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Music for Peace: The Verona Quartet with Paul Katz
October 19 @ 7:30 pm - 10:00 pm$10 – $35
Join us for the first concert of the 2019-2020 Music for Peace Series with the prize-winning Verona Quartet and world renowned cellist Paul Katz.
The featured work will be the much beloved Schubert String Quintet in C Major, D 956, which many consider the best piece of chamber music ever written!
Jonathan Ong, Violin
Dorothy Ro, Violin
Abigail Rojansky, Viola
Jonathan Dormand, Cello
Paul Katz, Cello
Maurice Ravel, String Quartet in F Major
Karol Szymanowski, String Quartet no. 2, Op. 56
Franz Schubert, Cello Quintet, D. 956
Benefits Massachusetts Peace Action Education Fund; part of the Music for Peace Series. Single concert: seats $25 in advance for Mass. Peace Action members, $35 for non-members, $10 for students and low incomes, $35 at the door. Series of 3 concerts: member $65, non-member $80, student/low income $25.
To reserve, write a check to “Massachusetts Peace Action Education Fund” and mail to 11 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138, or call 617-354-2169 with credit card number. Or reserve seats online for the single concert or purchase online for a series of 3.
Donations to support our work for peace are welcome in any amount. Supporters donate $250 or more to Massachusetts Peace Action Education Fund; they receive two tickets with preferred seating in the first 3 rows to each concert and recognition in the programs. Sponsors donate $500 and receive four tickets; Benefactors donate $1,000 and receive eight tickets.
The audience is invited to join the musicians and Peace Action members at a reception after the concert. The venue is wheelchair accessible via a ramp to the left of the church.
Hailed by The New York Times as an “outstanding ensemble,” The Verona Quartet is dedicated to showcasing the art form of the string quartet and to elevating their music making to convey the poetic narrative of storytelling. The Quartet’s members represent four different nations (USA, UK, Singapore and Canada), but their singular approach and unanimity of purpose in both musical and cultural cooperation has quickly earned the group a reputation for its “interpretive strength… robust characterization [and] commanding resonance” (Calgary Herald).
Since winning the 2015 Concert Artists Guild Competition, the Verona Quartet has established itself as one of the most sought-after string quartets of its generation, delighting audiences at venues worldwide including Wigmore Hall (London, UK), Izumi Hall (Osaka, Japan), the National Theatre (Abu Dhabi, UAE), Melbourne Recital Hall (Melbourne, Australia), and, in New York City, at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall and Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center. 2018-2019 season highlights include performances on the Lincoln Center Great Performers Series, Buffalo Chamber Music Society, Boston Celebrity Series, Lunenburg Academy of Musical Performance, Jordan Hall and Strathmore’s Music in the Mansion.
The Verona Quartet’s progressive approach to collaboration and programming includes numerous cross-cultural and inter-disciplinary enterprises. Past projects have included a performance art installation with visual artist Ana Prvacki, artistic exchange with traditional Emirati poets in the UAE and collaborative work with dancers from Brooklyn’s Dance Heginbotham. The Quartet also regularly champions, premieres and commissions works from contemporary composers including Julia Adolphe, Sebastian Currier, Richard Danielpour and Atar Arad, as well as Michael Gilbertson, whose Quartet (commissioned by the Verona Quartet and CAG) was named a finalist for the 2018 Pulitzer Prize in Music.
Strongly committed to education, the Quartet was the 2017-18 Quartet-in-Residence at the Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts and has been on the faculty of the Indiana University Summer String Academy as Quartet-in-Residence since 2016. Recent international residencies include: the Beethoven-Haus (Bonn, Germany); Oberlin Conservatory of Music; New York University-Abu Dhabi, and Lunenberg Academy of Music Performance (Nova Scotia, Canada). They have also appeared on National Public Radio, WQXR, WFMT, The Weekly Special on PBS, and Abu Dhabi Classical FM.
Among its many accolades, the Verona Quartet have been D’Addario Artists since 2017 and can be seen regularly on The Violin Channel as Violin Channel Artists. In addition to being named by Musical America as “New Artists of the Month” in May 2016, the group has garnered worldwide recognition by winning top prizes at international competitions across four continents including the Wigmore Hall International String Quartet Competition (London), the 8th Osaka International Chamber Music Competition (Japan) and the Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition (Australia), in addition to its CAG victory in 2015. The Quartet is currently the quartet-in-residence at the New England Conservatory of Music’s Professional String Quartet Training program, under the mentorship of Paul Katz, and has previously studied at The Juilliard School under the Juilliard String Quartet and David Finckel as well as at Indiana University under the Pacifica Quartet. Other notable mentors include Atar Arad, Donald Weilerstein, Martha Katz, Alex Kerr, Miriam Fried, Kim Kashkashian and Gerhard Schulz.
The Verona Quartet’s “thoughtful, impressive” performances (Cleveland Classical) spring from the spirit and power of storytelling. The quartet believes that the essence of storytelling transcends genre and so the name “Verona” pays tribute to William Shakespeare, one of the greatest storytellers of all time.
