Ralph Evans (violin), Efim
Yuri Gandelsman (viola), Wolfgang Laufer (cello)
Founded in Chicago in 1946, the Fine Arts Quartet is one of the most distinguished ensembles in chamber music today, with an illustrious history of performing success, an extensive recording legacy, and an astonishing durability. The Quartet, whose members are artists-in-residence at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, is among the elite few to have toured internationally since the end of World War II, passing the milestone of a half-century of uninterrupted existence with remarkably few changes in personnel. Beginning in the 1970's, the original Quartet members were gradually succeeded upon their retirement by brilliant new artists: Ralph Evans, a prize winner in the International Tchaikovsky Competition; Efim Boico, former concertmaster of the Orchestre de Paris and member of the Tel Aviv Quartet; Wolfgang Laufer, former principal cellist of the Hamburg Philharmonic and Jerusalem Radio Orchestra; and newest member of the quartet, Yuri Gandelsman, the former principal violist of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra.
Highlights of the 2002-2003 and 2003-2004 seasons include concerts in New York (5 concerts), London (3), Paris, Berlin, Brussels, Rome, Nürnberg, Aachen, Lyon, Grenoble, Naples, Valencia, Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Bucharest, and Chicago (2). See the concert schedule for current season details.
Already one of the most recorded quartets in history with an immense variety of chamber music to its credit on the Decca, Vox, and Concert Disc labels, the Fine Arts Quartet has newly recorded 40 masterpieces for Swiss, French, German, and American labels during the past few years. These include the 2002 release of the complete viola quintets of Mozart on the French Lyrinx label, among the first chamber music CD's ever recorded using Sony's brilliant new Super Audio CD format; the 2001 CD release of the two Hugo Wolf quartets on the Hänssler Classic label; the 2000 release of Haydn Quartets Op.77, No.1/2 on Lyrinx; and the 1999 release of Dvorak Quartets Op.96/105 on Lyrinx. Still due for release in 2003 are the complete Dohnányi quartets and quintets and the complete Bruckner chamber music, both on Hänssler Classic, and Shostakovich Quartets No.1/4/8 on Lyrinx. The Quartet also regularly records for radio and television in Europe and North America and in 1988, recorded the complete Beethoven quartets for national broadcast over the WFMT Chicago radio network.
One of Europe's favorite American chamber ensembles, the Fine Arts Quartet is invited to appear regularly in prestigious international festivals, among them, the Brucknerfest, Flanders, Orlando, Bratislava, Berlin, City of London, Festival Estival de Paris, Besançon, Menton, La Grange de Meslay, and the Festival of Evian. Recent tours abroad have also included concerts in Beijing, Tokyo, London, Paris, Berlin, Hamburg, Amsterdam, Zurich, Geneva, Madrid, Barcelona, Istanbul, Lisbon, Edinburgh, Brussels, Moscow, St. Petersburg, Jerusalem, and Tel Aviv. The Fine Arts Quartet also recently completed a major tour of Japan and its third tour of Russia. In 1992, the Quartet was the only American ensemble invited to perform in the momentous Russian festival dedicated to the memory of Andrei
In North America, the Quartet has appeared in the prestigious concert halls of virtually all the American musical centers, including New York, Chicago, Boston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington D.C., Baltimore, Detroit, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Atlanta, Phoenix, New Orleans, Toronto, Montreal, and Mexico City, and has performed with some of the most renowned artists of our times: Pinchas Zukerman, Shlomo Mintz, Menahem Pressler, Yefim Bronfman, Bernard Greenhouse, and Janos Starker, among them.
The Quartet members have helped form and nurture many of today's top international young ensembles. They have been guest professors at two of France's most celebrated music conservatories: Le Conservatoire National Superieur de Musique de Paris (at the invitation of the French Ministry of Culture) and Le Conservatoire National Superieur de Musique de Lyon, as well as at two of America's finest summer music schools: Yale University and Indiana University. (They have once again been invited to the Paris Conservatory in 2003.) They also appear regularly as jury members of major competitions such as Evian and Shostakovich. Documentaries on the Fine Arts Quartet have appeared on both French and American Public Television.
