Enescu - Octet for Strings in C Major, Op. 7; II. Très fougueux
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Spotlight Series Ep. 2 | In August of 2019, eight musicians gathered at the Portland Chamber Music Festival to perform the epic Octet for Strings by Romanian composer Georges Enescu. A year and a half later, we gathered the same group of musicians to watch their performance of the second movement of the piece -- II. Très fougueux ("Very fiery") -- for the first time, and reflect on their experience performing in Portland last year.
Enescu Reaction Video
Conversation with the Artists
Enescu Octet (2nd Movement)
Meet the Artists
The recipient of a 2016 Avery Fisher Career Grant, Alexi Kenney has been named "a talent to watch" by the New York Times. Alexi has performed as soloist with symphony orchestras around the country, and appeared in recital on Carnegie Hall’s ‘Distinctive Debuts’ series, Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival, and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and Jordan Hall in Boston. Chamber music is a major focus of Alexi’s life, performing at festivals including Marlboro, Bridgehampton, Music@Menlo, Ravinia, and Yellow Barn. He is a member of The Bowers Program at the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center (formerly CMS 2).
Two-time Grammy nominated violinist Jesse Mills enjoys performing music of many genres, from classical to contemporary, as well as composed and improvised music of his own invention. As a chamber musician Jesse has performed throughout the U.S. and Canada, and in many prestigious European venues. He is co-founder of Horszowski Trio and Duo Prism, a violin-piano duo with Rieko Aizawa, which earned 1st Prize at the Zinetti International Competition in Italy in 2006. Jesse is co-artistic director (with Ms. Aizawa) of the Alpenglow Chamber Music Festival in Colorado.
Winner of an Avery Fisher Career Grant in 2004, Tai Murray was named a BBC New Generation Artist (2008-2010). She has performed as guest soloist on the stages of such halls as the Barbican, Chicago’s Orchestra Hall, Copenhagen’s Tivoli Gardens, and Shanghai’s Concert Hall, performing with such ensembles as the Atlanta Symphony, BBC Scottish Symphony, and Orquesta Sinfónica Simón Bolívar. As a recitalist Tai has appeared in Berlin, Chicago, Hamburg, London, New York, and Washington D.C. among many others. As a chamber musician, she toured with Musicians from Marlboro and was a member of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s prestigious CMS Two program.
Cellist Clancy Newman, first prize winner of the prestigious Walter W. Naumburg International Competition and recipient of an Avery Fisher Career Grant, has performed as soloist throughout the United States, as well as in Europe, Asia, Canada, and Australia. A sought after chamber musician, he is a member of the Clarosa piano quartet, and a former member of Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center's CMS Two program and the Weiss-Kaplan-Newman trio. His wildly successful "Pop-Unpopped" project, in which he writes solo cello caprices based on pop songs, has led to an exploration of cello techniques heretofore unimagined, gaining over 80,000 views on Youtube.
Described as “radiant” and “expressive” (The New York Times), cellist Karen Ouzounian approaches music-making with a deeply communicative and passionate spirit. Winner of the S&R Foundation's 2016 Washington Award, she is drawn towards unusual collaborations and eclectic contemporary repertoire. Karen is a founding member of the Grammy-nominated Aizuri Quartet, which was awarded the Grand Prize at the 2018 M-Prize Chamber Arts Competition. Karen also performs with Silkroad, the organization founded by Yo-Yo Ma, and is a member of both the Grammy-nominated chamber orchestra A Far Cry and the critically-acclaimed new music collective counter)induction.
Australia native Susie Park first picked up a violin at age three, made her solo debut at five, and, by the time she was a teenager, had performed with every major orchestra in her country. Her international career was launched at age 16, when she took first place in the Yehudi Menuhin International Competition. Susie today performs internationally as an orchestral, chamber, and solo artist. She is first associate concertmaster of the Minnesota Orchestra, a founding member of the East Coast Chamber Orchestra, and joined the Enso String Quartet as first violinist for their final season.
Artistic Director Melissa Reardon is an internationally renowned performer whose solo and chamber playing spans all musical genres. Founding member of the East Coast Chamber Orchestra (ECCO) and a sought-after collaborative musician, the Massachusetts native has been lauded for her “elegant” and “virtuosic” performances. She performed around the world as a member of the Ensō String Quartet from 2006 until its final season in 2018, has appeared in numerous festivals nationally and internationally, and toured with Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble and with Musicians from Marlboro. First prize winner at the Washington International Competition and the only violist to win top prizes in consecutive HAMS International viola competitions, Melissa is married to the cellist Raman Ramakrishnan, and they live in New York City with their son Linus.
Acclaimed by the New York Times as an “extraordinary violist” of “immense flair,” Dov Scheindlin is a member of Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and an associate member of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. He has also been violist of the Arditti, Penderecki and Chester String Quartets. His chamber music career has brought him to 28 countries around the globe, and won him the Siemens Prize in 1999. He has regularly participated in summer festivals such as Salzburg, Luzern, and Tanglewood, and has performed with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and the Met Chamber Ensembles.