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EVENT DETAILS

MIRO STRING QUARTET

  • DATE/TIME

    DATE: Tuesday, September 20, 2016

    TIME: 7:30 PM - 9:30 PM

    VENUE:
    Stude Concert Hall, Shepherd School of Music
    Rice University

  • BIOGRAPHY

    ARTISTS:

    • Daniel Ching, violin
    • William Fedkenheuer, violin
    • John Largess, viola
    • Joshua Gindele, cello
     

    The Miró Quartet is one of the world’s most celebrated and dedicated string quartets, having been labeled by The New Yorker as “furiously committed” and noted by the Cleveland Plain-Dealer for their “exceptional tonal focus and interpretive intensity.” For the past twenty years they have performed throughout the world on the most prestigious concert stages, earning accolades from critics and audiences alike. Based in Austin, TX, and thriving on the area’s storied music scene, the Miró takes pride in finding new ways to communicate with audiences of all backgrounds while honoring the longstanding tradition of chamber music.

    Highlights of recent seasons include a highly anticipated and sold-out return to Carnegie Hall to perform Beethoven’s Opus 59 quartets, a performance at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center as part of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s inaugural residency, and the world premiere of a new concerto for string quartet and orchestra by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Kevin Puts. The Miró also gave performances of the complete Beethoven Cycle at the Orcas Island Chamber Music Festival and at Tokyo’s Suntory Hall, and made debuts in 2014-15 in Korea, Singapore, and at the Hong Kong International Chamber Music Festival.

    During its 2015-16 season, the Quartet returns to the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, performing Beethoven in Alice Tully Hall and the complete cycle of Ginastera’s quartets at the Rose Studio; the Quartet also returns to perform where it began, the Oberlin Conservatory of Music. With concerts in Philadelphia, Phoenix, and throughout Florida, Texas, and the Midwest, this busy season also includes a late-Schubert quartet cycle for the prestigious Slee Series in Buffalo, NY.

    A favorite of summer chamber music festivals, the Miró Quartet has recently performed at La Jolla Music Society’s SummerFest, Chamber Music Northwest, the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, and Music@Menlo. The Miró regularly collaborates with pianist Jon Kimura Parker, percussionist Colin Currie, and mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke.

    Formed in 1995, the Miró Quartet was awarded first prize at several national and international competitions including the Banff International String Quartet Competition and the Naumburg Chamber Music Competition. Deeply committed to music education, members of the Quartet have given master classes at universities and conservatories throughout the world, and since 2003 the Miró has served as the Faculty Quartet-in-Residence at the University of Texas at Austin’s Sarah and Ernest Butler School of Music. In 2005, the Quartet became the first ensemble ever to be awarded the coveted Avery Fisher Career Grant.

    Having released nine celebrated recordings, the Miró recently produced an Emmy Award-winning multimedia project titled Transcendence . A work with visual and audio elements available on live stream, CD, and Blu-ray, Transcendence encompasses philanthropy and documentary filmmaking and is centered around a performance of Franz Schubert’s Quartet in G major on rare Stradivarius and Guarneri instruments. The Miró records independently and makes its music available on a global scale through Apple Music, Amazon, Spotify, Pandora, YouTube and more.

    The Miró Quartet took its name from the Spanish artist Joan Miró, whose Surrealist works — with subject matter drawn from the realm of memory, dreams, and imaginative fantasy — are some of the most groundbreaking of the 20th century. Visit www.miroquartet.com for more information.

    Daniel Ching, violin

    Daniel Ching, a founding member of the Miró Quartet, began his violin studies at the age of 3 under tutelage of his father. At age 5, he entered the San Francisco Conservatory Preparatory Division on a full twelve-year scholarship, where he studied violin with Serban Rusu and Zaven Melikian, and chamber music with Susan Bates. At the age of 10, Daniel was first introduced to string quartets.

    A graduate of the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, Daniel studied violin with Kathleen Winkler, Roland and Almita Vamos, and conducting with Robert Spano and Peter Jaffe. He completed his Masters degree at the Cleveland Institute of Music, where he studied with former Cleveland Quartet violinist Donald Weilerstein. He also studied recording engineering and production with Thomas Knab of Telarc, and subsequently engineered the Miró Quartet's first promotional disc.

