On Labor Day weekend, the renowned Shanghai Quartet performs two concerts at Music Mountain, which is celebrating its 90th anniversary season this summer. The Shanghai Quartet has been a highlight of the long-running music series over the course of many summers, and this year, the Quartet celebrates its 30th year at Music Mountain. On Saturday, August 31 (5 pm), the Quartet performs music by Haydn, Penderecki and Beethoven, and on Sunday, September 1 (3 pm), joined by pianist Todd Crow, they present music by Beethoven, Brahms and Frank Bridge for a special Labor Day Benefit Concert and Reception.
When Music Mountain's then-president, Nick Gordon, asked Isaac Stern to recommend a young string quartet to play at Music Mountain 30 years ago, Mr. Stern recommended the Shanghai Quartet and the young musicians were thrilled to participate. The Music Mountain audience loved this young quartet so much that Mr. Gordon invited them back to perform every summer, much to the delight of concertgoers. In 2004, the Shanghai performed the complete Beethoven string quartet cycle and, last year, right before Mr. Gordon passed away at the age of 89, he programmed another complete Beethoven Cycle with the Quartet resulting in record-breaking ticket sales. The entire Music Mountain community has been proud and grateful to program many of the world's most exceptional string quartets for nine decades, and the Shanghai Quartet’s 30-year tenure is the longest of any quartet at Music Mountain.
Labor Day weekend is traditionally a festive one at Music Mountain, including a big reception with the artists, which this year will take place on September 1st, at the First Fiddle House at Music Mountain. All ticket-holders are welcome to join.
On Saturday August 31, the Quartet performs Haydn's String Quartet in G Major, Op. 77 #1 (1799); Penderecki's String Quartet #3 “Leaves of an unwritten diary” (2008); and Beethoven's String Quartet in A Minor, Op. 132 (1825).
On Sunday, the Quartet offers Beethoven's String Quartet in G Major, Op. 18 #2 (1799) and Frank Bridge's Novelletten (1904), and, with pianist Todd Crow, Brahms' Piano Quartet in A Major, Op. 26 (1861).
Renowned for its passionate musicality, impressive technique and multicultural innovations, the Shanghai Quartet has become one of the world’s foremost chamber ensembles. Its elegant style melds the delicacy of Eastern music with the emotional breadth of Western repertoire, allowing it to traverse musical genres including traditional Chinese folk music, masterpieces of Western music and cutting-edge contemporary works. Formed at the Shanghai Conservatory in 1983, the Quartet has worked with the world’s most distinguished artists and regularly tours the major music centers of Europe, North America and Asia. The Shanghai Quartet currently serves as Quartet-in-Residence at the John J. Cali School of Music, Montclair (NJ) State University, Ensemble-in-Residence with the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, and visiting guest professors of the Shanghai Conservatory and the Central Conservatory in Beijing.
Pianist Todd Crow has been widely acclaimed for performances in North and South America and Europe. The New York Times has described his playing as “heroic, [showing] endless flair, color and stamina,” and The Wall Street Journal raved that his playing exhibited “stunning control and a wonderful sense of musical architecture.” In recent years he has appeared as soloist with orchestras in the United States, England, Italy, Israel, the Czech Republic, and elsewhere, and in recital or chamber music at prestigious venues and festivals in the U.S. and Europe.
Tickets for Saturday's concert are $39, and tickets for Sunday's benefit concert and reception are $75.