CCM professor emeritus Walter Levin. Photo by Sandy Underwood.

In Memoriam: Emeritus Faculty Member and LaSalle Quartet Violinist Walter Levin

CCM professor emeritus Walter Levin. Photo by Sandy Underwood.

CCM professor emeritus Walter Levin. Photo by Sandy Underwood.

It is with great sadness that we share news of the passing of emeritus faculty member Walter Levin, founding member and first violinist of the LaSalle Quartet and a CCM faculty member from 1953 until 1986. Levin passed away in Chicago on Aug. 4, 2017, at the age of 92. He is survived by his wife of 68 years, Evi, and two sons, David and Tom.

Born in Berlin on December 6, 1924, Levin and his family emigrated to Tel Aviv in 1938. Levin was accepted to Juilliard in 1946, where he studied with Ivan Galamian and Hans Letz. The LaSalle Quartet was formed during this period, taking its name from the nearby LaSalle Street where the Quartet members rehearsed. Upon graduation, the Quartet comprised of Levin, Henry Meyer, Peter Kamnitzer and Jack Kirstein became quartet-in-residence at Colorado College.

In 1953, the LaSalle Quartet came to what was then known as the College of Music in Cincinnati (the College of Music would merge with the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music in 1955 before again merging with UC to become the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music in 1962). The Quartet served as CCM’s string quartet-in-residence for over 30 years, while also touring the world.

The LaSalle Quartet in the late 1970s: Peter Kamnitzer, Lee Fiser, Walter Levin and Henry Meyer.

The LaSalle Quartet in the late 1970s: Peter Kamnitzer, Lee Fiser, Walter Levin and Henry Meyer.

After making its European debut in 1954, the LaSalle Quartet won international recognition for its masterful interpretations of the major works in the chamber music repertory. The Quartet’s programs offered a remarkable spectrum of music from all periods, including premieres of major works by 20th century composers.

The Quartet became particularly well regarded as the leading interpreters of “The Second Viennese School,” performing complete cycles of the quartets of Schoenberg, Berg and Webern throughout the United States and Europe. The LaSalle Quartet’s Deutsche Grammophon recording of these complete cycles created a sensation in the music world, winning the Grand Prix du Disque in 1972. TIME Magazine called the album “a landmark in recorded music.” In 1978, the LaSalle again won the Grand Prix du Disque, this time for its recording of the Five Late Quartets by Beethoven. The following year, the Quartet won the Edison Prize for the first recording of Alexander Zemlinsky’s Second String Quartet.

During his 33-year tenure at CCM, Levin greatly enhanced CCM’s reputation on the international stage. He also served on the faculty at Basel’s Musik-Akademie der Stadt and the Musikhochschule Lübeck. His students included the conductor James Levine, violinist Christian Tetzlaff, pianist Stefan Litwin, and members of the Alban Berg Quartet, the Arditti Quartet and the Ariel Quartet.

CCM Professor Emeritus Lee Fiser, the LaSalle Quartet’s cellist from 1975 to 1987, writes: “Walter was the last of my three colleagues who brought me to LaSalle and CCM. His passing is a great loss to the String Quartet world.”

The Strad has published a complete obituary at www.thestrad.com/walter-levin-founder-and-first-violin-of-the-lasalle-quartet-has-died/7006.article. The Chicago Sun-Times has also published an obituary at chicago.suntimes.com/news/renowned-violinist-music-teacher-walter-levin-dead-at-92/.

An upcoming performance by CCM’s current string quartet-in-residence, the Ariel Quartet, will be presented in honor of Walter Levin. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends during this time.

CCM News
Award winning violinist Augustin Hadelich.

CCM Welcomes Acclaimed Violinist Augustin Hadelich for Master Class on March 12

Award winning violinist Augustin Hadelich.

Award winning violinist Augustin Hadelich.

CCM hosts world-renowned violinist Augustin Hadelich for a master class at 11 a.m. next Saturday, March 12, in Watson Hall. The Grammy Award-winning musician will work with CCM string students during the two hour session, which is open to the general public.

The visit coincides with Hadelich’s weekend engagement with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, which will see him perform the famed Violin Concerto by Expressionist composer Alban Berg with the CSO on March 11, 12 and 13.

