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Shanghai Quartet to be in-residence
Sunday, August 02, 2015

Shanghai Quartet to be in-residence

The Shanghai Quartet

Just after completing a 10-day tour of China, the Shanghai Quartet will be in residence at the Fredonia School of Music for five days, including classroom visits, solo and chamber music master classes, public talks and a greatly-anticipated performance in Rosch Recital Hall on Saturday, Oct. 3 at 8 p.m.

Details and the master class schedule can be found on the School of Music website.

Joining the quartet will be Fredonia alumnus and iconic music educator, Roberta Guaspari-Tzavaras, whose life story was the subject of the documentary “Small Wonders” (1995), followed by the feature film, “Music of the Heart” (1999) starring Meryl Streep playing the part of Ms. Guaspari-Tzavaras.

“Coming back to Fredonia as part of the Shanghai residency will be like coming full circle for me in many ways,” commented Guaspari-Tzavaras. “I have such fond memories of Fredonia and strong ties there, with faculty who truly made a lifelong impact on me and influenced what I have gone on to accomplish. I am thrilled to be able to give something back to the students and community at Fredonia. This visit is even more special for me because my son, Nick Tzavaras, is the cellist of the Shanghai Quartet. This residency is meaningful to both of us on many levels and I am honored to be a part of what promises to be a memorable week at Fredonia.”

Called “utterly sublime” by The New York Times, the Shanghai Quartet is renowned throughout the world, appearing at festivals and concert series in all parts of Europe, Asia, North and South American and Australia. Renowned for its passionate musicality, impressive technique and multicultural innovations, the Shanghai Quartet has become one of the world’s foremost chamber ensembles. Its elegant style melds the delicacy of Eastern music with the emotional breadth of Western repertoire, allowing it to traverse musical genres including traditional Chinese folk music, masterpieces of Western music and cutting-edge contemporary works.

Formed at the Shanghai Conservatory in 1983, the quartet has worked with the world’s most distinguished artists and regularly tours the major music centers of Europe, North America and Asia. Among innumerable collaborations with noted artists, they have performed with the Tokyo, Juilliard and Guarneri Quartets, cellists Yo-Yo Ma and Lynn Harrell, pianists Menahem Pressler, Yuja Wang, Peter Serkin and Jean-Yves Thibaudet, pipa virtuosa Wu Man and the male vocal ensemble Chanticleer. The quartet has been regular performers at many of North America’s leading chamber music festivals, including the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, Chamberfest Ottawa and Maverick Concerts where they recently made their 25th consecutive annual appearance. The group has a long history of championing new music and juxtaposing traditions of Eastern and Western music.

The Shanghai Quartet has an extensive discography of more than 30 recordings, ranging from the Schumann and Dvorak piano quintets with Rudolf Buchbinder to Zhou Long’s Poems from Tang for string quartet and orchestra with the Singapore Symphony (BIS). Delos released the Quartet’s most popular disc, “Chinasong,” a collection of Chinese folk songs arranged by Yi-Wen Jiang reflecting on his childhood memories of the Cultural Revolution in China. In 2009 Camerata released the quartet’s recordings of the complete Beethoven String Quartets, a highly praised, seven-disc project.

The Shanghai Quartet currently serves as Quartet-in-Residence at the John J. Cali School of Music at Montclair State University in New Jersey, Ensemble-in-Residence with the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, and as visiting guest professors of the Shanghai Conservatory and the Central Conservatory in Beijing.

The quartet’s Fredonia performance will include Mendelssohn’s Quartet, Op. 80, traditional and popular Chinese folk songs, and the Dvorak Piano Quintet, Op. 81, easily one of the finest examples of late Romantic chamber music, performed by Fredonia School of Music piano Associate Professor Sean Duggan.

 
     Pianist Sean Duggan

Duggan is a monk of St. Joseph Abbey in Covington, La. He obtained his music degrees from Loyola University in New Orleans and Carnegie Mellon University, and received a master’s degree in theology from Notre Dame Seminary in New Orleans. From 1988 to 2001 he taught music, Latin and religion at St. Joseph Seminary College in Louisiana and was director of music and organist at St. Joseph Abbey. In September 1983 he won first prize in the Johann Sebastian Bach International Competition for Pianists in Washington, D.C., and again in August 1991. He is presently in the midst of recording the complete cycle of Bach’s keyboard (piano) music which will comprise 24 CDs. Before he joined the Benedictine order he was pianist and assistant chorus master for the Pittsburgh Opera Company. He has performed with many orchestras including the Louisiana Philharmonic, the Buffalo Philharmonic, the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, the Leipzig Baroque Soloists, The Prague Chamber Orchestra, The American Chamber Orchestra and the Pennsylvania Sinfonia. Duggan was a visiting professor at the University of Michigan and during the fall semester of 2008 was also a guest professor at Eastman School of Music. He has been a guest artist and adjudicator at the Chautauqua Institution for several summers, and is a faculty member of the Golandsky Institute at Princeton, N.J. He continues to study the Taubman approach with Edna Golandsky in New York City.

The residency is supported by Stanley and Elizabeth Star and the Williams Visiting Professorship endowment through the Fredonia College Foundation.

Seating is reserved for the Oct. 3 concert. For tickets, call 673-3501; go online at fredonia.edu/tickets; or visit the Fredonia Ticket Office in the Williams Center. Concert ticket prices are $35 ($12 for students with ID and children). A pre-concert dinner in the Williams Center is available to patrons, with an open bar at 5 p.m. and dinner served at 5:30 p.m. Tickets are $75 for the concert and dinner. The menu and ticket details can be viewed at fredonia.edu/tickets. Dinner tickets must be purchased by Sept. 28, and reserved tables of eight are available. For more information, contact Jennifer Darrell-Sterbak at (716) 673-3686 or sterbajd@fredonia.edu.

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