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Shriver Hall Concert Series Presents Grammy-Nominated Dover Quartet & Double-Bassist Joseph Conyers In His Baltimore Debut

January 24, 2023 | By Morahan Arts and Media

Contact: Mallory McFarland | Morahan Arts and Media
mallory@morahanartsandmedia.com | 646.241.0899


Featuring Works by Haydn, Walker & Dvorák on
Sunday, February 26 at Shriver Hall

“Meticulously balanced, technically clean-as-a-whistle and intonationally immaculate.”
The Strad


Baltimore, MD (January 24, 2023)Shriver Hall Concert Series (SHCS) — Baltimore’s premier presenter of chamber music ensembles and solo recitalists — continues its 2022-23 season at Shriver Hall on Sunday, February 26, 2023 at 5:30pm with the return of the acclaimed Dover Quartet and double-bassist Joseph Conyers, in his Baltimore debut. A pre-concert talk takes place at 4:30pm and is open to all ticket holders.

The evening’s program begins with Haydn’s String Quartet in E-flat major, Op. 33, No. 2, “The Joke”. The Austrian composer wrote 68 quartets, as well as various quartet arrangements, and earned a reputation as the “father” of the string quartet. His music reflects the Classical Era’s virtues of equilibrium, clarity, and seriousness of purpose, tempered with a playfulness and often earthy humor that audiences have delighted in for centuries. “The Joke” gets its nickname for its high-spirited Finale that includes false endings.

Following is George Walker’s String Quartet No. 1. Walker was a prolific composer and the first African-American to win the Pulitzer Prize for Music, which he received for Lilacs in 1996. Over his lifetime, he produced over 90 works, and received commissions from notable orchestras such as the New York Philharmonic, Boston Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, and Philadelphia Orchestra to name a few.

The concert culminates with the Dover Quartet and Joseph Conyers uniting for Czech composer Dvorák’s lush, richly textured String Quintet in G major, Op. 77. Composed in 1875 and first performed in Prague a year after, the quintet is full of fiery energy and rhythmic incisiveness. Dvorák also revised the score for its eventual publication in 1888, and the final version of the piece premiered in Boston on November 25, 1889.

“Few young American ensembles are as exciting and accomplished as the Dover Quartet,” raves The New Yorker. An alum of SHCS’s celebrated Discovery Series, the stunning ensemble returns to Baltimore with Philadelphia Orchestra double-bassist Joseph Conyers, who has been praised as “a lyrical musician who plays with authenticity that transcends mere technique” (Grand Rapids Press).

Shriver Hall Concert Series’ 2022-23 Subscription Series at Shriver Hall includes upcoming appearances by the Tetzlaff-Tetzlaff-Dörken Trio – made up of violinist Christian Tetzlaff, cellist Tanja Tetzlaff, and pianist Kiveli Dörken – on Sunday, March 26, 2023 at 5:30pm; the return of pianist Piotr Anderszewski on Sunday, April 23, 2023 at 5:30pm; and Grammy-nominated quintet Imani Winds on Sunday, May 14, 2023 at 5:30pm.

SHCS’ 2022-23 free Discovery Series features 2022 Yale Gordon Concerto Competition-winner tubist Jasmine Piggot, pianist Aaron Thacker, and percussionist Chad Beebe on Saturday, January 28, 2023 at 3:00pm at the Baltimore Museum of Art; 2021 Avery Fisher Career Grant and youngest ever winner of the National Sphinx Competition cellist Sterling Elliott, who makes his Baltimore debut, and pianist Elliot Wuu on Saturday, February 18, 2023 at 3:00pm at UMBC’s Linehan Concert Hall; and the Thalea String Quartet on Saturday, March 11, 2023 at 3:00pm also at UMBC’s Linehan Concert Hall.

