First Monday at Jordan Hall: Ravel, Dutilleux, Fauré
Join us as we celebrate 38 years of First Mondays, curated by Artistic Director Laurence Lesser. Programs feature well-loved classics and new compositions, performed by some of the finest chamber musicians in the world, free and open to all. First Mondays are fresh and full of imaginative pairings of well-loved classics and new works, performed in one of the finest places on the planet to hear music of this caliber: NEC’s own Jordan Hall.
This is an in-person event with a private stream available to the NEC community here: https://necmusic.edu/live.
Henri Dutilleux | Ainsi la nuit
played without pause
- Jupiter String Quartet
- Nelson Lee and Meg Freivogel, violin
- Liz Freivogel, viola
- Daniel McDonough, cello
A native of the Chicago area, Cathy Basrak earned her bachelor’s degree from the Curtis Institute of Music in spring 2000. Her teachers included Joseph de Pasquale, BSO principal viola from 1947 to 1964, and Michael Tree of the Guarneri String Quartet. Basrak has won several awards, including Grand Prize in the Seventeen Magazine/General Motors National Concerto Competition, First Prize in the William E. Primrose Memorial Scholarship Competition, First Prize in the Irving M. Klein International String Competition, and Second Prize in the 46th International Music Competition of the ARD in Munich.
At the start of the 2000-2001 season, she became the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s assistant principal viola and principal viola of the Boston Pops Orchestra. As a soloist with the Boston Pops, she gave the premiere of John Williams’s Viola Concerto with the composer conducting in spring 2009. Composed especially for her, the piece includes a duet passage for Basrak and her husband, BSO timpanist Timothy Genis. She has also performed as soloist with the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Chicago, Detroit, and Bavarian Radio symphony orchestras, among others. As a chamber musician, she has performed regularly with the Boston Symphony Chamber Players and in chamber music concerts with her BSO colleagues. She has participated in the Marlboro, Banff Centre for the Arts, and Norfolk Chamber Music festivals, and has performed with the Brandenburg Ensemble and Boston’s Metamorphosen Ensemble.
Cathy Basrak previously taught at the Boston Conservatory, Boston University, and New England Conservatory. She has worked with the child-focused charity organization Cradles to Crayons presenting benefit concerts and volunteering. She and her husband have three daughters.
Combining exceptional lyricism and insight with consummate technique, Alessio Bax is without a doubt “among the most remarkable young pianists now before the public” (Gramophone). He catapulted to prominence with First Prize wins at both the Leeds and Hamamatsu International Piano Competitions, and is now a familiar face on five continents, not only as a recitalist and chamber musician, but also as a concerto soloist who has appeared with more than 150 orchestras, including the London, Royal, and St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestras, the New York, Boston, Dallas, Cincinnati, Seattle, Sydney, and City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestras, and the NHK Symphony in Japan, collaborating with such eminent conductors as Marin Alsop, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Sir Andrew Davis, Fabio Luisi, Sir Simon Rattle, Yuri Temirkanov, and Jaap van Zweden.
Bax constantly explores many facets of his career. He released his eleventh Signum Classics album, Italian Inspirations, whose program was also the vehicle for his solo recital debut at New York’s 92nd Street Y as well as on tour. He recently debuted with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, playing Schumann Concerto and the Seattle Symphony with Saint-Saëns’ Second Piano Concerto and embarked on a trio tour of Spain with violinist Joshua Bell and cellist Steven Isserlis. Bax and his regular piano duo partner, Lucille Chung, gave recitals at New York’s Lincoln Center and were featured with the St. Louis Symphony and Stéphane Denève. He has also toured extensively with Joshua Bell and presented the complete works of Beethoven for cello and piano with cellist Paul Watkins in New York City.
Bax revisited Mozart’s K. 491 and K. 595 concertos, as heard on Alessio Bax Plays Mozart, for his recent debuts with the Boston and Melbourne Symphonies, both with Sir Andrew Davis, and with the Sydney Symphony, which he led himself from the keyboard. In addition, Bax made his solo recital debut at London’s Wigmore Hall, and give concerts at L.A.’s Disney Hall, Washington’s Kennedy Center, and New York’s Carnegie Hall.
As a renowned chamber musician, he recently collaborated with Joshua Bell, Ian Bostridge, Lucille Chung, Steven Isserlis, Daishin Kashimoto, Sergei Nakariakov, Emmanuel Pahud, Lawrence Power, Jean-Guihen Queyras, Paul Watkins and Tabea Zimmermann.
