Enjoy a free chamber music master class at Ravinia's Bennett Gordon Hall with the Fischoff Grand Prize winning Jupiter String Quartet! Contact MYA for more info: (847) 926-9898 or email JeremyKrifka@mya.org
The Jupiter String Quartet, formed in 2001, is a particularly intimate group, consisting of violinists Nelson Lee and Megan Freivogel, violist Liz Freivogel (older sister of Meg), and cellist Daniel McDonough (husband of Meg, brother-in-law of Liz). As they enter their second decade of making music together, their tightly knit ensemble has firmly established itself as an important voice in the world of chamber music. In addition to their performing career, the Jupiters have joined the faculty of the University of Illinois as String Quartet-in-Residence. They also hold visiting faculty residencies at Oberlin Conservatory and Adelphi University, and have engaged in a multi-year residency at Atlanta’s beautiful Spivey Hall.
Jupiter QuartetThe Quartet concertizes across the United States, Canada, Europe, Asia, and the Americas. They have enjoyed playing in some of the world’s finest halls, including New York’s Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center, London’s Wigmore Hall, Boston’s Jordan Hall, Mexico City’s Palacio de Bellas Artes, Washington, D.C.’s Kennedy Center and Library of Congress, and Seoul’s Sejong Chamber Hall. They have also been enthusiastically received at several major music festivals, including the Aspen Music Festival (where they performed their first complete Beethoven quartet cycle), the Caramoor International Music Festival, Music at Menlo, the Banff Centre, the Rockport Chamber Music Festival, Maverick Concerts, the Skaneateles Festival, the Yellow Barn Music Festival, and the Seoul Spring Festival, among others.
In addition to its formal concert schedule, the Jupiter String Quartet places a strong emphasis on developing relationships withfuture classical music audiences through outreach work in the school systems and other educational performances. They believe that chamber music, because of the intensity of its interplay and communication, is one of the most effective ways of spreading an enthusiasm for “classical” music to new audiences.
Indeed, it was early exposure to chamber music that brought these four musicians to found the Jupiter String Quartet. Meg and Liz grew up playing string quartets with their two brothers, Ben and J. Rehearsals were often quite raucous, but they grew to love chamber music during weekly coachings with Oliver Edel, a wonderful cellist and teacher who taught generations of students in the Washington, D.C. area. Nelson also comes from a musical family–both of his parents are pianists (his father also conducts) and his twin sisters, Alicia and Andrea, play clarinet and cello. Although Daniel originally wanted to be a violinist, he ended up on the cello because the organizers of his first strings program declared that he had “better hands for the cello.” He remains skeptical of this comment (he was, after all, only five), but is happy that he ended up where he did.
Jupiter QuartetThe Jupiters have been fortunate to receive several chamber music honors over the course of their career. In 2008 they earned an Avery Fisher Career Grant and, in 2007, Chamber Music America awarded them the Cleveland Quartet Award. Before that, the Jupiters won first prize in the Banff International String Quartet Competition (where they also received the Szekely Prize for best performance of a Beethoven quartet), and grand prize in the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition. The quartet’s career began to take off after being selected in the Young Concert Artists International auditions in 2005. From 2007-2010, the Quartet was in residence at the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s Chamber Music Two and, in 2009, they received a grant from the Fromm Foundation to commission a new quartet from Dan Visconti for a CMSLC performance at Alice Tully Hall.
The quartet has recorded works by Mendelssohn, Beethoven, Shostakovich, and Britten for Marquis records. American works by Barber, Seeger, and Gershwin were also recorded for iTunes in conjunction with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and Deutsche Grammophon.
The Jupiters feel great indebtedness to the wise instruction of members of the Takacs and Cleveland Quartets, who guided them through the early years of their development as an ensemble. The quartet chose its name because Jupiter was the most prominent planet in the night sky at the time of its formation and the astrological symbol for Jupiter resembles the number four. The Jupiters reside in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois.