Neubauer, Shifrin, And Chien To Open Lee University's String Theory’s 9th Season

Monday, September 11, 2017
String Theory at the Hunter, in partnership with Lee University, is proud to announce its ninth season, featuring six world-class concerts with acclaimed chamber musicians from around the world to perform in the intimate setting of the Hunter Museum of American Art in Chattanooga.

“As I look at the lineup for the upcoming season, every concert is a perfect fit,” said Gloria Chien, founder and artistic director of String Theory. “I cannot find better artists to play these great works of chamber music for our audience.


The season will open on Tuesday, Sept. 19, with Mozart’s “Kegelstatt” trio for clarinet, viola, and piano with legendary clarinetist David Shifrin, violist Paul Neubauer, who will be making his String Theory debut, and pianist Chien. The program will also include clarinet trios of Bruch and Schumann as well as a suite for viola and piano by British composer Benjamin Dale. The performance will be begin at 6:30 p.m.

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 is the recipient of a Solo Recitalists’ Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, an Avery Fisher Career Grant, and the 2016 Concert Artist Guild Virtuoso Award. He has also received critical acclaim as a recitalist, appearing at such venues as Alice Tully Hall, Weill Recital Hall and Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall as well as at the Library of Congress in Washington D.C.

Mr. Shifrin joined the faculty at the Yale School of Music in 1987 and was appointed artistic director of the Chamber Music Society of Yale and Yale’s annual concert series at Carnegie Hall in 2008. He has also served on the faculties of The Juilliard School, University of Southern California, University of Michigan, Cleveland Institute of Music and the University of Hawaii.

A two-time Grammy nominee, Mr. Neubauer’s exceptional musicality and effortless playing led The New York Times to call him “a master musician.” Appointed principal violist of the New York Philharmonic at age 21, he has appeared as soloist with over 100 orchestras including the New York and Los Angeles philharmonics; the National, Detroit, Dallas, and Bournemouth symphonies; and Santa Cecilia, English Chamber, and Beethovenhalle orchestras.

Mr. Neubauer has recorded on numerous record labels including Decca, Deutsche Grammophon, RCA Red Seal, and Sony Classical, and in 2016, he released a solo album recorded at Music@Menlo. He currently serves on the faculty of The Juilliard School and Mannes College.

Chien has emerged in recent years as one of America’s finest young chamber musicians. She has been praised by well-known Boston music critic Richard Dyer for her “wondrously rich palette of colors, which she mixes with dashing bravado and with an uncanny precision of calibration.”

Chien has participated in festivals including Music Academy of the West, Verbier Music Festival, Bay Chamber Concerts, and Chamber Music Northwest. She has also participated for 10 years at Music@Menlo, where she was appointed director of the Chamber Music Institute in 2010. She currently serves as an artist-in-residence at Lee.

On Oct. 17, String Theory will welcome the Danish String Quartet for the second concert of the series.

Since making its debut in 2002 at the Copenhagen Festival, the Danish String Quartet has demonstrated a passion for Scandinavian composers who are frequently incorporated into adventurous contemporary programs, while also giving skilled and profound interpretations of the classical masters. Praised by The Washington Post as “one of the best quartets before the public today,” the quartet performs throughout the United States as well as internationally in countries such as Germany, the United Kingdom, Poland, Israel, South America, and their native country Denmark.

Violinist Philip Setzer, of the Emerson Quartet, and cellist Edward Arron, return to the Hunter for String Theory’s Dec. 12 concert. Setzer and Arron will be joined by Ms. Chien to perform Tchaikovsky’s impassioned Piano Trio “In Memory of a Great Artist,” an epic work dedicated to Tchaikovsky’s friend, Nikolai Rubinstein.

Mr. Setzer has appeared with the National Symphony, Aspen Chamber Symphony, Memphis Symphony, and Puerto Rico Symphony, among others. Arron made his New York recital debut in 2000 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and since then has appeared in recital, as a soloist with major orchestras, and as a chamber musician throughout North America, Europe, and Asia.

On Jan. 23, 2018, String Theory will welcome WindSync to present the first spring concert of the series.

Hailed by the Houston Chronicle as “revolutionary chamber musicians,” WindSync is internationally recognized for dramatic and engaging interpretations of classical music. The group is the Gold Medalist in the National Fischoff Chamber Music Competition and winner of the Concert Artists Guild Victor Elmaleh International Competition.

In March 2018, brothers Roberto and Andrés Díaz make a return visit with violinist Soovin Kim in a piano quartet program with Faure’s “Piano Quartet No.1” in c minor. 

Roberto Díaz, a violist of international reputation, serves as president and CEO of the Curtis Institute of Music. Andrés Díaz, a native of Chile, has exhilarated both critics and audiences with his intense and charismatic performances since winning First Prize in the 1986 Naumburg International Cello Competition. Kim received First Prize at the Paganini International Competition when he was only 20, which launched an international concert career. He now performs as a concert soloist, a recitalist, and with the Johannes String Quartet. 

The season will close with a Russian program featuring Glazunov’s rarely performed string quintet and Tchaikovsky’s most celebrated string sextet, “Souvenir de Florence.” String Theory will welcome returning artists violinist Bella Hristova, violists Richard O’Neill and Yura Lee, and cellists Dmitri Atapine and Mihai Marica. Tchaikovsky Winner violinist Itamar Zorman will make his String Theory debut.

“This will be the perfect celebration for the end of our ninth season,” said Ms. Chien.

In addition to the Tuesday concerts, String Theory will present Art Connections and Musical Dialogues.

Art Connections gives String Theory attendees the opportunity to visit the Hunter Museum galleries 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 will take place at 5:30 p.m. prior to the October, January, and March concerts.

Musical Dialogues, scheduled for the September, December, and May concerts, takes place at 6 p.m. from the concert stage and features in-depth conversations with the artists on their lives, inspirations, and the masterpieces being performed at the concert.

Individual concert tickets are $35 for Hunter members, $45 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 $175 for Hunter members and $225 for non-members.

On Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018 at 1 p.m., the Hunter Museum will host the String Theory Annual Family Concert featuring WindSync. The group’s performance, complete with costumes and choreography, is an interactive retelling of “Peter and the Wolf” by Sergei Porkofiev using the five wind instruments of WindSync.

For more information on String Theory at the Hunter or to purchase tickets, call (423) 414-2525 or visit www.stringtheorymusic.org.


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