Guest Artists from This Season
September 24 & 25, 2011Allison Eldredge, cello“Hers is virtuosity wholly at the service of music. She is a cellist worth watching.” - Fanfare (American Record Guide)
Allison Eldredge first performed with the Boston Classical Orchestra in 2007 as a member of the Boston Trio. She has appeared as soloist with many of the world’s great orchestras, including the New York Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Saint Louis Symphony, Montreal Symphony, Boston Pops, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, and Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields. Following her Chicago debut playing the Elgar Cello Concerto with Daniel Barenboim and the Chicago Symphony, she was heralded as “a musician of remarkable gifts” by the Chicago Tribune. She has made five tours of Japan, and at age 19 was awarded a prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant.
In recital, Ms. Eldredge has appeared in cities throughout the U.S., Europe and Asia, including Washington, DC (the Kennedy Center and the Phillips Collection), New York (92nd St. Y), Los Angeles (Royce Hall), Amsterdam (Concertgebouw), Moscow (Conservatory Recital Hall), and Tokyo (Casals Hall), as well as London, Boston, and Osaka.
Ms. Eldredge has made a variety of recordings among them two CD’s on the Denon label: Music of Chopin and Faure, and “If I Loved You,” arrangements of Broadway and Film music for cello and piano. Her radio and television credits include appearances on New York’s WQXR, Japan’s NHK-Radio, Boston’s WGBH, ABC’s Good Morning America and a performing arts documentary in which she appeared with Isaac Stern and Yo-Yo Ma for Japanese television.
Allison Eldredge began her musical training on the piano at age three with her mother, pianist Yoshie Akimoto, and made her first public appearance at age six. At nine she began studying the cello. Her teachers have included Harvey Shapiro, Felix Galimir, Lewis Kaplan, Ardyth Alton and Channing Robbins at The Juilliard School, as well as Mstislav Rostropovich, Eleanore Schoenfeld and Joan Lunde. Now living in the Boston area with her husband, pianist Max Levinson, she serves on the faculty of the New England Conservatory.
In her free time, Allison enjoys cooking, horse-back riding and gardening.
October 22 & 23, 2011Kim Kashkashian, viola “Kim Kashkashian combines a probing, restless musical intellect with enormous beauty of tone.” - San Francisco Chronicle
Violist Kim Kashkashian has established herself as one of the most accomplished artists of her generation. Inspiring world-wide critical acclaim, she has been hailed by The San Francisco Chronicle as “an artist who combines a probing, restless musical intellect with enormous beauty of tone.” The New York Times has joined in these accolades, praising her “rich, mellow timbre and impressive artistry.”
In recent seasons, Kim Kashkashian has appeared as soloist with the major orchestras of New York, Berlin, London, Munich, and Tokyo. Her recital appearances take her to Boston, Washington DC, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Cleveland and Los Angeles.
Kim Kashkashian’s quest for new directions and forms, which she obtains through intense and continuous work with composers, is an active part of her musical life. As a result of these relationships with Gubaidulina, Penderecki, Kancheli, Kurtág, Mansurian, Pärt and Eötvös, and most recently with Eitan Steinberg, Betty Olivero, Ken Ueno and Thomas Larcher, she has extensively enlarged the repertoire for solo viola. Her commitment to chamber music, which began during years of participation at the Marlboro Music Festival where she was strongly influenced by her work with Felix Galimir, continues through appearances at the Salzburg, Marlboro and Lockenhaus Festivals. Current ongoing partnerships include duos with pianist Robert Levin, percussionist Robyn Schulkowsky, and harpsichordist Robert Hill.
Ms. Kashkashian has made guest appearances with the Tokyo, Guarneri, and Galimir Quartets and toured with a unique quartet which included violinists Gidon Kremer and Daniel Phillips and cellist Yo-Yo Ma.
