Illinois University has announced that the Jupiter String Quartet will begin a residency at the University of Illinois School of Music. The residency will officially begin on August 16th, and the Jupiter Quartet will be filling the vacancy left by the departure of the Pacifica String Quartet, who had previously been in residence at the school. Robert Graves, the dean of College of Fine and Applied Arts, said he knew the Jupiters were “an ideal choice” upon meeting them. “In addition to being superb and passionate musicians, they love teaching and will be full participants in the intellectual and artistic life of the campus and community,” Graves said.
Edward Rath, the interim director of the music school, said he was “very pleased” to find the quartet had accepted the university’s offer. “Theirs is an outstanding quartet made up of four excellent players whose musical skills are matched by affable personalities and an infectious enthusiasm for music and life in general,” Rath said. The quartet, composed of violinists Nelson Lee and Meg Freivogel, violist Liz Freivogel, and cellist Daniel McDonough, are internationally renowned as winners of many competitions and as performers who have appeared all over the world. Among their many achievements are wins at the 2005 Young Concert Artists International Auditions, the Banff International String Quartet Competition and the grand prize in the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition. They were selected for membership in Lincoln Center’s Chamber Music Society Two, and recently received an Avery Fisher Career Grant. Says Rath, “I am confident that the Jupiter String Quartet will bring an increasingly higher level of string playing to our orchestral and chamber music programs as they join with our music faculty in providing excellence in performance studies.”
The Jupiter Quartet will make their first appearance as Illinois faculty members this summer at the Allerton Music Festival in Monticello, Illinois, where they will perform on August 30th. Of their new appointment, the quartet says, “It is very exciting for us to have the opportunity to become part of such a vibrant arts community and to contribute to the rich tradition of chamber music in Champaign-Urbana…We look forward to our regular performances in the renowned Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, and are also proud to have the opportunity to represent the university on other stages around the globe.”
The coming season will feature exciting performances from the university’s new quartet-in-residence, including a collaboration with baritone Thomas Hampson on a world premiere of a work by Mark Adamo, and the premiere of a quartet by award-winning composer Hannah Lash, in conjunction with the Aspen Music Festival and the Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival.