Dates include Brentano String Quartet + Haochen Zhang, piano (October 27) and
Avi Avital, mandolin + Kenneth Weiss, harpsichord (February 9)
FORT WORTH, Texas, October 13, 2016—This season, CLIBURN LIVE will webcast two concerts from the Kimbell Art Museum for the first time: Brentano String Quartet + Haochen Zhang, piano on Thursday, October 27, 2016, at 7:30 p.m. CDT, and Avi Avital, mandolin + Kenneth Weiss, harpsichord on Thursday, February 9, 2017 at 7:30 p.m. CDT.
Viewers from around the world will be able to watch both concerts streamed live from the Kimbell Art Museum Piano Pavilion in Fort Worth, Texas for free on Cliburn.org and YouTube. Performances will be posted online within one week following the concerts for on-demand viewing, pending artist approval. CLIBURN LIVE will also broadcast the Fifteenth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition from May 25–June 10, 2017.
CLIBURN LIVE SCHEDULE
Brentano String Quartet + Haochen Zhang, piano
Thursday, October 27, 2016, at 7:30 p.m. CDT
Kimbell Art Museum Piano Pavilion
CHOPIN Piano Sonata No. 2 in B-flat Minor, op. 35
BEETHOVEN String Quartet No. 16 in F Major, op. 135
FRANCK Piano Quintet in F Minor
Avi Avital, mandolin + Kenneth Weiss, harpsichord
Thursday, February 9, 2017 at 7:30 p.m. CDT
Kimbell Art Museum Piano Pavilion
The Cliburn’s history of webcasting spans 15 years and has included four Van Cliburn International Piano Competitions from Bass Hall (2001, 2005, 2009, 2013), two Cliburn International Amateur Piano Competitions (2011, 2016), the Van Cliburn Memorial Concert from Sundance Square Plaza (2014), the First Cliburn International Junior Piano Competition and Festival (2015), and four Cliburn Concerts at Bass Performance Hall (2014–2016). Over a four-year period, CLIBURN LIVE garners the world’s attention with over 2.5 million visits from 220 countries for 23 million minutes watched of live concert and competition webcasts.
BRENTANO STRING QUARTET
Mark Steinberg, violin
Serena Canin, violin
Misha Amory, viola
Nina Maria Lee, cello
Since its inception in 1992, the Brentano String Quartet has appeared throughout the world to popular and critical acclaim. “Passionate, uninhibited and spellbinding,” raves The Independent; The New York Times extols its “luxuriously warm sound [and]yearning lyricism.”
Since 2014, the Brentano Quartet has served as artists in residence at Yale University. The Quartet also currently serves as the collaborative ensemble for the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. Formerly, they were artists in residence at Princeton University for many years.
The Quartet has performed in the world’s most prestigious venues, including Carnegie Hall and Alice Tully Hall in New York; the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.; the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam; the Konzerthaus in Vienna; Suntory Hall in Tokyo; and the Sydney Opera House. It had its first European tour in 1997, and was honored in the United Kingdom with the Royal Philharmonic Award for Most Outstanding Debut.
Known for especially imaginative projects combining old and new music, the Quartet’s latest collaborations with contemporary composers is a new work by Steven Mackey, “One Red Rose,” commemorating the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963. Other recent commissions include a piano quintet by Vijay Iyer, a work by Eric Moe (with Christine Brandes, soprano), and a new viola quintet by Felipe Lara (performed with violist Hsin-Yun Huang). In 2012, the Quartet provided the central music (Beethoven’s String Quartet No. 14 in C-sharp Minor, op. 131) for the critically acclaimed independent film A Late Quartet.
The Quartet has worked closely with other important composers of our time, among them Elliot Carter, Charles Wuorinen, Chou Wen-chung, Bruce Adolphe, and György Kurtág. It has also been privileged to collaborate with such artists as soprano Jessye Norman and pianists Richard Goode, Jonathan Biss, and Mitsuko Uchida.
The Quartet is named for Antonie Brentano, who many scholars consider to be Beethoven’s “Immortal Beloved,” the intended recipient of his famous love confession.
Since his gold-medal win at the Thirteenth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in 2009, Chinese pianist Haochen Zhang has captivated audiences in the United States, Europe, and Asia with a unique combination of deep musical sensitivity, fearless imagination, and spectacular virtuosity.
