Peter Landgren, dean and Thomas James Kelly professor of music at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM), has announced that the internationally acclaimed Ariel Quartet will continue to serve as the college’s string quartet-in-residence for the next seven years. An ensemble-in-residence since 2012, this extension will keep the Quartet at CCM through the 2021-22 academic year and concert season.
“I am thrilled that the Ariel Quartet will call CCM its permanent home for the foreseeable future,” said Landgren. “Their residency has already had a notable impact on both our college and the city of Cincinnati. In their first three and a half years, the members of the Ariel Quartet have provided unparalleled coaching and mentorship to our students, presented our community with its first complete cycle of Beethoven’s string quartets, performed as part of Bryce Dessner’s MusicNOW Festival, collaborated with distinguished CCM guest artists like Menahem Pressler and David Geringas, and served as ambassadors for the Queen City as part of the CINCYinNYC initiative.”
The Ariel Quartet is comprised of Alexandra Kazovsky, violin; Amit Even-Tov, cello; Gershon Gerchikov, violin; and Jan Grüning, viola. The group was formed in Israel in 1998, and they have been playing together ever since. 2014 recipients of the prestigious Cleveland Quartet Award, the Quartet directs CCM’s chamber music program as part of this residency, in addition to their annual series of concerts at the college.
“The past three and a half years exceeded our initial expectations of this residency in every respect,” the members of the Ariel Quartet explained. “The eagerness of CCM’s students paired with the incredible support of our esteemed faculty colleagues has enabled us to help cultivate the active and enthusiastic chamber music community of our dreams. We are thrilled to be able to make Cincinnati our permanent home and are excited at the prospect of continuing to be a part of this community’s musical life.”
The Ariel Quartet will continue to perform four concerts per year in CCM’s Corbett Auditorium for the duration of this new seven-year agreement. The Quartet will continue to coach 20 – 25 student string quartets in the fine art of chamber music performance, as well. The members of the Ariel Quartet will also expand their pedagogic roles at CCM by adding one-on-one teaching to their responsibilities.
CCM’s new agreement with the Quartet also provides a fund to attract guest artists who will perform with the Ariels and provide masterclasses for students, along with funding to support an annual student string quartet competition.
The Ariel Quartet will also be able to maintain its impressive international performance schedule thanks to support from the University of Cincinnati, which was key in assisting the members of the Quartet in obtaining their H-1B visas.
According to Paul Katz, the scope of the Ariel Quartet’s new arrangement with CCM is quite noteworthy. Founding cellist of the world-renowned Cleveland Quartet and a master teacher at the New England Conservatory, Katz said, “The long-term nature of this agreement brings both deserved economic security to this amazing young string ensemble, and gives CCM and the Ariel Quartet time together to build a first class string chamber music program for the school.”
Prior to its residency at CCM, the Ariel Quartet was the resident ensemble of the New England Conservatory’s Professional String Quartet Training Program, which is led by Katz. “I am delighted that my 26 years in the Cleveland Quartet and our groundbreaking residency arrangement at the Eastman School of Music was able to serve as a successful model for CCM’s relationship with the Ariel Quartet,” he observed.
Katz concluded, “In 45 years of mentoring extraordinary young groups, seldom have I seen an arrangement of comparable perception, detail and mutual benefit.”
“This has all been made possible by a group of individuals who understand how their investment in this young quartet revives a proud tradition initiated by the LaSalle Quartet,” Landgren explained, referring to CCM’s storied string quartet-in-residence from 1953-88. “Cincinnati and CCM will continue to benefit from the remarkable talents and engaging personality of the Ariel Quartet, whose members are writing an exciting new chapter in our community’s strong history of chamber music.”
A New Era Dawns: The Ariel Quartet’s 2015-16 Concert Series
For its next season in residence at CCM, the Ariel Quartet will present concerts at 8 p.m. on Sept. 1, Nov. 10, Jan. 26 and March 1. These Tuesday night concerts will be held in CCM’s acoustically stunning Corbett Auditorium and will feature works by Tchaikovsky, Bartók, Brahms, Haydn and others.