Recordings by Kim Kashkashian give an index of the range of her activities. After earlier recordings of Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante and Divertimento KV 563 with DGG and Sony, her extensive discography with ECM comprises many works including the complete Viola Sonatas of Hindemith, the Shostakovich Sonata Op. 147 (Robert Levin, piano), the solo concerti from Britten, Penderecki, Kancheli and Schnittke as well as works by Linda Bouchard and Paul Chihara for viola and percussion (Robyn Schulkowsky), the Bach Sonatas for viola da gamba and cembalo (Keith Jarrett), music from Eleni Karaindrou for the film Ulysses’ Gaze by Theo Angelopoulos, and a chamber music CD with works of Kurtág and Schumann together with Eduard Brunner, clarinet and Robert Levin, piano. Kashkashian’s recording, with Robert Levin, of the Brahms Sonatas won the Edison Prize in 1999. Her June 2000 recording of concertos by Bartók, Eötvös and Kurtág won the 2001 Cannes Classical Award for a premiere recording by soloist with orchestra. In January 2002, ECM New Series released Voci, her recording of two large works by Luciano Berio. The album comprises the title work for viola and orchestra as well as Naturale, a related work for viola and percussion (Robyn Schulkowsky), and archival field recordings of Sicilian folk music. Hayren and Monodia, released in 2003 and 2004, respectively, focus on Kashkashian’s work with the Armenian composer Tigran Mansurian.
Ms. Kashkashian’s extensive teaching activities have included professorships at the University of Indiana in Bloomington and at Conservatories in Freiburg and Berlin, Germany. She now teaches viola and chamber music at the New England Conservatory of Music.
Born in Detroit, Michigan, of Armenian descent, Ms. Kashkashian graduated from the Peabody Conservatory of Music where she studied with Walter Trampler and Karen Tuttle.
October 22 & 23, 2011Dimitri Murrath, viola“Murrath has phenomenal technical ability… astonishing skill.” - The Strad
Belgian-born Dimitri Murrath has made his mark as a viola soloist, erforming regularly in Jordan Hall (Boston), Kennedy Center (Washington), Wigmore Hall, Purcell Room, Royal Festival Hall (London), Kioi Hall (Tokyo), the National Auditorium (Madrid), and Palais des Beaux-Arts (Brussels).
A first prize winner at the Primrose International Viola Competition,
Mr. Murrath has won numerous awards, including second prize at the First Tokyo International Viola Competition, the special prize for the contemporary work at the ARD Munich Competition, Verbier Festival Academy’s Viola Prize, and a fellowship from the Belgian American Educational Foundation.
His extensive repertoire spans five centuries, extending from Bach to the contemporary music of Ligeti, Kurtag and Sciarrino. He has participated in the Park Lane Group New Year Series in London to great critical acclaim. In addition, Dimitri Murrath has commissioned, recorded and given the world premieres of several solo works.
An avid chamber musician, he has collaborated with Miriam Fried, Pamela Frank, Gidon Kremer, Arnold Steinhardt, Donald Weilerstein, Nobuko Imai, Kim Kashkashian, Tabea Zimmermann, Paul Katz, Laurence Lesser, Peter Wiley, Richard Goode, Menahem Pressler, Radovan Vlatkovic and Mitsuko Uchida.
He has participated in several Festivals, among them IMS Prussia Cove (UK), Ravinia’s Steans Institute for Young Artists (Chicago), Verbier Festival Academy, Gstaad Festival (Switzerland), Caramoor Rising Stars (New York), Great Lakes Festival (Michigan) and Marlboro Music Festival (Vermont).
Mr. Murrath studied with Natalia Boyarsky at the Yehudi Menuhin School, David Takeno in London and with Kim Kashkashian for an Artist Diploma at New England Conservatory. He is now on the viola faculty of both New England Conservatory and Longy School of Music.
