Ensembles in Residence
Muir String Quartet
Winner of the 1981 Naumburg Chamber Music Award and 1980 Evian International String Quartet Competition, the Muir String Quartet first appeared on the scene in 1980, and was greeted with rave reviews and an extensive feature in the New Yorker. The quartet was also featured on the internationally acclaimed PBS broadcast, In Performance at the White House for President and Mrs. Reagan. Formed in 1979 following graduation from the Curtis Institute of Music, the Muir String Quartet’s principal chamber music teachers were Felix Galimir and members of the Guarneri and Budapeset Quartets.
In its commitment to advancing contemporary American music, the Muir Quartet has had commissioned works written for them by such distinguished composers as Joan Tower (Night Fields), Sheila Silver (From Darkness Emerging), Richard Danielpour (Shadow Dances and Psalms of Sorrow – featured on CBS Sunday Morning), Richard Wilson (Third String Quartet), and Charles Fussell (Being Music – based on poetry of Walt Whitman). The quartet also gave the World Premiere performance of the Native American collaborative work, Circle of Faith, featured on National Public Radio. Recently premiered works include those by esteemed American composers Richard Danielpour (Feast of Fools – for bassoon and string quartet), Lucas Foss (String Quartet #4), Ezra Laderman (String Quartets #9 and #10), and Joelle Wallach (String Quartet #3), and Ronald Perera’s first Quartet. In 07-08, in addition to their annual appearances at Rhode Island College, the Quartet continues its series at Boston University, and performs throughout the North America, along with fall concerts in Holland.
The Muir Quartet has been in residence at Boston University’s College of Fine Arts since 1983, and gives annual summer workshops at the Boston University Tanglewood Institute (BUTI). The Muir Quartet has also given master classes at schools nationwide, including the Eastman School of Music, the Curtis Institute, Oberlin Conservatory, and the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University. Since 1989, the quartet has taught, coached, and administered the Emerging Quartets and Composers Program in Utah with eminent composer Joan Tower. This program is now part of the Muir’s role as resident chamber ensemble with the Deer Valley Festival, in partnership with the Utah Symphony/Opera.
Vento Chiaro has served on the faculty of the Boston University Tanglewood Institute’s Young Artists Wind Ensemble since 2002. As an award-winning ensemble, Vento Chiaro is captivating audiences across the country with their visionary artistry. After winning the Saunderson Award at the Coleman Chamber Music Competition in April of 2000, the LA Times declared, “the day of the woodwind quintet may be dawning.” Vento Chiaro went on to receive the Silver Medal at the Fischoff Chamber Music Competition in 2000 and was a semi-finalist at the Concert Artists Guild Competition in 2001.
Founded in 1997 at the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore, MD, Vento Chiaro relocated to Boston in 1999 and is now the Ensemble-in-Residence at the Longy School in Cambridge, MA. In addition to their Longy appearances, the ensemble has performed several times on WGBH’s radio program hosted by Richard Knisley and at Symphony Hall (including the 2000-01 Centennial Celebration) and across the Eastern Seaboard at such venues as The Settlement School in Philadelphia, PA and ArtScape in Baltimore, MD.
Their varied repertoire ranges from the standards to arrangements of orchestral favorites and newly written works. A part of the ensemble’s mission involves working with musicians and students of all levels. Every spring, Vento Chiaro works with Longy’s Preparatory Composition students, reading their works, offering suggestions, and ultimately performing their music. The ensemble was the Quintet-in-Residence at the 2001 International Clarinet Connection.
To learn more about Vento Chiaro, please visit their website at www.ventochiaro.org.
Praised for their “high level of musicality and technical ability” and for their “clean, clear and precise sound”, the award-winning Axiom Brass Quintet has quickly established itself as “one of the major art music groups in brass chamber music.” Winners of the 2008 International Chamber Brass Competition and prize-winners of the 2010 Fischoff Chamber Music Competition, the Preis der Europa-Stadt Passau, the Plowman Chamber Music Competition, and the Jeju City International Brass Quintet Competition in South Korea, the Axiom Brass is dedicated to enhancing the musical life of communities across the globe and educating the next generation of musicians.
Axiom’s commitment to education and their blend of virtuosic performances and dynamic teaching have inspired young audiences around the nation, earning the ensemble the 2010 Fischoff Educator Award. Their educational concert “Let’s Make Music” has captivated thousands of elementary and middle school students in the USA.
Internationally recognized for their groundbreaking programming, their repertoire ranges from jazz and Latin music to string quartet transcriptions, as well as original compositions for brass quintet. Axiom Brass’ performances have captured the hearts and imaginations of their audiences, leading the ensemble to national radio and television appearances as well as concerts in Asia, Europe and across the USA.
To learn more about Axiom Brass, please visit www.axiombrass.com.