Concert Information
Dover Quartet and Joseph Conyers, double bass
Saturday, February 26, 2023 at 5:30pm
Shriver Hall | 3400 N. Charles Street | Baltimore, MD 21218
Tickets: $132 Subscription; $44 General Admission; $10 Students
Link: https://www.shriverconcerts.org/dover

FRANZ JOSEPH HAYDN: String Quartet in E-flat major, Op. 33, No. 2, "The Joke"
GEORGE WALKER: String Quartet No. 1
ANTONÍN DVORÁK: String Quintet in G major, Op. 77

Dover Quartet
     Joel Link, violin
     Bryan Lee, violin
     Hezekiah Leung, viola
     Camden Shaw, cello
Joseph Conyers, double bass

About Shriver Hall Concert Series
For more than 50 years, Shriver Hall Concert Series (SHCS) has been “Baltimore’s finest importer of classical music talent” (The Baltimore Sun) and the area’s premier presenter of chamber music ensembles and solo recitalists with a mission to craft performances and educational programs at the highest level of excellence. A 5-time recipient of Baltimore Magazine’s distinction “Best Classical Music” in its annual “Best of Baltimore” issue, the coveted subscription series features many of the world’s most renowned soloists and ensembles, presented in The Johns Hopkins University’s Shriver Hall.

Founded in 1966 by Dr. Ernest Bueding, a pharmacologist at The Johns Hopkins University, and a group of similarly dedicated music enthusiasts, SHCS set out to make an important contribution to the vitality of an already vibrant city. When flutist Jean-Pierre Rampal walked onto the stage of Shriver Hall for the first concert, more than 1,100 people witnessed the launch of what is now recognized as a remarkable success story: Shriver Hall Concert Series. In the succeeding years SHCS has presented hundreds of acclaimed and emerging international artists in classical chamber music and recitals and a legacy of important debuts and premieres. In addition, SHCS collaborates with local schools and subsidizes hundreds of student tickets each season.

The list of artists presented by SHCS is remarkable—Radu Lupu, Murray Perahia, Ewa Podlés, Maurizio Pollini, Jacqueline du Pré, Mstislav Rostropovich, Jordi Savall, András Schiff, Rudolf Serkin, Janos Starker, Daniil Trifonov, Lynn Harrell, Emmanuel Ax, Alban Berg Quartet, Guarneri Quartet, Kronos Quartet, Cleveland Quartet, and Quartetto Italiano, among many others. SHCS also has a history of championing important musicians early in their careers, including Richard Goode, Hilary Hahn, Hélène Grimaud, Dawn Upshaw, Lang Lang, and the Emerson String Quartet. Commissioned composers include Timo Andres, Sebastian Currier, Jonathan Leshnoff, James Lee III, Hannah Lash, Caroline Shaw, and Nina C. Young.

Designed specifically for the community, SHCS offers the Discovery Series, a series of free concerts presented in venues throughout the region focused on artists emerging on the national and international scene. Artists featured include Narek Hakhnazaryan, Colin Currie, Xavier Foley, Eric Lu, and the Dover Quartet. SHCS also offers the annual Spring Lecture Series, a series of free talks focused on annual topics related to the intersection of music and society, and a variety of student programs.

For more information, visit www.shriverconcerts.org.

About the Dover Quartet
Named one of the greatest string quartets of the last 100 years by BBC Music Magazine, the Grammy-nominated Dover Quartet – Joel Link, violin; Bryan Lee, violin; Hezekiah Leung, viola; and Camden Shaw, cello – has followed a “practically meteoric” (Strings) trajectory to become one of the most in-demand chamber ensembles in the world. In addition to its faculty role as the Penelope P. Watkins Ensemble in Residence at the Curtis Institute of Music, the Dover Quartet holds residencies with The Kennedy Center, Bienen School of Music at Northwestern University, Artosphere, and the Amelia Island Chamber Music Festival. The group’s awards include a stunning sweep of all prizes at the 2013 Banff International String Quartet Competition, grand and first prizes at the Fischoff Chamber Music Competition, and prizes at the Wigmore Hall International String Quartet Competition. Its prestigious honors include the Avery Fisher Career Grant, Chamber Music America’s Cleveland Quartet Award, and Lincoln Center’s Hunt Family Award.

The Dover Quartet’s 2022–23 season includes collaborations with Edgar Meyer, Joseph Conyers, and Haochen Zhang. The group tours Europe twice, including a return to London’s renowned Wigmore Hall and a debut performance in Copenhagen. The Quartet recently premiered Steven Mackey’s theatrical-musical work Memoir, alongside arx duo and actor-narrator Natalie Christa. Other recent and upcoming artist collaborations include Emanuel Ax, Inon Barnatan, Ray Chen, the Escher String Quartet, Bridget Kibbey, Anthony McGill, the Pavel Haas Quartet, Roomful of Teeth, the late Peter Serkin, and Davóne Tines.

