Johann Sebastian BachThe Art of the Fugue
Krzysztof PendereckiString Quartet No. 3 (“Pages from an Unwritten Diary”)
Dmitri ShostakovichPiano Quintet in G Minor, Op. 57
Apollon Musagète Quartet
Paweł Zalejski, violin
Bartosz Zachłod, violin
Piotr Szumieł, viola
Piotr Skweres, cello
with Garrick Ohlsson, piano
Winner of first prize and several other awards at the International Music Competition of the ARD in 2008, the Apollon Musagète Quartet has rapidly become an established feature of the European musical scene, captivating public and press alike. The quartet studied with Johannes Meissl at the European Chamber Music Academy and was inspired by the musicians of the Alban Berg Quartet at the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna. Following nomination by ECHO Rising Stars 2010, the quartet gave highly successful performances at prestigious European venues, and it was also named BBC New Generation Artist in 2012, leading to extensive tours in the UK and a number of recordings for the BBC. In 2014, the musicians received the Borletti-Buitoni Trust Award.
The Apollon Musagète Quartet collaborates with renowned artists in chamber music such as Martin Fröst, Per Arne Glorvigen, Nils Mönkemeyer, Gabriela Montero, István Várdai, and Jörg Widmann. They appeared in several symphonic series with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Dresden Philharmonic, and the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra in Katowice. They welcome collaborations that integrate chamber music into various forms of performing arts and were part of projects such as a staged concert by the Berlin-based performance group Nico and the Navigators, a ballet production of the National Theatre in Nuremberg, and a world tour with the pop singer Tori Amos. Their own compositions Multitude for String Quartet and A Multitude of Shades, both published by the Viennese publisher Doblinger, are often included in the quartet’s concerts.
Piotr Skweres plays an ex-André Navarra cello by Gennaro Gagliano dated 1741. The instrument has kindly been provided by Merito String Instruments Trust Vienna. Furthermore, the quartet thanks the Thomastik Infeld for the generous support and the enterprise Stoffwerk for the exclusive and custom-made concert clothes. This is the first appearance of the Apollon Musagète Quartet at our concerts.
Since his triumph as winner of the 1970 Chopin International Piano Competition, Garrick Ohlsson has established himself worldwide as a musician of magisterial interpretive and technical prowess. Mr. Ohlsson began his piano studies at the age of 8 at the Westchester Conservatory of Music, and at 13 he entered The Juilliard School, in New York City. His musical development has been influenced in completely different ways by a succession of distinguished teachers, most notably Claudio Arrau, Olga Barabini, Tom Lishman, Sascha Gorodnitzki, Rosina Lhévinne, and Irma Wolpe. Although he won First Prizes at the 1966 Busoni Competition in Italy and the 1968 Montréal Piano Competition, it was his 1970 triumph at the International Chopin Competition in Warsaw, where he won the Gold Medal (and remains the only American to have done so), that brought him worldwide recognition as one of the finest pianists of his generation.
Mr. Ohlsson can be heard on the Arabesque, RCA Victor Red Seal, Angel, BMG, Delos, Hänssler, Nonesuch, Telarc, Hyperion, and Virgin Classics labels. His ten-disc set of the complete Beethoven Sonatas, for Bridge Records, has garnered critical acclaim, including a GRAMMY® for Vol. 3. His recording of Rachmaninoff’s Concerto No. 3, with the Atlanta Symphony and Robert Spano, was released in 2011. In the fall of 2008, the English label Hyperion re-released his 16-disc set of the Complete Works of Chopin followed in 2010 by all the Brahms piano variations, “Goyescas” by Enrique Granados, and music of Charles Tomlinson Griffes. Most recently on that label are Scriabin’s complete poèmes, Smetana Czech dances, and études by Debussy, Bartók, and Prokofiev. The latest CDs in his ongoing association with Bridge Records are the complete Scriabin sonatas, “Close Connections” (a recital of 20th-century pieces), and two CDs of works by Liszt. A Steinway Artist, Mr. Ohlsson makes his home in San Francisco. This is Mr. Ohlsson’s first appearance with AFCM.