On Saturday, November 12, 2011, at 7:30 PM, at Tenri Cultural Institute, 43A West 13th Street, ARTS AT TENRI continues its fifth season of presenting chamber music traditions from both Europe and Japan with a concert featuring the Colorado Quartet. The program features two pieces for string quartet and shakuhachi, the Japanese bamboo flute, and they will also perform Claude Debussy’s “String Quartet.” The two works for shakuhachi and string quartet are Carlos Sanchez-Gutierrez’ “Here, Again” Commissioned by Kyo-Shin-An Arts, and James Nyoraku Schlefer’s “Quintet.”
Here, Again Carlos Sanchez-Gutierrez
Quintet James Nyoraku Schlefer
Quatour Claude Debussy
The Colorado Quartet
has been a ground-breaking ensemble for nearly three decades. Catapulted onto the scene by back-to-back wins at the Banff International String Quartet and Naumburg competitions, it was the first all-women quartet to attain international stature. The first female quartet in history to perform the complete Beethoven Quartet cycle in Europe and North America, its recording of the cycle will be complete in 2010 on the Parnassus label. Of the Late quartets, Fanfare Magazine said: “The Colorado Quartet tears into these works with a combined tension, cohesion, grace, and complete understanding of the music. . . if it’s the music and what the music says that interests you, well, this is the only set of the late quartets you’ll ever need. Buy it, and marvel. These four women bring Beethoven to intense, blazing life.”
The Colorado Quartet has taught at Yale University, and held residencies at the Oberlin College-Conservatory, the Banff and Orford Centres in Canada, Amherst, Swarthmore and Skidmore Colleges and the New School of Music in Philadelphia. It has held Master Classes on four continents in different languages and in the U.S., including at the Eastman School of Music, Northwestern University, the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, Indiana University, Cincinnati Conservatory and Cleveland Institute of Music. They received a grant from the Lila Wallace/Reader’s Digest Foundation to collaborate on this program with book groups and church organizations in under-served communities in Iowa, and have taken this approach into the Bard Prison Initiative.
In addition to appearing on the major concert stages of the world, the members of the Colorado Quartet are deeply committed to communicating with a wide range of audiences: from grade-school children to professionals to prison inmates. During their tenure as Visiting Professors at Bard College, they developed a lecture series that places the quartet literature within a cultural context, making it relevant to today’s listener.
The Quartet plays new works by composers of many nationalities, and has been the recipient of grants from the National Endowment of the Arts, the Peter Jay Sharp Foundation, the Aaron Copland Fund for Music, Meet the Composer Foundation, the Fromm Foundation and BMI. It has recorded new works on Bridge, Albany, New World, Parnassus and other labels. A recording of works by Henry Cowell was named a “best of 1999” by Gramophone Magazine, and a CD of Schubert and Mendelssohn received the Chamber Music America/WQXR recording award in 2001.
James Nyoraku Schlefer is a leading performer and teacher of shakuhachi in New York City. An active composer, Schlefer has written solo and ensemble music for Japanese instruments and combinations of Japanese and Western instruments. His Concerto for Shakuhachi was premiered in NYC at Merkin Concert Hall in 2009, and in 2010, Allan Kozinn of the NY Times called his Duo No. 3 for shakuhachi and koto“…melodically inventive, richly textured.” As a performer Schlefer has appeared at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, The Kennedy Center, Tanglewood, and has toured internationally in Europe, Asia and South America. His music has also been featured on NPR's All Things Considered. Schlefer received the Dai-Shi-Han (Grand Master's Certificate) in 2001, and in 2007, he received a second Shi-Han license, from Kurahashi Yodo’s Mujuan Dojo in Kyoto. www.nyoraku.com
Tenri Cultural Institute
43A West 13th Street, New York, NY
$25 general, $15 students/seniors