Mr. Zhang, 25, returned to Fort Worth as part of the 2010–2011 Cliburn Concerts series, where his performance was lauded by The Dallas Morning News as “the kind of program you’d expect from a seasoned master, served up with dazzling virtuosity where wanted, and astonishing sophistication elsewhere” and hailed as one of the top 10 performances of 2010 by both The Dallas Morning News and Star-Telegram. That same season, he appeared on Boston’s Celebrity Series, about which The Boston Globe critic Matthew Guerrieri remarked that he displayed “poetic temperament as much as technical power … [he is]a pianist with ample reserves of power whose imagination seems nonetheless most kindled by subtle delicacy.” In April 2013, Mr. Zhang made his debut in Munich with the Munich Philharmonic and the late Maestro Lorin Maazel, followed by a sold-out tour of China. In 2014, he performed at the BBC Proms with Yu Long and the China Philharmonic playing Liszt Concerto No. 1. Ivan Hewitt from The Telegraph wrote: “He made the allegretto dance with Mendelssohnian lightness and Lisztian diablerie, and played the melody of the quasi adagio with melting softness.” Following a performance in December 2014 with Valery Gergiev and Mariinsky Orchestra in Beijing, Maestro Gergiev immediately invited him to his Easter Festival in Moscow. In spring 2015, Mr. Zhang toured with the NDR Hamburg and Thomas Hengelbrock in Tokyo, Beijing, and Shanghai.
Highlights of the 2015–2016 season included extensive recital and concerto tours in Asia with performances in China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. Mr. Zhang also gave recitals in Boston, Toronto, and Palm Beach, among others. He debuted at La Jolla’s Summerfest and the International Piano Series in Freiburg, Switzerland. In spring 2016, he toured in both recital and concerto performances throughout Spain. He made his debut with the London Symphony Orchestra last September and played with the National Orchestra of Mexico in October 2015. Mr. Zhang was also appointed artist in residence with the Hangzhou Philharmonic.
In past seasons, he has performed with the Philadelphia, San Francisco Symphony, Pacific Symphony, Seattle Symphony, Israel Philharmonic, Sydney Symphony, London Philharmonic, Orchestre National des Pays de la Loire, Japan Philharmonic, Singapore Symphony, and Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestras. In recital, Mr. Zhang has appeared at Spivey Hall, La Jolla Music Society, Celebrity Series of Boston, Cliburn Concerts, and Krannert Center among others. An avid chamber musician, he regularly collaborates with colleagues such as the Shanghai String Quartet and is frequently invited to perform by chamber music festivals in the United States.
Mr. Zhang’s performances at the Cliburn Competition were released to critical acclaim by harmonia mundi usa in 2009.
A graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia where he studied under Gary Graffman, Mr. Zhang previously trained at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music and the Shenzhen Arts School, where he was admitted in 2001 at age 11 to study with Professor Dan Zhaoyi.
The first mandolin soloist to be nominated for a classical Grammy® Award, Avi Avital is one of the foremost ambassadors for his instrument. Passionate and “explosively charismatic” (The New York Times) in live performance, he is a driving force behind the reinvigoration of the mandolin repertory. More than 90 contemporary compositions, 15 of them concertos, have been written for him, while his inspired reimaginings of music for other instruments include the arrangements heard on his 2015 ECHO Klassik Award-winning Deutsche Grammophon recording, Vivaldi. Enhanced by his infectious spirit of adventure and the warm rapport he fosters with his audience, Mr. Avital’s pathbreaking championship of his instrument is taking the mandolin center stage.
Mr. Avital’s unprecedented Grammy nomination honors his recording of Avner Dorman’s Mandolin Concerto, a work he commissioned in 2006. As the first mandolin soloist to become an exclusive Deutsche Grammophon artist, he has made three recordings for the label to date; besides the award-winning 2015 release Vivaldi, these are his 2012 debut, featuring his own Bach concerto transcriptions, and the 2014 album Between Worlds, a cross-generic chamber collection exploring the nexus between classical and traditional music. He previously recorded for such labels as SONY Classical and Naxos, winning a first ECHO Klassik Award for his 2008 collaboration on the former label with the David Orlowsky Trio.
Mr. Avital’s inspired music making has electrified audiences throughout Israel, Europe, Australia, Asia, and the Americas. Recent highlights include dates at Beijing’s National Centre for the Performing Arts, London’s Wigmore and Royal Albert Halls, the Berlin Philharmonie, Zürich’s Tonhalle, Barcelona’s Palau de la Música Catalana, the Paris Philharmonie, and, with a live telecast on Arte, the Palais de Versailles. In spring 2016, Mr. Avital undertook an international tour with a program of arrangements for mandolin, accordion, and percussion drawn primarily from Between Worlds. After more than 70 performances in Europe, Asia, and South America, the extensive U.S. portion of the tour took him from coast to coast and was capped by appearances in Boston’s Celebrity Series, at the National Gallery in Washington, D.C., and at Manhattan’s 92nd Street Y.
