Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra
Michael Butterman, conductor
KUSTER Dune Acres
ELGAR Cello Concerto
Astrid Schween, cello
BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 4
Beethoven’s energetic Symphony No. 4 anchors a program both familiar and fresh. The newest member of the famed Juilliard String Quartet, cellist Astrid Schween, joins us for Elgar’s dramatically intense Cello Concerto. We open with a new work by Boulder native Kristen Kuster, made possible in part by the Phil’s commissioning partnership.
6:30 PM – Free pre-concert talk hosted by Marilyn Cooley of Colorado Public Radio, with Music Director Michael Butterman and guests
Sara & David Harper
Marti & George Oetzel
About Astrid Schween
New York born cellist Astrid Schween is an internationally recognized soloist, chamber artist, and teacher. This season marks her second year with the Juilliard String Quartet; in 2016, she succeeded Joel Krosnick as cellist of the Quartet and joined the Juilliard cello faculty.
She made her debut as soloist with the New York Philharmonic under the direction of Zubin Mehta, and received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the Juilliard School, where her teachers included Harvey Shapiro, Leonard Rose, Channing Robbins and Ardyth Alton. She studied extensively with celebrated cellist Jacqueline Du Pré in London and later with Bernard Greenhouse in the DMA program at Rutgers University. Ms. Schween participated in the Marlboro Music Festival and William Pleeth Master Classes in Aldeburgh and, while a young professional, was mentored by members of the Juilliard, Guarneri, Borodin, La Salle, Amadeus, Alban Berg, Galimir, Paganini and Budapest Quartets. She served for many years on the faculty of the University of Massachusetts, the Hartt School of Music, Mount Holyoke College and the Interlochen Center for the Arts.
As a longtime member of the Lark Quartet, Ms. Schween performed at major venues around the world and received many honors including the Naumburg Chamber Music Award and the Gold Medal at Russia’s Shostakovich International String Quartet Competition. During her tenure, the quartet produced critically acclaimed recordings for the Arabesque, Decca/Argo, New World, CRI and Point labels, commissioned numerous works and performed at international festivals including Mostly Mozart, Schleswig-Holstein and Lockenhaus.
An active speaker and panelist, she has served on the juries of the Fischoff, Sphinx, and Concert Artist Guild competitions, serves on the artistic advisory board of the Global M-Prize Competition, and has been featured in Strings and Strad magazines, on “Living the Classical Life,” NPR interviews and as a guest speaker at the Library of Congress on the role of women in music.
In addition to her work with the JSQ, Ms. Schween remains active as a soloist with upcoming recitals in Washington DC, Boston, and at the International Cello Institute. She also appears this season in Quito, Ecuador, at the Seattle Chamber Music Festival, and has recently joined the cello faculty for the Summer Music School at the Perlman Music Program. In 2017, she released multiple recordings including Rhapsody for solo cello and electronics by Gordon Green, as well as new albums with the Boston Trio and the Juilliard String Quartet. www.astridschween.com
About Kristin Kuster
Composer Kristin Kuster “writes commandingly for the orchestra,” and her music “has an invitingly tart edge” (The New York Times). Kuster’s colorfully enthralling compositions take inspiration from architectural space, the weather, and mythology. Her orchestral music “unquestionably demonstrates her expertise in crafting unique timbres” (Steve Smith, Night after Night).
Most recently, Kuster received an OPERA America Grant for female composers, made possible through The Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation. The grant will support the recording of Kuster’s work Old Presque Isle, a 75-minute opera drawn from the haunting of northern Michigan’s Old Presque Isle Lighthouse. The opera is written for a singer, six trumpets, two percussionists, and a men’s chorus, and features a libretto by poet Megan Levad, assistant director of the Helen Zell Writers’ Program at the University of Michigan.
Upcoming and recent premieres of Kuster’s music have included works for the Philadelphia-based Network for New Music, the Colorado Music Festival, the Lisbon Summerfest Chamber Choir, multi-percussionist Joseph Gramley, and the Donald Sinta Quartet.
Kuster was recently awarded one of the highest honors the University bestows upon junior faculty – a 2015 Henry Russel Award. The award recognizes faculty early in their academic careers who already have demonstrated excellence as a teacher. Given yearly, university-wide junior faculty are eligible for the Henry Russel award, and Kuster is among only four music faculty to receive the award since its inception in 1926.
Born in 1973, Kuster grew up in Boulder, Colorado. She earned her Doctor of Musical Arts from U-M, where she now serves as associate professor of Composition. website