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Danish String Quartet
Winner of a 2016 Lincoln Center Emerging Artist Award, as well as classical music’s bright young star award for 2007 by The Independent, pianist Wu Qian has maintained a busy international career for over a decade. She has appeared as soloist in many international venues including the Wigmore, Royal Festival, and Bridgewater halls in the UK, City Hall in Hong Kong, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, and the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. As a soloist she has appeared with the Konzerthaus Orchester in Berlin, the Brussels Philharmonic, the London Mozart Players, I Virtuosi Italiani, the European Union Chamber Orchestra, and the Munich Symphoniker. She won first prize in the Trio di Trieste Duo Competition and the Kommerzbank Piano Trio competition in Frankfurt, and has received numerous other awards. Appearances this season include performances in the UK, Germany, USA, Korea, Australia, Spain, and The Netherlands and collaborations with Alexander Sitkovetsky, Leticia Moreno, Cho-Liang Lin, Clive Greensmith, and Wu Han. Her debut recording of Schumann, Liszt, and Alexander Prior was met with universal critical acclaim. She is a founding member of the Sitkovetsky Piano Trio with which, in addition to performing in major concert halls and series around the world, she has released two recordings on the BIS label and also a disc of Brahms and Schubert on the Wigmore Live Label. Wu Qian an alum of The Bowers Program.
Stephen Taylor, one of the most sought-after oboists in the country, holds the Mrs. John D. Rockefeller III solo oboe chair at the Chamber Music Society. He is a solo oboist with the New York Woodwind Quintet, the Orchestra of St. Luke's, the St. Luke's Chamber Ensemble (for which he has served as co-director of chamber music), the American Composers Orchestra, the New England Bach Festival Orchestra, and Speculum Musicae, and is co-principal oboist of the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. His regular festival appearances include Spoleto, Aldeburgh, Caramoor, Bravo! Vail Valley, Music from Angel Fire, Norfolk, Santa Fe, Aspen, and Chamber Music Northwest. Among his more than 200 recordings is Elliott Carter's Oboe Quartet for which Mr. Taylor received a Grammy nomination. He has performed many of Carter's works, giving the world premieres of Carter’s A Mirror on Which to Dwell, Syringa, and Tempo e Tempi; and the US premieres of Trilogy for Oboe and Harp, Oboe Quartet, and A 6 Letter Letter. He is entered in Who's Who in American Colleges and Universities and has been awarded a performer's grant from the Fromm Foundation at Harvard University. Trained at The Juilliard School, he is a member of its faculty as well as of the Yale and Manhattan schools of music. Mr. Taylor plays rare Caldwell model Lorée oboes.
Alexander Fiterstein is recognized as one of today’s most exceptional clarinetists. He has been praised by the New York Times for possessing a “beautiful liquid clarity,” and the Washington Post wrote, “Fiterstein treats his instrument as his own personal voice, dazzling in its spectrum of colors, agility, and range. Every sound he makes is finely measured without inhibiting expressiveness.” A recipient of the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant, he performs with orchestras and chamber groups throughout the world. He appeared as a soloist with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Kansas City Symphony, Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra, China National Symphony Orchestra, Czech Chamber Orchestra, Danish National Radio Symphony Orchestra, Israel Chamber Orchestra, Orchestra of St. Luke’s at Lincoln Center, Tokyo Philharmonic, and Vienna Chamber Orchestra. A dedicated performer of chamber music, he frequently collaborates with distinguished artists and regularly performs with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. Among the highly regarded artists he has performed with are Daniel Barenboim, Emanuel Ax, Mitsuko Uchida, Richard Goode, Pinchas Zukerman, Steven Isserlis, and Elena Bashkirova. Fiterstein has made several recordings for Naxos, Bridge, and Orchid Classics, and his latest album, A Clarinet in America, was released in 2021. He graduated from the Juilliard School and is now Chair of Winds and Professor of Clarinet at the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University.
Called “superb” by the Washington Post and “stunningly virtuosic” by the New York Times, Peter Kolkay is the only bassoonist to receive an Avery Fisher Career Grant. In addition to performing with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, he regularly appears at the Music@Menlo and Bridgehampton summer festivals, and has performed on the Emerald City, Tertulia, and String Theory series. He actively engages with composers in the creation of new music for the bassoon and has premiered solo works by Joan Tower, Mark-Anthony Turnage, and Tania León, among others. His 2022–23 season included the premiere of a new work for bassoon and piano by Reinaldo Moya, and the release of two recordings: an album of contemporary works performed with the Calidore Quartet, and the Christopher Rouse Bassoon Concerto with the Albany Symphony. He is a member of the IRIS Collective in Germantown, Tennessee, and has also served as guest principal bassoon of the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra. A dedicated teacher, he is Associate Professor at the Blair School of Music at Vanderbilt University and has given master classes throughout the United States and Mexico. Kolkay is an alumnus of CMS’s Bowers Program, and holds degrees from Lawrence University, the Eastman School of Music, and Yale University. A native of Naperville, Illinois, he currently calls the Melrose neighborhood of Nashville home, and is the recipient of a 2022–23 Individual Artist Fellowship in music performance from the Tennessee Arts Commission.
