2011 they will tour the United States and Germany, and a tour on behalf of the Ravinia Music Festival to Singapore, Hong Kong and Vietnam.