The American String Project 2011 Festival: Classical Music Stripped Down to Just the Strings
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The last date listed for The American String Project 2011 Festival was Sunday May 15, 2011 / 2:00pm.
Currently at Benaroya Hall, Illsley Ball Nordstrom Recital Hall:
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Legendary jazz saxophonist, Tony-nominated composer and three-time Grammy winner Branford Marsalis brings his Quartet to Seattle. Born in New Orleans to one of the most famous families in jazz, Branford attracted attention as a member of Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers and his brother Wynton's quintet before emerging as a top-flight bandleader in the mid-'80s. He was the musical director of the Tonight Show for two years in the 1990s, and has collaborated with musicians ranging from Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, Herbie Hancock and Sonny Rollins to Sting, the Grateful Dead and Bruce Hornsby. Learn More
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Quotes & Highlights
Read an article in The Seattle Times about the festival.
Thursday, May 12 at 7:30pm:
Johannes Brahms: String Quartet, Opus 67 in B-flat Major (lead by Stephanie Chase)
Antonín Dvořák: Serenade for Strings in E Major (led by Andres Cardenes)
Saturday, May 14 at 7:30pm:
Edvard Grieg: From Holberg’s Time Opus 40 for String Orchestra (led by Emmanuelle Boisvert)
Dmitri Shostakovich: String Quartet No. 3, Opus 73 (lead by Joan Blackman)
Sunday, May 15 at 2:00pm:
Franz Joseph Haydn: String Quartet, Opus 76, No. 2 (This is the first piece ever performed by TASP, led by Maria Larionoff.)
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky: String Quartet No. 3 in E-flat minor, Opus 30 (led by Jorja Fleezanis)
*The 2011 TASP Musicians:
Joan Blackman – made in Milan Italy by Carlo Ferdinando Landolfi (c. 1714 – 1787). Purchased from from a concertmaster in Quebec, Canada who owned it for 20+ years. Her violin came equipped with over a dozen custom-made bridges to accommodate the extreme temperature/weather changes in Canada.
Andres Cardenes – made in Mantua Italy by Petrus Guarnerius (c. 1719). It was once owned by the Hungarian virtuoso Josef Szigeti (1892-1973) and Andres bought it from a collector, reluctant to sell, who died four months after the purchase – Fate!
Stephanie Chase – made in Venice Italy by Petrus Guarnerius (c. 1742). It belonged to Stephanie’s mother who described her first encounter with the violin in a Chicago violin shop in the mid-1940’s as “love at first hearing.” Stephanie began playing on it at age eleven and purchased it from her when she was about 22 years old. In 1992 Stephanie took the violin to Venice for its 250th anniversary. She walked up and down the Calle dei Stagneri, the site of its “birth.” Because she did not know the exact building where Pietro worked, she hoped the violin would act as a divining rod and point to the precise building — this did not happen.
Maria Larionoff – made by Giovanni Battista Guadagnini (c. 1775) and previously owned by Edith Lorand, a famous Hungarian violinist who led her own orchestra. It is currently on loan from the family of Dr. Benum W Fox of Chicago.
and Harumi Rhodes, Timothy Garland, Yoko Fujita, Jorja Fleezanis, Emmanuelle Boisvert
*Steve Wyrczynski *– made in Turin Italy by Giovanni Baptista Genova (c. 1770). It was previously owned by the long serving Assistant Principal Violist William Schoen of the Chicago Symphony from whom Wyrczynski bought it directly. It is an unusual instrument since it is still the original size which is 17 inches. Many large tenor violas were cut down to make them smaller during the 19th and 20th centuries. It was featured in a two-page spread containing photos and an article in Strad magazine in July 2005 titled “The Tenor Giant.”
and David Harding, Thomas Turner
Stephen Balderston – made in Paris by Claude Victor Rambaux (c. 1840). It was previously owned by Daniel Hofmekler, who played in the Berlin Philharmonic under Wilhelm Furtwangler. Most likely due to the strong anti-semetic pressures of the times, he left the orchestra in 1933, emigrated to Palestine, became Principal Cello of the Palestine Symphony Orchestra and, later, principal of the Israel Philharmonic. The cello made its way to America in the 1990s, most likely through a London auction. Stephen purchased it in Chicago and currently uses an endpin made of hollow aircraft titanium for enhanced resonance.
Second cellist TBD
Barry Lieberman – made in Breccia Italy by Giovanni Paulo Maggini (c. 1597). It is one of the oldest instruments currently in use in the world. It was previously owned by his friend and teacher Stuart Knussen who was the Principal Bass of the London Symphony for 30+ years. It was originally much larger than it is today and was reduced in size by another famous instrument maker, Simon Fendt around 1800. It therefore appears to be an “English” shape as opposed to Italian. Barry owns several bows all made by Reid Hudson of Victoria, Canada. His favorite bow is mounted in gold with an ivory frog.