Montalvo Announces Villa Chamber Music Series

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For Immediate Release Contact: Diane Maxwell, 408.961.5841 dmaxwell@montalvoarts.org

June 9, 2010

Montalvo Announces 2010/2011 Villa Chamber Music Series
Special pricing available for the Fall/Winter/Spring concerts

SARATOGA, CA- The Villa Chamber Music Series at Montalvo, running October 17, 2010, through May 8, 2011, features an exciting range of both classical and contemporary string musicians. The schedule includes the Saint Michael Trio, The Parker Quartet, the Cypress String Quartet, the Afiara String Quartet, and the Enso String Quartet. Tickets go on sale June 15; special reduced pricing is offered when tickets for three or more concerts are purchased. All seven performances take place in the historic Villa on the grounds of the Montalvo Arts Center in Saratoga. SAINT MICHAEL TRIO · "MENDELSSOHN EXPLAINED": Piano Trio in C minor, Opus 66 Sunday, October 17, 2010; 3pm More than merely the music, the performance also will feature extensive commentary, audience participation, and demonstrations dissecting Mendelssohn's technique and signature compositional devices. Concertgoers will also learn about his life and times and leave with an appreciation for the context in which the great composer perfected his craft. · MOTHER'S DAY WITH THE SAINT MICHAEL TRIO

Saint Michael Trio

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Montalvo Announces Villa Chamber Music Series

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Sunday, May 8, 2011; 3pm A special concert honoring women and highlighting women composers featuring works by Cecile Chaminade, Clara Schumann, Mary Finlayson and others "The Saint Michael Trio has a passion for divulging interesting details to the audience, using sports metaphors, humor ... whatever else helps people understand." -The Palo Alto Weekly Established in 2007, the Trio already performs with remarkable rapport and understanding, and the ensemble members-Russell Hancock, Michel Flexer, and Daniel Cher-showcase the same virtuosity that has marked their solo music careers. Highly praised for vivid interpretation of the classical literature, the Trio has established a reputation for simultaneously making concerts interesting and accessible through lively dialogue and commentary, charming audiences by mixing in pop and jazz material alongside the classics. In 2008 the Saint Michael Trio members were named Musicians in Residence at Menlo College, where they teach master classes and provide community musical events. Each is a Silicon Valley professional as well as a classically trained musician. Pianist Hancock is president and CEO of Joint Venture-Silicon Valley Network; he has performed with the Redwood Symphony, Saratoga Symphony, Ohlone Chamber Orchestra, and Oakland Temple Hill Orchestra. Cellist Flexer is a software engineer, an early employee at Siebel Systems, and a serial entrepreneur. He performed throughout his youth with the Palo Alto Chamber Orchestra. While a student at Harvard, he studied with Bernard Greenhouse at the New England Conservatory. Violinist Cher, a medical doctor who leads clinical and regulatory affairs for Menlo Park-based Chestnut Medical Technologies, won the undergraduate music award at Stanford University. He has performed with Orchestra New England and New Haven Symphony.

THE PARKER QUARTET Sunday, November 14, 2010; 3pm Hailed by the New York Times as "something extraordinary" and by the Boston Globe for its "fiercely committed performances." The Parker Quartet began its professional touring career in 2002, and in 2005 sparked international acclaim by winning the Concert Artists Guild The Parker Quartet Competition as well as the Grand Prix and Mozart Prize at the 2005 Bordeaux International String Quartet Competition in France. Most recently, the Quartet was awarded the prestigious 2009-2011 Cleveland Quartet Award. Given biennially by Chamber Music America, this award honors and promotes a rising young string quartet whose artistry demonstrates that it is in the process of establishing a major career.

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The Parker Quartet has been profiled in Time Out NY, The Boston Globe, Chamber Music Magazine, and on MusicalAmerica.com for their pioneering performances for audiences in non-traditional venues. The Quartet spends a great deal of time each year working with young musicians through educational residency activities. In addition to its ongoing work through the SPCO's CONNECT program, the group has served as the Ernst Stiefel String Quartetin-Residence at the Caramoor Center and the ensemble-in-residence at the Yellow Barn Music School and Festival. The Parker Quartet's members-Daniel Chong (violin), Karen Kim (violin), Jessica Bodner (viola), Kee-Hyun Kim (cello)-hold graduate degrees in performance and chamber music from the New England Conservatory of Music and were part of the NEC's prestigious Professional String Quartet Training Program.

CYPRESS STRING QUARTET · Debussy & "Impressions" by Jennifer Higdon Sunday, January 16, 2011; 3pm

· Mozart (K465) & Beethoven (Grosse Fugue) Sunday, April 3, 2011; 3pm "The performers, like the music, were on fire." San Jose Mercury News Cypress String Quartet

Widely celebrated for the power of its performances and its passionate dedication to the genre, the Cypress String Quartet combines technical precision with imaginative programming to create unforgettable concert experiences. Cecily Ward, Tom Stone, Ethan Filner, and Jennifer Kloetzel have shown an unfailing dedication to exploring the masterworks of the time-honored, classic chamber music repertoire with its unique and refreshingly open sound. While its members are individually acclaimed musicians in their own right with training from prestigious institutions including The Juilliard School, Interlochen Arts Academy, Cleveland Institute of Music, Guildhall School of Music & Drama, and Royal College of Music, the Quartet has honed its ensemble skills with more than 13 years experience performing around the world. On top of a busy schedule of more than 90 concerts each year at venues across America and internationally, the Cypress String Quartet is a vibrant member of the San Francisco arts community and is dedicated to reflecting and enriching the city's cultural landscape. The Cypress String Quartet represents the voice of the new generation of American culture. As comfortable playing Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven in recital halls as it is being the foundation of multi-media collaborations, the Quartet brings passion, inspiration and enjoyment to every

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audience. The group takes its name from the set of twelve love songs for string quartet, "The Cypresses," by Antonin Dvorak.

