The Breckenridge Music Festival’s Winter Encore Concert Series presents an evening of string quintets with Nathan Olson, concertmaster of the summer Festival Orchestra and co-concertmaster of the Dallas Symphony, along with violinist Meghan Jones, violists Matthew Carrington and Katie Magill Carrington and cellist Ian Jones. The concert will take place on Saturday, March 15, at the Father Dyer Church in Breckenridge.
From the success of “The Marriage of Figaro” to the debut of “Don Giovanni,” 1787 was an extraordinary year for Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. After a short break, Mozart composed the chamber music masterwork String Quintet in C Major, K. 515. In the same brief period, Mozart experienced the death of his father, Leopold Mozart, the composition of his final three symphonies and the only meeting young Mozart ever had with Beethoven.
When Mozart wrote the Quintet in C Major in 1787, the idea of a string quintet with two violas was a daring notion because the taste of the age demanded thinner, leaner textures. No concrete evidence exists as to the occasion for which Mozart wrote this piece. The general feeling is that the composer wrote it on speculation, “hoping to sell manuscript copies to amateurs by subscription,” according to H.C. Robbins Landon.
The String Quintet in G Major, on the other hand, was the work of a mature Johannes Brahms. On vacation in Italy in 1890, the 57-year-old Brahms decided to retire from composing. But before his final retirement, Brahms wanted to complete one last work. While spending his summer high in the Austrian Alps, he wrote the String Quintet in G Major. In one of his last letters to his publisher, Brahms wrote, “With this note you can take leave of my music because it is high time to stop.” Brahms, of course, came out of retirement a year later. Despite its cheerful and youthful surface, the Quintet in G Major is the work of an experienced composer. The quintet tantalizes the listeners with sweeping cello melodies, Viennese waltzes and melodies full of gypsy fire.
During the musicians’ stay, the quintet will be participating in the Breckenridge Music Festival’s Music in the Schools community outreach program. The quintet will be working with students at Summit High School and Middle School on Thursday, March 13, performing selections from their program and talking to the students about their lives and careers as musicians.
Through the Music in the Schools program, the Breckenridge Music Festival works to cultivate the next generation of music audiences and arts patrons. Music in the Schools is supported by grants from The Summit Foundation and the Lenzmeier-Williams Advised Fund.
About the musicians
A native of Berkeley, Calif., violinist Olson assumed the position of co-concertmaster of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra in 2011. In 2013, he was appointed adjunct faculty at the University of North Texas College of Music. He is a graduate of the Cleveland Institute of Music’s prestigious Concertmaster Academy, where he studied with William Preucil and Paul Kantor. Currently concertmaster of the Breckenridge Music Festival, he has participated in the Mainly Mozart Festival, the Bravo Vail Music Festival and the Amelia Island Chamber Music Festival.
Meghan Jones is the assistant principal second violin in the Sarasota Orchestra. Prior to accepting her position in Sarasota, Meghan was a member of the New World Symphony and the Charleston Symphony Orchestra. She is an active chamber musician and teacher in the Sarasota area and has performed in music festivals including Tanglewood, the National Repertory Orchestra, Spoleto USA and Encore School for Strings. Originally from Edina, Minn., Meghan earned her Bachelors of Music at Northwestern University and her Masters of Music at Boston University. She has been playing with the BMF orchestra since 2002.
Matthew Carrington is a dynamic orchestral performer and chamber musician who has worked with members of the Ives and Alexander Quartets, as well as with Janos Starker, Ik-Hwan Bae and Pamela Frank. He has performed as a member of the Evansville Philharmonic, New World Symphony, Louisiana Philharmonic and the National Repertory Orchestra. Matthew received his Bachelor of Music degree from the University of California, Santa Cruz, where he was a member of the resident string quartet program. He also holds a masters and performer diploma from Indiana University, where he studied with Mimi Zweig and Atar Arad.
Katie Magill Carrington originally hails from Chicago, where she began her studies with Michael Hining. While under his guidance, she made her Carnegie Hall debut performing the Telemann Viola Concerto. She holds degrees from The Juilliard School and Rice University, where she worked with Heidi Castleman, Hsin-Yun Huang and James Dunham. In addition to her performing career, Katie maintains her private studio and serves as the artistic director of the Greater New Orleans Suzuki Forum.
From Oakland, Calif., cellist Ian Jones attended UCLA and Indiana University. For the 2006-07 concert season, Ian joined the cello section of Honolulu Symphony, and then returned to Indiana for further studies with Eric Kim, principal cello of the Cincinnati Symphony. In 2008, his string quartet was awarded the school-funded Kuttner Quartet fellowship at IU. He has appeared in music festivals in the United States and Germany and has benefited from close collaboration and coaching with Indiana faculty members including Atar Arad, Alexander Kerr, Janos Starker and Yael Weiss. He was appointed cellist of the Tucson Symphony Orchestra in fall 2011.
For a complete listing of the Breckenridge Music Festival’s 2014 Encore Winter Concert Series events, visit www.breckenridgemusicfestival.com.
From the success of “The Marriage of Figaro” to the debut of “Don Giovanni,” 1787 was an extraordinary year for Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.