The Johannes String Quartet consists of four outstanding musicians who take time away from their busy careers to pursue their love of the string quartet literature. The Quartet brings together the first American to win the Paganini Violin Competition in 24 years, Soovin Kim; acting assistant concertmaster of the Boston Symphony, Julianne Lee; the principal viola of the Philadelphia Orchestra, Choong-Jin Chang; and former principal cellist of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Peter Stumpf, currently on faculty at the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University. The Johannes has been praised by listeners and critics alike for its special combination of passion, warmth, elegance, and poetry. Each member has spent numerous summers at the celebrated Marlboro Music Festival, birthplace of many of the world’s renowned ensembles. New York appearances include debuts at Carnegie Hall and the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, as well as frequent performances on the Schneider Series at the New School and the Peoples’ Symphony Concerts at Town Hall.
Since the Johannes made its acclaimed debut there in 1998, the Chamber Music Society of Philadelphia has played a major role in launching the Quartet, presenting them regularly each season, including a two-concert series of the complete Beethoven Opus 18 quartets. Their debut was described the Philadelphia Inquirer as having “accurate intonation, vigorous interaction and careful regard for the details in the score…the passion and attack that characterize the best of quartet playing.”
The 2015-16 season opened with their acclaimed annual return to the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival. Tours take them from New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania to Los Angeles and the Bay Area in California. The release of their long-awaited recording of the complete Brahms string quartets on Azica is planned for early 2016. Last season, in addition to appearances in Arizona, Connecticut, Illinois, Kentucky, New York, and Pennsylvania, they pioneered a special project focused on Bartók and Beethoven with Fred Child of Performance Today as host and narrator in Indianapolis and Burlington. Forthcoming collaborations include viola quintets with Cindy Wu and Branford Marsalis for a new saxophone quintet written for them by Jörg Widmann.
Highlights of recent seasons include the group’s collaboration with the legendary Guarneri Quartet in a program featuring William Bolcom’s Octet: Double Quartet commissioned by the Music Accord presenter consortium specifically for the two ensembles and the premiere of Homunculus, written for the Johannes by Esa-Pekka Salonen, which the ensemble has toured with regularly since its premiere. They received acclaim from audiences and critics alike at the Krannert Center (Urbana, IL), University Musical Society (Ann Arbor, MI), Penn State University, Boston’s Celebrity Series, Orange County Performing Arts Society, San Francisco Performances, Phoenix Chamber Music Society, UCLA Live, Kansas City Friends of Chamber Music, Hayes University (KS), Islip Arts Council, and the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center for their performances of these groundbreaking works. Other notable partnerships have been for the MOZART MAGNIFIED series of concerts with Fred Child, week-long residencies at the Curtis Institute and Indiana University, Schoenberg’s Verklärte Nacht with 2013 Grammy winner Kim Kashkashian on viola and renowned cellist Marcy Rosen, as well as Brahms sextets with members of the Guarneri Quartet, John Dalley and Peter Wiley, and Brahms and Dvořák quintets with principals of the Philadelphia Orchestra. The Quartet’s 2013 Carnegie Hall mainstage performance as soloists with the New York String Orchestra is also memorable.
In addition to their frequent appearances in Philadelphia and Santa Fe, past seasons have included Baltimore’s Shriver Hall, Phoenix Chamber Music Society, Buffalo Chamber Music Society, the Kennedy Center, Chamber Music Society of Louisville, Middlebury College, and String Theory at the Hunter in Chattanooga.
The Johannes String Quartet has been heard live throughout New England on Vermont’s and Maine’s public radio stations, St. Paul Sunday, and on WHYY-TV.
Be sure to hear the Johannes String Quartet’s 2017 Festival performances listed below
Tuesday, July 25, noon
Wednesday, July 26, 6pm
Thursday, July 27, noon
Thursday, July 27, 7:30pm
Sunday, July 30, 6pm
Monday, July 31, 6pm
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