Hadelich will also join CSO Music Director Louis Langrée for a “Stories in Concert” event at Music Hall at 2 p.m. on Sunday, March 13. For more information about the events with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, please visit http://cincinnatisymphony.org.

About Augustin Hadelich
Within months after being awarded the inaugural Warner Music Prize, Augustin Hadelich has just won a 2016 Grammy in the category “Best Classical Instrumental Solo” for his recording of the Dutilleux Violin Concerto, L’arbre des songes, firmly establishing him as one of the great violinists of his generation. His remarkable consistency throughout the repertoire, from Bach and Beethoven to Ligeti and Adès, is seldom encountered in a single artist.

Highlights of Hadelich’s 2015-16 season include debuts with the Chicago Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony, the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra in Carnegie Hall and the Finnish Radio Orchestra, as well as return performances with the London Philharmonic, The Philadelphia Orchestra and the symphonies of Atlanta, Cincinnati, Detroit, Louisville, Milwaukee, New Jersey, Oregon, Seattle, Utah and Vancouver. He has also previously collaborated with such renowned conductors as Roberto Abbado, Marc Albrecht, Marin Alsop, Herbert Blomstedt, Lionel Bringuier, Justin Brown, James Conlon, Christoph von Dohnányi and Jaap van Zweden, among numerous others.

Also an enthusiastic recitalist, Hadelich’s numerous appearances include Carnegie Hall, Concertgebouw (Amsterdam), The Frick Collection (New York), Kennedy Center (Washington, D.C.), Kioi Hall (Tokyo), the Louvre and the chamber music societies of Detroit, La Jolla, Philadelphia, Seattle and Vancouver. His chamber music partners have included Inon Barnatan, Jeremy Denk, James Ehnes, Alban Gerhardt, Richard Goode, Gary Hoffman, Kim Kashkashian, Robert Kulek, Cho-Liang Lin, Midori, Charles Owen, Vadim Repin, Mitsuko Uchida, Joyce Yang, along with the members of the Guarneri and Juilliard quartets.

Hadelich’s first major orchestral recording, featuring the violin concertos of Jean Sibelius and Thomas Adès (Concentric Paths), with Hannu Lintu conducting the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, was released to great acclaim in March 2014 on the AVIE label. The disc was nominated for a Gramophone Award and was listed by NPR on their Top 10 Classical CDs of 2014. He has recorded three previous albums for AVIE: Flying Solo, a CD of masterworks for solo violin; Echoes of Paris, featuring French and Russian repertoire influenced by Parisian culture in the early 20th century; and Histoire du Tango, a program of violin-guitar works in collaboration with Pablo Villegas. A recent recording of the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto and Bartók’s Concerto No. 2 with the Norwegian Radio Orchestra under Miguel Harth-Bedoya was released on AVIE in the spring of 2015.  For the Seattle Symphony with Ludovic Morlot, Mr. Hadelich has recorded Dutilleux’s Violin Concerto, “L’arbre des songes,” on Seattle Symphony MEDIA.

The 2006 Gold Medalist of the International Violin Competition of Indianapolis, Hadelich is the recipient of an Avery Fisher Career Grant (2009), a Borletti-Buitoni Trust Fellowship in the UK (2011), and Lincoln Center’s Martin E. Segal Award (2012). Most recently, he has been named winner of the first Warner Music Prize (2015).

The son of German parents, Hadelich was born and raised in Italy. A resident of New York City since 2004 and now an American citizen, he holds an Artist Diploma from the Juilliard School, where he was a student of Joel Smirnoff.  He plays on the 1723 “Ex-Kiesewetter” Stradivari violin, on loan from Clement and Karen Arrison through the Stradivari Society of Chicago.

For more information, please visit http://augustin-hadelich.com.

CCM News
The LaSalle Quartet, CCM string quartet-in-residence from 1953 to 1988.

In Memoriam: Emeritus Faculty Member and LaSalle Quartet Violist Peter Kamnitzer

It is with great sadness that we share news of the passing of emeritus faculty member Peter Kamnitzer, who served as violist for the legendary LaSalle Quartet from 1949 until the ensemble’s retirement in 1988. Kamnitzer passed away in Israel on Feb. 23, 2016, at the age of 93. He is survived by his wife, Dr. Neora “Sophy” Kamnitzer.

