Composers from four lands combine to display their incomparable talents for instrumental display.
From Franz Schubert’s charming classical string trio to Ernő von Dohnányi’s passionate Piano Quintet, the voices of strings and piano will dazzle the ear the kind of virtuosity and lyricism so uniquely found in chamber music. The electrifying pianist Wu Qian is joined by a string quartet of musicians representing CMS at its finest.
Trio in B-flat major or Violin, Viola, and Cello, D. 581(1817)
Sonata No. 3 in C minor for Violin and Piano, Op. 45(1886)
Elégie for Viola and Piano, Op. 30
Quintet No. 1 in C minor for Piano, Two Violins, Viola, and Cello, Op. 1(1895)
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.
Praised for his “sophisticated, assured tone, superb intonation, and the kind of poise and showmanship that thrills audiences,” (The Strad) Julian Rhee is the Silver Medalist of the 11th Quadrennial International Violin Competition of Indianapolis, winner of Astral Artists’ National Auditions, and the first-prize winner of the 2020 Elmar Oliveira International Competition, where he was also awarded the special Community Award. He made his Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra debut at age 8, and has gone on to perform with orchestras such as the Indianapolis Symphony, Santa Rosa Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony, East Coast Chamber Orchestra, Aspen Philharmonic, Eugene Symphony, Madison Symphony, and San Diego Symphony, among others. A passionate chamber musician, he has performed at and attended festivals including the Ravinia Steans Institute, Marlboro Festival, Rockport Music and North Shore Chamber Music Festivals. He studied with Hye-Sun Lee and Almita Vamos at the Music Institute of Chicago Academy. He received his bachelor’s degree and is currently pursuing a master’s degree with Miriam Fried at the New England Conservatory. A member of CMS’s Bowers Program beginning in 2024, Rhee is the recipient of the outstanding 1699 “Lady Tennant” Antonio Stradivari on extended loan through the generosity of the Mary B. Galvin Foundation and the efforts of the Stradivari Society, a division of Bein and Fushi, Inc.
Violinist Alexander Sitkovetsky was born in Moscow into a family with a well-established musical tradition. His concerto debut came at the age of eight and in the same year he moved to the UK to study at the Menuhin School. Last season he debuted at Vienna’s Musikverein with the Tonkünstler Orchester, made return visits to Anima Musicae Budapest and Russian Philharmonic Novosibirsk and appeared with the Sitkovetsky Trio at festivals throughout Spain, Finland, Denmark, Switzerland, and Germany. Recent concerto performances include appearances with the Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra, Tokyo Symphony Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Konzerthaus Orchester Berlin, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra, Tokyo Symphony Orchestra, Moscow and St Petersburg Symphony Orchestras, Orquesta Filarmónica de Bolivia, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, London Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Philharmonia Orchestra. He directs and performs as a soloist regularly with chamber orchestras, including the Australian Chamber Orchestra, Norwegian Chamber Orchestra, Amsterdam Sinfonietta, London Mozart Players, New York Chamber Players, Camerata Zurich, and most recently with the Romanian Sinfonietta. He is a founding member of the Sitkovetsky Trio, which regularly performs throughout Europe, Asia, and the Americas. The trio’s fourth disc for BIS Records, Ravel’s Piano Trio and Saint-Saëns’s Second Trio, was released to great critical acclaim in July 2021. Sitkovetsky is an alum of CMS’s Bowers Program and plays the 1679 ‘Parera’ Antonio Stradivari violin, kindly loaned to him through the Beare’s International Violin Society by a generous sponsor.
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.
Rising star of the cello Jonathan Swensen is the recipient of an Avery Fisher Career Grant and was featured as “One to Watch” in Gramophone Magazine upon the release of his debut recording Fantasia, an album of works for solo cello which received rave reviews on its release. Jonathan fell in love with the cello upon hearing the Elgar Concerto at the age of six, and ultimately made his concerto debut performing that very piece with Portugal’s Orquestra Sinfónica do Porto Casa da Música. He has performed with the Philharmonia Orchestra, Orquesta Ciudad de Granada, Copenhagen Philharmonic, Mobile Symphony, Greenville Symphony, and the Aarhus, Odense, and Iceland symphonies. He made his critically acclaimed recital debuts at the Kennedy Center’s Terrace Theater and New York’s Merkin Concert Hall, with additional performances in Boston’s Jordan Hall, the Morgan Library and Museum, and the Krannert Center. He is a frequent performer of chamber music in the US and Europe, appearing at the Tivoli Festival, Copenhagen Summer Festival, Chamberfest Cleveland, Krzyżowa-Music, Vancouver Recital Society, and San Francisco Performance, among others. He has captured first prizes at the Windsor International String Competition, Khachaturian International Cello Competition, and the Young Concert Artists International Auditions. In 2024, he begins his tenure as a member of CMS’s Bowers Program. A graduate of the Royal Danish Academy of Music, Swensen continued his studies with Torleif Thedéen at the Norwegian Academy of Music in Oslo and Laurence Lesser at New England Conservatory, where he receives his Artist Diploma in May 2023.