The 2013 New Millennium Series promises to be one of our finest yet in its depth and variety. We help the music world say goodbye to the Tokyo String Quartet, one of the great string ensembles of the past century. We bid farewell also to a colleague who has graced our city's artistic life for a quarter century. We present an exciting young quintet who are the first brass ensemble ever on the series. And we bring to town a violist who is regarded as one of the finest string players in the world. All concerts take place at 7:30pm in the Music Recital Hall. Purchase Series Tickets >> | Purchase Individual Tickets >>
The Series opens on Wednesday, January 30 with the Axiom Brass Quintet. Hailed for their musicality and "crystalline beauty of sound," Axiom established themselves as "one of the major art music groups in brass chamber music" after winning the 2008 International Chamber Brass and 2010 Fischoff Chamber Music Competitions. Their repertoire ranges elegantly from jazz to Latin to string quartet transcriptions, as well as original compositions for brass quintet. They are currently an ensemble-in-residence at Tanglewood Institute. Highlights of Axiom’s past seasons have included: concerts in Germany, Portugal, Spain, South Korea and Japan, a four-week residency at the Grand Tetons Music Festival, the release of their debut album New Standards, a clinic and performance at the 2010 Midwest Clinic, as well as recitals, masterclasses and solo appearances with orchestras and bands around the U.S.
Hornist Matthew Oliphant is a chamber musician and new music specialist living and working in Chicago. Brazilian trumpeter Dorival Puccini, Jr. is an active soloist, chamber musician, orchestral player, and educator. A native of Kansas City, Kevin Harrison joined the Axiom Brass in early 2008. He received a Bachelor of Music from Truman State University in 2004 and graduated with distinction from DePaul University in 2006 with a Master of Music degree. Hailing originally from Colorado Springs, Colin Oldberg is an avid orchestral performer, and just recently finished a one-year position as Principal Trumpet of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra. A graduate of Northwestern University, trombonist Brett Johnson the only musician to ever receive degrees in both Jazz Studies and Music Performance from Northwestern.
On Sunday, March 17 we are honored to present violist Kim Kashkashian performing with pianist Lydia Artymiw. Ms. Kashkashian has established herself as one of the most accomplished artists of her generation. Inspiring world-wide critical acclaim, she has been hailed by The San Francisco Chronicle as "an artist who combines a probing, restless musical intellect with enormous beauty of tone." In recent seasons, she has appeared as soloist with the major orchestras of New York, Berlin, London, and Munich. and Tokyo, and she has made guest appearances with the Tokyo, Guarneri, and Galimir Quartets. Born in Detroit, Michigan, and of Armenian descent, Kashkashian graduated from the Peabody Conservatory of Music where she studied with Walter Trampler and Karen Tuttle.
Ms. Artymiw was called by the New York Times "a compelling musical personality" possessing "a beautiful touch, a creative imagination, and a feeling for her instrument's possibilities of color and texture." They will perform Stravinsky's Pulcinella Suite, the Schumann Fantasy Pieces, and Lera Auerbach's superb transcription of the Shostakovich 24 Preludes.
The Faculty and Friends Gala takes place on Friday, April 12th as part of the annual Festival of the Arts. This year will feature a tribute to clarinetist Deborah Pittman, who is retiring after 25 years as one of the shining lights of the Sacramento State Music Department. Ms. Pittman holds BS and MA degrees in music performance from Brooklyn College Conservatory and has done doctoral studies at the Manhattan School of Music. A native New Yorker, she moved to Sacramento in 1981 to play second and bass clarinet with the Sacramento Symphony, a position she held from 1981-1990. She will be joined in concert by colleagues, friends, and several former students who are now accomplished professionals themselves.
The program will include Steve Reich's riveting work for eleven clarinets, "New York Counterpoint". Back by popular demand, we will also present a performance by the winner the annual A.J. and Susi Watson Student Chamber Music Competition. The winning quartet - comprised of Erina Saito, piano, Rei Luu, violin, Jonathan Fleuter, viola, and Allison Kang, cello - will perform Mahler's Piano Quartet in A minor. In addition faculty professor Stephen Blumberg has composed a special tribute piece to Deborah Pittman, entitled "Looking Forward, Looking Back", which will be premiered by the local new music ensemble, Citywater.
After 43 seasons, the Tokyo String Quartet has announced that 2012-2013 will be their last. The 2013 New Millennium Series concludes on Friday, April 19 with the Tokyo String Quartet performing Haydn's Quartet in G Major, Op. 77, Bartok's Quartet No. 5, and Ravel's Quartet in F Major.
Regarded as one of the supreme chamber ensembles of the world, the Tokyo Quartet—Martin Beaver and Kikuei Ikeda (violins), Kazuhide Isomura (viola) and Clive Greensmith (cello)—has collaborated with a remarkable array of artists and composers, built a comprehensive catalogue of critically acclaimed recordings and established a distinguished teaching record.
Performing over a hundred concerts worldwide each season, the quartet has a devoted international following across the globe. The members of the Tokyo String Quartet have served on the faculty of the Yale School of Music as quartet-in-residence since 1976. We feel very privileged to be part of their farewell season. It is not often that a concert series can offer its patrons the chance to witness music history, and we are delighted to be able to do so.
Even with such an amazing line-up, both ticket and subscription prices remain remarkably affordable. Individual tickets are $40 for the Tokyo Quartet, $30 for Kashkashian, and $20 each for the Axiom Brass Quintet and the Faculty Gala, with discounts available for students and seniors. Tickets are available online now through the Sacramento State Ticket Office website, or you can call their office at (916) 278-4323.
A full Series general admission subscription remains an remarkable value at $75 for all four concerts. Here is a direct link to the Series Subscription purchase page.