November 19 & 20, 2011Sharon Roffman, violin“She played with poise, confidence, and passion – as if this were the concert of a lifetime.” – Bergen Record
Violinist Sharon Roffman makes a rare return visit to the BCO following her stunning debut last season in the Barber Violin Concerto. She was prize winner in the 2003 Naumburg Foundation International Competition, made her solo debut playing the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto with the New Jersey Symphony in 1996 under the baton of Music Director Zdenek Macal. Since then, Ms. Roffman has forged a unique career, equally sought after as a soloist, chamber musician and music educator throughout the United States and abroad. In March 2004, Ms. Roffman made her Carnegie Hall debut as a soloist in Vivaldi’s Concerto for Four Violins with Itzhak Perlman playing and conducting; the same piece was featured in a “Live from Lincoln Center ” broadcast showcasing the Perlman Music Program in 2003. As a chamber musician, Ms. Roffman has collaborated with members of the Brentano Quartet, the Miami Quartet, Opus One Piano Quartet, and Guarneri quartet, among others. Since 2004, Ms. Roffman has been performing with flutist Paula Robison in bi-annual concerts at the Metropolitan Museum of Art featuring concertos by Vivaldi. Ms. Roffman has been a frequent guest of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center in both the Meet the Music and Inside Chamber Music series. Ms. Roffman is also a member of Counter)Induction, a chamber music group committed to performing the works of contemporary composers.
Ms. Roffman has diverse musical interests. She has made regular appearances on Sesame Street , both singing and playing the violin since 1981. As a child, Ms. Roffman performed at the Metropolitan Opera as a member of the Metropolitan Opera Children’s Chorus. Ms. Roffman has also been featured on The Today Show (NBC), and WQXR-FM’s “The Listening Room” and “Young Artist Showcase.” Ms. Roffman received the Composer’s Apprentice Award from the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center in 1992, and subsequently studied composition with Bruce Adolphe from 1992-94. Her sextet for strings and winds, “Derevo,” was premiered at the Walter Reade Theater at Lincoln Center by the Chelsea Chamber Ensemble in 1994. In 2005, Ms. Roffman composed, performed and recorded a piece for solo violin to accompany a television/radio commercial for the Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Foundation. With an avid interest in technology, in 1999 Ms. Roffman wrote and produced a web site entitled “An Interactive Recital,” which included information pertaining to a recital which was simulcast live over the Internet, a relatively new feat at the time. In 2007, Ms. Roffman worked as the musical consultant with artist Doug Aiken on his film, Sleepwalkers, which was projected for two weeks on the exterior of the Museum of Modern Art in New York City . Ms. Roffman created and performed a seminar at New York ’s Italian Wine Merchants that juxtaposed fine violins and fine wines in an effort to educate non-musicians’ ears to the subtleties of sound and color. Also eager to pair food with music, Ms. Roffman created an annual series of chamber music and children’s concerts at the Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture in Tarrytown , NY , co-presented by the restaurant Blue Hill at Stone Barns.
Ms. Roffman received a Graduate Diploma from the Juilliard School in 2003, where she was a student of Itzhak Perlman and Donald Weilerstein. Ms. Roffman earned both a Masters Degree and Bachelor of Music from the Cleveland Institute of Music as a student of Donald Weilerstein. From 1995-97, she studied with Robert Lipsett in the resident honors program at the University of Southern California . Prior to enrolling at USC, her major teachers were Peter Winograd, Patinka Kopec, and Nicole DiCecco at the Manhattan School of Music. Ms. Roffman has participated in the Marlboro Music Festival, Taos School of Music, the Aspen Festival and School, the Verbier Festival, Encore School for Strings, Meadowmount School for Strings, and the Perlman Music Program, where she was a student for two years and subsequently a teaching assistant to Patinka Kopec. Awards include first prize of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra’s 1995 Young Artists Auditions, second prize in the 1996 Stulberg International String Competition, and second prize in the 1998 National American String Teachers Association competition. In 1993, Ms. Roffman was the featured soloist for the 75 th Anniversary Gala of the Manhattan School of Music, where she was a student in the Preparatory Division from 1981-1995.
In addition to her accomplishments as a performer, Ms. Roffman was appointed concert artist and professor of violin at Kean University in 2002, and is a member of the faculty of the Thurnauer School of Music in Tenafly , New Jersey , and the Manhattan School of Music Pre-college division. Ms. Roffman also recently founded and is the director of ClassNotes, a non-profit organization dedicated to bringing chamber music to public schools.
