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Cellist Joel Krosnick to Celebrate His 42nd and Final Season With the Juilliard String Quartet; Mr. Krosnick Will Continue to Teach and Will Remain Chair of Juilliard's Cello Department

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Cellist Astrid Schween to Join the Juilliard String Quartet Beginning September 2016; Ms. Schween, an Alumna of Juilliard, Will Also Join the Juilliard Faculty

Start Date

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Press Release Images

The Juilliard String Quartet and Cellist Astrid Schween (Photo by Richard Termine)
The Juilliard String Quartet and Cellist Astrid Schween (Photo by Richard Termine)
Cellists Astrid Schween and Joel Krosnick (Photo by Richard Termine)
Cellists Astrid Schween and Joel Krosnick (Photo by Richard Termine)

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NEW YORK –– Juilliard President Joseph W. Polisi announced today that the 2015-16 season will mark cellist Joel Krosnick’s final season with the Juilliard String Quartet, the quartet’s 70th season. Mr. Krosnick has been a member of the Juilliard String Quartet since 1974 and is chair of Juilliard’s cello department. He will be entering his 42nd and final season with the quartet – whose other members are violinists Joseph Lin and Ronald Copes, and violist Roger Tapping – performing with them throughout the 2015-16 season and ending with concerts in Asia and the United States in June 2016.

Cellist Astrid Schween, an alumna of The Juilliard School, will join the Juilliard String Quartet beginning in September 2016. She will also become a member of Juilliard’s cello faculty beginning with the fall 2016 semester. Ms. Schween is an internationally recognized soloist and chamber artist, and is currently professor of cello at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

Ms. Schween will perform Schubert’s C Major Quintet, D. 956 with the Juilliard String Quartet on its February 22, 2016 recital in Alice Tully Hall as they celebrate cellist Joel Krosnick’s last appearance at Alice Tully Hall as the JSQ cellist.  

In announcing Ms. Schween’s appointment, President Polisi said: “I wish to thank Joel Krosnick for his dedication and leadership as a longtime member of the Juilliard String Quartet. He will continue at Juilliard as cello department chair and an active teacher. The Juilliard community is delighted to welcome cellist Astrid Schween back to Juilliard as the newest member of the Juilliard String Quartet and an esteemed faculty member. She brings remarkable artistry to her new role. We look forward to the fall 2016 semester, when she will join the ensemble and begin teaching at the school.”

Reflecting on the start of his last season with the quartet, Joel Krosnick said: “I will always be grateful for the extraordinary 42 years I will have spent with the Juilliard String Quartet by the end of the 2015-16 concert season. In the fabled 'gradual evolution' of the Juilliard String Quartet, at the end of my last season I will have had memorable colleagueships with Earl Carlyss (12 years), Joel Smirnoff (23 years), Robert Mann (23 years), Samuel Rhodes (39 years), Ronald Copes (19 years), Joseph Lin (5 years), and Roger Tapping (3 years). I will miss not only the wonderful relationships over the 42 years, but especially the many intense rehearsals and performances, sharing our music with each other as well as with audiences all over the world. There will be many special concluding moments in my relationships with my colleagues, including a performance on February 22, 2016, in Alice Tully Hall, of the Schubert Cello Quintet, which will include the wonderful new cellist of the Juilliard String Quartet, Astrid Schween. Another memorable event is our recent extended voyage with the Schubert Quartet, "Death and the Maiden," culminating in the release of an innovative, new app that includes audio and video performances of the monumental work, combined with many extraordinary interactive features. We hope that the app will enable us to share with music lovers everywhere a deeper understanding of the many historical, musical, and emotional aspects that highlight our relationship with this great music. I am of course looking forward to continuing my extensive teaching of the cello and chamber music at Juilliard, and remaining as chair of the cello department of The Juilliard School.”

Messrs. Lin, Copes, and Tapping welcomed their new colleague by saying: “We are thrilled that Astrid Schween has agreed to join us as we say a fond farewell to our beloved Joel. We felt an immediate musical kinship with Astrid when we played together, and we are very much looking forward to this new chapter in the life of the Juilliard String Quartet.”

Astrid Schween has performed extensively throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, and Japan. A frequent guest artist with the Boston and Memphis Chamber Music Societies, she is a member of the celebrated Boston Trio, an ensemble-in-residence at the New England Conservatory.

On being selected as the next cellist of the Juilliard String Quartet, Ms. Schween remarked: “As a young cellist growing up in New York City, I attended dozens of JSQ performances. I loved the ensemble for its daring, gritty, and always passionate renderings of the standard and contemporary repertoire. In fact, much of the established contemporary string quartet repertoire was commissioned by the JSQ. I was always impressed by the delicate balance achieved by the quartet as the members’ individual personalities could be enjoyed while the ensemble shone beautifully as a polished entity. Since those early days, I have been a huge fan of Joel Krosnick, admiring not only his instrumental virtuosity, but his dedication as a teacher and mentor to generations of young cellists and ensembles. It is a great honor to join the JSQ – and I will do my best to follow the excellent model established by this great artist.”