Since 2017 he has been the Artistic Director of the Incontri in Terra di Siena Festival, a Summer Music Festival in the Val d’Orcia region of Tuscany. He appears regularly in festivals such as Seattle, Bravo Vail, Salon-de-Provence, Le Pont in Japan, Great Lakes, Verbier, Ravinia and Music@Menlo.
In 2009, he was awarded an Avery Fisher Career Grant, and four years later he received both the Andrew Wolf Chamber Music Award and the Lincoln Center Award for Emerging Artists.
Bax’s celebrated Signum Classics discography includes Beethoven’s “Hammer-klavier” and “Moonlight” Sonatas (a Gramophone “Editor’s Choice”); Beethoven’s “Emperor” Concerto; Bax & Chung, a duo disc with Lucille Chung; Alessio Bax plays Mozart, recorded with London’s Southbank Sinfonia; Alessio Bax: Scriabin & Mussorgsky (named “Recording of the Month … and quite possibly … of the year” by MusicWeb International); Alessio Bax plays Brahms (a Gramophone “Critics’ Choice”); Bach Transcribed; and Rachmaninov: Preludes & Melodies (an American Record Guide “Critics’ Choice 2011”). Recorded for Warner Classics, his Baroque Reflections album was also a Gramophone “Editor’s Choice.”He performed Beethoven’s “Hammer-klavier” Sonata for Daniel Barenboim in the PBS-TV documentary Barenboim on Beethoven: Masterclass, available on DVD from EMI.
At the record age of 14, Bax graduated with top honors from the conservatory of Bari, his hometown in Italy, and after further studies in Europe, he moved to the United States in 1994. A Steinway artist, he lives in New York City with pianist Lucille Chung and their daughter, Mila. He was invited to join the piano faculty of Boston’s New England Conservatory in the fall of 2019.
Strasbourg-born cellist Blaise Déjardin was appointed principal cello of the Boston Symphony Orchestra by BSO Music Director Andris Nelsons in spring 2018, having joined the BSO’s cello section in 2008. He is the 14th principal cello in the history of the orchestra. In making the appointment, Maestro Nelsons praised Déjardin as “an absolute complete musician with an exquisite breadth of tone, beautiful musical phrasing, and inspired creativity and imagination, only matched by his supreme dedication to conveying the true spirit of the music.”
Déjardin made his highly acclaimed concerto debut with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Andris Nelsons in spring 2022 in Saint-Saëns’ Cello Concerto No. 1. He has also performed as soloist with orchestra around the world with such ensembles as the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra, Kuopio Symphony Orchestra, Boston Pops, Longwood Symphony Orchestra, Cape Ann Symphony, and Melrose Symphony Orchestra. Recent solo performances featured concertos by Dvořák, Brahms, and Shostakovich.
A dedicated chamber musician, he spent two summers at Ravinia’s Steans Institute and is since 2018 a member of the Boston Symphony Chamber Players. Previously, Déjardin was a member of the European Union Youth Orchestra and the Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester. He was also a founding member of A Far Cry and the Boston Cello Quartet. He has arranged numerous pieces for cello ensembles, earning five ASCAP Plus Awards and receiving commissions from Yo-Yo Ma, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and A Far Cry. In 2013 he launched Opus Cello, his online sheet music publishing company. He has served as artistic director of the Boston Cello Society since its creation in 2015.
Déjardin made his solo debut with orchestra at age 14 performing Haydn’s C major concerto at the Corum in Montpellier, France. Among his numerous awards and honors, he was awarded first prize at the Maurice Gendron International Cello Competition and was also the youngest prizewinner at the 6th Adam International Cello Competition in New Zealand. In 2007 he made his Paris recital debut at Le Petit Palais as a laureate of the program Déclic supporting emerging young soloists in France. In 2019 Déjardin released the album MOZART New Cello Duos with cellist Kee-Hyun Kim, featuring his own transcriptions. He also appears on both Boston Cello Quartet albums Pictures and The Latin Project. His first album as principal cello of the BSO, Adès Conducts Adès, was released by Deutsche Gramophone in 2020. Déjardin holds a first prize in Cello with highest honors from the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique of Paris, as well as a master of music degree and a graduate diploma from the New England Conservatory in Boston. His main teachers were Philippe Muller, Laurence Lesser, and Bernard Greenhouse. He serves on the cello faculty of the New England Conservatory and is regularly invited to give masterclasses in Europe, China, and North America. His instructional book Audition Day was published by Opus Cello in 2022.
