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.

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CCM Slideshows: Don Carlos

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CCM’s 2013-14 Concert Series opened in grand fashion this past Sunday with the American premiere of the uncut 1867 Paris Opera version of Giuseppe Verdi’s Don Carlos.

In her review for ConcertoNet: The Classical Music Network, Mary Ellyn Hutton called the performance “an amazing accomplishment” and remarked that “the voices were uniformly outstanding.”

In his review for Seen and Heard International, Rafael de Acha observed, “The CCM orchestra and choruses do top-notch work in this challenging and lengthy assignment, playing passionately and when needed providing grounding accompaniment for the singers.”

Our Concert Series continues this week with an “Anniversary” themed performance by the CCM Wind Orchestra on Friday, Sept. 27, and a CCM Jazz tribute to the Rolling Stones on Sunday, Sept. 29.

For a complete calendar of events or to view CCM’s 2013-14 season brochure, visit ccm.uc.edu.

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CCM’s Concert Series Opens With Verdi’s ‘Don Carlos,’ Wind Orchestra’s ‘Anniversaries’ Concert and a CCM Jazz Tribute to the Rolling Stones!

The CCM Philharmonia. Photography by Dottie Stover.

The CCM Philharmonia. Photography by Dottie Stover.

This Sunday, Sept. 22, is not only the first day of fall… it’s also the official beginning of CCM’s 2013-14 Concert Series!

CCM’s Orchestras, Choral Ensembles and special guests join forces to usher in the season in grand style with an epic concert production of Verdi’s Don Carlos on Sept. 22. Learn more about the two-part concert production of Don Carlos here.

Next Friday, Sept. 27, the Wind Orchestra celebrates the centenary of Morton Gould’s birth, the bicentenary of Richard Wagner’s birth and several other “musical milestone” anniversaries in a stylistically diverse concert performance. Learn more about “Anniversaries” here.

Finally, on Sunday, Sept. 29, CCM’s Jazz Ensembles celebrate 50 years of “the world’s greatest rock and roll band” with a jazz tribute to the Rolling Stones, featuring dynamic new arrangements by guest artist Matt Harris. Learn more about “Satisfaction – The Music of the Rolling Stones.” here.

Single tickets and flex ticket packages are on sale now. Contact the Box Office at 556-4183 or order your tickets online here.

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CCM Jazz Celebrates the Music of the Rolling Stones on Sunday, Sept. 29

CCM Jazz celebrates 50 years of the Rolling Stones in a rocking tribute concert on Sept. 29.

CCM Jazz celebrates 50 years of the Rolling Stones in a rocking tribute concert on Sept. 29.

CCM’s Jazz Ensemble and Jazz Lab Band perform a much-anticipated tribute to the Rolling Stones at 7 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 29, in UC’s Corbett Auditorium. Under the direction of Scott Belck and Dominic Marino, with composer Matt Harris as guest conductor, student artists from CCM’s Department of Jazz Studies will capture the energy and excitement of “the world’s greatest rock and roll band” in this unique jazz performance. Single tickets and flex concert packages are on sale now.

Last year, both CCM and the Rolling Stones celebrated 50th anniversaries (the Rolling Stones formed in early 1962; Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music merged with the University of Cincinnati later that year). This year, CCM explores the work of the Stones in a one night only performance featuring such favorites as “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction,” “Paint it Black” and “You Can’t Always Get What You Want.” Audiences will be delighted by an extraordinary marriage of styles and a night of music that embodies the spirit of rock and roll.

View a 2008 performance of Matt Harris’ arrangement for the Stones’ classic “Wild Horses” below:

Each season, CCM’s Department of Jazz Studies welcomes approximately 15 guest artists to perform with students and present clinics, critiques and lectures. In addition to Matt Harris, guest artists scheduled for 2013-14 include Jeff Rupert (tenor saxophone), Matt Wilson (drummer and bandleader), Diego Rivera (tenor saxophone) and Fareed Haque (guitar), amongst others.

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