CCM professor emeritus Peter Kamnitzer. Photo by Sandy Underwood.

CCM professor emeritus Peter Kamnitzer. Photo by Sandy Underwood.

Born in Berlin on November 27, 1922, Kamnitzer began studying the violin at the age of six. As a teenager, he performed in the orchestra of the Jewish Cultural Society in the Free City of Danzig.

Kamnitzer moved to the US in 1941 and began studying the viola at the Manhattan School of Music. He joined the San Antonio Symphony Orchestra in 1944 and became principal viola and a member of the Symphony String Quartet in 1945.

In 1947, Kamnitzer entered the Juilliard School to study the viola with Milton Katims. It was here that he joined the newly formed LaSalle String Quartet.

The LaSalle Quartet held a residency at Colorado College in Colorado Springs from 1949-53, making the ensemble one of the first quartets-in-residence in the United States.

In 1953, the LaSalle Quartet came to what was then known as the College of Music in Cincinnati (the College of Music would merge with the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music in 1955 before again merging with UC to become the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music in 1962). The Quartet served as CCM’s string quartet-in-residence for the next 35 years, while also touring the world.

After making its European debut in 1954, the LaSalle Quartet won international recognition for its masterful interpretations of the major works in the chamber music repertory. The Quartet’s programs offered a remarkable spectrum of music from all periods, including premieres of major works by 20th century composers.

The Quartet became particularly well regarded as the leading interpreters of “The Second Viennese School,” performing complete cycles of the quartets of Schoenberg, Berg and Webern throughout the United States and Europe. The LaSalle Quartet’s Deutsche Grammophon recording of these complete cycles created a sensation in the music world, winning the Grand Prix du Disque in 1972. TIME Magazine called the album “a landmark in recorded music.” In 1978, the LaSalle again won the Grand Prix du Disque, this time for its recording of the Five Late Quartets by Beethoven. The following year, the Quartet won the Edison Prize for the first recording of Alexander Zemlinsky’s Second String Quartet.

As a member of the LaSalle Quartet, Kamnitzer helped to cement CCM’s reputation on the international stage. He retired in 1988 and spent the following years coaching chamber music in Austria and Israel, while also serving as judge for prestigious competitions like the Borciani Quartet Competition in Italy and others throughout the world.

The March 1 performance of CCM’s current string quartet-in-residence, the Ariel Quartet, will be presented in honor of Peter Kamnitzer. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends during this time.

CCM News Faculty Fanfare
The Ariel Quartet. From left to right: Alexandra Kazovsky, Jan Grüning, Amit Even-Tov and Gershon Gerchikov.

CCM Extends Residency of Internationally Acclaimed Ariel Quartet

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 poster for the Ariel Quartet's 2015-16 concert series at CCM.

Learn more about the Ariel Quartet’s upcoming CCM Concert Series by visiting ccm.uc.edu/ariel.

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.
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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.

CCM News Faculty Fanfare
The Ariel Quartet, string quartet-in-residence at CCM.

The Ariel Quartet Opens CCM’s 2014-15 Concert Series With Distinguished Guest Artist Menahem Presser

The legendary Menahem Pressler joins the Ariel Quartet for Brahms' Piano Quintet on Sept. 9.

The legendary Menahem Pressler joins the Ariel Quartet for Brahms’ Piano Quintet on Sept. 9.

CCM’s internationally acclaimed string quartet-in-residence the Ariel Quartet will be joined by legendary pianist Menahem Pressler for a program of Haydn, Berg and Brahms on Tuesday, Sept. 9.

Grand Prize winners at the 2006 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition and 2014 recipients of the prestigious Cleveland Quartet Award, the Ariel Quartet thrilled audiences with its first complete cycle of Beethoven’s String Quartets at CCM last season.

During the CINCYinNYC showcase week this May, the New York Times proclaimed that the Quartet has “a gift for filling the pristine structures of Classicism with fire.”

The Ariel Quartet opens CCM’s 2014-15 Concert Series with a performance featuring legendary pianist Menahem Pressler. Founding member and pianist of the Beaux Arts Trio, Pressler will join the Quartet for a performance of Brahms’ majestic Piano Quintet in F Minor, Op. 34. See full concert program details below.

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