Radovan Vlatković has performed extensively around the globe and popularized the horn as a recording artist and teacher. He is the winner of numerous competitions, including the Premio Ancona in 1979 and the ARD Competition in 1983. He has premiered works by Elliott Carter, Sofia Gubaidulina, Heinz Holliger, and several Croatian composers; he premiered Penderecki's horn concerto, Winterreise, in Bremen in 2008 with the composer as conductor. As a chamber musician, he has performed at Gidon Kremer's Lockenhaus, Svyatoslav Richter's December Evenings in Moscow, and András Schiff's Mondsee, as well as the Marlboro Festival, Prussia Cove, and the Casals Festival. He has appeared as soloist with many orchestras, such as the Bavarian Symphony Orchestra, Stuttgart Radio Orchestra, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester, Mozarteum Orchestra, Santa Cecilia Orchestra Rome, Melbourne Orchestra, the NHK Orchestra in Tokyo, and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra. The recipient of several German Record Critics’ Awards, he has recorded Mozart and Strauss concertos with the English Chamber Orchestra and Jeffrey Tate for EMI, two-horn concertos by Leopold Mozart and Johann Friedrich Fasch with Hermann Baumann and Academy of Saint Martin in the Fields, and the Britten Serenade for Tenor, Horn, and Strings with the Oriol Ensemble in Berlin. Vlatkovic is on the faculty of the Mozarteum Salzburg, Hochschule Zürich, and holds the Canón horn chair at the Queen Sofia School in Madrid. He recently became an Honorary Member of the Royal Academy of Music.
The Danish String Quartet celebrates its 20th Anniversary in 2022–23, and the GRAMMY®-nominated quartet continues to assert its preeminence among the world’s finest string quartets. Formed when they were in their teens, they are renowned for impeccable musicianship, sophisticated artistry, exquisite clarity of ensemble, and, above all, an unmatched ability to play as one. Performances are characterized by a rare musical spontaneity, and they exude a palpable joy in music-making that has made them one of today’s most highly acclaimed and in-demand classical quartets, performing in sold-out concert halls around the world.
This season, the Danish String Quartet continues its DOPPELGÄNGER series, an ambitious four-year international commissioning project that pairs world premieres with late major chamber works by Schubert. This season’s new work, by Anna Thorvaldsdottir, premieres in April 2023. DOPPELGÄNGER is commissioned by the Danish String Quartet with the support of Carnegie Hall, Cal Performances, UC Santa Barbara Arts & Lectures, Vancouver Recital Society, Flagey in Brussels, and Muziekgebouw in Amsterdam. The Quartet performs 28 concerts in North America this season over the course of three separate tours, and they are Artist in Residence at London’s Wigmore Hall.
Their most recent recording project is PRISM, a series of five discs on ECM New Series that explores the symbiotic musical and contextual relationships between Bach fugues, Beethoven string quartets, and works by later composers. The most recent release is PRISM IV (2022), which was an Editor’s Choice in Limelight magazine. Slated for release on ECM in 2023 are a disc of traditional Scandinavian folk music and PRISM V.
The Quartet takes an active role in reaching new audiences through special projects. In 2007, they established the DSQ Festival, which takes place in intimate and informal settings in Copenhagen. In 2016, they inaugurated a concert series, Series of Four, in which they both perform and invite colleagues to appear.
They are the recipients of many awards and prestigious appointments, including Musical America’s 2020 Ensemble of the Year and, in 2016, the Borletti-Buitoni Trust. The Quartet was named in 2013 as BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artists and appointed to The Bowers Program (formerly CMS Two). They were awarded the 2010 NORDMETALL-Ensemble Prize at the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Festival in Germany, and in 2011, they received the Carl Nielsen Prize, the highest cultural honor in Denmark.
Violinists Frederik Øland and Rune Tonsgaard Sørenson and violist Asbjørn Nørgaard met as children at a music summer camp where they played soccer and made music together. As teenagers, they began the study of classical chamber music and were mentored by Tim Frederiksen of Copenhagen’s Royal Danish Academy of Music. In 2008, the three Danes were joined by Norwegian cellist Fredrik Schøyen Sjölin.