Spring 2009 Concert

The Biava Quartet with mezzo-soprano Rachel Calloway, baritone Alexander Tall, and pianist Konstantin Soukhovetski
Lost Classics: Russian Jewish Music Revisited

  • Terrace Theater
  • The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
  • Washington, D.C.
  • March 19th, 2009

Concert Summary

On March 19, 2009, Pro Musica Hebraica presented the Biava Quartet (Austin Hartman and Hyunsu Ko, violins, Mary Persin, viola, and Jason Calloway, cello) in a repeat appearance. In this concert, the critically acclaimed dynamic young quartet, currently the Lisa Arnhold Quartet in Residence at the Juilliard School, delved further into the music of the St. Petersburg Jewish composers. Joined by special guests mezzo-soprano Rachel Calloway, baritone Alexander Tall, and pianist Konstantin Soukhovetski, they performed Leo Zeitlin’s vocal suite and forgotten string quartet masterpieces by violin virtuoso Joseph Achron, Aleksandr Zhitomirskii, and Russian-born Hollywood film composer Michel Michelet. They paired these works with Dmitrii Shostakovich’s stirring Fourth String Quartet, itself inspired by the same Jewish folk traditions on which his fellow colleagues drew.

The Biava Quartet is recognized as one of today’s most exciting young American string quartets. Winner of the Naumburg Chamber Music Award and top prizes at the Premio Borciani and London International Competitions, the Quartet has established an enthusiastic following in the United States and abroad, impressing audiences with its sensitive artistry and communicative powers. Formed in 1998 at the Cleveland Institute of Music, the Quartet takes its name from Maestro Luis Biava, a mentor since its inception.

Concert Program

Dmitrii Shostakovich
Quarter No. 4 in D major, op.83 (1949)
The Biava Quartet
Joseph Achron
Four Improvisations, op. 63 (1927)
The Biava Quartet
Aleksandr Zhitomirskii
Dem Rebens Nigun (The Rabbi’s Melody), op. 3 (1910)
The Biava Quartet
Michel Michelet
Elegie, for String Orchestra, op. 4 (1923), arr. for string quartet and piano
The Biava Quartet
Konstantin Soukhovetski
Leo Zeitlin
Five Songs from the Yiddish (ca. 1913-1921)
1. Eli, Eli (My God, my God)
2. Iber di hoyfn (Over the fields)
3. Patsh, patsh, kikhelekh (Patty cake, patty cake)
4. Shoyn nito der nekhtn (Last night is over)
5. Der kadish fun reb Leyvi-Yitskhok (The Kaddish of Rabbi Levi-Itzhak)
The Biava Quartet
Rachel Calloway
Konstantin Soukhovetski
Alexander Tall