Award winning ensemble offers three Cape Cod concerts
Celebrity chamber music ensemble Escher String Quartet arrives for a week-long residency on Cape Cod in August, filling the final days of Cape Cod Chamber Music Festival’s (CCCMF) 37th season with three diverse concert programs. The performances feature the Festival’s two artistic directors as instrumental guests, both celebrating the 10th anniversary serving CCCMF. Escher Residency and Nakamatsu is presented on Monday, August 22 at 7:30 pm at the Church of the Holy Spirit, 204 Monument Road, Orleans. Escher Residency and Manasse on Wednesday, August 24, 7:30 pm is held at Chatham Congregational Church, 650 Main Street. The season comes to a brilliant close with Escher Residency and Symphonic Finale on Friday, August 26, 7:30 pm at Wellfleet Congregational Church, 200 Main Street.
Escher String Quartet commences its residency week in concert with Artistic Director Jon Nakamatsu as guest musician on piano. An engaging program of Schubert’s lyrical Arpeggione Sonata and Brahms’ electrifying Piano Quartet in G Minor promises a thrilling kick off performance. On Wednesday, Schubert’s breathtaking Quartettsatz and Schoenberg’s String Quartet No. 1 continue the residency in concert featuring Artistic Director Jon Manasse on clarinet, joining the ensemble for Carl Maria von Weber’s rousing Clarinet Quintet. Friday’s season finale concert gathers all nine performers in a triumphant collective performance, with chamber arrangements of three giant orchestral works: Strauss’ Till Eulenspiegel, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 2 and Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 1 featuring Jon Nakamatsu as soloist.
Award winning Escher String Quartet is widely acclaimed for profound musical insight and rare tonal beauty. Helming from New York, the ensemble is a former BBC New Generation Artist, serves as Artists of The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and is one of the very few chamber ensembles awarded the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant. Championed by world-renowned Emerson Quartet (also appearing this season at the Festival), the Escher String Quartet was invited by both Pinchas Zukerman and Itzhak Perlman to be Quartet in Residence at their respective summer festivals. Recent debuts have left a distinctive impression throughout Europe, at venues including Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Berlin Konzerthaus, Les Grands Interprètes series in Geneva, London’s Kings Place, Slovenian Philharmonic Hall in Ljubljana, and festival appearances at Dublin’s Great Music in Irish Houses and the Risør Chamber Music Festival in Norway. The ensemble performs widely at acclaimed U.S. venues, and fervently supports the education of young musicians, frequently offering master classes, including regular coaching at the Royal Academy of Music in London.
Last spring, The Quartet released Volume 1 of the complete Mendelssohn Quartets on the BIS label, received warmly by critics. The Escher Quartet takes its name from Dutch graphic artist M.C. Escher, inspired by Escher’s method of interplay between individual components working together to form a whole.
Numerous solo, concerto, and chamber music appearances in the U.S. and around the world fill out Artistic Director Jon Manasse’s impressive resume, who has served as a CCCMF Artistic Director since 2006. He has filled the role of principal clarinet for American Ballet Theater Orchestra and the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra and New York Chamber Symphony; served as guest principal clarinetist for the New York Pops, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, and New Jersey, St. Louis and Seattle Symphony Orchestras. Has appeared as a guest clarinetist with the New York Philharmonic in concerts conducted by Valery Gergiev and André Previn, and, during the 2003-04 season, served as the principal clarinetist of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra.
Co-Artistic Director, Manasse/Nakamatsu duo partner and American pianist Jon Nakamatsu draws unanimous praise as a true aristocrat of the keyboard, whose playing combines elegance, clarity, and electrifying power. A native of California, Nakamatsu raised international attention in 1997 when he was named Gold Medalist of the Tenth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, the only American to have achieved this distinction since 1981. Mr. Nakamatsu has performed world-wide, collaborating with such conductors as James Conlon, Marek Janowski, Raymond Leppard, Stanislaw Skrowaczewski, Osmo Vänskä and Hans Vonk. He also performed at a White House concert hosted by President and Mrs. Clinton, in New York’s Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center, Washington D.C.’s Kennedy Center, amongst others. He has worked with various chamber ensembles, and has toured repeatedly with the Berlin Philharmonic Wind Quintet. Nakamatsu has served on multiple international piano competition juries and has also been invited as a guest speaker at numerous institutions including the Van Cliburn Foundation, Stanford University and the Juilliard School.