FINE ARTS QUARTET
Ralph Evans (violin)
Prizewinner in the 1982 International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow,
Ralph Evans has concertized throughout Europe, North America, and Asia, both as soloist and as first violinist (since 1982) of the Fine Arts Quartet. He has recorded over fifty solo and chamber works, including the two Bartók Sonatas for violin and piano, whose performance the New York Times enthusiastically recommended for its "searching insight and idiomatic flair," and three virtuoso violin pieces by Lukas Foss with the composer at the piano. Evans has also recorded extensively for radio and television in North America and Europe, has toured the United States as artist member of Music from Marlboro, and has been featured in an ABC-BBC production special on the Tchaikovsky Competition - a film broadcast repeatedly worldwide. Evans graduated cum laude from Yale University with a specialization in music, mathematics, and premed. He won Fulbright and Murray Fellowship Grants to London and Zurich for study with Szymon Goldberg and Nathan Milstein, and toured Europe after a brilliant London Wigmore Hall debut recital. Following further studies with Broadus Erle, he won the top prize in many major American competitions, among them, the Concert Artists Guild Competition in New York, and the National Federation of Music Clubs National Young Artist Competition. A recipient of two dozen prizes, awards, and grants, as well as a doctorate from Yale University, Evans has been honored with international recognition for his work as a composer as well. His award winning Nocturne has been performed on American Public Television and his String Quartet No.1 has recently been premiered in the U.S., Israel, Germany, and France, where it was warmly greeted in the press ("seductive, modern sonorities" - France Ouest). As Professor at the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, he has received a Wisconsin Public Education Professional Service Award for distinguished music teaching.
enjoys an international career that has included solo appearances under conductors Zubin Mehta, Carlo Maria Guilini, Claudio Abbado and Erich Leinsdorf, and performances with Daniel Barenboim, Radu Lupu and Pinchas Zuckerman. After receiving his musical training in his native Russia, he emigrated in 1967 to Israel, where he was appointed Principal Second Violin of the Israel Philharmonic - a position he held for eleven years. In 1971, he joined the Tel Aviv Quartet as second violinist, touring the world with guest artists such as André Previn and Vladimir Ashkenazy. In 1979, Mr. Boico was appointed concertmaster and soloist of the Orchestre de Paris under Daniel Barenboim, positions he held until 1983, when he joined the Fine Arts Quartet. Mr. Boico has been guest professor at the Paris and Lyons Conservatories in France, and the Yehudi Menuhin School in Switzerland. He is also a frequent juror representing the United States in the prestigious London, Evian, and Shostakovich Quartet Competitions. As music professor at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, he has received numerous awards, including the Wisconsin Public Education Professional Service Award for distinguished music teaching, and the Arts Recognition and Talent Search Award from the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts.
Former principal violist of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra,
Yuri Gandelsman was born in Russia in 1951. After studies in Moscow with Prof. Talalian, violist of the Komitas Quartet, and Prof. Berlinsky, cellist of the renowned Borodin Quartet, he was accepted into the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra under Kondrashin. In 1980, he won the National Viola Competition, subsequently joining the Moscow Virtuosi as soloist and principal violist. He has appeared as soloist with orchestras in the former USSR, Germany, Poland, Holland, and Israel, under conductors such as Mehta, Fruhbeck de Burgos, Segal, Rodan, and Mayer. He has given recitals throughout Germany, France, and Japan, and has appeared in
concer2ts with such well known ensembles as the Borodin and Talich Quartets, and with artists such as Richter, Bronfman, Bashmet, Kissin, Shaham, Mintz, and Midori. Gandelsman's recordings include: "Modern Portrait" with Spivakov and Kissin (RCA); Handel and Stamitz Concertos, and Britten's "Lachrymae" with the Moscow Virtuosi (Melodia); Telemann Trio Sonatas and Viola Concerto with the Moscow Virtuosi (Melodia). He has also recorded for German and French Radio, and performed in a CD/video recording of Mozart's Sinfonia Concertante with the Amati Chamber Orchestra for Dutch television. Gandelsman has been guest professor at the Academia Santa Cecilia Portogruaro and Associazione Culturale "Luigi Boccherini" in Italy, the Casals and Prades Festivals, the Kuhmo and Savonlinna Festivals in Finland, and the Sorak Festival in South Korea. He has also been guest conductor of orchestras in Russia, Hungary, Finland, Brazil, and
is an acclaimed soloist throughout Europe and the Americas. He has appeared as guest artist with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, Israel Broadcasting Orchestra, Israel Sinfonietta, Hanover Symphony Orchestra, Radio Orchestra of Hamburg, and Freiburg Philharmonic Orchestra, and has toured Europe with the Wührer Chamber Orchestra and the United States with the Israel Chamber Orchestra. As a solo recitalist, Mr. Laufer has performed throughout North and South America, and in Europe. He emigrated from his native Romania to Israel in 1961, and completed his musical studies at the Tel-Aviv Academy, subsequently serving as principal cellist and soloist with Israel Chamber Orchestra, Malmo Symphony Orchestra of Sweden, Hamburg Philharmonic, and State Opera of Germany. Since 1979, Mr. Laufer has been in residence at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, as a member of the Fine Arts Quartet and Professor of Cello.
information about the Fine Arts Quartet,
please visit their web site at www.fineartsquartet.org.