(WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass.) – The Ying Quartet kicks off The Clark’s popular chamber music series on Tuesday, July 31, 2012, at at 8 pm. Four internationally acclaimed chamber groups will be performing in The Clark’s auditorium, on subsequent Tuesdays at 8, including the Hermitage Piano Trio, the Carpe Diem String Quartet, and the Shanghai Quartet. Concert tickets are $25 ($20 for Clark members and students) and may be purchased online at The Clark or by calling 413 458 0524.
The Ying Quartet will perform Mozart’s String Quartet in E-flat Major, K.428; Musical Dim Sum (featuring Zhou Long’s “Song of the Ch’in,” Vivian Fung’s “Pizzicato for String Quartet,” and Lei Liang’s “Gobi Gloria”); and Debussy’s String Quartet in G Minor.
Now in its second decade, the Ying Quartet has established itself as an ensemble of the highest musical caliber in its tours across the United States and abroad. The group performs in many of the world’s most renowned concert halls, from Carnegie Hall to the Sydney Opera House. As quartet-in-residence at the Eastman School of Music, the Ying String Quartet teaches in the string department and leads a rigorous chamber music program.
On Tuesday, August 7, 2012, the Hermitage Piano Trio will perform Haydn’s Piano Trio in F Major, Hob XV:2; Arensky’s Trio No. 1 in D Minor, Opus 32; and Tchaikovsky’s Trio in A Minor, Opus 50. Named after the landmark museum in their native Russia and descending from the great Russian musical tradition, the Hermitage Piano Trio is a rarity in the chamber music world: an ensemble made up of three musicians who are each noted soloists in their own right.
On Tuesday, August 14, 2012, the Carpe Diem String Quartet will perform Mendelssohn’s String Quartet Opus 80 as their traditional work. In celebration of The Clark’s Unearthed exhibition, Carpe Diem will be joined by award-winning pipa player Yihan Chen in a performance of “Five Seasons” by contemporary Chinese composer Lei Liang, who has been awarded both a Guggenheim Fellowship and an Aaron Copland Award.
Rounding out their program, the quartet will perform “Fiddle Suite Montana” by Korine Fujiwara, the quartet’s violist. One of the most versatile quartets of its generation, the Carpe Diem String Quartet has captured the imagination of audiences and critics alike and earned critical acclaim with innovative programming and electrifying performances. Their musical passions have inspired them to explore gypsy, tango, folk, pop, rock, and jazz music, in addition to the traditional string quartet repertoire.
Concluding The Clark’s summer chamber music series, on Tuesday, August 21, 2012, the Shanghai Quartet will perform Mozart’s “Hunt” Quartet in B-Flat Major and Smetana’s “From My Life” Quartet as the featured Western works in the concert. In celebration of The Clark’s Unearthed exhibition, they will perform selections from ChinaSong, the quartet’s most popular CD, issued in 2003, a collection of Chinese folk songs arranged for string quartet by Yi-Wen Jiang, second violinist of the quartet.
Hailed by The Strad as “a foursome of uncommon refinement and musical distinction,” the Shanghai String Quartet is renowned for its passionate musicality, impressive technique, and multicultural innovations. The group has become one of the world’s foremost chamber ensembles; its elegant style melds the delicacy of Eastern music with the emotional breadth of Western repertoire, allowing it to traverse musical genres from traditional Chinese folk music and masterpieces of Western music to cutting-edge contemporary works.
Prior to each concert in this series, the galleries will remain open until 6 pm and a delicious three-course fixed-price dinner will be served in the Clark’s Café at 6 pm. Dinner tickets are $27 per person (does not include beverage, tax, or gratuity); space is limited and reservations are required. For dinner reservations, call 413 458 0524.