Dover String Quartet takes journey from Mozart to modern China

HAMILTON — The Dover String Quartet starts off the Colgate University Department of Music Spring Concert Series with "Journey From Mozart to Modern China" on Sunday at 3:30 p.m. in the Colgate Memorial Chapel. The quartet will perform music by Mozart, Webern, Shostakovich and Colgate’s composer Zhou Tian.

This concert is free and all are most welcome.

For more information, or a 2012/2013 Concert Calendar, call Lorraine Joseph, Concert Coordinator, Department of Music, Colgate University at 228-7642.

Considered one of the most remarkably talented young string quartets ever to emerge at such a young age, the Dover Quartet (formerly known as the Old City String Quartet) was the Grand Prize-winner of the 2010 Fischoff Competition.

Formed at the Curtis Institute of Music in 2008, when its members were 19 years old, the Quartet draws from the musical lineage of both the Vermeer and Guarneri Quartets, but brings a youthful enthusiasm and musical conviction to the repertoire that is truly its own. The Strad recently raved that the Quartet is "already pulling away from their peers with their exceptional interpretative maturity, tonal refinement and taut ensemble."

The Dover Quartet has won prizes at the London International String Quartet Competition, and has taken part in festivals such as Artosphere, La Jolla SummerFest, and the Amelia Island Chamber Music Festival. Recent performances include those for such influential series as the Washington Performing Arts Society, the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, Peoples’ Symphony, Schneider Concerts, Kneisel Hall, and the Houston Friends of Chamber Music.

The Dover Quartet will be continuing their close collaboration with violist Roberto Díaz on an extensive European tour in spring 2013 including performances throughout Germany, Austria, Spain, and the United Kingdom.

Members of the Quartet have appeared as soloists with orchestras, including the Philadelphia Orchestra, Tokyo Philharmonic, Kansas City Symphony and BBC Concert Orchestra.

The group’s recording of the Mendelssohn and Debussy quartets (Unipheye Music) was awarded the Blue Moon Award by the audiophile website

The album’s review by David Kan proclaimed that "... the maturity in these interpretations is phenomenal and disproportionate to the age [of the group]."

The ensemble worked intensively at the Curtis Institute with such chamber musicians as Shmuel Ashkenasi, Arnold Steinhardt, Joseph Silverstein, and Peter Wiley, and is the Graduate String Quartet-in-Residence at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music in Houston, Texas.

Chinese-American composer Zhou Tian’s recent premieres include "First Sight," commissioned and premiered by the Minnesota Orchestra, "A Thousand Years of Good Prayers" by the Indianapolis Symphony, "Blowing Westward" at Carnegie Hall’s Zankel Hall, "Piano Trio" at the Kennedy Center, and "The Grand Canal Symphonic Suite" at the National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing.

Fanfare has called his music "absolutely beautiful¿an unusual but utterly satisfying fusion of French flavors with an American view of a Chinese poem."

Zhou’s large-scale symphonic suite for soloists, orchestra and chorus, "The Grand Canal," was performed during a nationally televised celebration of the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China. The work was also selected as a theme at 2010 Shanghai World Expo.

Zhou has won first prize in the Washington International Competition for Composers, first prize in ASCAP and Lotte Lehmann Foundation Art Song Competition, three ASCAP/Morton Gould Young Composer Awards and Composition Fellowships from the Tanglewood Music Center, the Aspen Music Festival and the American Conservatory at Fontainebleau.

Zhou’s works have been recorded on Naxos, Cedille, Innova and Pacific records.

Born in 1981 in the city of Hangzhou, China, Zhou holds music degrees from the Curtis Institute of Music (B.M.), the Juilliard School (M.M.) and the University of Southern California (D.M.A.)

Zhou joined the music faculty at Colgate University in 2011. His current commissions include the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and China’s Hangzhou Philharmonic.

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