    Daniel is on faculty at the Sarah and Ernest Butler School of Music at the University of Texas at Austin, where he teaches private violin students and coaches chamber music. He concurrently maintains an active international touring schedule as a member of the Miró Quartet.

    Daniel is a discerning connoisseur of all things cinematic and electronic. Before he became a busy parent, Daniel was an avid skier and a dedicated reader of science fiction—he looks forward to returning to those passions, some day. In his free time, Daniel enjoys hosting happy hours with friends and lounging at home with his wife Sandy, their two sons, and two cats.

    William Fedkenheuer, violin

    Winner of the Lincoln Center Martin E. Segal Award, violinist William Fedkenheuer has distinguished himself as a versatile artist with international performances as soloist, chamber, and orchestral musician. William’s touring in the United States has included performances at The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall Presents, San Francisco Performances, and the National Gallery. Abroad, he has performed at the American Academy in Rome, Fountainbleu, Spoleto Festival of Two Worlds, the Taipei National University of the Arts, and in Austria at the famed Esterhazy Castle for the Haydn Festival in Eisenstadt.

    Making his solo violin debut with the Calgary Philharmonic in 1994, William went on to receive a Bachelor of Music from Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music under the tutelage of Kathleen Winkler and continued his graduate studies with Miriam Fried at Indiana University. From 2000-2006, William was a member of the Borromeo String Quartet and on the faculty of the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston. Most recently, William has served as the first violinist of the Fry Street Quartet and was on the teaching faculty of the Caine College of the Arts at Utah State University.

    An active hiker and fly-fisherman, William and his wife, violinist Yi Ching Fedkenheuer, have two children and two dogs.

    John Largess, viola

    Violist John Largess began his studies in Boston at age 12 in the public schools, studying with Michael Zaretsky of the Boston Symphony, and later as a student of Michael Tree at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. In 1995, he graduated from Yale University to join the Colorado String Quartet as interim violist with whom he toured the United States and Canada teaching and concertizing. The following year he was appointed principal violist of the Charleston Symphony Orchestra in South Carolina, a position he held until joining the Miró Quartet in 1997.

    Also an active speaker and writer about all things chamber-musical, in 2004 Mr. Largess was invited to give a week-long audience lecture series as a part of the Eighth International String Quartet Competition at the Banff Centre for the Arts in Alberta, Canada; he repeated this series in 2007, and will do so again in 2010.

    With his training in Greek and Latin Literature and his Bachelor's degree in Archeology from Yale University, as well as studies at the Hebrew University in Israel, he has participated in excavations in Greece, Israel, and Jordan. John loves to cook gourmet cuisine, particularly French pastry and fine desserts; luckily, he also enjoys exercising. John is a trained yoga instructor, having studied Vinyasa Power Yoga with Baron Baptiste. He also practices Kundalini, Bikram, and Astanga styles, and teaches yoga at 24 Hour Fitness and the Bodhi Yoga studio in Austin, Texas where he lives. When not standing on his head, he enjoys making his Tibetan Singing Bowl sing.

    John serves as Senior Lecturer and Coordinator of String Chamber Music at the University of Texas at Austin School of Music.

    Joshua Gindele, cello

    Cellist Joshua Gindele, a founding member of the Miró Quartet, began his cello studies at the age of 3 playing a viola his teacher had fitted with an endpin. As cellist for the Miró, Joshua has won numerous international awards including an Avery Fisher Career Grant, the Naumburg Chamber Music Award and the Cleveland Quartet Award and has shared the stage with Pinchas Zuckerman, Joshua Bell, Midori, Matt Haimovitz, Eliot Fisk, Leif Ove Andnes, and The Oak Ridge Boys. He continues to perform across four continents and on some of the world's most prestigious concert stages.

    In 2006 Joshua co-founded www.classicallounge.com. This is an online networking site where you can meet musicians, both professional and amateur, discover new talent or get discovered, share music, post and get concert information, share opinions, post classified ads and much more. The site was sold to www.classicalconnection.com in August of 2009.

    In his spare time, Joshua enjoys spending time with his wife Rebecca and their two children, and the occasional glass of wine.

    Joshua serves as Senior Lecturer at the University Of Texas at Austin where he teaches a select number of private cello students and coaches chamber music.

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