Apollon Musagète Quartet
Friday, October 7, 2022 | 7:30pm
Herbst TheatreVenue Information
About This Performance
Since his triumph as winner of the 1970 Chopin International Piano Competition, pianist Garrick Ohlsson has consistently proven himself worldwide as a musician of magisterial interpretive and technical prowess. “The young and extremely talented Polish Apollon Musagète Quartet” (Bachtrack.com) is taking the international music scene by storm.
THE SHENSON PIANO SERIES
BACH: The Art of Fugue, Nos. 1, 4 and 9
DVOŘÁK: Quartet in E-flat Major, Op. 51
SHOSTAKOVICH: Quintet, Op. 57
Dr. Daniel J. Fourrier Jr., Sponsor
Since his triumph as winner of the 1970 Chopin International Piano Competition, pianist Garrick Ohlsson has established himself worldwide as a musician of magisterial interpretive and technical prowess. Although long regarded as one of the world’s leading exponents of the music of Frédéric Chopin, Mr. Ohlsson commands an enormous repertoire, which ranges over the entire piano literature. A student of the late Claudio Arrau, Mr. Ohlsson has come to be noted for his masterly performances of the works of Mozart, Beethoven, and Schubert, as well as the Romantic repertoire. To date he has at his command more than 80 concertos, ranging from Haydn and Mozart to works of the 21st century, many commissioned for him. In the 2018–19 season he launched an ambitious project spread over multiple seasons exploring the complete solo piano works of Brahms in four programs to be heard in New York, San Francisco, Montreal, Los Angeles, London and a number of cities across North America. In concerto repertoire ranging from Mozart and Beethoven to Brahms and Barber, he returned to the Nashville, Oregon, Dallas Symphonies, Washington Kennedy Center with Melbourne Symphony and internationally with orchestras in Seoul, Helsinki, Zagreb, Tallinn, Manchester and London.
A frequent guest with the orchestras in Australia, Mr. Ohlsson has recently visited Perth, Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide and Hobart as well as the New Zealand Symphony in Wellington and Auckland. In February 2020 he accomplished a seven city recital tour across Australia just prior to the closure of the concert world due to Covid-19. An avid chamber musician, Mr. Ohlsson has collaborated with the Cleveland, Emerson, Tokyo and Takács string quartets, including most recently Boston Chamber Players on tour in Europe. Together with violinist Jorja Fleezanis and cellist Michael Grebanier, he is a founding member of the San Francisco-based FOG Trio. Passionate about singing and singers, Mr. Ohlsson has appeared in recital with such legendary artists as Magda Olivero, Jessye Norman, and Ewa Podleś.
Mr. Ohlsson’s ten-disc set of the complete Beethoven Sonatas, for Bridge Records, has garnered critical acclaim, including a Grammy® for Vol. 3. His recording of Rachmaninoff’s Concerto No. 3, with the Atlanta Symphony and Robert Spano, was released in 2011. His 16-disc set of the Complete Works of Chopin was re-released in 2008, followed in 2010 by the all-Brahms piano variations, Goyescas, by Enrique Granados, and music of Charles Tomlinson Griffes. The latest CDs in his ongoing association with Bridge Records are the Complete Scriabin Sonatas, Close Connections, a recital of 20th-Century pieces, and two CDs of works by Liszt.
In recognition of the Chopin bicentenary in 2010, Mr. Ohlsson was featured in a documentary The Art of Chopin, co-produced by Polish, French, British and Chinese television stations. Most recently, both Brahms concerti and Tchaikovsky's second piano concerto were released on live performance recordings with the Melbourne and Sydney Symphonies, and Mr. Ohlsson was featured on Dvorak's piano concerto in the Czech Philharmonic's recordings of the composer's complete symphonies & concertos.
A native of White Plains, N.Y., Garrick Ohlsson began his piano studies at the age of 8, at the Westchester Conservatory of Music; at 13 he entered The Juilliard School, in New York City. His musical development has been influenced in completely different ways by a succession of distinguished teachers, most notably Claudio Arrau, Olga Barabini, Tom Lishman, Sascha Gorodnitzki, Rosina Lhévinne and Irma Wolpe. Although he won First Prizes at the 1966 Busoni Competition in Italy and the 1968 Montréal Piano Competition, it was his 1970 triumph at the International Chopin Competition in Warsaw, where he won the Gold Medal (and remains the single American to have done so), that brought him worldwide recognition as one of the finest pianists of his generation. Since then he has made nearly a dozen tours of Poland, where he retains immense personal popularity. Mr. Ohlsson was awarded the Avery Fisher Prize in 1994 and received the 1998 University Musical Society Distinguished Artist Award in Ann Arbor, MI. He is the 2014 recipient of the Jean Gimbel Lane Prize in Piano Performance from the Northwestern University Bienen School of Music, and in August 2018 the Polish Deputy Culture Minister awarded him with the Gloria Artis Gold Medal for cultural merit. He is a Steinway Artist and makes his home in San Francisco.
Winner of first prize and several other awards at the International Music Competition of the ARD in 2008, Apollon Musagète Quartet has rapidly become an established feature of the European musical scene, captivating public and press alike. The quartet studied with Johannes Meissl at the European Chamber Music Academy and was inspired by the musicians of the Alban Berg Quartet at the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna.
The quartet was nominated ECHO Rising Stars 2010, followed by highly successful performances at prestigious European venues. It was also named BBC New Generation Artist in 2012, leading to extensive touring in the UK and a number of recordings for the BBC. In 2014 the musicians received the Borletti-Buitoni Trust Award.
Recent engagements have taken the quartet to the Auditori Barcelona, Konzerthaus and Philharmonie Berlin, Edinburgh International Festival, the Chopin and his Europe Festival in Warsaw, Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, Gewandhaus Leipzig, Wigmore Hall London, Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Carnegie Hall New York, Louvre Paris, Schwetzinger SWR Festspiele and to the Tonhalle Zurich.
Apollon Musagète Quartet collaborates with renowned chamber musicians such as Martin Fröst, Nils Mönkemeyer, István Várdai and Jörg Widmann. They appeared in several symphonic series with BBC National Orchestra of Wales, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Dresden Philharmonic and Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra in Katowice.
They welcome collaborations that integrate chamber music into other performing art forms and were part of projects such as a staged concert by the Berlin based performance group Nico and the Navigators, a ballet production at the National Theatre in Nuremberg and a world tour with the pop singer Tori Amos. Their own compositions Multitude for String Quartet and A Multitude of Shades, both published by the Viennese publisher Doblinger, are often included in the quartet’s concert repertoire.
Since the debut CD by Oehms Classics in 2010 followed by recordings for the labels such as Decca Classics and Deutsche Grammophon, their discography has grown extensively. In 2018 a disc containing quartets by Andrzej Panufnik was released by the Fryderyk-Chopin-Institute and subsequently the latest recording with works by Karol Szymanowski and Roman Palester by Universal Poland.