The Chiara Quartet is Gregory Beaver, cello; Julie Yoon, violin; Jonah Sirota, viola; Rebecca Fischer, violin is forging a new path for the string quartet medium. In the concert hall and in more intimate galleries and clubs, the Chiara transforms the audience experience from mere listening to active engagement with the music. The group presents thrilling contemporary works-through their club tours and New Voice Singles recordings-to a growing circle of newcomers and committed chamber music fans alike, while exploring more established repertoire with fresh ears. Praised for a "marvelously dramatic," "no-holds-barred" approach (Philadelphia Inquirer; The Strad) paired with a "warm, integrated sound" (New York Times), they are known as four unique and strong voices that combine into a powerful whole. The Chiara Quartet is essential listening.
The Quartet's busy concert schedule has taken them to Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall, Carnegie Hall's Weill Recital Hall, the American Academy in Rome, Philadelphia's Kimmel Center, and Harris Hall in Aspen, Colorado. They have premiered award-winning works by Gabriela Lena Frank, Jefferson Friedman, and Nico Muhly, among others, and have released world premiere recordings of new masterworks on their New Voice Singles label, including Robert Sirota's Triptych and Gabriela Lena Frank's Leyendas: An Andean Walkabout. Recent collaborators include Dawn Upshaw, Arnaldo Cohen, Simone Dinnerstein, Norman Fischer, Paul Katz, and James Tocco, as well as members of the Orion, Ying, Cavani, and Pacifica Quartets. In addition, they have special projects with jazz bassist Benjamin Wolfe, choreographer Brian Reeder, and clarinetist Hokan Rosengren, with whom they have recorded the Mozart and Brahms Quintets for Round Top Records.
In January 2007, the Chiara Quartet will present Mestizaje: Harmony of Differences at Merkin Hall in New York. This program, including Leyendas and Zhou Long's Song of the Ch'in, features composers who have chosen to compose in and between two cultures, creating languages entirely their own. Also in 2007, the Quartet will introduce Love, Life, and Spirit: The Chiara Quartet and Friends Celebrate the Music of Brahms, a collaboration between the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln Friends of Chamber Music, and the Lied Center for the Performing Arts. The series presents Brahms' three string quartets paired with collaborative works, featuring Grammy Award-winning violist Roger Tapping. Outside of the concert hall, the Chiara plays in clubs and alternate venues, pairing new audiences with their progressive approach and unique musical programming, and changing the face of classical music.
The Chiara Quartet was recently awarded the Guarneri Quartet Residency Award for artistic excellence by Chamber Music America. They are only the second group to receive this honor. Other awards include a top prize at the Paolo Borciani International Competition, winning the Astral Artistic Services Audition-which brought tremendous assistance in career development, and winning First Prize at the Fischoff Chamber Music Competition.
The Chiara trained at The Juilliard School, mentoring for two years with the Juilliard Quartet as recipients of the Lisa Arnhold Quartet Residency, at the Yellow Barn Music School and Festival, and at the Aspen Music Festival, working with some of the most inspiring luminaries in the chamber music world. At Juilliard, they studied audience engagement with Eric Booth, an early Lincoln Center Institute member and a master of aesthetic education. As mentors themselves, they have taught at Juilliard, Chamber Music of the Rockies, and the Greenwood Music Camp. In 2005, the Quartet founded the Red River Chamber Music Festival, a summer study and performance festival in Grand Forks, North Dakota. Currently, the Quartet is developing a groundbreaking program in music entrepreneurship at the School of Music of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where they accepted a newly-created post as artists-in-residence in 2005.
Throughout their career, the Chiara Quartet has intentionally blurred the boundary between performance and outreach. It is their firm belief that transcendent live performance is the best way to connect people to music. In the words of Tim Smith of the Baltimore Sun, "this award-winning foursome clearly has what it takes to make a lasting mark in the chamber
Chiara in Italian, means "clear,
pure, or light."
Visit the Chiara Quartet online at chiaraquartet.net and at myspace.com/chiarastringquartet.
The L.A. Times called The Chiara Sting Quartet's Leyendas, "a luminous work that translates Andean folk music to the string quartet medium. Gabriela Frank string writing is exceptionally smooth and idiomatic yet that in its imitation of indigenous instruments bursts with color and fresh individuality."
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Crossover Media Projects with: The Chiara String Quartet