Tuesday, November 9, 2021 | 7:30pm
Herbst TheatreVenue InformationSan Francisco
About This Performance
“Few young American ensembles are as exciting and accomplished as the Dover Quartet,” asserts The New Yorker. Its youthful vitality and fresh sound are rooted in the artistic heritages of the Guarneri, Cleveland and Vermeer Quartets and yet, the Dover has an instantly recognizable sound and style all its own. Davóne Tines’ artistry stands at the intersection of cultures, history and aesthetics, where he brings together opera, spirituals, gospel and anthems to tell deeply personal and powerfully universal stories of perseverance and human connection. “Davóne Tines embodies the evolving, divided soul of Black America” (New York Times).
THE SHENSON CHAMBER SERIES
ZEMLINSKY: Quartet No. 1 in A Major, Op. 4
BARBER: Dover Beach, Op. 3
CAROLINE SHAW: By and By
BRAHMS: Quartet in A minor, Op. 51, No. 2
Hailed as “the next Guarneri Quartet” (Chicago Tribune) and “the young American string quartet of the moment,” (New Yorker), the Dover Quartet catapulted to international stardom in 2013, following a stunning sweep of all prizes at the Banff Competition and has since become one of the most in-demand ensembles in the world. In addition to its faculty role as the inaugural Penelope P. Watkins Ensemble in Residence at the Curtis Institute of Music, the Dover Quartet holds residencies with the Kennedy Center, Bienen School of Music at Northwestern University, Artosphere, and the Amelia Island Chamber Music Festival. Among the group’s honors are the Avery Fisher Career Grant, Chamber Music America’s Cleveland Quartet Award, and Lincoln Center’s Hunt Family Award. The Dover Quartet has won grand and first prizes at the Fischoff Chamber Music Competition and fourth prize at the Wigmore Hall International String Quartet Competition.
In the 2020–21 season, the Dover Quartet debuts with Berkeley’s Cal Performances and embarks on its first-ever tour of Latin America, both of which will be conducted using virtual technology. Tour performances include collaborations with the Escher Quartet and harpist Bridget Kibbey. The quartet’s first volume of the complete Beethoven string quartet cycle, which focuses on the composer’s Op. 18 quartets, was released by Cedille Records in September 2020.
Among its many notable performances in 2019–20, the Dover Quartet made its Zankel Hall debut in collaboration with Emanuel Ax and returned to London’s Wigmore Hall. Other recent collaborators include Inon Barnaton, Ray Chen, Edgar Meyer, Anthony McGill, the late Peter Serkin, and Roomful of Teeth. Equally comfortable with repertoire from a range of eras, the quartet has worked with some of the world’s foremost living composers, including Caroline Shaw and Mason Bates.
Cedille Records released the Dover Quartet’s Voices of Defiance: 1943, 1944, 1945 in October 2017; and an all-Mozart debut recording in the 2016–17 season, featuring the late Michael Tree, violist of the Guarneri Quartet. Voices of Defiance, which explores works written during World War II by Viktor Ullman, Dmitri Shostakovich, and Simon Laks, was lauded upon its release as “undoubtedly one of the most compelling discs released this year” (Wall Street Journal).
The Dover Quartet draws from the lineage of the distinguished Guarneri, Cleveland, and Vermeer quartets. Its members studied at the Curtis Institute of Music and Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music, where they were mentored extensively by Shmuel Ashkenasi, James Dunham, Norman Fischer, Kenneth Goldsmith, Joseph Silverstein, Arnold Steinhardt, Michael Tree, and Peter Wiley. It was at Curtis that the Dover Quartet formed, and its name pays tribute to Dover Beach by fellow Curtis alumnus Samuel Barber.
The Dover Quartet is the Penelope P. Watkins Ensemble in Residence at Curtis. Their faculty residency integrates teaching and mentorship, a robust international performance career, and a cutting-edge digital presence. With this innovative residency, Curtis reinvigorates its tradition of maintaining a top professional string quartet on its faculty, while providing resources for the ensemble to experiment with new technologies and engage audiences through digital means. Working closely with students in the Nina von Maltzahn String Quartet Program, the resident ensemble will recruit the most promising young string quartets and foster their development in order to nurture a new generation of leading professional chamber ensembles.