The Jupiter String Quartet is a particularly intimate group, consisting of violinists Nelson Lee and Meg Freivogel, violist Liz Freivogel (Meg’s older sister), and cellist Daniel McDonough (Meg’s husband, Liz’s brother-in-law). Now enjoying their 21st year together, this tight-knit ensemble is firmly established as an important voice in the world of chamber music. The New Yorker claims, “The Jupiter String Quartet, an ensemble of eloquent intensity, has matured into one of the mainstays of the American chamber-music scene.”
The quartet has performed across the United States, Canada, Europe, Asia, and the Americas in some of the world’s finest halls. Their chamber music honors and awards include the grand prizes in the Banff International String Quartet Competition and the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition in 2004. In 2005, they won the Young Concert Artists International auditions in New York City, which quickly led to a busy touring schedule. They received the Cleveland Quartet Award from Chamber Music America in 2007, followed by an Avery Fisher Career Grant in 2008. From 2007-2010, they were in residence at the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s Chamber Music Two and, in 2009, they received a grant from the Fromm Foundation to commission a new quartet from Dan Visconti for a CMSLC performance at Alice Tully Hall. In 2012, the Jupiter Quartet members were appointed as artists-in-residence and faculty at the University of Illinois, where they continue to perform regularly in the beautiful Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, maintain private studios, and direct the chamber music program.
The Jupiter String Quartet feels a particular connection to the core string quartet repertoire; they have presented the complete Bartok string quartets at the University of Illinois and the complete cycle of Beethoven string quartets at the Aspen Music Festival and School, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Lanaudiere Festival in Quebec. Also strongly committed to new music, they have commissioned string quartets from Nathan Shields, Stephen Andrew Taylor, Michi Wiancko, Syd Hodkinson, Hannah Lash, Dan Visconti, and Kati Agócs; a quintet with baritone voice by Mark Adamo; and a piano quintet by Pierre Jalbert.
The Jupiters place a strong emphasis on developing relationships with future classical music audiences through educational performances in schools and other community centers. The quartet has also held numerous masterclasses for young musicians, including most recently at Northwestern University, Eastman School of Music, the Aspen Music Festival, Encore Chamber Festival, Madeline Island Music Festival, and Peabody Conservatory.
The quartet's latest album is a collaboration with the Jasper String Quartet (Marquis Classics, 2021), produced by Grammy-winner Judith Sherman. The quartet’s discography also includes numerous recordings on labels including Azica Records and Deutsche Grammophon.
Highlights of the Jupiter Quartet’s 2022-23 season include performances presented by Cleveland Chamber Music Society, Chamber Music Monterey Bay, Tucson Winter Chamber Music Festival, Northwestern University’s Winter Chamber Music Festival, Chamber Music in Napa Valley, and many others, as well as a residency at Middlebury College with the Jasper Quartet. Jupiter will also perform residency concerts at the Krannert Center at the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana.
The quartet chose its name because Jupiter was the most prominent planet in the night sky at the time of its formation and the astrological symbol for Jupiter resembles the number four. They are also proud to list among their accomplishments in recent years the addition of seven quartet children: Pablo, Lillian, Clara, Dominic, Felix, Oliver, and Joelle. You may spot some of these miniature Jupiters in the audience or tagging along to rehearsals, along with their grandparent babysitters.
As a soloist and chamber musician flutist Renée Krimsier has made a name for herself in the areas of contemporary and classical repertoire.
She is former director of and performer in the "Intermezzi" concert series at Charleston’s prestigious Spoleto Festival U.S.A. as well as the "Incontri Musicali" series at the Spoleto Festival in Italy. As a chamber musician she has toured with the Aurora Trio, is a member of Boston Musica Viva, and participates in the festivals in Marlboro, Tanglewood, and La Musica in Sarasota.
Dedicated to the exploration of contemporary music, Krimsier has commissioned a number of new works. She is former principal flute of the Filarmonica de Caracas in Venezuela and the Charleston Symphony in South Carolina.
