News from
Office of Communications
Stanhope Hall, Princeton, New Jersey 08544-5264
Telephone 609-258-3601; Fax 609-258-1301

Contact: Nathan Randall, concert manager
(609) 258-4239; fax (609) 258-1179

Date: May 3, 1999

Brentano Named First-Ever Quartet-in-Residence at Princeton

The Brentano String Quartet has been appointed Quartet-in-Residence at Princeton University beginning with the 1999-2000 academic year. The three-year appointment marks the first-ever residency by a musical ensemble at Princeton, and has been made possible by a generous gift from an alumnus.

"The presence of the Brentano Quartet on our campus will greatly enrich the University community," said President Harold T. Shapiro. "Not only will faculty and students in our Department of Music have the opportunity to work closely with this superb group of musicians, but music-lovers throughout the wider University and the local community will have the privilege of hearing them perform on a regular basis. I look forward eagerly to the arrival at Princeton of the Brentano Quartet next fall, and to the special ties that are certain to develop with them over the coming years."

Paul Lansky, Chair of the Department of Music at Princeton, observed that the Brentano appointment "is an exciting and extremely appropriate step in the life of the Department which will enhance and intensify making music of all kinds."

Since its founding in 1992, the Brentano String Quartet has been hailed around the world as one of this generation's foremost quartets, winning both critical and audience acclaim for its technical brilliance, musical insight, and stylistic elegance. The Quartet is named after Antonie Brentano, whom many scholars believe to have been Beethoven's mysterious "Immortal Beloved," to whom he wrote his famous confession of love.

In 1995, the Brentano was named to three major awards within a single year: the first Cleveland Quartet Award, the Naumburg Chamber Music Award, and the Tenth Annual Martin E. Segal Award. Following its first appearance at London's renowned Wigmore Hall, the Quartet was awarded the Royal Philharmonic Society Music Award for the most outstanding chamber music debut of 1997. The Brentano was chosen by The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center to participate in the inaugural season of Chamber Music Society Two, designed for outstanding young artists on the verge of international careers in chamber music.

The residency acknowledges a long-standing relationship between the Brentano String Quartet and Princeton University. The Quartet's first concert appearance at Princeton was in the Princeton University Concerts 1993-94 Chamber Masterworks Series; it subsequently appeared twice in the Princeton University Summer Chamber Concerts and will again appear this coming July. Members of the Quartet have spent several semesters at Princeton coaching undergraduate chamber music ensembles in the performance-related courses inaugurated by the Department of Music in 1991.

Having the Quartet on campus on a regular basis will enable its members to participate more fully in the musical life of the University. "They will read and perform works by student composers, participate in graduate and undergraduate seminars focusing on the study of the rich string quartet literature, and coach chamber music ensembles made up of student performers including the participants in the Department's Certificate Program in Musical Performance," observed Professor of Music Steven Mackey, himself a noted composer. "They will appear in introductory music literature courses intended for non-majors, and enrich the musical life of the community beyond the University by giving annual concerts open to the general public," he added.

Each of the members of the Brentano String Quartet is a distinguished musician in his or her own right. First violinist Mark Steinberg holds degrees from Indiana University and The Juilliard School, studying with Louise Behrend, Josef Gingold, and Robert Mann. He was the recipient of the 1992 Lotos Foundation Award which resulted in a recital at New York's Weill Hall, and was selected to give the 1993 recital in the Metropolitan Museum's "Introduction" Series. He has participated for several summers with the Marlboro Music Festival and toured extensively with Musicians from Marlboro; he appeared in the El Paso Festival, on the Bargemusic Series in New York, and with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. He has been soloist with the Princeton University Orchestra, the Composers' Ensemble at Princeton, and the New York String Orchestra. An advocate of contemporary music, Mr. Steinberg has worked closely with many composers, and performed with twentieth-century music ensembles including the Guild of Composers, the Da Capo Chamber Players, Speculum Musicae, and Continuum, with which he has toured extensively in the United States and Europe.

Violinist Serena Canin was born into a family of professional musicians in New York City. She earned degrees at Swarthmore College and The Juilliard School, and her teachers have included Burton Kaplan and Robert Mann. An avid chamber musician, Ms. Canin has twice been invited to the Marlboro Music Festival, and performed at the Bodoin and Taos Music Festivals. She has toured with Musicians from Marlboro, the Brandenburg Ensemble, and the Goliard Concerts, and appeared in performances at the Juilliard "Focus!" Festival, the Summergarden Series at the Museum of Modern Art, and the Continuum Concert Series at Alice Tully Hall.

Violist Misha Amory holds degrees from Yale University and The Juilliard School; his principal teachers were Heidi Castleman, Caroline Levine, and Samuel Rhodes. Since winning the Naumburg Viola Award in 1991, Mr. Amory has performed with orchestras throughout the United States and Europe, and been presented in recital in such prestigious venues as New York's Alice Tully Hall, Boston's Gardner Museum, and Washington's Phillips Collection. He has been invited to perform at the Marlboro Music Festival, the Seattle Chamber Music Festival, and with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, and the Boston Chamber Music Society.

'Cellist Nina Maria Lee is the newest member of the Brentano Quartet. She holds bachelor's and master's degrees from The Juilliard School, where her teacher was Joel Krosnick. At sixteen, Ms. Lee was accepted at the Curtis Institute of Music, where she studied 'cello with David Soyer and chamber music with Karen Tuttle and Felix Galimir; subsequently, she studied at Boston University with Michael Reynolds. An active chamber musician, Ms. Lee has performed at the Marlboro, Tanglewood, and Portland (Maine) Music Festivals, and toured with Musicians from Marlboro, collaborating with such artists as Felix Galimir, Jaime Laredo, David Soyer, Nobuko Imai, Isidore Cohen, Mitsuko Uchida, and Andras Schiff. A strong advocate of education, she has appeared on programs to introduce music to children at the Kaplan Space at Carnegie Hall.

The Brentano String Quartet will give its formal debut concert as Quartet-in-Residence at Princeton University on Saturday evening, September 25, 1999, at Richardson Auditorium in Alexander Hall on the Princeton University Campus.


Princeton University Concert Office

Nathan Randall, concert manager
Woolworth Center of Musical Studies
Princeton, New Jersey 08544
Tel (609) 258-4239; Fax (609) 258-1179

Department of Music

Paul Lansky, chair
(609) 258-4241
Steven Mackey, professor of music, composition
(609) 258-4243
Michael Pratt, director, Program in Musical Performance
(609) 258-4259

For additional press materials, photographs, or to arrange an interview:

The Brentano String Quartet

Susan Boyd
MCM Artists Management
(914) 677-5881