February 12, 2011Borromeo String Quartet“The Borromeo String Quartet is simply the best there is on this planet.” – Boston Globe
Since their explosive debut in1989, the critically acclaimed Borromeo String Quartet have become one of the most sought after strings quartets in the world, performing over 100 concerts of classical and contemporary literature across three continents each season. Audiences and critics alike champion their revealing explorations of Beethoven, Bartok, Schoenberg, Shostakovich, and Golijov, and their affinity for making even the most challenging contemporary repertoire approachable and enlightening. The Borromeo Quartet’s long-standing and celebrated residency at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum has been called “one of the defining experiences of civilization in Boston” [Boston Globe] and their ongoing concert series at the Tenri Cultural Institute in New York has been hailed as “one of New York’s best kept secrets” [New York Sun].
As Quartet-in-Residence at the prestigious New England Conservatory of Music for seventeen years, the Borromeo have made opening the doors of perception to chamber music their principle mission. Their informal public masterclass series at NEC, “Early Evenings with the Borromeo,” regularly attracts standing-room-only crowds. The ensemble is also an artist-in-residence at Dai-Ichi Semei Hall in Tokyo, and return to New Mexico this Summer for a sixth season of mentoring emerging musicians at the famed Taos School of Music.
The Chicago Tribune calls the Borromeo “a remarkably accomplished string quartet, not simply for its high technical polish and refined tone, but more importantly for the searching musical insights it brings.” The San Diego Reader calls their performances “a musical experience of luminous beauty,” and the Boston Globe says “Each of the greatest string quartets has redefined what the possibilities of the medium are: through the perfection of its ensemble and intonation, through its poise and its passion, the Borromeos are recreating the medium anew and we are lucky to be here to hear it.”
The Borromeo have been heard in the world’s most illustrious concert halls, including the Philharmonie, Casals Halls, the Concertgebouw, Opera Bastille, and Wigmore Hall. In the United States, the group is a favorite at Weill Recital Hall and Alice Tully Hall, Jordan Hall, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Library of Congress, the Kennedy Center, and the National Gallery. The quartet is regularly invited to perform in distinguished chamber music series across the United States and abroad and has participated in the Spoleto Festival in Italy, the Orlando Festival in the Netherlands, the Stavanger Festival in Norway, Music Isle Festival in Korea, and in North America at the Ravinia, Tanglewood, Caramoor, Santa Fe, Rockport, Cape Cod, and Vancouver chamber music festivals, among others. First violinist Nicholas Kitchen recently completed a six-year tenure as Artistic Director of the Cape Cod Chamber Music.
In April 2007 the Borromeo Quartet was the recipient of prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant and in 2006 the Aaron Copland House honored the Borromeo’s commitment to contemporary music by creating the Borromeo Quartet Award, an annual initiative that will premiere the work of important young composers to audiences internationally. It has enjoyed collaborations with John Cage, Gyorgy Ligeti, Osvaldo Golijov, Steve Mackey, John Harbison, Leon Kirchner, Gunther Schuller, Lera Auerbach, Derek Bermel, Lior Navok, and Mohammed Fairouz.
The Borromeos were commissioned by the Pittsburgh Chamber Music Society in 2005 to conduct a five-month long series of outreach concerts throughout the city focused on the music of Béla Bartók, including Bartók Night, a one act play for solo actor and string quartet by playwright Lynne Conner. In addition, the ensemble serves as an advisor to Community MusicWorks of Providence, Rhode Island, an organization dedicated to enriching the lives of inner city youths and families through classical music.
In 2003 the Borromeo made classical music history with its pioneering record label, the Living Archive Recorded Performance Series, making it is possible to order on-demand DVDs and CDs of most of its concerts around the world. The series allows listeners the chance to revisit in greater depth the music they have just heard in concert, as well as explore new and rarely performed works. Gramophone Magazine hailed the “great clarity and beauty” and “ravishing fury” of the BSQ’s studio recording of masterworks by Beethoven, and their CD featuring works of Maurice Ravel was honored with the Chamber Music America/WQXR Award for Recording Excellence in 2001.