Mr. Avital has partnered with leading artists in a variety of genres, including star singers Dawn Upshaw, Andreas Scholl, and Juan Diego Flórez, clarinetist Giora Feidman, violinist Ray Chen, pianist David Greilsammer, harpsichordist Mahan Esfahani, accordionists Richard Galliano and Ksenija Sidorova, percussionist Itamar Doari, and the Enso and Danish String Quartets, as well as a host of international orchestras from the Mahler Chamber Orchestra to the Israel Philharmonic. He is also a favorite on the international festival circuit, having appeared at the Aspen, Salzburg, Tanglewood, Spoleto, Ravenna, and Verbier festivals, among many others.
Born in Be’er Sheva, Israel in 1978, Mr. Avital began learning the mandolin at the age of 8 and soon joined the flourishing mandolin youth orchestra founded and directed by his charismatic teacher, Russian-born violinist Simcha Nathanson. He later graduated from the Jerusalem Music Academy and the Conservatorio Cesare Pollini in Padua, Italy, where he studied original mandolin repertoire with Ugo Orlandi. First-prize winner of the Doris and Mori Arkin Award at Israel’s prestigious Aviv Competitions in 2007, Mr. Avital is the first mandolinist in the history of the competition to be so honored. He plays on a mandolin made by Israeli luthier Arik Kerman.
An American harpsichordist with an active career as a soloist, conductor, chamber musician, and teacher, Kenneth Weiss’s highlights of the 2015–2017 seasons include Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier in Japan and Israel, Bach’s Musical Offering at the Auditorio National de Madrid and the Paris Opera, guest conducting the Jerusalem Camerata and the Orchestre de Rouen, and the premiere of a new ballet by Robyn Orlin.
As soloist and chamber musician, he has performed extensively in Europe, North America, and Asia—Wigmore Hall, Tokyo’s Bunkakaikan Hall, Theatre de la Ville in Paris, the Library of Congress, Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, La Roque d’Antheron, Auditorio National de Madrid, and Amsterdam Concertgebouw. He is a frequent guest with The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festival, and New York City’s Music Before 1800. He is professor of harpsichord at the Haute Ecole de Musique in Geneva, Switzerland, and Professor of Chamber Music at the Conservatoire de Paris.
Born in New York City, he attended the High School of Performing Arts and the Oberlin Conservatory of Music where he studied with Lisa Goode, later studying with Gustav Leonhardt at the Amsterdam Conservatory. His recordings for Satirino records have been widely acclaimed. They include Bach’s Goldberg Variations, partitas, and The Well-Tempered Clavier, a CD dedicated to transcriptions of Rameau’s operas and ballets, two Scarlatti albums, and two CDs devoted to Elizabethan keyboard music—A Cleare Day and Heaven and Earth.
ABOUT THE CLIBURN
The Cliburn advances classical piano music throughout the world. Its international competitions, education programs, and concert series embody an enduring commitment to artistic excellence and the discovery of new artists. Established in 1962, the quadrennial Van Cliburn International Piano Competition is widely recognized as “one of the world’s highest-visibility classical music contests” (The Dallas Morning News) and remains committed to its original ideals of supporting and launching the careers of young pianists, age 18 to 30 (fifteenth edition May 25–June 10, 2017). It shares the transformative powers of music with a wide global audience, through fully produced webcasts and by providing commission-free, comprehensive career management and concert bookings to its winners. Rounding out its mission, the Cliburn also produces the Cliburn International Junior Piano Competition and Festival for exceptional 13 to 17-year-old pianists (second edition June 2019), and the Cliburn International Amateur Piano Competition for outstanding non-professional pianists age 35 and older (eighth edition June 2020).
Over a four-year cycle, the Cliburn contributes to North Texas’ cultural landscape with over 170 classical music performances for 150,000 attendees, through competitions, free community concerts, and its signature Cliburn Concerts series at Bass Performance Hall, the Kimbell Art Museum Piano Pavilion, and the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth. It presents 1,000 in-school, interactive music education programs for more than 200,000 area elementary students. During the same time period, it garners the world’s attention with over one million visits from 155 nations for live concert and competition webcasts; 300 concerts worldwide booked for competition winners; more than 5,000 news articles about the Cliburn and its winners; regular national radio broadcasts to 245 public radio stations; and a PBS documentary airing in a potential 105 million households. Detailed information about the Cliburn and its programs is available at Cliburn.org.
Cliburn Sponsors are:
Arts Council of Fort Worth
Crystelle Waggoner Charitable Trust
The Edith Winter Grace Charitable Trust, J.P. Morgan, Trustee
Sid W. Richardson Foundation
The Walton Family Foundation
William E. Scott Foundation
Exclusive Print Media Sponsor
Official Piano of the Cliburn
Steinway & Sons – North Texas / Houston
Official Hotel of the Cliburn
Worthington Renaissance Fort Worth Hotel