The Chiara String Quartet will be performing the third concert of the 2015-2016 Hixson-Lied Concert Series at 7:30 p.m. on Jan. 29 in Kimball Recital Hall. The program, titled “The Adolf Busch Legacy,” will feature a program of Busch’s Quintet for Saxophone and String Quartet with saxophonist Paul Haar and Beethoven’s String Quartet in E-flat Major, Op. 127.
The final concert of the Hixson-Lied Concert Series season, titled “Bartók Premiere!” is at 7:30 p.m. on March 7. It will feature the world premiere of Gabriela Lena Frank’s Bartók piano transcriptions for string quartet plus her Canciones Populares and a collaborative piece TBA with the winner of the “Play with the Chiaras” competition.
Single tickets are $20 for the general public, $10 for seniors and $5 for students. Any two concerts tickets are $30 for the general public, $15 for seniors and $8 for students. Tickets are available at the Box Office or by calling 402-472-4747.
The Chiara String Quartet are currently Hixson-Lied Artists-in-Residence at the Glenn Korff School of Music at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and were the Blodgett Artists-in-Residence at Harvard University from 2008-2014. For the 2015-2016 season, the Chiara will be the quartet-in-residence at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
Now in its 16th season, the Chiara is moving forward by taking a cue from the past. Harkening back to a tradition that is centuries old and still common among soloists, the Chiara Quartet has adopted a new way of performing: from memory, without printed sheet music, or “by heart.”
“Each member must find a way to know the music inside and out – it has brought us much closer together in our music-making,” said Gregory Beaver, Chiara’s cellist.
The Chiara is currently recording “Bartók by Heart,” a 2-CD set featuring Bartók’s six string quartets, played entirely from memory, slated for release in 2016 on Azica. The quartet’s latest album, “Brahms by Heart,” was released on Azica in March 2014.
The Chiara’s recent honors include the nomination of its recording of Jefferson Friedman’s String Quartet No. 3 for a Grammy Award in 2011 and the ASCAP/Chamber Music America Award for Adventurous Programming for the 2010-2011 season. Past awards include a top prize at the Paolo Borciani International Competition, winning the Astral Artistic Services National Audition and winning First Prize at the Fischoff Chamber Music Competition.
The ensemble was one of the first string quartets to perform in alternative venues for chamber music performance. The Chiara Quartet has performed innovative concerts in non-classical spaces including (le) Poisson Rouge and Galapagos Art Space in New York, The Tractor Tavern in Seattle, Avant Garden in Houston and the Hideout in Chicago, among many others. Recent highlights of the Chiara Quartet’s international performances include extensive tours of China, Korea and Sweden, as well as performances at the American Academy in Rome, the Montreal Chamber Music Festival and of Steve Reich’s Different Trains in Munich.
The Chiara Quartet is widely sought out for its innovative work in engagement with urban and rural communities of all ages. In 2012 the Chiara appeared with the University Musical Society in Ann Arbor, Michigan as residents in the community, performing in unusual venues including a vacant storefront and a Toyota factory. In 2011, the Chiara was the first judge of the online string quartet competition “The Quartet Project Challenge,” an opportunity for young quartets from around the world to post performances on YouTube and receive comments from a professional quartet. In the 2011-12 season, the Chiara presented a concert series at Matt Talbot Kitchen and Outreach, a unique organization serving the working poor and homeless in Lincoln, Nebraska.
The Chiara has been committed to the creation of new music for string quartet since its inception. It has commissioned composers including Gabriela Lena Frank, Jefferson Friedman, Nico Muhly, Daniel Ott, Huang Ruo, Robert Sirota, Hans Tutschku, Carl Voss, Michael Wittgraf and others. Recent collaborators in performance include The Juilliard String Quartet, Joel Krosnick, Roger Tapping, Todd Palmer, Robert Levin, Simone Dinnerstein, Norman Fischer, Nadia Sirota and Paul Katz, as well as members of the Orion, Ying, Cavani and Pacifica Quartets.
In the summer, the Chiara Quartet is in residence at Greenwood Music Camp as well as the UNL’s Chamber Music Institute.
For information, visit www.chiaraquartet.com.