“String Quartets, like fine wine, get better with age; the Jupiters are a very fine vintage indeed,” the St. Louis Post Dispatch said of the Jupiter String Quartet, and its star-studded players, Nelson Lee and Meg Freivogel, violins, Liz Freivogel, viola, and Daniel McDonough, cello. Founded in 2002, the ensemble has a mission to widen the love of chamber music to audiences of all ages and nationalities through their very accessible programming, exciting concerts and intimate teaching. San Miguel will host their Mexican debut concerts on Friday and Saturday, February 16 & 17 at 4 pm at St. Paul’s Church on Calle Cardo.
The Jupiter String Quartet is not only a group of gifted musicians, but a tight-knit family unit as well. Violinist Meg Freivogel and her sister, violist Liz Freivogel, and husband, cellist Daniel McDonough join with Nelson Lee to make up the group. The Jupiters are the Artists-in-Residence at the University of Illinois, running their string chamber music program when they aren’t touring the US or abroad. Outreach work is an important focus for them, as cultivating and connecting with the future audiences of classical music is part of their essence. Early exposure to chamber music brought these four passionate musicians together in the first place, and they want to return that gift to others.
On Friday, we will hear Schubert's Quartet No. 15 in G Major and Beethoven's Quartet in A Minor, and more. Schubert, died at the tender age of 31, but was impressively prolific during those short years and, even when close to death, the powerful drama in his last works, like the Quartet No. 15, belie his poor health. Sickness also struck Beethoven and, in the spring of 1825, his doctor ordered him to leave his city home and moveto the fresh air of the famous Baden Spa area. The illness continued to frighten Beethoven, and he believed he might die. It was at this time that he wrote the A Minor Quartet, a work almost twice as long as his First Symphony, that documents a journey from darkness into light.
On Saturday, the concert celebrates the 175th anniversary of Schumann's 'chamber music year' (1842) and the centenary of the completion of Bartok's Quartet No. 2, a work whose composition haunted him for two years. Dedicated to the Hungarian Quartet, the quartet artfully displays his extensive knowledge of that country's folk music. Schuman-lovers celebrate this anniversary of his Quartet in A minor, Op. 41, dedicated to his friend Felix Mendelssohn, one of his very few string quartets; they were composed after studying quartets by Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven.
Tickets for the concerts at St. Paul’s are $150, $300 and $400 pesos donation each, and are on sale at La Tienda in the Biblioteca Pública; La Conexión; only at Aldama 3; and at the concert 45 minutes before performance time.