In 2000 the Borromeo String Quartet completed two seasons as a member of Lincoln Center’s Chamber Music Society Two and served as Ensemble-in-Residence for the 1998-99 season of National Public Radio’s Performance Today. They are a regular guest on Rob Kapilow’s program What Makes It Great, and can frequently be heard on NPR, NHK Radio and Television in Japan, and KBS Radio and Television in Korea. Awards include Lincoln Center’s Martin E. Segal Award in 2001, Chamber Music America’s Cleveland Quartet Award in 1998 and the Young Concert Artists International Auditions in 1991, as well as top prizes at the International String Quartet Competition in Evian, France in 1990.
The four members of the Borromeo Quartet are among the most accomplished musicians of their generation. A recipient of the Albert Schweitzer Medallion for Artistry, and the Presidential Scholar in the Arts award, first violinist Nicholas Kitchen been performing professionally since the age of 12. He created seven seasons of innovative programming as Artistic Director of the Cape Cod Chamber Music Festival and performs as a member of the Music From the Copland House ensemble. / Praised for his depth of insight and creative flair second violinist Kristopher Tong began his career as concertmaster of the Utah Youth Symphony at age 14. He has served on the faculty at the Yellow Barn Festival’s Young Artists Program, and as principal second violin with the Verbier Festival Orchestra, touring with them throughout Europe, Asia, and the Americas. Mr. Tong has also performed with Mizayaki festival Orchestra in Japan, the New York String Orchestra, and was a member of the original cast of Classical Savion, a collaborative project with tap dancer Savion Glover. / Born in Tokyo, Japan, violist Mai Motobuchi started playing violin at age five and gained recognition in Asia as first prize winner in the 1989 All Japan MBS Youth Music Competition, and in the All Japan Ensemble Competitions in 1990 and 1991. She has collaborated with Yo-Yo Ma and Seiji Ozawa, and is in demand as a teacher on two continents, serving on the faculties of the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston and the Tenrikyo Institute of Music in Tenri, Japan. / Hailed by the New York Times for her “focused intensity,” cellist Yeesun Kim made her orchestral debut at age 13 with the Korean Broadcasting Service Symphony, and has since performed in over 20 countries. She has collaborated with Rudolph Serkin, Joshua Bell, Christophe Eschenbach, and Leon Fleisher, among others. The Borromeo Quartet takes its name from the area in Northern Italy, by Lago Maggiore, where it played its first concerts together. Additional information may be found on its website at www.borromeoquartet.com.
March 17 & 18, 2012Daniel Stepner, violin“[Stepner's] sense of style, elegance of phrasing, and purity of tone served the music to excellent effect.” – New York Times Daniel Stepner has performed and recorded a wide range of music on period and contemporary instruments. Since 1987, he has been first violinist of the Lydian String Quartet, in residence at Brandeis University, where he is Professor of the Practice; he is also a founding member of the Boston Museum Trio, resident at the Museum of Fine Arts; and for twenty four years, he served as concertmaster of the Handel and Haydn Society. For the past twenty years, Mr. Stepner has been Artistic Director of the Aston Magna Festival, which performs summer series at Simon’s Rock College, at Bard College, and now at Brandeis University. He is also a Preceptor in Music at Harvard University, where he team-teaches a course in chamber music with Professor Robert Levin.
Mr. Stepner’s recorded repertoire includes sonatas of Bach, Vivaldi, Buxtehude,Telemann, and Marais; concerti grossi of Bach, Handel and Corelli; chamber music of Clerambault, Rameau, Mozart, Schubert, Brahms, William Schuman, Leo Ornstein, Vincent Persichetti, Lee Hyla, Peter Child, Charles Fussell, Thomas Oboe Lee, Martin Boykan Yehudi Wyner, Charles Ives, Carl Ruggles and John Harbison; and the complete violin sonatas of Charles Ives, with pianist John Kirkpatrick. He has also conducted recordings of Handel’s The Triumph of Time and Truth and Monteverdi’s Orfeo (both on the Centaur). Mr. Stepner hails from Wisconsin, and studied with Steven Staryk in Chicago, with Nadia Boulanger at Fontainebleau, France, and with Broadus Erle at Yale, where he earned a Doctor of Musical Arts degree.