Paul Katz is known to concertgoers the world over as cellist of the Cleveland Quartet, which, during an international career of 26 years, made more than 2,500 appearances on four continents. As a member of this celebrated ensemble from 1969 to 1995, Katz performed at the White House and on many television shows, including “CBS Sunday Morning,” NBC’s “Today Show,” “The Grammy Awards” (the first classical musicians to appear on that show), and in “In The Mainstream The Cleveland Quartet,” a one-hour documentary televised across the U.S. and Canada.
Katz has received many honors, the most recent including the “Chevalier du Violoncelle,” awarded by the Eva Janzer Memorial Cello Center at Indiana University for distinguished achievements and contributions to the world of cello playing and teaching; The Richard M. Bogomolny National Service Award, Chamber Music America’s highest honor, awarded for a lifetime of distinguished service in the field of chamber music; an Honorary Doctorate of Musical Arts from Albright College; and the American String Teacher’s Association “Artist-Teacher of the Year 2003.” Katz is a passionate spokesperson for chamber music the world over, and served for six years as President of Chamber Music America. As an author, he has appeared in numerous publications and wrote the liner notes for the Cleveland Quartet’s three-volume set of the complete Beethoven Quartets on RCA Red Seal.
In 2011, declaring that “our art is passed from one generation to the next, not by books but by mentoring,” Katz launched CelloBello, a website designed to connect cellists of all ages and performance levels. Among the site’s resources are “Cello Lessons,” consisting of footage filmed in Katz’s studio with NEC students; “Legacy” videos from Katz’s own mentors; and a blog coauthored by more than a dozen prominent cellists. Through this medium, Katz is digitizing his own life experience as a student, teacher, and artist of his instrument.
Katz has appeared as soloist in New York, Cleveland, Toronto, Detroit, Los Angeles, and other cities throughout North America. He was a student of Gregor Piatigorsky, Janos Starker, Bernard Greenhouse, Gabor Rejto and Leonard Rose. In 1962, he was selected nationally to play in the historic Pablo Casals masterclass in Berkeley, California. He was a prizewinner in the Munich and Geneva Competitions and for three summers, he was a participant at the Marlboro Music Festival.
Katz’s recordings include Dohnanyi’s Cello Sonata for ProArte Records, and the Cleveland Quartet’s recording on Sony Classical of the Schubert two-cello quintet with Yo-Yo Ma. The Cleveland Quartet has nearly 70 recordings to its credit on RCA Victor, Telarc International, Sony, Philips and ProArte. These recording have earned many distinctions including the all-time best selling chamber music release of Japan, 11 Grammy nominations, Grammy Awards for Best Chamber Music Recording and Best Recorded Contemporary Composition in 1996, and “Best of the Year” awards from Time magazine and Stereo Review.
In September of 2001, Paul Katz joined the New England Conservatory faculty, following five years at Rice University in Houston, and twenty years of teaching at the Eastman School of Music. At NEC, in addition to his studio, seminar teaching and other chamber music coaching, and coaching the NEC Chamber Orchestra, he is founder of the Professional String Quartet Training Program. To date, this program has enrolled six emerging quartets, all of which are now experiencing considerable professional success, including a Grammy award for the Parker Quartet’s 2010 Ligeti CD.
Katz has mentored many of the fine young string quartets on the world’s stages today including the Ariel, Biava, Cavani, Chester, Harlem, Jupiter, Kuss, Lafayette, Maia, Meliora, Parker, T’ang, and Ying Quartets. One of America’s most sought after cello teachers, his cello students, in addition to membership in many of the above quartets, have achieved international careers with solo CDs on Decca, EMI, Channel Classics and Sony Classical, have occupied positions in many of the world’s major orchestras including principal chairs as far away as Oslo, Norway and Osaka, Japan, and are members of many American symphony orchestras such as Buffalo, Chicago, Cleveland, National Symphony, Pittsburgh, Rochester, and St. Louis.
Katz has taught at many of the major summer music programs including twenty years at the Aspen Festival, the Yale Summer School of Chamber Music, the Perlman Music Program, the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival in Germany, ProQuartet in France, Domaine Forget, Orford, and the Banff Center for the Arts in Canada, the Steans Institute of The Ravinia Festival, and is a Director of the Shouse Artist Institute of the Great Lakes Chamber Festival. His hundreds of masterclasses worldwide include many of the major music schools of North and South America, Europe, Israel, Japan and China. Katz frequently sits on the juries of international cello and chamber music competitions, most recently the Leonard Rose International Cello Competition, and the international string quartet competitions of Banff, London, Munich, Graz and Geneva.
Paul Katz plays an Andrea Guarneri cello dated 1669.
B.M., University of Southern California; M.M., Manhattan School of Music; Hon. D.M.A. Albright College. Studies with Gregor Piatigorsky, Janos Starker, Bernard Greenhouse, Leonard Rose, and Gabor Rejto. Recordings on ProArte, RCA Victor, Telarc, Sony, and Philips. Former faculty of Rice University, Eastman School of Music.