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Orion String Quartet
The Orion String Quartet is one of the leading chamber music ensembles on the classical music scene today. Admired for diverse programming that juxtaposes masterworks of quartet literature with key works of the 20th and 21st centuries, the Orion provides singularly rich dimension to its music-making. The members of the Orion String Quartet—violinists Daniel Phillips and Todd Phillips, brothers who share the first violin chair equally, violist Steven Tenenbom, and cellist Timothy Eddy—have worked closely with illustrious musicians, such as Pablo Casals, Sir András Schiff, Rudolf Serkin, Isaac Stern, Pinchas Zukerman, Peter Serkin, members of the ensemble TASHI, and the Beaux Arts Trio, as well as the Budapest, Végh, Galimir, and Guarneri String Quartets. The Orion String Quartet are season artists of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center.
In the 2021–22 season, they appeared in CMS’s Winter Festival, performing selections from Wynton Marsalis’s At the Octoroon Balls and Milhaud’s La Création du Monde, and repeated this program at the Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts in Virginia in the spring. The Quartet’s concerts last season also included appearances with the Phoenix Chamber Music Society and the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society with music by Haydn, Bach, Bartók and Beethoven, and with Linton Chamber Music in Cincinnati, in collaboration with Anthony McGill for Reger’s Clarinet Quintet and quartet works by Beethoven.
In the 2022–23 season, the Quartet performed Beethoven’s String Quartet No. 16 in a winter concert for CMS, and appears again with both the Phoenix Chamber Music Society and Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, with works by Mozart, Schubert, and Brahms.
During the Quartet’s 30th-anniversary season in 2017–18, the group celebrated at principal chamber music series throughout North America. They played the complete Beethoven string quartets in a series of six concerts at Mannes School of Music, where they held the position of Quartet-in-Residence for 27 years; at CMS they performed in an all-Haydn program and presented a contemporary music concert of works written for the group, including the world premiere of Sebastian Currier’s Etudes and Lullabies commissioned by CMS, David Dzubay’s “Astral” Quartet No. 1 for Strings, and Brett Dean’s Quartet No. 2 for Strings and Soprano, And once I played Ophelia. New music specialist Tony Arnold joined the Orion as vocal soloist for this performance.
The Orion String Quartet has contributed to the development and expansion of the string quartet repertoire through commissions from composers Chick Corea, David Del Tredici, Alexander Goehr, Thierry Lancino, John Harbison, Leon Kirchner, Marc Neikrug, Lowell Liebermann, Peter Lieberson, and Wynton Marsalis. As a hallmark of its 25th anniversary, the group collaborated with the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company in a two-week project that featured music by Mozart, Schubert, Mendelssohn, Ravel, and Beethoven. WQXR’s The Greene Space produced a live broadcast of the collaboration, including the performance and a discussion among members of the Orion Quartet and choreographer Bill T. Jones.
Heard frequently on National Public Radio’s Performance Today, the Orion has also appeared on PBS’s Live from Lincoln Center, A&E’s Breakfast with the Arts, and ABC’s Good Morning America.
The Orion String Quartet was established in 1987 and takes its name from the Orion constellation as a metaphor for the personality each musician brings to the group in its collective pursuit of the highest musical ideals.
American violist Matthew Lipman has been praised by the New York Times for his “rich tone and elegant phrasing” and by the Chicago Tribune for a “splendid technique and musical sensitivity.” Recent seasons have included appearances with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra of Europe, American Symphony Orchestra, Munich Symphony Orchestra, and Minnesota Orchestra. He has performed recitals at Carnegie Hall, Aspen Music Festival, and the Zürich Tonhalle; was invited by Michael Tilson Thomas to be a soloist at the New World Symphony Viola Visions Festival; and has appeared in chamber music with Anne-Sophie Mutter at the Berlin Philharmonie, Vienna Musikverein, and on Deutsche Grammophon Stage+. An alum of the Bowers Program, he performs regularly on tour and at Alice Tully Hall with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, where he occupies the Wallach Chair. In 2022, he made his Sony Classical debut on The Dvořák Album, and his 2019 solo debut recording, Ascent, was released by Cedille Records, marking world premieres of the Shostakovich Impromptu and Clarice Assad Metamorfose. Additionally, he recorded the Mozart Sinfonia Concertante with violinist Rachel Barton Pine and the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, conducted by the late Sir Neville Marriner. An Avery Fisher Career Grant recipient and major prize winner at the Primrose and Tertis International Viola Competitions, he studied with Heidi Castleman at Juilliard and Tabea Zimmermann at the Kronberg Academy. Lipman is on faculty at Stony Brook University and performs on a 2021 Samuel Zygmuntowicz viola, made for him in New York.
Recorded live in Alice Tully Hall on July 8, 2018.
Video produced by Ibis Productions.