Alexander String Quartet To Perform with Alec Chien

The Alexander String Quartet with guest artist Alec Chien will perform a free concert at 7:30 p.m. on AlexanderStringQuartetThursday, March 27 in Ford Chapel at Allegheny College.

The ASQ will play Beethoven’s String Quartet No. 6 in B-flat major, Op. 18, No. 6 and String Quartet No. 16 in F major, Op. 135. Chien will join the quartet for Dvorak’s Quintet for Piano and Strings in A major, Op. 81.

Members of the quartet are violinists Zakarias Grafilo and Frederick Lifsitz, violist Paul Yarbrough and cellist Sandy Wilson.

The ASQ has performed in major music capitals on five continents, securing its standing among the world’s premier ensembles over three decades. Widely admired for its interpretations of Beethoven, Mozart and Shostakovich, the quartet has also established itself as an important advocate of new music through over 25 commissions and numerous premiere performances.

The New York Times describes the quartet as “an unusually fine group –musically, technically, in just about any way one wants to view it.” The Boston Globe hails their “dream-come-true performances.”

Interdisciplinary residencies for institutions of higher learning and their communities have earned the ensemble international renown for contributions to education and audience development. During its annual residency at Allegheny, the quartet will visit classes across the academic disciplines, including classes not only in music but also in psychology, communication arts, English, biology and philosophy.

The Alexander String Quartet is a major artistic presence in its home base of San Francisco, serving there as directors of the Morrison Chamber Music Center in the College of Liberal and Creative Arts at San Francisco State University and Ensemble in Residence of San Francisco Performances.

The Alexander String Quartet was formed in New York City in 1981 and the following year became the first string quartet to win the Concert Artists Guild Competition. In 1985, the quartet captured international attention as the first American quartet to win the London International String Quartet Competition, receiving both the jury’s highest award and the Audience Prize.

Alec-Chien-cropAlec Chien received his bachelor’s, master’s and doctor of musical arts degrees from the Juilliard School of Music, where he studied under Adele Marcus. Grand Prize Winner of the Gina Bachauer International Piano Competition and prize winner of the Sydney International Piano Competition, the Paloma O’Shea International Piano Competition and the Affiliate Artists Xerox Piano Program, he has performed in solo and chamber recitals and as soloist with orchestras on four continents.

Among the major symphony orchestras that have featured him as soloist are the Philadelphia Orchestra, Pittsburgh Symphony, St. Louis Symphony, Utah Symphony, Atlanta Symphony, Buffalo Philharmonic, New Zealand Symphony, American Symphony and Hong Kong Philharmonic.

In 1988 Chien was one of 25 Steinway artists to perform at the gala concert at Carnegie Hall in New York City to celebrate the piano company’s 135th anniversary as well as its 500,000th piano.

In 2011 Chien began an eight-concert series focusing on the major works of Franz Schubert and Frederic Chopin. Chien is giving two concerts each academic year, in September and in March, with the final concert offered in 2015, when Allegheny will celebrate its bicentennial.

 

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