Monday, August 22: Escher Residency and Nakamatsu
Adam Barnett-Hart, violin; Aaron Boyd, violin; Pierre Lapointe, viola; Brook Speltz, cello; Jon Nakamatsu, piano.
Schubert: Sonata in A Minor for Arpeggione and Piano, D. 821
Ravel: Quartet in F Major (1903)
Brahms: Quartet in G Minor for Piano, Violin, Viola and Cello, Opus 25
Wednesday, August 24: Escher Residency and Manasse
Adam Barnett-Hart, violin; Aaron Boyd, violin; Pierre Lapointe, viola; Brook Speltz, cello; Jon Manasse, clarinet.
Schubert: String Quartet in C Minor, D.703
Schoenberg: String Quartet No. 1 in D Minor, Opus 7
Von Weber: Quintet for Clarinet and Strings in B-flat Major, Opus 34
Friday, August 26: Escher Residency and Symphonic Finale
Adam Barnett-Hart, violin; Aaron Boyd, violin; Pierre Lapointe, viola; Brook Speltz, cello; Tony Falanga, bass; Jon Manasse, clarinet; Eric Reed, horn; Cynde Iverson, bassoon; Jon Nakamatsu, piano.
Strauss: Till Eulenspiegel (arranged for violin, bass, clarinet, horn and bassoon by Franz Hasenohri)
Beethoven: Symphony No. 2 in D Major, Opus 36 (arranged for string quartet, bass, clarinet, horn and bassoon by Andy Stein)
Chopin: Piano Concerto No. 1 in E Minor, Opus 11 (arranged for piano and string quartet by Richard Hoffmann)
As Cape Cod’s premiere presenter of summer chamber music, CCCMF’s 37th summer season features 13 compelling concerts from July 29 through August 26 at 7:30 pm in locations throughout the region.
Tickets ordered on or after July 1: $38 General Admission; $15 for students over 18; Free for attendees 18 and under. General Admission to three or more concerts $36. Tickets to Emerson String Quartet’s concert are $55 (individually or as part of a three concert series).
Special benefit premium tickets are $100 to $125, including reserved seating and a pre-concert or post-concert reception for concerts on August 1, 4 and 9.
Festival seating is limited to venue capacity, advance purchase is recommended. Tickets ordered online are available at will call at the performances. Tickets may also be purchased by calling or visiting the box office at 508-247-9400 or at 3 Main Street Unit 6, North Eastham. Box office hours are 10 am to 3 pm, Monday through Friday. Phone orders are available until 12 noon on the day of each concert.
For more information about Cape Cod Chamber Music Festival’s 2016 season, performers, mission and venues, visit capecodchambermusic.org, or follow Cape Cod Chamber Music Festival on Facebook and Twitter.
About the Cape Cod Chamber Music Festival
Hailed by The New York Times as “A Triumph of Quality,” the Cape Cod Chamber Music Festival (CCCMF) has been a year-round presenter of chamber music and a major contributor to the cultural life of Cape Cod since its inception in 1979. Founded as the Cape & Islands Chamber Music Festival by the late collaborative pianist Samuel Sanders, the Festival continues his legacy. Now entering its 37th season, CCCMF presents four weeks of intensive chamber music programming in a variety of Cape locations in July and August. Throughout the rest of the year, CCCMF presents autumn and spring concerts, a community outreach program, and benefit concerts in New York and on Cape Cod. Hoping to ignite the interest of a younger audience, CCCMF welcomes all youth up to age 18 to attend any regular concert free of charge. The Festival is also host to a Composer-in-Residence program, and features composers with Cape Cod connections. CCCMF is a private, non-profit organization supported by a volunteer Board of Directors with financial support from individuals, corporations, and foundations both local and nationwide. For more information about CCCMF’s programs, schedule or tickets, visit capecodchambermusic.org, call 508-247-9400 or follow Cape Cod Chamber Music Festival on Facebook and Twitter.
Top Right and Middle Left: Escher String Quartet by Sophie Zhai
Middle Right: Artistic Directors Jon Nakamatsu (front) and Jon Manasse (rear), courtesy photo