The Juilliard String Quartet was founded in 1946 as the school’s resident quartet by Juilliard President William Schuman and the founding first violinist, Robert Mann. The quartet’s international career has encompassed performances throughout Europe, Asia, Australia, and North and South America, with recordings spanning many decades. At Juilliard, the members of the quartet are among the school’s most important studio teachers and chamber music coaches.

The Juilliard String Quartet is featured on a new app focusing on Franz Schubert’s quartet “Death and the Maiden,” produced by Touchpress. The app was released in China while the group was on its recent tour of Asia. An English-language version of the app will be launched in the U.S. in late June.

About Joel Krosnick, Cellist

Cellist Joel Krosnick has performed as soloist, recitalist, and chamber musician around the world. As the cellist of the Juilliard String Quartet since 1974, he has performed the great quartet literature throughout North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia. With his sonata partner of more than 40 years, pianist Gilbert Kalish, Mr. Krosnick has performed recitals throughout the U.S. and Europe. The duo has recorded the complete sonatas and variations of Beethoven and the sonatas of Brahms as well as works by Poulenc, Prokofiev, Carter, Hindemith, Debussy, Janáček, Ralph Shapey, and Henry Cowell for the Arabesque label. A recent release, also on Arabesque, is a disc entitled, “Forgotten American,” includes music of Hall Overton, Ben Weber, Ernst Bacon, and Otto Luening. Mr. Krosnick’s recording of the Sonata for Solo Cello by Artur Schnabel appears on the CP2 label, and his CD of Roger Sessions’s Six Pieces for Solo Cello is available on Koch Classics. Mr. Krosnick is also on faculty of the Kneisel Hall Chamber Music Festival. A recipient of the Chevalier du Violoncelle Award from the Eva Janzer Memorial Cello Center at the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University, Mr. Krosnick completed his Bachelor of Arts degree at Columbia University and holds honorary doctoral degrees from Michigan State University, Jacksonville University, and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.

About Astrid Schween, Cellist

Cellist Astrid Schween is an internationally recognized soloist and chamber artist. As a longtime member of the Lark Quartet, she performed in some of the world’s most prestigious venues, recorded numerous CDs, and received many honors, including the Naumburg Chamber Music Award and the Gold Medal at Russia’s Shostakovich Competition. While still a teenager, she made her debut as soloist with the New York Philharmonic under the direction of Zubin Mehta and went on to receive bachelor’s and master’s degrees at The Juilliard School, where she was twice awarded the Juilliard cello prize. Her teachers there included Harvey Shapiro, Leonard Rose, Channing Robbins and Ardyth Alton. She also studied with Bernard Greenhouse, Dr. H.T. Ma, Eugene Moye, and in London with Jacqueline Du Pré. She participated in the Marlboro Music Festival and the William Pleeth Cello Master Classes at the Britten-Pears School in Aldeburgh. Ms. Schween serves as cello professor at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and is on the faculty of the Hartt School of Music, Mount Holyoke College, and at Interlochen. She has also conducted master classes at Juilliard, the Curtis Institute, the Hartt School, Dartmouth College, and at many other schools, and is an occasional speaker and panelist for organizations such as Chamber Music America. A frequent guest artist with the Boston and Memphis Chamber Music Societies, she is also a member of the Boston Trio, an ensemble-in-residence at the New England Conservatory. She performs regularly in recital with pianists Randall Hodgkinson and Michael Gurt, and has served as juror for the Fischoff, Sphinx, and Concert Artists Guild competitions. This season and next, she is involved in performances of the Elgar Concerto in anniversary tributes to her mentor Jacqueline Du Pré.

About the Juilliard String Quartet

The Juilliard String Quartet, widely known as the quintessential American string quartet, returned in the 2014-15 season to North America's premiere chamber music venues in Cleveland, Philadelphia, Detroit, San Francisco, Boston, Toronto, Syracuse, and Buffalo, as well as giving its annual two-concert series at Alice Tully Hall in New York. With The Juilliard School, the JSQ began a new collaboration in China during a spring tour of Asia. Its two tours of Europe this year included concerts in Spain, France, Switzerland, and Germany.

Founded in 1946, the Juilliard String Quartet was the first ensemble to play all six Bartók quartets in the United States, and its performances of Schoenberg's quartets helped establish the works as cornerstones of the modern string quartet literature. The quartet's recordings of the Bartók and Schoenberg quartets, as well as those of Debussy, Ravel, and Beethoven, won Grammy Awards, and in 2011 the Juilliard String Quartet became the first classical music ensemble to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. In 2014 Sony Classical reissued the quartet's landmark recordings of the first four Elliott Carter String Quartets together with the recently recorded Carter Quartet No. 5, making a complete historic document.

