Founded by artistic director Gloria Chien in 2009, String Theory is a chamber music series presented in partnership with the Hunter Museum of American Art and Lee University. Musicians from around the world join Chien to perform in the intimate setting of the Hunter.
The evening’s performance will feature Mendelssohn’s Violin Sonata in F, Poulenc’s Sonata for clarinet and piano, and Schoenfield’s Trio for clarinet, violin and piano.
A native of Spain, Franch-Ballester has been called one of the “most prominent emerging soloists” by the American Symphony League Magazine. In 2008 he received the coveted Avery Fisher Career Grant, and in 2007 he was one of a handful of participants selected for a Carnegie Hall Professional Training Workshop with Emmanuel Ax and Richard Stoltzman. Franch-Ballester was the first prize winner of the 2004 Young Concert Artists International Auditions and the Astral Artists 2004 National Audition.
Franch-Ballester is a member of The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center 2 in New York, with which he has recorded Bartok’s Contrasts for Deutsche Grammophon. He is also a founding member of Nuevo Tango Zinger Septet (Valencia), performing and recording the music of Latin America throughout Spain, and a frequent artist with the International Music Festival of Cartagena de Indias, Colombia.
Winner of a 2009 Avery Fisher Career Grant, Sussmann has performed as soloist throughout the United States, Central America, Europe, and Asia, and at venues such as Carnegie Hall, the Smithsonian Museum and the Louvre Museum.
He has appeared with the New York Philharmonic, American Symphony Orchestra, Jerusalem Symphony, Stamford Symphony, Orchestre des Pays de la Loire, El Salvador National Symphony Orchestra and Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra.
He was invited to join the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center Two for the 2006-2009 seasons and continues to appear with them both in New York and on tour.
Sussmann is the winner of several international competitions including the Hudson Valley Philharmonic String Competition, the Andrea Postacchini Competition, and the Vatelot/Rampal Competition, and has recently recorded works of Beethoven and Dvorák with CMS artistic directors David Finckel and Wu Han.
Chien has emerged in recent years as one of America’s finest young chamber musicians. She has been praised by the Strad for “super performances…accompanied with great character.”
Chien has participated in festivals such as Music Academy of the West, Verbier Music Festival, Bay Chamber Concerts and Chamber Music Northwest. She has also participated for six years in Music@Menlo, a chamber music festival and institute in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she was appointed director of the institute in 2011.
Chien first made a name for herself in Boston as a graduate student at New England Conservatory, becoming the resident pianist with the Chameleon Arts Ensemble of Boston in 2000. She is still part of the ensemble. Her CD with violinist, Joanna Kurkowicz, featuring music of Grazyna Bacewicz was released on Chandos Records.
At 5:30 p.m. Ellen Simak, former Hunter Museum chief curator, and Maestro Robert Bernhardt, conductor Emeritus of the Chattanooga Symphony, will host “Art Connections” exploring works from the Hunter Museum collection that relate to the music featured in the concert to follow.
Individual concert tickets are $25 for Hunter members, $35 for non-members, $10 for students with a valid student ID and $25 for groups of 20 or more people.