Heralded as “a singer of immense power and fervor” by The Los Angeles Times, Davóne Tines came to international attention during 2015–16 in breakout performances at the Dutch National Opera premiere of Kaija Saariaho’s Only the Sound Remains directed by Peter Sellars and at the Ojai Music Festival presenting works by Caroline Shaw and Kaija Saariaho with the Calder Quartet and the International Contemporary Ensemble.
Highlights of the present season include the European premiere of David Lang’s prisoner of the state with Ilan Volkov conducting the BBC Symphony, Schumann’s Das Paradies und die Peri with Louis Langrée and the Cincinnati Symphony, John Adams’ El Niño with David Robertson and the Houston Symphony, and Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with Stéphane Denève and the Saint Louis Symphony. Davóne Tines appears throughout the season on numerous concert stages in collaboration with The Dover Quartet and is presented by Carnegie Hall, Celebrity Series of Boston, Da Camera Society of Houston, and Vocal Arts DC in his first American recital tour with pianist Adam Nielsen.
Davóne Tines was co-creator with Zack Winokur and composer Michael Schachter, as well as co-librettist of The Black Clown, a music theater experience inspired by Langston Hughes’ poem of the same name that animates a black man’s resilience against America’s legacy of oppression by fusing vaudeville, opera, jazz, and spirituals to bring Hughes’ verse to life onstage. The world premiere was given by the American Repertory Theater in 2018 and presented by Lincoln Center in summer 2019. In his review of The Black Clown, Ben Brantley of The New York Times wrote, “this rich, seamless production melds the past and present of African-American history into an electrifyingly ambivalent whole…An estimable opera singer, Mr. Tines has a depths-plumbing bass-baritone that can find a range of contradictions within a single note. And his body and face match that voice in their expressiveness.”
As a founding core member of the American Modern Opera Company, Davóne Tines has been featured in a wide array of productions including Henze’s El Cimarrón and John Adams’ Nativity Reconsidered, both presented by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and in the original work Were You There with music by Matthew Aucoin and Michael Schachter.
In summer 2019, Davóne Tines made his Opera Theatre of Saint Louis debut in the world premiere of Terence Blanchard and Kasi Lemmons’ Fire Shut Up In My Bones based on the memoir of the American journalist, commentator, and New York Times op-ed columnist Charles M. Blow. John Adams and Peter Sellars’ Girls of the Golden West was the platform for Davóne Tines’ San Francisco Opera debut, and the work was later given its European premiere by Dutch National Opera. He has appeared at the Opéra national de Paris, Teatro Real, and Finnish National Opera in Kaija Saariaho’s Only the Sound Remains directed by Peter Sellars; and made his Brooklyn Academy of Music debut in Matthew Aucoin’s Crossing in a production by multi Tony Award-winning director Diane Paulus. Additional highlights include a new production of Oedipus Rex at Lisbon’s Teatro Nacional de São Carlos led by Leo Hussain, and Handel’s rarely staged serenata, Aci, Galatea, e Polifemo at National Sawdust in a new production by Christopher Alden that examined parallels between an 18th century telling of Ovid’s mythological tale and our own contemporary aesthetic driven by power, class, race, and the cruelty of thwarted desire.
Davóne Tines’ concert appearances include performances of John Adams’ El Niño with Vladimir Jurowski conducting the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, Kaija Saariaho’s True Fire with the Orchestre national de France, Stravinsky’s Oedipus Rex with Esa-Pekka Salonen and the Royal Swedish Orchestra, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with Michael Tilson Thomas leading the San Francisco Symphony and with Pablo Res Broseta and the Seattle Symphony, and a program exposing the Music of Resistance by George Crumb, Julius Eastman, Dmitri Shostakovich, and Caroline Shaw with conductor Christian Reif and members of the San Francisco Symphony at SoundBox.
Davóne Tines is a winner of the 2020 Sphinx Medal of Excellence, recognizing extraordinary classical musicians of color who, early in their career, demonstrate artistic excellence, outstanding work ethic, a spirit of determination, and an ongoing commitment to leadership and their communities. He also is the recipient of the 2018 Emerging Artists Award given by Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts and is a graduate of Harvard University and The Juilliard School.