For nearly seven decades, the quartet has made manifest the credo of its founders to “play new works as if they were established masterpieces and established masterpieces as if they were new.” Working closely with composers on new commissions, last season the JSQ premiered the String Quartet No. 3, “Whereof man cannot speak...” by Jesse Jones, and in the 2015-16 season it will premiere a new work by Richard Wernick. The quartet’s diverse repertoire for the 2014-15 season included works by Haydn, Webern, Martinů, Beethoven, Berg, Brahms, Mendelssohn, and Elgar, as well as Schubert's "Death and the Maiden" and Shulamit Ran's Quartet No. 2, "Vistas."

Devoted master teachers, the members of the Juilliard String Quartet offer classes and open rehearsals when on tour. The JSQ is string quartet-in-residence at Juilliard, and its members are among the school’s most important studio teachers and chamber music coaches. Each May, the quartet hosts the five-day internationally recognized Juilliard String Quartet Seminar at the school.

In performance, recordings and incomparable work educating and training the major quartets of our time, the Juilliard String Quartet has carried the banner of the United States and Juilliard throughout the world.

About Joseph Lin, Violin

An active solo and chamber musician, Joseph Lin has performed at such venues as Symphony Hall in Boston, Suntory Hall in Tokyo, the National Concert Hall in Taipei, the National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing, Wigmore Hall in London, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, and Town Hall in Auckland. Mr. Lin appears regularly at the Marlboro Festival in Vermont. Since joining the Juilliard String Quartet in 2011, he has been on the violin and chamber music faculty of the Juilliard. From 2007 to 2011, he was an assistant professor at Cornell University. Mr. Lin was a founding member of the Formosa Quartet, winner of the 2006 London International String Quartet Competition. In 1996, Mr. Lin was awarded first prize at the Concert Artists Guild International Competition and was named a Presidential Scholar in the Arts the same year. In 1999, he was selected for the Pro Musicis International Award, and in 2001, he won first prize at the inaugural Michael Hill World Violin Competition in New Zealand. Mr. Lin's extensive discography includes, most recently, the JSQ’s recording of Elliot Carter’s Quartet No. 5 released by Sony Classical. Joseph Lin’s violin teachers have included Mary Canberg, Shirley Givens, and Lynn Chang. Mr. Lin graduated magna cum laude from Harvard in 2000. In 2002, he began an extended exploration of China, spending 2004 studying Chinese music in Beijing as a Fulbright Scholar.

About Ronald Copes, Violin

Praised by audiences and critics alike for his insightful artistry, violinist Ronald Copes has toured extensively with Music From Marlboro ensembles, the Los Angeles and Dunsmuir Piano Quartets, and the Juilliard String Quartet. During the 2011-13 seasons, he and Seymour Lipkin performed cycles of the complete Beethoven Sonatas for Piano and Violin at the Kneisel Hall Chamber Music Festival and Juilliard. Mr. Copes has recorded numerous solo and chamber music works for radio and television broadcast as well as for Sony Classical, Orion, CRI, Klavier, Bridge, New World Records, ECM and the Musical Heritage Society. He has worked closely with composers including Stephen Hartke and Donald Crockett, and has garnered prizes in the Artists’ Advisory Council International Competition, the Merriweather Post Competition and the Concours International d’Exécution Musicale in Geneva. During the summer he is on faculty of the Kneisel Hall Chamber Music Festival. For two decades, he served as professor of violin at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and joined the faculty of Juilliard in 1997, where he serves as chair of the violin department.

About Roger Tapping, Viola

Roger Tapping joined the Juilliard String Quartet and the Juilliard viola faculty in 2013. He moved from London to the United States in 1995 to join the Takács Quartet. His decade with it included many Beethoven and Bartók cycles in major cities around the world. Its Decca/London recordings, including the complete quartets of Bartók and Beethoven, won many awards including Gramophone magazine’s Hall of Fame, three Gramophone Awards, a Grammy, and three additional Grammy nominations. He has been on the viola faculty of the New England Conservatory, where he also directed the chamber music program, and he has served on the faculties of Itzhak Perlman’s Chamber Music Workshop, the Tanglewood Quartet Seminar, and Yellow Barn, and he has given viola master classes at Banff. Mr. Tapping played and recorded with a number of London’s leading chamber ensembles, including Britain’s longest established quartet, the Allegri Quartet. He was a founding member of the Chamber Orchestra of Europe. He has performed as a guest with many distinguished quartets from the U.S. and Europe, and he was a member of the Boston Chamber Music Society. His teachers were Margaret Major and Bruno Giuranna, and he participated in master classes with William Primrose. He holds degrees from the University of Cambridge, is a member of the Order of the Knight Cross of the Hungarian Republic, has an honorary doctorate from the University of Nottingham, and is a Fellow of the Guildhall School of Music.

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