(GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass.) – The adventurous Momenta Quartet will perform works by Charles Ives and Tan Dun at Simon’s Rock College as part of the South Berkshire Concerts series on Saturday, February 28 at 8pm in the McConnell Auditorium of the Daniel Arts Center. The program will include the Second String Quartet of Charles Ives followed by “Ghost Opera,” a theatrical work for quartet and pipa, a Chinese lute, composed by Tan Dun, perhaps China’s best known living composer. The quartet will be joined in this performance by pipa virtuoso Zhou Yi.
A pre-concert conversation with the performers in the Liebowitz Black Box Theater at 6:45 pm will give concertgoers the opportunity to hear a discussion of the works beforehand.
Praised by the Washington Post for providing “an extraordinary musical experience” and by the New York Times for its “diligence, curiosity and excellence,” the Momenta Quartet is celebrated for its innovative programming, juxtaposing contemporary works from widely divergent aesthetics with great music from the past. Momenta has premiered over 80 works and collaborated with over 100 living composers while maintaining a deep commitment to the classical canon. The New Yorker writer Alex Ross praised the quartet: “few American players assume Haydn’s idiom with such ease.”
Lauded by the New York Times as a “brilliant soloist” and by France’s ClassiqueInfo for her “excellent technical mastery” and “undeniable sensitivity”, Emilie-Anne Gendron enjoys an active freelance career based in New York. A deeply committed chamber musician, Ms. Gendron is a core member and frequent leader of the Sejong Soloists; a member of the Toomai String Quintet; and on the roster of the Marlboro Music Festival and the touring Musicians From Marlboro. Ms. Gendron is a past winner of the Stulberg String Competition and took 2nd Prize and the Audience Prize at the 2009 Sion-Valais International Violin Competition. She was trained at the Juilliard School where her teachers were Won-Bin Yim, Dorothy DeLay, David Chan, and Hyo Kang. She holds the Artist Diploma and Master of Music degree from Juilliard, as well as a B.A. in Classics from Columbia as a graduate of the Columbia-Juilliard joint-degree program. www.emilieannegendron.com
Violinist Adda Kridler, lauded in the Miami Herald for her “incisive energy and lovely tone,” debuted with the Knox County Symphony at age seven. An Ohio native based in New York, she completed her Masters of Music at the New England Conservatory after graduating cum laude from Harvard University. Ms. Kridler serves as concertmaster of several groups, including Miami’s Firebird Chamber Orchestra and CounterPoint in Washington, DC. An avid teacher, she has served as Visiting Professor of Violin at Ball State University. She has recorded for Seraphic Fire, Mapleshade, Mode and Naxos Records. Ms. Kridler performs with Project 440, a non-profit organization presenting classical music to children and adults throughout the east coast. She has made solo appearances with the Charleston Symphony and the Firebird Chamber Orchestra, and at Charlotte Chamber Music Series and the Piccolo Spoleto Festival.
Acclaimed by the New York Times for her “fiery, full-throttle performance” and described as “enthralling” by the Los Angeles Times, violist Stephanie Griffin has performed internationally as a soloist, chamber and avant-jazz musician. As a soloist, she has worked closely with numerous composers, among them Tony Prabowo; Kee Yong Chong; Matthew Greenbaum; Arthur Kampela; Ursula Mamlok and Tristan Murail. Ms. Griffin is a regular guest with Continuum, and member of the Argento Chamber Ensemble, the Riverside Symphony and the Princeton Symphony, where she serves as principal violist. As an improviser, she was a 2014 fellow at Music Omi, and is a member of Carl Maguire’s Floriculture, Gordon Beeferman’s Other Life Forms, Hans Tammen’s Third Eye Orchestra, Adam Rudolph’s Go: Organic Orchestra and the composer/improviser collective the Brooklyn Infinity Orchestra. Ms. Griffin has recorded for Firehouse 12, Aeon, Albany, Koch, Arte Nova, Centaur and Siam Records. She studied viola with William Gordon, Paul DeClerck, Wayne Brooks and Samuel Rhodes and holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from The Juilliard School. She serves on the viola faculty at Brooklyn College.
Michael Haas is a sought-after chamber musician, performing in New York City and around the world. In a recent performance his playing was noted as “refined and attractive” by the New York Times. He has recently appeared performing chamber music at Alice Tully Hall, the Kennedy Center, and as a guest at the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society. He is also a member of the New Haven Symphony, and performs regularly with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s and the Princeton Symphony. Mr. Haas holds degrees from the Curtis Institute of Music and the Juilliard School studying with David Soyer, Peter Wiley, Joel Krosnick, and Darrett Adkins. He has taught at the CUNY Bronx Community College, and given masterclasses at Williams College, the University of Hawaii and Manoa, and at the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music as faculty at the Accent12 Festival.
As a concert soloist, Zhou Yi has toured Europe, Asia and North America. Her performances include Young People’s Concert with the New York Philharmonic, Tan Dun’s Concerto for Pipa and String Orchestra at the Gewandhaus in Leipzig Germany, Bun-Ching Lam’s Pipa Concerto “Song of the Pipa” with the New York Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra, and “Sisters of the Grassland” with the Ohio Youngstown Symphony Orchestra.
Tan Dun won an Academy Award for his score to Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and his opera The First Emperor was performed at the Metropolitan Opera. “Ghost Opera” is a five-movement work for string quartet and pipa with water, metal, stones, and paper. The composer describes this work as a reflection on human spirituality, which is too often buried in the bombardment of urban culture and the rapid advances of technology. It is a cross-temporal, cross-cultural, and cross-media dialogue that touches on the past, present, future, and the eternal; employs elements from Chinese, Tibetan, English, and American cultures; and combines performance traditions of the European classical concert, Chinese shadow puppet theater, visual art installations, folk music, dramatic theater, and shamanistic ritual.
The concert is open to the public with a suggested donation of $10. For more information call 413-528-7212.