Weber Quintet in B-flat major for Clarinet, Two Violins, Viola, and Cello, Op. 34
Sebastian Manz, clarinet; Philip Setzer, Francisco Fullana, violin; Paul Neubauer, viola; Mihai Marica, cello
Mozart Concerto No. 12 in A major for Piano and String Quintet, K. 414
Juho Pohjonen, piano; Adam Barnett-Hart, Danbi Um, violin; Pierre Lapointe, viola; Brook Speltz, cello; Timothy Cobb, double bass
|Available on-demand until
Escher String Quartet
Clarinetist Sebastian Manz has been praised for his “enchantingly beautiful intonation and technical prowess” by Fono Forum. He has performed as a soloist with major European orchestras such as the Nuremberg Symphony Orchestra, the Munich Chamber Orchestra, and the National Youth Orchestra of Germany. On the chamber music stage, he has given performances at Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, Beethovenhaus Bonn, and has appeared at festivals including the prestigious Festspiele Mecklenburg Vorpommern and the MDR Musiksommer in Germany, collaborating with artists like Sebastian Studnitzky, Sarah Christian, Julian Steckel, Danae Dörken, the Danish String Quartet, and the Armida Quartett. At the ARD International Music Competition in 2008, he won not only first prize in the clarinet category, which had not been awarded for 40 years, but also the coveted Audience Prize and other special prizes. He is Principal Clarinet of the SWR Symphony Orchestra in Stuttgart. He is also active in the “Rhapsody in School” organization founded by Lars Vogt, which is committed to bringing classical music into schools. His recording A Bernstein Story was awarded with the Opus Klassik award in 2020. He recently released his recording of clarinet concertos by Carl Nielsen and Magnus Lindberg, as well as a recital recording of works by Brahms and Schumann with pianist Herbert Schuch. Manz was born in Hanover, and his teachers include the acclaimed clarinetists Sabine Meyer and Reiner Wehle. He is an alum of CMS's Bowers Program.
Violinist Philip Setzer is a founding member of the Emerson String Quartet. He has appeared as soloist with the National Symphony, Aspen Chamber Symphony, Memphis Symphony, New Mexico Symphony, Puerto Rico Symphony, Omaha Symphony, Anchorage Symphony, and the Cleveland Orchestra. He also participated for three summers in the Marlboro Music Festival. His ideas and concepts led to the creation of the Emerson’s two highly praised collaborative theater productions: The Noise of Time, premiered at Lincoln Center in 2001 and directed by Simon McBurney; and Shostakovich and the Black Monk: A Russian Fantasy, co-created with writer-director James Glossman in 2016. Premiered at the Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival, Black Monk has been performed at the Tanglewood and Ravinia Festivals, Princeton University, Wolf Trap, and Lotte Concert Hall in Seoul, Korea. He also tours and records in a piano trio with David Finckel and Wu Han. Philip Setzer was born in Cleveland, Ohio, and began studying violin with his parents, both former violinists in the Cleveland Orchestra. He continued his studies with Josef Gingold and Rafael Druian, and studied at The Juilliard School with Oscar Shumsky. Mr. Setzer currently serves as Distinguished Professor of Violin and Chamber Music at SUNY Stony Brook and Visiting Faculty at the Cleveland Institute of Music. He is also the Director of the Shouse Institute, a program for emerging artists of the Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival in Detroit. He plays a violin made by Samuel Zygmuntowicz in Brooklyn in 2011.
Spanish-born violinist Francisco Fullana, winner of the 2018 Avery Fisher Career Grant and the 2023 Khaledi Prize, has been hailed as “frighteningly awesome” (Buffalo News). His latest album on Orchid Classics, Bach’s Long Shadow, was named BBC Music Magazine’s Instrumental Choice of the Month. Its five-star review stated: "Fullana manages to combine Itzhak Perlman's warmth with the aristocratic poise of Henryk Szeryng." His thoughtful virtuosity has led to collaborations with conducting greats like Sir Colin Davis, Hans Graf, and Gustavo Dudamel. Besides his career as a soloist, which includes recent debuts with the Philadelphia and St. Paul Chamber Orchestras and a season-long artist residency with the Grammy-winning orchestra Apollo’s Fire, he is making an impact as an innovative educator. He created the Fortissimo Youth Initiative, a series of seminars and performances in partnership with youth and university orchestras, and co-founded San Antonio’s Classical Music Institute, an outreach-focused chamber music festival that serves hundreds of Title I underrepresented minority students every summer. He was a first-prize winner of the Johannes Brahms and Angel Munetsugu International Violin Competitions and is an alum of CMS’s Bowers Program. A graduate of the Juilliard School and the University of Southern California, Fullana performs on the 1735 Mary Portman ex-Kreisler Guarneri del Gesù violin, on loan from Clement and Karen Arrison through the Stradivari Society of Chicago.
