Alexander Fiterstein, Lev Ljova, Muir String Quartet
Biographie Alexander Fiterstein, Lev Ljova, Muir String Quartet
Clarinetist Alexander Fiterstein is considered one of today’s most exceptional artists. Fiterstein has performed in recitals, with distinguished orchestras, and with chamber music ensembles throughout the world. He won first prize at the Carl Nielsen International Clarinet Competition and received the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant Award. The Washington Post has described his playing as “dazzling in its spectrum of colors, agility, and range. Every sound he makes is finely measured without inhibiting expressiveness” and The New York Times described him as “a clarinetist with a warm tone and powerful technique.”
As a soloist he has appeared with the Czech, Israel, Vienna, and St. Paul Chamber Orchestras, Belgrade Philharmonic, Danish National Radio Symphony, Tokyo Philharmonic, China National Symphony Orchestra, KBS Orchestra of South Korea, Jerusalem Symphony, Orchestra of St. Luke’s at Lincoln Center, Kansas City Symphony, and the Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela. He has performed in recital on the Music at the Supreme Court Series, the Celebrity Series in Boston, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, the Kennedy Center, the Louvre in Paris, Suntory Hall in Tokyo, Tel Aviv Museum, and NYC’s 92d Street Y.
A dedicated performer of chamber music, Fiterstein frequently collaborates with distinguished artists and ensembles and regularly performs with the prestigious Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. Among the highly regarded artists he has performed with are Daniel Barenboim, Yefim Bronfman, Mitsuko Uchida, Richard Goode, Emanuel Ax, Marc-Andre Hamelin, Pinchas Zukerman, and Steven Isserlis. Fiterstein performed with the Dover, Pacifica, Jerusalem, and Shanghai String Quartets as well as with Ensemble Wien-Berlin. He spent five summers at the Marlboro Music Festival and appeared at the Caramoor, Moab, Music@Menlo, Montreal, Toronto, Jerusalem, and Storioni Chamber Music Festivals.
Fiterstein is a founder of the Zimro Project, a unique ensemble dedicated to incorporating Jewish art music into chamber music programs. He performed as principal clarinet of the West-East Divan Orchestra at the invitation of Daniel Barenboim and has appeared as guest principal clarinet with the Israel Philharmonic with Zubin Mehta, KBS Orchestra with Yoel Levi, and with the St. Paul and Orpheus Chamber Orchestras.
Fiterstein has a prolific recording career and has worked with composers John Corigliano and Osvaldo Golijov, and had pieces written for him by Samuel Adler, Mason Bates, Paul Schoenfield, and Chris Brubeck, among others. Fiterstein was born in Belarus and immigrated to Israel at the age of 2 with his family. A Juilliard graduate, he won first prize at the Young Concert Artists International Auditions and received awards from the America-Israel Cultural Foundation. He is currently Professor of Clarinet and Chair of Winds at the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University. Fiterstein is a Buffet Crampon and Vandoren Performing Artist.
The Muir String Quartet
has long been acknowledged as one of the world’s most powerful and insightful ensembles, distinguishing itself among audiences and critics with its “exhilarating involvement” (Boston Globe), “impeccable voicing and intonation” (San Francisco Examiner) and “unbridled musicality” (American Record Guide).
Winner of the 1981 Naumburg Chamber Music Award and 1980 Evian International String Quartet Competition, the Muir String Quartet first appeared on the scene in 1980, and was greeted with rave reviews and an extensive feature in The New Yorker. The quartet was also featured on the internationally acclaimed PBS broadcast, In Performance at the White House for President and Mrs. Reagan. Formed in 1979 following graduation from the Curtis Institute of Music, the Muir String Quartet’s principal chamber music teachers were Felix Galimir and members of the Guarneri and Budapest Quartets.
Some of the awards Muir has garnered include a GRAMMY (Beethoven Quartets Op. 132 and Grosse Fuge/EcoClassics), a GRAMMY nomination (Mozart and Brahms Clarinet Quintets/EcoClassics with Mitchell Lurie), two Grand Prix du Disques, and the Gramophone Award. In its commitment to advancing contemporary American music, the Muir Quartet has had commissioned works written for them by such distinguished composers as Joan Tower (Night Fields), Sheila Silver (From Darkness Emerging), Richard Danielpour (Shadow Dances and Psalms of Sorrow – featured on CBS Sunday Morning), Richard Wilson (Third String Quartet), and Charles Fussell (Being Music – based on poetry of Walt Whitman). The quartet also gave the World Premiere performance of the Native American collaborative work, Circle of Faith, featured on National Public Radio. Other premiered works include those by esteemed American composers Richard Danielpour (Feast of Fools – for bassoon and string quartet), Lucas Foss (String Quartet No. 4), Ezra Laderman (String Quartets No. 9 and No. 10), Joelle Wallach (String Quartet No. 3), and Ronald Perera’s first Quartet. In 2017-2018, the Quartet continues its series at Boston University, Rhode Island College, and the Montana Chamber Music Society with a retrospective of works from old and new Vienna, alongside guests Carol Wincenc, Karen Dreyfous, and other chamber artists.
The Muir String Quartet has been in residence at Boston University’s College of Fine Arts since 1983, and gives annual summer workshops at the Boston University Tanglewood Institute (BUTI). The quartet has also given master classes at schools worldwide, including the Eastman School of Music, the Curtis Institute, Oberlin Conservatory, the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University, and conservatories in Beijing, Shanghai, and Xian, China. The quartet performs regular benefits for Classics for Kids Foundation (www.classicsforkids.org); CFKF offers matching grants to string programs serving at-risk youth and disadvantaged families around America.