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Piano quartet spanning Pacific concludes Concert Society season

With the help of well-known Honolulu virtuosos Iggy Jang on violin and Jonathan Korth playing the piano, plus powerhouse string players from either side of the Pacific Ocean, the Hawaii Concert Society is reviving a popular musical form from the 19th century to conclude its 2013-14 season.

Jang, Korth, violist Igor Veligan, and cellist Sung-Won Wang will perform piano quartets by Joaquin Turina and Johannes Brahms on Monday, April 21. The concert is slated for 7:30 p.m. at the University of Hawaii at Hilo Performing Arts Center.

An active soloist, chamber and orchestral musician, Jang is concertmaster of the newly formed Hawaii Symphony Orchestra and a faculty member of the Music Department at the University of Hawaii at Manoa and Punahou Music School. Previously, he was concertmaster of the Honolulu Symphony. He is a frequent soloist and performer of chamber music, not only in Hawaii, but around the world, including his native France.

Pianist Korth, a native of Iowa and professor of piano at UH-Manoa since 2008, also enjoys a multifaceted career as a soloist, chamber musician, collaborator and teacher. Since making his 2002 Carnegie Hall debut at the Weill Recital Hall, Korth has become an advocate for classical music, performing and lecturing around the world.

A native of Ukraine, Igor Veligan, is a lecturer in violin, viola and chamber music at University of the Pacific in Stockton, Calif. He has performed as violist with the Chamber Music Society of Sacramento for the past 10 years and is concertmaster of the San Francisco Choral Society Orchestra and the Pacific Chamber Symphony.

Korean cellist Yang has appeared around the world as soloist and as chamber musician, including highly acclaimed performances in prestigious concert halls such as Alice Tully Hall at New York’s Lincoln Center, Salle Pleyel in Paris and the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam.

The piano quartet (piano, violin, viola and cello), with the instruments treated equally, dates to 1785 when Mozart was commissioned by a German publisher to create three new quartets. Prior to then, it was a modestly popular ensemble for amateurs, in which the piano had a subordinate role to the strings.

Mozart’s quartets were rejected by the publisher because they were too difficult for amateur pianists. Nevertheless, his model of the piano quartet became a favorite format of 19th century composers such as Beethoven, Schumann, Brahms, and Dvorak.

The popularity of the traditional makeup of the piano quartet faded somewhat since then, but quartets including piano have taken on many new forms, combining different instruments, including voice.

The Hawaii Concert Society has not presented a concert for this make-up of musicians in at least a quartet century.

Tickets for the April 21 concert are $20 for general admission, $16 for seniors and $10 for students, and are available at the Most Irresistible Shop, Music Exchange, the UH-Hilo Box Office and the East Hawaii Cultural Center.

Remaining tickets will be available at the door starting at 6:45 p.m.

For additional information, call 935-5831.


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