Violist Paul Neubauer has been called a “master musician” by the New York Times. He recently made his Chicago Symphony subscription debut with conductor Riccardo Muti. He also gave the US premiere of the newly discovered Impromptu for viola and piano by Shostakovich with pianist Wu Han. In addition, his recording of the Aaron Kernis Viola Concerto with the Royal Northern Sinfonia was released on Signum Records, and his recording of the complete viola/piano music by Ernest Bloch with pianist Margo Garrett was released on Delos. Appointed principal violist of the New York Philharmonic at age 21, he has appeared as soloist with over 100 orchestras including the New York, Los Angeles, and Helsinki philharmonics; National, St. Louis, Detroit, Dallas, San Francisco, and Bournemouth symphonies; and Santa Cecilia, English Chamber, and Beethovenhalle orchestras. He has premiered viola concertos by Bartók (revised version of the Viola Concerto), Friedman, Glière, Jacob, Kernis, Lazarof, Müller-Siemens, Ott, Penderecki, Picker, Suter, and Tower, and has been featured on CBS's Sunday Morning and A Prairie Home Companion as well as in Strad, Strings, and People magazines. A two-time Grammy nominee, he has recorded on numerous labels including Decca, Deutsche Grammophon, RCA Red Seal, and Sony Classical, and is a member of SPA, a trio with soprano Susanna Phillips and pianist Anne-Marie McDermott. Neubauer is the artistic director of the Mostly Music series in New Jersey and is on the faculty of the Juilliard School and Mannes College.
Romanian-born cellist Mihai Marica is a first-prize winner of the Dr. Luis Sigall International Competition in Viña del Mar, Chile, as well as the Irving M. Klein International Competition, and is a recipient of Charlotte White’s Salon de Virtuosi Fellowship Grant. He has performed with orchestras such as the Symphony Orchestra of Chile, Xalapa Symphony in Mexico, the Hermitage State Orchestra of St. Petersburg in Russia, the Jardins Musicaux Festival Orchestra in Switzerland, the Louisville Orchestra, and the Santa Cruz Symphony in the US. He has also appeared in recital performances in Austria, Hungary, Germany, Spain, Holland, South Korea, Japan, Chile, the United States, and Canada. A dedicated chamber musician, he has performed at the Chamber Music Northwest, Norfolk, and Aspen music festivals where he has collaborated with such artists as Ani Kavafian, Ida Kavafian, David Shifrin, André Watts, and Edgar Meyer. He is a founding member of the award-winning Amphion String Quartet. A recent collaboration with dancer Lil Buck brought forth new pieces for solo cello written by Yevgeniy Sharlat and Patrick Castillo. He recently joined the acclaimed Apollo Trio. Marica studied with Gabriela Todor in his native Romania and with Aldo Parisot at the Yale School of Music, where he was awarded master's and artist diploma degrees. He is an alum of CMS's Bowers Program.
Lauded for his “impeccable technique” (Washington Post) and “elegant musicianship” (New York Times), pianist Juho Pohjonen is in demand internationally as an orchestral soloist, recitalist, and chamber performer. An ardent exponent of Scandinavian music, Pohjonen’s growing discography offers a showcase of music by Finnish compatriots such as Esa-Pekka Salonen, Kaija Saariaho, and Jean Sibelius.Recent engagements include the German Radio Philharmonic; Taiwan, BBC, and Los Angeles Philharmonic orchestras; Cleveland and Minnesota Orchestras; the Symphonies of San Francisco, Atlanta, New Jersey, and Colorado; and the National Arts Centre Orchestra, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Danish National Symphony, Finnish Radio Symphony, Philharmonia Orchestra of London, and Mostly Mozart Festival. He has also collaborated with today’s foremost conductors, including Marin Alsop, Lionel Bringuier, Marek Janowski, Fabien Gabel, Kirill Karabits, Osmo Vänskä, Pietari Inkinen, Stefan Asbury, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Robert Spano, Markus Stenz, and Pinchas Zukerman. He has performed in recital at New York’s Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center, at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, the Steinway Society in San Jose, Society of the Four Arts in Palm Beach, and in San Francisco, La Jolla, Philadelphia, Detroit, Savannah, and Vancouver. He made his London debut at Wigmore Hall and has played recitals throughout Europe in Antwerp, Hamburg, Helsinki, St. Petersburg, and Warsaw.An alum of CMS’s Bowers Program, he enjoys an ongoing association with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. In 2019, Pohjonen launched MyPianist, an AI-based app that provides interactive piano accompaniment.
