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Beethoven String Quartet Week

The Jupiter String Quartet kicks off the Slee Beethoven Cycle at UB.

The Slee Cycle begins at UB while the Clara String Quartet brings Beethoven to Buffalo State

One of the perks of being a resident of Western New York—and there are several—is the annual presentation of performances at the University at Buffalo, of the complete Beethoven string quartet cycle, due to the far-sighted generosity of the late Frederick and Alice Slee. The Slee family had a long-standing tradition of hosting chamber music performances in their Buffalo residence, with Frederick often taking one of the violin parts himself. Frederick predeceased his wife Alice, but she in turn honored his wishes, leaving a significant legacy for the establishment of a fund to allow the performance of all the Beethoven string quartets, on a yearly basis, in perpetuity. While the Slee Beethoven Cycle at UB is now well into its second half-century, the performance of all of Beethoven’s string quartets in any other city, in one concert season, is still a relative rarity that remains newsworthy. When New York City’s Lincoln Center presented the works, a couple of years ago, it both acknowledged and honored the Slee legacy, by choosing to have the works performed, not only by the same groups that appeared in Buffalo, but also in the same performance order, as specified by the Slee bequest.

This year’s Slee Cycle features three string quartets each performing pairs of programs, in Lippes Concert Hall in Slee Hall, on the UB Amherst Campus, beginning with the first two performances by the Jupiter String Quartet, on Friday, October 14, at 7:30pm and Sunday, October 16, at 3pm. A master class with the Jupiter String Quartet, free and open to public observation, will take place on Saturday, October 15, 2011 at 1pm in Baird Recital Hall.

Formed in 2001, the Boston-based Jupiter String Quartet, except for violinist Nelson Lee, is something of a family affair, as violist Liz Freivogel is the older sister of violinist Megan Frievogel, who is married to cellist Daniel McDonough. Three of the quartet members met while students at the Cleveland Institute of Music, and when they needed a violist, Megan suggested her sister Liz, a student at nearby Oberlin College.

The young members of the Jupiter Quartet have earned membership in Lincoln Center’s Chamber Music Society Two, and recently took first prize in the Banff International String Quartet Competition, and Chamber Music America’s Cleveland Quartet Award, which “honors and promotes a rising young string quartet whose artistry demonstrates that it is in the process of establishing a major career.” The quartet also won the 2005 Young Concert Artists International auditions and now holds YCA’s Helen F. Whitaker Chamber Music Chair. Most recently, they were honored to receive an Avery Fisher Career Grant.

Rounding out the remainder of this season’s Slee Cycle, the Borromeo String Quartet will perform on Friday, November 11 and Saturday, November 12, at 7:30pm, with a master class on November 10, while one of Buffalo’s favorite string quartets, the Eastman School of Music based Ying Quartet, offers a master class on Wednesday, February 15, and concludes the series with their performances on Thursday, February 16, at 7:30pm and Sunday, February 19, at 3pm.

Advance tickets are $12 general admission, $9 for UB faculty/staff/alumni and senior citizens, $5 for students. At the door: $20/$15/$8. Available at Slee Hall box office, Center for the Arts box office, or at any Ticketmaster outlet. For more information, call 645-2921 or visit

The Clara String Quartet at Buffalo State College

On Wednesday, October 12, at 7:30pm, at Rockwell Hall on the Buffalo State College Campus, the Clara String Quartet will perform one of Beethoven’s popular Razumovsky quartets, the Opus 59, No.1, along with the String Quartet by Ravel. The members of the Clara String Quartet are also members of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra: violinist Amy Glidden is associate concertmaster; violinist Jacqueline Galluzzo, is associate principal second violin; Kate Holzemer is a BPO violist and Amelie Fradette is a member of the cello section.

The Clara String Quartet was formed in 2002 by the four friends who wanted to share their joy in chamber music making with the Western New York community. Nine years later, the Clara Quartet has performed in both traditional and alternate venues throughout the area, including appearances at Kleinhans Music Hall, the Albright Knox Art Gallery, the Unity Church, the Montante Cultural Center and Nietzsche’s. The members of the group were invited in 2008 to become the string-quartet-in-residence at Buffalo State College, where they maintain instrumental studios, coach chamber music, and can he heard regularly on the faculty concert series. Described by the Buffalo News as projecting “.....virtuosity, togetherness and, maybe most importantly, warmth”, the Clara Quartet has made solo appearances with the BPO under the baton of JoAnn Falletta, collaborated with the Buffalo Gay Men’s Chorus, and performed as part of the Bravo Workshop.

Tickets: $10; students/free; phone: 885-5000


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