Dear Friends:

Warm wishes for a wonderful 2020!

I am delighted to share this quick roundup of my clients' work, and in particular to highlight a range of video and audio material you can access through the BesenArts YouTube channel . As always, please let me know any time I can be helpful to you as you plan coming seasons.


Coming to APAP or CMA?

APAP: I'll be in Rhinelander #225.
CMA: I have a table in the Atrium.

Calling All CMA Delegates!...

Please come hear the Argus Quartet perform one of the official CMA Showcases on Friday, January 17 at 5:30 PM, Westin Hotel, Majestic Ballroom (5th Floor). Music of J.S. Bach, Juri Seo, Chris Cerrone, and Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel.


Calling All CMA Delegates & NYC Area Friends!...

Please come hear the Horszowski Trio and composer/clarinetist Derek Bermel at Steinway Hall, 1133 Avenue of the Americas (43rd Street) on Saturday, January 18 at 8:15 PM. Derek Bermel's piano trio "Death with Interruptions" and Olivier Messiaen's "Quartet for the End of Time" (Mr. Bermel joining the trio on clarinet). You do NOT need to RSVP.

This new ensemble teams up two of the most admired chamber musicians of our time, clarinetist  David Shifrin  and cellist  Peter Wiley , with the superb pianist  Anna Polonsky . They made their debut last season at Dumbarton Oaks, and have since and are soon scheduled to perform at Yale University, the Chamber Music Society of Detroit, the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, the Phoenix Chamber Music Society, Fontana Arts, Market Square Concerts, the Chamber Music Society of Palm Beach, and the Candlelight Concert Society.  Follow this link to hear their Beethoven and Brahms from a performance at Yale in November.

A special project that brings together and all-star ensemble – violinist  Cho-Liang Lin , clarinetist  David Shifrin , bandonéonist  Héctor Del Curto , pianist  Alex Brown , bassist  Pablo Aslan , and percussionist  Satoshi Takeishi  – to perform music of  Lalo Schifrin and Ástor Piazzolla . Performances include the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, La Jolla SummerFest, Chamber Music Northwest, and Beare’s Premiere Music Festival in Hong Kong.

Listen to selections from the Hong Kong performance:

The Alexander premiered Samuel Adams’ “Quintet with Pillars” last season, performing the work, in collaboration with pianist  Joyce Yang , for the Arizona Friends of Chamber Music, San Francisco Performances, Soka University, Mondavi Center, Chamber Music International in Dallas, the Bender Jewish Community Center of Greater Washington, and the University of Washington. This season they complete a Shostakovich cycle at Mondavi Center and begin a Beethoven Cycle for San Francisco Performances. Their recording, for FoghornClassics, of the  final string quartets of Mozart  was released late last season (Fanfare: “suffused with feelings of warmth, mellowness, and tenderness that come from maturity  -  maturity in this case of both the composer and the ensemble”). Their recording of  Dvořák’s “American” quartet paired with the Op. 81 Piano Quintet, again with Ms. Yang , was released this fall.

Listen to the Mozart album:

And the Scherzo from the Dvorak Quintet with Joyce Yang:

The Argus Quartet was 2017 First Prize Winner at the  M-Prize Chamber Arts Competition  and  Concert Artists Guild  Victor Elmaleh Competition. Praised for playing with “supreme melodic control and total authority” ( Calgary Herald ), they have performed at Carnegie’s Weill and Zankel Halls, Alice Tully Hall, for the Chamber Music Society of Detroit, the Ravinia Festival, the Albany Symphony’s American Music Festival, and Music Academy of the West. Highlights of the 2019-20 season include debuts for Washington Performing Arts at the Kennedy Center and Lincoln Center’s Great Performers series, along with a return engagement in New York for the Schneider Concerts at the New School.

Listen to Bach, Fanny Mendelssohn, and Juri Seo:

The Formosa Quartet, only the second American ensemble to win the  Wigmore Hall International String Quartet Competition  (the Alexander was the first) performs this season in New York, Washington, and Chicago; holds residencies at UCLA, the University of Houston, Eastern Michigan University, and the National Youth Orchestra Canada; and performs at the Taipei Music Academy & Festival and the Piedmont Chamber Music Festival. The coming season includes their debut for the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society and a tour of Germany.  “From Hungary to Taiwan”  (Fanfare: “as primal as it is fearsomely intelligent”) was released by Bridge Records early this year, featuring works of Bartok, Dana Wilson, Wei-Chieh Lin, and 2020 Grawenmayer Award winner Lei Liang. 

Listen to "From Hungary to Taiwan":

And some selections from the trademark "Formosa Set, their exclusive collection of world, folk, jazz, and poetry arrangements:

The Horszowski Trio’s recent and upcoming performances include the 92nd Street Y, Schubert Club, Spivey Hall, UCLA, Cornell University, Chamber Music Monterey Bay, and the chamber music societies of Philadelphia, Yale, Los Alamos, and Buffalo. They will make their debut at the Rockport Chamber Music Festival this summer. Last season featured debuts at Wigmore Hall, the Moritzburg Festival (Dresden), the Festival Internacional de Música de Cámara de San Miguel de Allende (Mexico), and second tours of Japan and Canada. Their  recording of the complete trios of Robert Schumann  was released earlier this year by  AVIE Records , earning praise from the  San Francisco Chronicle  for “robust and poignant” and “bold and endearing” performances.

Listen to their Schumann album, including a promo video:

And some Shostakovich & Carter from Yale in December, and Haydn from the Bowdoin Festival this summer:

Recent engagements of the Atlantic Brass Quintet include the Rutgers University Mason Gross Summer Series, Auditorium Chamber Music Series in Idaho, a holiday tour in the Northeast, and recitals spanning Florida to British Columbia.  Their most recent recording, “Ascent,” is a collection of music for brass quintet spanning over three centuries,  featuring Declamatory Ascent written for the Atlantic by Shane Endsley (of Kneebody), Voices in Da Fan by Atlantic trumpeter Andrew Sorg, and new arrangements of music by Brad Mehldau, Alberto Ginastera, Bach, and Handel.

An Atlantic Brass Sampler collection:

The New Century Saxophone Quartet’s recent performances include the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, reengagements for Four Seasons Arts in Oakland and the Asociación Nacional de Conciertos in Panama, an extensive tour of the Midwest for Allied Concerts, a residency at Carthage College, and their first performance for Pro Musica of Joplin.

A New Century Sampler collection:

Guitarist William Kanengiser’s recent and upcoming performances include Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall, Boston, Cleveland, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Dallas, and Paris. His newest performance project is “Diaspora,” featuring works he is commissioning to explore the musical influences of many cultures whose peoples have been dispersed from their homelands, including a range of solo guitar works as well as a concerto for guitar and guitar orchestra from Sergio Assad.  “British Invasion” joins Mr. Kanengiser and the Alexander String Quartet in a program for works for guitar and string quartet, including a work co-written by Sting and Dušan Bogdanović (Prisms – Six Songs by Sting), as well as works inspired by Led Zeppelin, the Beatles, and Dowland ; the program is to be premiered for San Francisco Performances in March 2020.

Listen to Sergio Assad's "The Walls":

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