String Theory At The Hunter To Begin Fifth Season

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Lee University, in partnership with The Hunter Museum of American Art, announced the celebration of its fifth anniversary season of String Theory, featuring six world class concerts, begins this October.

String Theory, founded in 2009 by pianist and Artistic Director Gloria Chien, brings acclaimed chamber musicians from around the world to perform in the intimate setting of the Hunter Museum in Chattanooga. 

On Oct. 10, String Theory will feature the Brentano String Quartet, musicians behind the soundtrack to the film “A Late Quartet,” and Dr. Chien as the first performers of the series.

The Brentano String Quartet comprises Mark Steinberg, violin; Serena Canin, violin; Misha Amory, viola; and Nina Lee, cello. 

The second concert of the series will feature celebrated sisters Ani and Ida Kavafian along with Yura Lee, violin; Steven Tenenbom, viola; Peter Wiley, cello; and Dr. Chien, piano.

In January, the Hunter will welcome String Theory’s first ever harpist, Bridget Kibbey. Ms. Kibbey is the recipient of the Avery Fisher Career Grant, the Classical Recording Foundation’s 2012 Young Artist Award, and winner of Concert Artist Guild’s 2007 International Competition and Astral Artist Auditions. She will be performing with her trio, which includes violinist Kristin Lee and percussionist John Hadfield.

On Feb. 20, one of the most highly regarded musical interpreters of his generation, baritone Randall Scarlata will perform with Dr. Chien. The two will present Schubert’s poignant song cycle, “Winterreise.”

First prize winner of the 2004 Young Concert Artists International Auditions and the Astral Artists 2004 National Audition Clarinetist Jose Franch-Ballester will perform in March. He will be joined by the international-winning violinist Arnaud Sussmann and Dr. Chien as they present pieces by Mendelssohn, Poulenc and Schoenfield.

The String Theory finale concert, held on April 17, will present Grammy award-winning Kim Kashkashian, cellist Marcy Rosen, and the Johannes String Quartet, comprising Soovin Kim, violin; Jessica Lee, violin; Choong-Jin Chang, viola; and Peter Stumpf, cello, with works by Brahms and Schoenberg. 

In addition to music, this season's String Theory series also offers Art Connections and Musical Dialogues. Art Connections give String Theory attendees the opportunity to visit the Hunter Museum galleries at 5:30 p.m. prior to the concerts to hear former Hunter Museum chief curator Ellen Simak and Maestro Robert Bernhardt discussing works from the Hunter collection that relate to the music featured in the evening's concert. Art Connections are scheduled for the February, March, and April concerts.

Musical Dialogues, scheduled for the October, December, and January concerts, take place at 6 p.m. from the concert stage and feature in-depth conversations with the artists on their lives, inspirations and the masterpieces being performed at the concert. 

String Theory will also present a family concert with the Chameleon Arts Ensemble of Boston” on Saturday, Jan. 25, at 1 p.m. The event, “Seeing Music and Hearing Art,” will include an afternoon of art, music, imagination and discovery specially designed for families. A tour of the galleries will explore the sounds heard in paintings and the hidden stories in the art.  Following will be a performance by the critically-acclaimed Chameleon Arts Ensemble of Boston.  Children can participate afterwards in an “instrument petting zoo.”

Individual concert tickets are $25 for Hunter members, $35 for non-members, $10 for students with a valid student ID and $25 for groups of 20 or more people. Season subscriptions are available for $130 for Hunter members and $180 for non-members. 

For more information on String Theory at the Hunter or to purchase tickets, call 267-0968 or visit

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