The Chiara String Quartet, artists-in-residence at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Glenn Korff School of Music, announced today that 2017-18 will be its final concert season.
The group will finish performing together full time in September 2018 and characterizes its decision as one made “in a spirit of tremendous gratitude and love.”
In its 18th overall season, the Chiara String Quartet has been in residence at the Korff School since 2004. Members will continue as faculty in the Korff School through the 2018-19 academic year.
The quartet – violinists Rebecca Fischer and Hyeyung Julie Yoon, violist Jonah Sirota and cellist Gregory Beaver – each plan solo performance and teaching careers. The group plans to reunite regularly for special projects and performances.
“The Chiara String Quartet brought us great visibility and prestige during their time as Hixson-Lied Artists in Residence, and we are grateful for that,” said Chuck O’Connor, endowed dean of the Hixson-Lied College of Fine and Performing Arts. “I look forward to seeing the next chapter of their artistic lives and wish them well in their future creative endeavors.”
The Chiara has been playing string quartets since 2000, pioneering ways to engage audiences in the 21st century. Their Chamber Music in Any Chamber performances in bars and clubs led to a resurgence in alternate-venue chamber music performance.
The quartet recorded the complete quartets of Bartók and Brahms for Azica Records and String Quartets Nos. 2 and 3 by Jefferson Friedman for New Amsterdam Records, which earned the composer a Grammy nomination. It also recorded works by Robert Sirota and Gabriela Lena Frank for their label, New Voice Singles.
Other highlights of their tenure include Beethoven cycles at Harvard and Nebraska, and tours to Sweden, South Korea and China.
“The Chiara String Quartet has had a great impact on culture and education in Nebraska,” Korff School Director Sergio Ruiz said. “Their teaching and performances have inspired a generation of musicians and educators. I want to thank them not only for elevating chamber music but for sharing their lives with us at the university. I look forward to great things in their future.”
The Chiara’s farewell season features the premiere performances of a new piano quintet by Philip Glass with Marguerite Scribante Professor of Piano Paul Barnes on April 17, 2018, at the Lied Center for Performing Arts, and on May 12, 2018, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Their other remaining Hixson-Lied Concerts in Lincoln include performances Sept. 13, Oct. 18 and Jan. 31, 2018. For advance ticket sales, contact the Lied Center Box Office at 402-472-4747 or 800-432-3231.
“The Chiara Quartet looks forward to our final season in gratitude for our time making music together,” violinist Fischer said. “Each concert will be an opportunity to celebrate and share music with our wonderful audiences.”
The quartet’s individual plans include:
Fischer will continue her multidisciplinary collaboration with visual artist Anthony Hawley titled The Afield. The Afield combines new and original compositions for violin, voice and electronics with video and other media. The Afield has commissioned works by several composers and has premiered work at National Sawdust in New York, the HIFA Festival for the Arts in Zimbabwe and Bay Chamber Concerts in Maine. The pair will launch The Afield School to foster artistic collaboration in students of all ages.
Yoon will pursue creating classical music performances exploring the Korean concept of madang, which translates as the name of the courtyard of a traditional Korean house. It can also mean an open space for performances, public meetings and festivals. A deeper meaning of the term is a time and space where boundaries between different groups are obscured. Yoon will travel to South Korea to immerse herself in the ways that madangs are created by traditional art performers and performance presenters in small villages and city venues.
Sirota plans to expand his solo career by performing works written for him and by him, and collaborating with artists across multiple media. His forthcoming album “Strong Sad” is scheduled for release in spring 2018 and will also feature new works by Nico Muhly, Paola Prestini, Valgeir Siggur∂son and others. He is also scoring documentaries for public TV and other visual media.
Beaver will pursue a longtime calling to teach cello and chamber music. With 80 percent of his former students pursuing successful music careers, Beaver has a track record helping students realize their dreams. He will work to develop great cellists who are advocates for the instrument and the importance of classical music. He is composing a set of etudes that fill gaps in the cello canon, and plans to record Bach’s Six Solo Cello Suites.