Praised by The Strad as an “utterly dazzling” artist, violinist Danbi Um captivates audiences with her virtuosity, individual sound, and interpretive sensitivity. She is a Menuhin International Violin Competition Silver Medalist, a winner of the prestigious 2018 Salon de Virtuosi Career Grant, and a recent top prizewinner of the Naumburg International Violin Competition. Recent and upcoming engagements include appearances with the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia and her Washington, DC, recital debut at the Phillips Collection. This season will also see her return to the Rockport, Moab, Saratoga Performing Arts (SPAC), Santa Fe, and North Shore Music Festivals, as well as her debuts at the Cleveland Chamber Music Society, Chamber Music San Francisco, and the Mostly Music, Newburyport, La Musica (Sarasota), and Chelsea Music Festivals. In addition, she embarks on a duo recital tour with guitarist Jiji to Delaware, Houston, New York, and Nova Scotia. Her debut album, Much Ado: Romantic Violin Masterworks, will be released in fall 2023. Past concerto engagements include appearances with the Israel Symphony, Auckland Philharmonic, Vermont Symphony, and Dartmouth Symphony. Born in Seoul, South Korea, Ms. Um moved to the United States to study at the Curtis Institute of Music, where she earned a bachelor’s degree. She also holds an Artist Diploma from Indiana University. Her teachers have included Shmuel Ashkenasi, Joseph Silverstein, Jaime Laredo, and Hagai Shaham. She is an alum of CMS’s Bowers Program and plays a 1683 “ex-Petschek” Nicolo Amati violin, on loan from a private collection.
Timothy Cobb is the principal bass of the New York Philharmonic, prior to which he served as principal bass for the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. He has appeared at numerous chamber music festivals worldwide, and as a former participant in the Marlboro Music festival, has toured with the Musicians from Marlboro series. He is a faculty member of the Sarasota Music Festival and serves as principal bass for Valery Gergiev’s World Orchestra for Peace, an invited group of musicians from around the world, from which he has earned the title UNESCO Artist for Peace. He also served as principal bass for the Mostly Mozart festival orchestra. He can be heard on all Met recordings after 1986, as well as on the Naxos label in a recording of Giovanni Bottesini’s duo bass compositions with fellow bassist Thomas Martin, of London. Mr. Cobb graduated from the Curtis Institute of Music where he studied with Roger Scott. In his senior year he became a member of the Chicago Symphony under Sir Georg Solti. He serves as bass department chair for The Juilliard School and on the faculties of the Manhattan School of Music, Purchase College, and Rutgers University. He also holds the title ‘Distinguished Artist in Residence’ at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida.
The Escher String Quartet has received acclaim for its profound musical insight and rare tonal beauty. A former BBC New Generation Artist and recipient of the Avery Fisher Career Grant, the quartet has performed at the BBC Proms at Cadogan Hall and is a regular guest at Wigmore Hall. In its hometown of New York, the ensemble serves as season artists of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. The 2021-2022 season found the Escher Quartet touring the U.S. extensively, performing in numerous cities and venues including Alice Tully Hall and Rockefeller University, the Kennedy Center, the Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa, La Jolla Music Society, Savannah Music Festival, and Chamber Music Society of Detroit. Internationally, the quartet returns to Wigmore Hall in London and the Sociedad Filarmonica de Bilbao. The Escher Quartet has made a distinctive impression throughout Europe, with recent debuts including the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Berlin Konzerthaus, London’s Kings Place, Slovenian Philharmonic Hall, Les Grands Interprètes Geneva, Tel Aviv Museum of Art, and Auditorium du Louvre. The group has appeared at festivals such as the Heidelberg Spring Festival, Budapest’s Franz Liszt Academy, Dublin’s Great Music in Irish Houses, the Risør Chamber Music Festival in Norway, the Hong Kong International Chamber Music Festival, and the Perth International Arts Festival in Australia. Alongside its growing European profile, the Escher Quartet continues to flourish in its home country, performing at the Aspen Music Festival, Bravo! Vail, Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, Bowdoin Music Festival, Toronto Summer Music, Chamber Music San Francisco, Music@Menlo, and the Ravinia and Caramoor festivals. The quartet has held faculty positions at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX and the University of Akron, OH. Recordings of the complete Mendelssohn quartets and beloved romantic quartets of Dvorak, Borodin and Tchaikovsky were released on the BIS label in 2015-18 and received critical acclaim, with comments such as “…eloquent, full-blooded playing... The four players offer a beautiful blend of individuality and accord” (BBC Music Magazine). In 2019, Dance, an album of quintet’s with Grammy award winning guitarist Jason Vieaux, was enthusiastically received. The Escher’s most recent recording, the complete quartet of Charles Ives and Samuel Barber, was met with equal excitement, including “A fascinating snapshot of American quartets, with a recording that is brilliantly detailed, this is a first-rate release all around” (Strad Magazine). The quartet has also recorded the complete Zemlinsky String Quartets in two volumes, released on the Naxos label in 2013 and 2014. Within months of its inception in 2005, the ensemble came to the attention of key musical figures worldwide. Championed by the Emerson Quartet, the Escher Quartet was invited by both Pinchas Zukerman and Itzhak Perlman to be Quartet-in-Residence at each artist's summer festival: the Young Artists Program at Canada’s National Arts Centre; and the Perlman Chamber Music Program on Shelter Island, NY. The Escher Quartet takes its name from the Dutch graphic artist M.C. Escher, inspired by Escher’s method of interplay between individual components working together to form a whole.