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Chiara To Make Way for Parker


While it is 6 months too soon to say goodbye to the Chiara String Quartet, it is a fact that the foursome’s six-year Blodgett Residency at Harvard will be ending in April, upon the conclusion of their fourth concert this season at Paine Hall. Today the name of the successor quartet was revealed in an announcement from The Harvard University Department of Music. The Parker Quartet will join the music department teaching faculty at Harvard University beginning in the fall of 2014.

“Thanks to the Blodgett Artists-in-Residence Program, we have been fortunate to have had a Quartet-in-Residence for four weeks a year since 1985,” said Music Department chair Alexander Rehding. “However, the role of performance in the music department and the University has changed significantly, and this is the right time to bring professional musicians to campus as full-time residents. We are confident that the extended exposure to the string quartet will be highly beneficial to our students, especially our many talented undergraduate performers, allowing them to engage in the practice of chamber music on an unprecedented scale. We welcome the Parker Quartet to Harvard with immense pleasure.”

The Parker Quartet (Daniel Chong, Ying Xue, violin; Jessica Bodner, viola; Kee-Hyun Kim, cello) will, as part of their expanded Blodgett residency, present free concerts each year for the general public and recitals as part of the Dean’s Noontime concert series. They will teach, participate in class demonstrations, read and perform student compositions, and coach Harvard undergraduate chamber ensembles in weekly master classes for Harvard credit. The Parker Quartet’s full time presence in the program will allow for the expansion of the chamber music and performance study opportunities for students in the Harvard University Music Department.

“With our relocation back to Boston and the invitation to join the faculty of Harvard University’s Department of Music, this is truly a special time for the quartet. The Blodgett Artists-in-Residence Program has a wonderful history of hosting established quartets and with its new expansion into a full-time position, we are honored to have the opportunity to share our artistry with the Harvard community. We look forward to our appointment with great excitement.”

The Blodgett Artist-in-Residence program, made possible through a gift from Mr. and Mrs. John W. Blodgett Jr., provides for distinguished artists and ensembles to spend time at the Department of Music and also invites artists to lecture and perform in a variety of musical disciplines. Previous Blodgett Distinguished Artists and Chamber Music ensembles have included the Mendelssohn String Quartet, the Ying Quartet, The Chiara String Quartet, Neba Solo, Greg Osby, Jean Claude Risset, and Sir Harrison Birtwistle.

Local listeners will not have to wait long to hear the foursome. At 8:00 p.m.on  Friday, October 18th at the Harvard Music Department, the Parker Quartet will be joined by Gabriela Diaz, violin, Wenting Kang, viola; Rafael Popper-Keizer, cello; and Yoko Hagino, piano in the free  “Music In Time” series. The following works are programmed:

Martin Brody Corona
Robert Morris …gradually…
Christopher Hasty And Here Wings Open
Christopher Hasty Enfolding Two Unfolding You
Brian Hulse Temporal Reflections

But before the Parker Quartet officially takes the field, the Chiara is slated to offer four promising free performances (reservations required) as follows:

Friday, October 25, 2013 in Cambridge
at 8:00 pm at Paine Hall

Haydn String Quartet Op. 20, No. 2
Adorno Two Pieces for String Quartet, Op. 2
Dvorak Piano Quintet No. 2 in A Major, Op. 81
Robert Levin, piano


Friday, November 22, 2013 in Cambridge
at 8:00 pm at Paine Hall

Mozart String Quartet No.8 in F major, K.168
Edgar Barroso Engrama

Marta Gentilucci Proof Resilience
Brahms Clarinet Quintet in B minor, Op. 115
Todd Palmer, clarinet


Friday, March 7, 2014 in Cambridge
at 8:00 pm at Paine Hall
Bartok String Quartet No. 1 in A minor, Op. 7
Bartok String Quartet No. 3
Bartok String Quartet No. 5


Friday, April 11, 2014 in Cambridge
at 8:00 pm at Paine Hall
Bartok String Quartet No. 2 in A minor, Op. 17
Bartok String Quartet No. 4
Bartok String Quartet No. 6

Parker Quartet (file photo)
Parker Quartet (file photo)

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  1. Un peccato. BMInt did not review the Parker Quartet, at the Concord Chamber Music Society’s first concert of this season. It would have validated the choice of this fine group for the Harvard plum. The Schulhoff String Quartet, composed in 1924 by Erwin Schulhoff, was new to me, and I love it. The quartet’s performance was spirited, clean, incredibly engaging. The Beethoven “Harp” SQ was also given a great read. I found the Mozart to be a little stodgy; one of the musicologists known to BMInt (and far and wide) agreed, but another knowledgeable soul liked it more than we did. An expert on acoustics, he praised the group for its fine tone, and the setting for its ability to project all those pianissimos…

    I noticed, on checking the BMInt site, that the Parker’s concert at Rockport last summer, which I did not attend, got no comments. Un’altro peccato.

    Perhaps the next CCMS concert will once again merit a review?

    Comment by Bettina A. Norton — October 9, 2013 at 10:38 am

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