What makes great music great? Distinguished and engaging composer/conductor Rob Kapilow presents a program that delves into Mozart’s “Dissonance” String Quartet with our current Ernst Stiefel String Quartet-in-Residence. Kapilow will deconstruct, dissect, slow down, and reassemble Mozart’s final quartet dedicated to his friend, Joseph Haydn. Discover why “Dissonance” has come to be considered one of the most famous of his 26 quartets.
“Because Kapilow is so good at what he does, knowledge about how music actually works, how it is put together–as opposed to dry facts about composers’ lives — doesn’t fly away with the whirlwind, but instead lodges in the memory, where they can grow.” — Boston Globe
Rob Kapilow, speaker
Mason Yu and Erica Tursi, violins
Jinsun Hong, viola
Alex Cox, cello
Mozart String Quartet in C Major, K. 465, “Dissonance”
Ernst Stiefel String Quartet-in-Residence
One extremely promising string quartet is chosen each year to complete a year-long residency at Caramoor. This group lends their time and talents to Caramoor’s Student Strings program in secondary schools with a classroom-based program of concerts, conversations, and performance clinics. The Ernst Stiefel String Quartet-in-Residence performs at Caramoor throughout their residency, enabling the public to experience these exciting young players in an intimate setting. The Omer Quartet is the 19th Ernst Stiefel String Quartet-in-Residence at Caramoor. They will be visiting schools as music mentors in the fall and spring, and performing concerts at Caramoor in the fall, spring, and summer.
For over 20 years, Rob Kapilow has brought the joy and wonder of classical music — and unraveled some of its mysteries — to audiences of all ages and backgrounds. Characterized by his unique ability to create an “aha” moment for his audiences and collaborators, whatever their level of musical sophistication or naiveté, Kapilow’s work brings music into people’s lives: opening new ears to musical experiences and helping people to listen actively rather than just hear.
Kapilow’s range of activities is astonishingly broad, including his What Makes It Great?® presentations (now for over 20 seasons in New York and Boston), his family compositions and Family Musik® events, his Citypieces, corporate programs, and residencies with institutions as diverse as the National Gallery of Canada and Stanford University. The reach of his interactive events and activities is wide, from Native American tribal communities in Montana and inner-city high school students in Louisiana to audiences in Kyoto and Kuala Lumpur, and from tots barely out of diapers to musicologists in Ivy League programs.
The reach of his interactive events and activities is wide, from Native American tribal communities in Montana and inner-city high school students in Louisiana to audiences in Kyoto and Kuala Lumpur, and from tots barely out of diapers to musicologists in Ivy League programs.
Kapilow has appeared on NBC’s Today Show with Katie Couric; he presented a special What Makes It Great?® for broadcast on PBS’s Live From Lincoln Center; and he has written two books published by Wiley/Lincoln Center: All You Have To Do Is Listen, which won the PSP Prose Award for Best Book in Music and the Performing Arts, and What Makes It Great (2011), the first book of its kind to be especially designed for the iPad with embedded musical examples. He is currently finishing a new book for Norton/Liveright on the American Songbook.
Rob Kapilow dedicates his summer months to writing and composing new music. He was the first composer to be granted the rights to set Dr. Seuss’ words to music, and his “Green Eggs and Ham” has been called “the most successful piece written for families this half century.” A CD featuring Nathan Gunn and Isabel Leonard in two more of his popular Family Musik® compositions, Chris van Allsburg’s “Polar Express” and Dr. Seuss’s “Gertrude McFuzz,” was released in 2014, and he is currently working on a new piece for the 25th anniversary of Ottawa Chamberfest based on Louise Bourgeois’ spider sculpture, “Maman.”
Kapilow’s career has been marked by numerous major awards and grants. He won first place in the Fontainebleau Casadesus Piano Competition and was second-place winner of the Antal Dorati Conductor’s Competition with the Detroit Symphony. He was featured on Chicago Public Radio’s Composers In America series, and is a recipient of an Exxon Meet-the-Composer grant and numerous ASCAP awards.
Kapilow has conducted many of North America’s orchestras, as well as new works of musical theater, ranging from the Tony Award-winning Nine on Broadway to the premiere of Frida for the opening of the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Next Wave Festival, and premieres of works for the American Repertory Theater. At the age of 19, Kapilow interrupted his academic work at Yale University to study with the legendary Nadia Boulanger. Two years later, after graduating Phi Beta Kappa from Yale, he continued his studies at Eastman School of Music. After graduating from Eastman, he returned to Yale, where he was assistant professor for six years at the university. He lives in River Vale, NJ, with his wife and three children.
Mason Yu and Erica Tursi, violins
Jinsun Hong, viola
Alex Cox, cello
Distinctive among today’s young string quartets, the Omer Quartet won First Prize in the 2017 Young Concert Artists International Auditions, and make debuts next season in the Peter Jay Sharp Concert of YCA in New York at Merkin Concert Hall as well as in Washington, D.C. at the Kennedy Center.
At the Young Concert Artists Auditions, the Omer Quartet received four special Performance Prizes: the Tri-I Noon Recitals Prize in New York at Rockefeller University, the Tryon (NC) Concert Association Prize, the Buffalo Chamber Music Society Prize, and the Hayden’s Ferry Chamber Music Series Prize in Tempe, AZ. It has also received Top Prize at the 2017 Premio Paolo Borciani Competition in Italy, the Grand Prize and Gold Medal at the 2013 Fishoff National Chamber Music Competition and Second Prize at the 2017 Trondheim International Competition in Norway.
The Quartet has performed with internationally renowned artists such as Clive Greensmith, Eugene Drucker, Cho-Liang Lin, the Assad Brothers, and YCA alumnus the Borromeo String Quartet, and collaborated with composers including Sean Shepherd and Perry Goldstein. It participated in the Great Lakes Chamber and Yellow Barn Music Festivals, the McGill International String Quartet Academy, the Ravinia Steans Institute, and the Perlman Music Program. During the summer of 2018, the Omer Quartet will serve as Chamber Ensemble in Residence at the Bravo! Vail Music Festival.
The Omer Quartet won First Prize in the 2017 Young Concert Artists International Auditions and are committed to community engagement, the Omer Quartet devotes time to creating original and interactive programs.
Committed to community engagement, the Quartet devotes time to creating original and interactive programs. With a grant by The Boston Foundation it performed in homeless shelters and drug rehabilitation centers in the area. It also completed a fellowship with Music for Food to aid local hunger relief, through a musician-led initiative directed by Kim Kashkashian. Hoping to spread the organization’s mission, the Quartet is inaugurating a Music for Food concert series in the Washington, D.C. area as recipient of a Tarisio Trust Young Artists Grant.
Following study at the Cleveland Institute of Music, the Omer Quartet completed a graduate residency at the New England Conservatory, where its members gave coachings and masterclasses and worked closely with Paul Katz, Donald Weilerstein, Kim Kashkashian, and Soovin Kim. The Quartet is now the Doctoral Fellowship String Quartet-in-Residence at the University of Maryland, where it works with Katherine Murdock and David Salness.