AFIARA STRING QUARTET Sunday, February 27, 2011; 3pm "...a terrifically unified, versatile, and moving ensemble." - San Francisco Classical Voice The all-Canadian Afiara String Quartet (Valerie Li and Yuri Cho, violins; David Samuel, viola; and Adrian Fung, cello), one of the rising stars on the chamber music circuit, won the prestigious 2010 Young Afiara String Quartet Canadian Musicians Award. They are recipients of Lisa Amhold Fellowships, and they assist the Juilliard String Quartet with ensemble and chamber music instruction. Complimented for its "energy, style and pizazz" by David Harrington of the Kronos Quartet, the Afiara appeared at Carnegie Hall on the Kronos: Signature Works series and Chamber Music America's National Conference tribute to the Kronos. The ensemble has been heard on Bavarian Radio, CBC Radio 2, TROS in the Netherlands, San Francisco's KALW, and New York's WQXR. They have been featured in the Road to Banff documentary. Formed in 2006, the Afiara String Quartet takes its name from the Spanish fiar, meaning "to trust," a basic element vital to the depth and joy of its music-making. The ensemble is committed to education and connecting with diverse audiences. The Quartet has served as faculty at Chamber Music of the Rockies, Indiana University Summer String Academy, and Canada's Southern Ontario Chamber Music Institute and has also benefited from several visits to the Banff Centre's Fall/Winter Residencies and the Summer Chamber Music Programme. Bringing urban elements into its outreach activities, the ensemble bridges the gap between Haydn and hip-hop.

ENSO STRING QUARTET Sunday, April 10, 2011; 3pm "...edge-of-the-seat vitality few groups maintain throughout a performance" - Houston Chronicle With a 2009 Grammy nomination for "Best Chamber Music Performance," the Enso String Quartet has quickly become one of the country's most accomplished young ensembles. Shortly after the

Enso String Quartet

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group's inception at Yale University in 1999, Enso had success at the Banff International String Quartet Competition, won the Concert Artists Guild International Competition, and has consistently received high praise for performances ever since. The quartet's debut recording was described by Strad Magazine as "an auspicious start to their recording career," and was followed by the recent Grammy-nominated release of the quartets of Ginastera. MusicWeb International summed up this album as "playing of jaw-dropping prowess revealing masterpieces of the 20th century quartet literature...seek out this groupz-they are clearly bound for greatness." The disc was selected as one of MusicWeb's Recordings of the Year for 2009. In addition to its successful recordings, the Quartet's concerts have been acclaimed by audiences and critics alike. Enso is equally at home in many styles and is committed to the classics of the string quartet repertoire as well as being strong advocates for new music. In 2009, the group received a Chamber Music America Commissioning Grant with composer Kurt Stallmann. That same year, two recordings were released on the Albany label featuring the quartet in world premiere recordings of music by Karim Al Zand and Anthony Brandt. Previous seasons have seen the Quartet give many other premiere performances, including Joan Tower's Piano Quintet with the composer at the piano. Enso String Quartet's members-Maureen Nelson and John Marcus (violins), Melissa Reardon (viola), Richard Belcher (cello)-are sought after as teachers and chamber music mentors. They have worked with Young Audiences of Houston and New York and with the International Music Foundation in Chicago and were also featured in the inaugural Young Artist Residency with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. They hold degrees from Yale University, The Juilliard School, Curtis Institute of Music, New England Conservatory, Guildhall School of Music (UK), and the University of Canterbury (New Zealand). Together they have held residencies at Northern Illinois University with the Vermeer Quartet and at the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University. The ensemble's name, enso, is derived from the Japanese Zen painting of the circle that represents many things: perfection and imperfection, the moment of chaos that is creation, the emptiness of the void, the endless circle of life, and the fullness of the spirit.

Villa Chamber Music Series Dates: Seven concerts from October 17, 2010, through May 8, 2011 (Mother's Day) Location: Montalvo Arts Center, 15400 Montalvo Road, Saratoga, CA 95071 Tickets: $30 General Admission; $25 Members; $10 Students with ID; $20 Subscription (available only when purchasing three or more dates from this series). Call 408-961-5858 weekdays from 10am to 4pm. Tickets also sold on-site at the Montalvo Box Office, opening one hour prior to all performances.

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About Montalvo Arts Center Montalvo Arts Center is a nonprofit organization dedicated to forging meaningful connections between art, artists and the communities it serves through creation, presentation and education in extraordinary ways and settings. Located in Silicon Valley's Saratoga hills, Montalvo Arts Center occupies a Mediterranean-style villa on 175 stunning acres, including an international artist residency program. The historic villa and grounds were left to the people of California by Senator James Phelan for the encouragement of art, music, literature and architecture. In January 2005, the organization changed its name from "Montalvo" to "Montalvo Arts Center" to commemorate its 75th year as an arts center and to better communicate its mission to expanding local, national and international audiences. For more information about Montalvo Arts Center, call (408) 961-5800 or visit http://www.montalvoarts.org/ .

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Montalvo Arts Center | 15400 Montalvo Road | Saratoga | CA | 95070

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