Lee To Host ChamberFest As Next Event In Concert Series

Monday, January 7, 2013

Lee University presents one of America’s most celebrated clarinetists and an award winning String Quartet in concert on Jan. 15 and 16.

The two performances, called “ChamberFest,” will take place in Squires Recital Hall on Tuesday, Jan. 15, and the Chapel on Wednesday, Jan. 16.  Both concerts will be at 7:30 p.m. 

ChamberFest features guest artists, David Shifrin, clarinet, and the Miró String Quartet, along with concert pianists and Lee faculty members, Gloria Chien and Ning An.

In addition to the concerts, Mr. Shifrin and the Quartet will hold masterclasses, open to the public, on both days. On Tuesday, Jan. 15, Mr. Shifrin will hold a masterclass in the Chapel from 2:30-4:30 p.m. while the Miro Quartet will hold its masterclass in the Squires Recital Hall, 2:30-4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 16.

Mr. Shifrin is one of only two wind instrument players to have been awarded the Avery Fisher Prize since the award’s inception in 1974. He collaborates often as an orchestral soloist, recitalist and chamber musician. Mr. Shifrin has appeared with numerous symphonies, performing extensively across the nation. He continues to broaden the repertoire for clarinet and orchestra by commissioning and championing the works of 20th and 21st century American composers.

Mr. Shifrin served as artistic director of the Chamber music Society of Yale and later, Yale’s annual concert series at Carnegie Hall, as well as artistic director of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center.

The Miró Quartet, one of America’s highest-profile chamber groups, was hailed by the New York Times as possessing “explosive vigor and technical finesse.” In its second decade, the quartet continues to captivate audiences and critics around the world with its startling intensity, fresh perspective, and mature approach. 

 They maintain an active international touring schedule, while also teaching chamber music as the faculty string quartet-in-residence at the Sarah and Ernest Butler School of Music at the University of Texas at Austin. 

Ms. Chien, an internationally acclaimed pianist and associate professor of music at Lee, has been picked by the Boston Globe as one of the Superior Pianists of the year, “… who appears to excel in everything.” She is a prize winner of the World Piano Competition, Harvard Musical Association Award, as well as the San Antonio International Piano Competition, where she also received the prize for the Best Performance of the Commissioned Work. 

An avid chamber musician, Ms. Chien was chosen to join the roster of the Chamber Music Society Two of Lincoln Center from 2012. She has been the resident pianist with the Chameleon Arts Ensemble of Boston since 2000, a group known for its versatility and commitment to new music. Boston Herald praises her for “[playing] phenomenally.” In 2009, Ms. Chien was the founder and artistic director behind String Theory. 

Mr. An, assistant professor of music at Lee, made his concerto debut at the age of 16 performing the Rachmaninov Second Piano Concerto with the Cleveland Orchestra in 1993. He has since appeared with the London Symphony Orchestra, Warsaw Philharmonic and the Moscow Radio Symphony Orchestra, among others. 

Mr. An's Carnegie Hall debut, an all-Chopin program presented by the Chopin Foundation of the United States in Weill Recital Hall, was praised in the New York Concert Review for the "almost sculpted clarity of his playing, and his ability to maintain balance and tension in large-scale dramatic forms. Ning An impresses with his developed musicianship, his discerning sense of form and style, his penetrating and illuminating interpretation, and his perfect technical command.” He was also the first prize winner of the 2006 Tivoli Piano Competition and third prize winner of the 2002 Paloma O’Shea Santander Competition.  

Mr. Shifrin, the Miro Quartet and Gloria Chien will also be performing on String Theory, the popular Chamber music series, on Thursday evening, Jan. 17, at the Hunter Museum of American Art.  For ticket information, call the Hunter at 267-0968. 

Tickets for ChamberFest are $10 for adults, $5 for seniors and students, and will be available at the Dixon Center Box Office Jan. 8-15 from 3–6 p.m. or by calling 614-8343.

For more information about the masterclasses, call Lee’s School of Music at 614-8243 or email music@leeuniversity.edu.

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