String Theory, a partnership of Lee University and the Hunter, is now in its third season. The concert series has consistently provided an innovative artistic experience for the Chattanooga community.
Kapilow will also give a special lecture at Lee on Feb. 8, from 1 to 2 p.m. in the Squires Recital Hall in the Humanities Center. His presentation is hosted by the School of Music and is free and open to the public.
For nearly 20 years, Kapilow has brought joy and wonder to classical music for audiences of all ages and backgrounds. Kapilow is praised for his unique ability to bring music into people’s lives, allowing his listeners to actively experience music rather than just hear it. Kapilow has compiled an astonishing repertoire, including his famed What Makes It Great? (WMIG) presentations, now in its 14th season in New York and Boston, as well as his family compositions and Family Musik events and composition “Citypieces.”
Kapilow’s WMIG debuted nearly 20 years ago on NPR’s “Performance Today,” and has since attracted a diverse range of followers with its accessible 10-minute format.
“I have never seen a more innovative musical program help to open minds and change attitudes and perceptions about classical music,” said Martha H. Jones, president of the Celebrity Series of Boston.
Kapilow’s latest book, “What Makes It Great?: Short Masterpieces, Great Composers,” highlights short musical masterpieces by major composers and provides an accessible guide to help listeners understand the essence of each composer’s work. Kapilow has also received mainstream notoriety with an appearance on NBC’s “Today” show in conversation with Katie Couric. In 2008, he presented a special broadcast of WMIG on PBS’s “Live From Lincoln Center,” introducing his trademark concert to audiences worldwide.
Bulgarian violinist Bella Hristova has received critical acclaim for her commanding stage presence and audience engagement. Highlights from her 2011-12 season include performances with Chamber Music Society Two at Lincoln Center; a tour with Musicians from Marlboro; and performing as the featured soloist with the New York String Orchestra at Carnegie Hall. The New York Times described her music as, “Excellent … subtle and elegant … with impeccable sound and technique.”
Also this season, Hristova performed with mentor Jaime Laredo as part of his 70th birthday celebration at the 92nd Street Y Chamber Music Series in New York. Among Hristova’s countless orchestral engagements are solo appearances with the Ulster Symphony in the UK; the Orquesta Filarmónica de la Ciudad de México; and the Fresno Philharmonic, Hilton Head, Longwood, and Mobile symphonies. She also performs recitals and educational outreaches throughout the US.
Hristova’s range of accomplishments includes winning top honors in the 2008-09 Young Concert Artist International Auditions, making her debut in the Young Concert Artists Series during the 2009-10 season at Merkin Concert Hall in New York and at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. At the auditions, she was the first recipient of the Helen Armstrong Violin Fellowship and was honored with the Miriam Brody Aronson and the Ruth Laredo Memorial Awards.
Gloria Chien is an internationally acclaimed pianist and assistant professor of music at Lee. She has been picked by the Boston Globe as one of the Superior Pianists of the year, “… who appears to excel in everything.” In 2009, Chien was the founder and artistic director behind String Theory. Her recent CD with violinist Joanna Kurkowicz, featuring the music of Grazyna Bacewicz, was released on Chandos Records in 2011. “[The violinist] could ask for no more sensitive or supportive a pianist than Gloria Chien,” wrote the International Record Review about the record.
An avid chamber musician, Chien was chosen to join the roster of the Chamber Music Society Two of Lincoln Center. She has been the resident pianist with the Chameleon Arts Ensemble of Boston since 2000, a group known for its versatility and commitment to new music. The Boston Herald praises Chien for “[playing] phenomenally.”
Chien is a prize winner of the World Piano Competition, Harvard Musical Association Award, and the San Antonio International Piano Competition, where she also received the award for Best Performance of the Commissioned Work. Chien has presented solo recitals at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, Harvard Musical Association, Sanibel Musical Festival, Caramoor Musical Festival, Salle Cortot in Paris, and the National Concert Hall in Taiwan.
Tickets are $25 in advance or $30 at the door, with a $5 discount for String Theory donors and Hunter Museum members. Student tickets are $10.