Internationally acclaimed mezzo-soprano MaryAnn McCormick has performed at top theaters all over the world for more than 30 years. Such companies include La Scala as Isabella in L’italiana in Algeri; Rome Opera as the title role of Carmen; Turin Opera also as Carmen and Azucena in Il Trovatore; Lyric Opera of Chicago as Suzuki in Madama Butterfly; and with the Metropolitan Opera for more than 28 seasons. The recipient of a 2012 Grammy award for her participation in Wagner’s Ring Cycle with the Metropolitan Opera, Ms. McCormick performed many roles there in 140 performances, most recently as Suzuki, as Marcellina in Le Nozze di Figaro and as Frugola in Il Tabarro. Equally at home with concert repertoire, she has performed with many of the greatest orchestras including the New York Philharmonic, The Philadelphia Orchestra, The Cleveland Orchestra, the Boston Symphony and Academy of St. Martin in the Fields. As a recitalist and chamber musician, Ms. McCormick’s notable venues include New York’s Morgan Library and Alice Tully Hall, Boston’s Jordan Hall, The Châtelet in Paris, and Tokyo’s Suntory Hall and Philadelphia’s Academy of Music accompanied by Wolfgang Sawallisch. She has recorded with the Emerson String Quartet; the New York Philharmonic under Kurt Masur; and the Orchestre National de France in the role of Tigrane in Puccini’s Edgar. In 2015, Ms. McCormick was honored to join the voice faculty of the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston.
Pianist Cameron Stowe is a leading specialist in the study and performance of song recital repertoire. Throughout his career his work has been led by his passion for poetry and song, and he has received much critical praise and numerous awards for his commitment to this art form. A pianist "worth his weight in gold," "Strong, precise, supple and sensitive" (New York Times) he has been praised for "his subtlety, his knack of supporting the voice and engaging it in dialogue, his powers of mood painting" (Washington Post) and his ability to "match the singer subtlety for subtlety, shimmer for shimmer" (Baltimore Sun).
Stowe has appeared in concert venues and music festivals throughout the world, playing with some of most prominent concert singers of his generation, including Randall Scarlata, Denyce Graves, Measha Brueggergosman, Danielle DeNiese, Faith Esham, Susan Graham, Vinson Cole, Sari Gruber, and Jesse Blumberg.
For more than a decade Stowe has served as Chair of the Collaborative Piano department at New England Conservatory and as a faculty member at The Juilliard School. This year he was appointed as the new director of Collaborative Piano at Aspen Music Festival. Other festival activities include residencies at Toronto Summer Music Festival, Placido Domingo Festival, Vancouver International Song Institute, and he has given masterclasses for singers and pianists throughout the United States and abroad.
Stowe holds a doctorate from Juilliard and degrees from The Peabody Conservatory (Johns Hopkins), Oberlin College Conservatory, and the North Carolina School of the Arts.
Violinist Donald Weilerstein has concertized extensively as a soloist and chamber musician throughout the world. He was a member of the Young Concert Artists as
well as a winner of the Munich Competition for violin and piano duo. For twenty years (1969-1989) Mr. Weilerstein was the first violinist of the renowned Cleveland Quartet, with whom he toured the world. His recordings with the quartet on the RCA, Telarc, CBS, Phillips, and Pro Arte labels earned seven Grammy nominations and won Best of the Year awards from Time and Stereo Review.
Mr. Weilerstein has taught and performed at such major American and European music festivals as Tanglewood, Aspen, Marlboro, Mostly Mozart, Banff, Salzburg, Luzern, Verbier, Ishikawa, and Keshet Eilon, among many others. He regularly teaches and performs at Ravinia, Yellow Barn, and the Perlman Music Program.
The Weilerstein Duo, pairing Donald with pianist Vivian Hornik Weilerstein, has performed across the United States and in many other countries. Their discography includes the works of Bloch and the sonatas of Janáček, Dohnányi, and Enescu (Arabesque) and the Schumann sonatas (Azica). Mr. Weilerstein is a member of the highly acclaimed Weilerstein Trio. The trio’s widely noted first CD, featured on NPR’s All Things Considered, is devoted to the music of Dvořák. Their second Koch release features music of Schumann and Janáček.
Recently featured in The Strad and Strings magazine, Mr. Weilerstein serves on the faculties of New England Conservatory and the Juilliard School. His students, many of whom have been prize winners in major international competitions, including first prizes in the Indianapolis, Naumburg, Washington, and Hanover competitions, can be heard as soloists, as well as in today’s leading orchestras and chamber ensembles. He was awarded “Artist Teacher of the Year for 2011” by the American String Teachers Association. Mr. Weilerstein first appeared on First Monday in 2004.