April 21 & 22, 2012Irina Muresanu, violin“Muresanu is one of the finest violinists we’ve ever heard. [She] can raise the roof where needed, and is technically equal to anything. A sensational concert.” - Waterloo Gazette, Ontario
Irina Muresanu has won the hearts of audiences and critics alike with her exciting, elegant and heartfelt performances of the classic, romantic and modern repertoire. The Boston Globe has come to praise her as “not just a virtuoso, but an artist” and the Los Angeles Times has written that her “musical luster, melting lyricism and colorful conception made Irina Muresanu’s performance especially admirable” while Strad Magazine called her Carnegie/Weill Hall performance “a first-rate recital”. Irina Muresanu’s performances have been frequently cited as among the Best of Classical Music Performances by the Boston Globe, and her recital in the Emerging Artist Celebrity Series was named one of the Top 10 musical events by the TAB Magazine.
Early on Ms. Muresanu achieved international acclaim as an outstanding young soloist, recitalist and chamber musician winning top prizes in several international violin competitions including the prestigious Montreal International, Queen Elizabeth Violin, UNISA International String, Washington International, and the Schadt String Competitions. She is also the winner of the Pro Musicis International Award, the Presser Music Award and the Arthur Foote Award from the Harvard Musical Association and the Paul Rolland Award.
Ms. Muresanu has performed in renowned concert halls throughout the North America, Europe and Asia. Her recent engagements as soloist include concerts with the Boston Pops, the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande (Geneva), the Syracuse Symphony, the Metropolitan Orchestra (Montreal), the Transvaal Philharmonic (Pretoria South Africa), the Orchestre de la Radio Flamande (Brussels), the Boston Phiharmonic, the Willliamsburg Sinfonia, the Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra, the Romanian National Radio Orchestra, the New England String Ensemble and the Miami Symphony Orchestra among others. This season, the Civic Symphony of Boston commissioned a violin concerto from composer Thomas Oboe Lee written especially for Ms. Muresanu. The work was premiered in March 2010 and recorded for a CD in August 2010.
Other recent projects include working with pianist Michael Lewin on a release of William Bolcom’s Violin and Piano Sonatas on Centaur label. The recording was funded by a Copland Recording Grant. In Europe, her recording of the Guillaume Lekeu and Alberic Magnard late Romantic Violin and Piano Sonatas with pianist Dana Ciocarlie for the AR RE-SE French label has sparked enthusiasm. Fanfare noted the recording with “singing and soaring…[a] sizzling performance”. Ms. Muresanu has also recorded the world premiere recording of Marion Bauer’s Sonata for Violin and Piano with pianist Virginia Eskin on Albany Records, a CD with chamber works of Andy Vores, and a recording featuring chamber works of Erich Korngold released by the VPRO Radio Amsterdam. Adding to her other competition laurels, Ms. Muresanu was granted a Special Commendation award for her recording of Schoenberg’s Fantasy for Violin and Piano at the 3rd International Vienna Modern Masters Performers Recording Competition.
An active chamber musician, Ms. Muresanu has appeared in such festivals and venues as Bargemusic in New York; the Rockport Festival in Massachusetts; Bay Chambers concert series and Bowdoin Festival in Maine; the Strings in the Mountains and San Juan Music Festival in Colorado; Maui Chamber Music Festival in Hawaii, Reizend Music Festival in Netherlands; Festival van de Leie in Belgium; and the Renncontres des Musiciennes Festival in France. Ms. Muresanu has been a member of the Boston Trio since 2002 and she performs with the Andover Chamber Music Society and the Walden Chamber Players.
Irina Muresanu currently serves on both the faculties of the Boston Conservatory and the Music Department at Harvard University. She was appointed Artist-in-Residence as a member of the Lewin-Muresanu Duo at the Boston Conservatory and her ensemble, the Boston Trio, is Ensemble-in-Residence at the New England Conservatory. She received the prestigious Artist Diploma degree (1999) and a Doctorate in Musical Arts degree (2009) from the New England Consevatory.A native of Bucharest, Romania, Ms. Muresanu resides in Boston, MA with her husband, son and dog. She plays a 1856 Giuseppe Rocca violin and a Charles Peccat bow courtesy of Mr. Mark Ptashne.