Series highlights will also include a performance of Alban Berg’s Lyric Suite and a collaboration with CCM artist-in-residence Awadagin Pratt on Dvorák’s Piano Quintet No. 2, Op. 81. Complete concert series repertoire is available online at ccm.uc.edu/ariel.
Audiences can experience the Ariel Quartet’s next concert series in its entirety for just $75 per subscription, a savings of 25% off single ticket prices. Subscription packages can be purchased in person at the CCM Box Office or over the telephone at 513-556-4183.
Single tickets become available on Monday, August 24, and are $25 for general audiences and $15 for non-UC students. Single tickets can be purchased in person at the CCM Box Office, over the telephone at 513-556-4183 or online at ccm.uc.edu/boxoffice.
About the Ariel Quartet
Characterized by its youth, brilliant playing, and soulful interpretations, the Ariel Quartet has quickly earned a glowing international reputation.
The Quartet was formed in Israel 17 years ago when its members were young students, and they have been playing together ever since. Recently awarded the prestigious Cleveland Quartet Award, the Quartet serves as the faculty quartet-in-residence at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, where its members direct the chamber music program and perform their own annual series of concerts – a remarkable achievement for an ensemble so young.
Highlights of the 2014-15 season include a groundbreaking Beethoven cycle performed at New York’s SubCulture that featured a midnight performance of the Grosse Fuge; a performance featuring music by three generations of Israeli composers at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.; performances resulting from the Cleveland Quartet Award in Kansas City, Austin and Buffalo; and a tour of South America.
The Ariel Quartet performs widely in North America, Europe and Israel, including two recent record-setting Beethoven cycles, performed before all the members of the quartet turned 30. The Ariel continues to astonish with its performances of complete works by memory and has remained committed to performing extensively in Israel. In addition, the Ariel has collaborated with the pianist Orion Weiss; violist Roger Tapping; cellist Paul Katz; and the American and Jerusalem String Quartets. The Quartet toured with the cellist Alisa Weilerstein during the 2013-14 season, and performs regularly with the legendary pianist Menahem Pressler. Additionally, the Ariel was quartet-in-residence for the Steans Music Institute at the Ravinia Festival, the Yellow Barn Music Festival and for the Perlman Music Program.
Formerly the resident ensemble in the New England Conservatory’s Professional String Quartet Training Program, the Ariel has won a number of international prizes including the Grand Prize at the 2006 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition and First Prize at the international competition “Franz Schubert And The Music Of Modernity” in Graz, Austria, in 2003, when the Quartet’s members were remarkably young. After they won the Székely Prize for their performance of Bartók, as well as the overall Third Prize at the Banff International String Quartet Competition in 2007, the American Record Guide described the Ariel Quartet as “a consummate ensemble gifted with utter musicality and remarkable interpretive power” and called their performance of Beethoven’s Op. 132 “the pinnacle of the competition.”
The Ariel Quartet has been mentored extensively by Itzhak Perlman, Paul Katz, Donald Weilerstein, Miriam Fried, Kim Kashkashian and Martha Strongin Katz, among others. The Quartet has received extensive scholarship support throughout its studies in the United States from the America-Israel Cultural Foundation, Dov and Rachel Gottesman, the Legacy Heritage Fund, as well as The A. N. and Pearl G. Barnett Family Foundation.
CCM Season Presenting Sponsor and Musical Theatre Program Sponsor: The Otto M. Budig Family Foundation
Community Partner: ArtsWave
The Ariel Quartet’s 2015-16 CCM concert series is made possible by the generous contributions of The Estate of Mr. William A. Friedlander, Mrs. William A. Friedlander, Dr. & Mrs. Randolph L. Wadsworth, Mr. & Mrs. J. David Rosenberg, Mr. & Mrs. Harry H. Santen, Mr. & Mrs. Thomas E. Stegman.
A preeminent institution for the performing and media arts, the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) is the largest single source of performing arts presentations in the state of Ohio.
All event dates and programs are subject to change. For a complete calendar of events, please visit us online at ccm.uc.edu.