Cedille Records released the third and final volume of the Quartet’s recording of the Beethoven Complete String Quartets in October 2022. The Strad described the highly acclaimed recordings as “meticulously balanced, technically clean-as-a-whistle and intonationally immaculate.” Its recording Encores was also released in 2021 on the Brooklyn Classical label. The quartet’s Grammy-nominated recording, The Schumann Quartets, was released by Azica Records in 2019. Cedille Records released the Dover Quartet’s Voices of Defiance: 1943, 1944, 1945 in October 2017; and an all-Mozart debut recording in the 2016–17 season, featuring the late Michael Tree, violist of the Guarneri Quartet. Voices of Defiance, which explores works written during World War II by Viktor Ullman, Dmitri Shostakovich, and Simon Laks, was lauded upon its release as “undoubtedly one of the most compelling discs released this year” (Wall Street Journal).

The Dover Quartet draws from the lineage of the distinguished Guarneri, Cleveland, and Vermeer quartets. Its members studied at the Curtis Institute of Music, Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music, the Royal Conservatory of Music, and the University of Michigan. They were mentored extensively by Shmuel Ashkenasi, James Dunham, Norman Fischer, Kenneth Goldsmith, Joseph Silverstein, Arnold Steinhardt, Michael Tree, and Peter Wiley. It was at Curtis that the Dover Quartet formed in 2008, and its name pays tribute to the work Dover Beach by fellow Curtis alumnus Samuel Barber.

The ensemble’s website is doverquartet.com.

About Joseph Conyers
Joseph Conyers has spent the whole of his career as a multi-faceted artist whose innovative work in music education and access has been recognized internationally. He was appointed assistant principal bass of the Philadelphia Orchestra in 2010. He previously held tenures with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra; the Grand Rapids Symphony, where he served as principal bass; and the Santa Fe Opera Orchestra.

Conyers has performed with many orchestras as soloist, including the Alabama, Flagstaff, and Richmond symphony orchestras; the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia; and the Sphinx Symphony Orchestra, having won second prize at the 2004 Sphinx Competition. In 2008 John B. Hedges wrote a concerto for him—Prayers of Rain and Wind—commissioned by the Grand Rapids Symphony.

Conyers is an artist of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. Other chamber music festivals and collaborations have included the Ilumina Festival (Brazil), the Festival Internacional de Música de Esmeraldas (Ecuador), the Kaleidoscope Chamber Collective (UK), and chamber music festivals in Savannah, Charlottesville, Kingston, and Lexington.

In 2019 Conyers received the Sphinx Organization’s Medal of Excellence and the Theodore L. Kesselman Award from the New York Youth Symphony. In 2018 he received the C. Hartman Kuhn Award from the Philadelphia Orchestra and was named one of Musical America’s 30 Professionals of the Year. In 2015 he was the recipient of the inaugural Young Alumni Award from the Curtis Institute of Music, and in 2007 was named one of “30 Leaders 30 and Under” by Ebony magazine. In 1999 he was one of the first guests on a pilot taping of NPR’s From the Top.

Conyers serves on the faculty of The Juilliard School, having previously taught at Temple University, Calvin College, and Clark Atlanta University. He is Director of the Young Artists Orchestra for the Boston University Tanglewood Institute and has been music director of Philadelphia’s All City Orchestra since 2015. He has taught at numerous summer music festivals including the Music Academy of the West, Philadelphia International Music Festival, the Wintergreen Summer Music Festival and Academy, and the National Repertory Orchestra. He has given master classes and lectures across the country, including at the Colburn School, the Curtis Institute of Music, New England Conservatory, Yale University, Ohio State University, the University of Georgia, and Peabody Conservatory.

Conyers is the Founder and Vision Advisor of the nonprofit Project 440. Through its nationally recognized curricula, Project 440 uses music as a tool to engage, educate, and inspire young musicians, providing them with care and life skills to become tomorrow’s civic-minded, entrepreneurial leaders.

Conyers received his bachelor’s degree from the Curtis Institute of Music, where he studied with both Harold Robinson and Edgar Meyer. Other mentors have included David Warshauer, Daniel Swaim, and Albert Laszlo. He performs on the “Zimmerman/Gladstone” 1802 Vincenzo Panormo double bass, which he has affectionately named “Norma.” His website is josephconyers.com and his Instagram handle is @weatherclef.

Photos: Dover Quartet by Jesse Holland, Joseph Conyers by Nicole Roche

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