LSM Newswire

Monday, June 8, 2009

Nick Eanet to join Juilliard String Quartet Autumn 2009





The "debut" of the Juilliard String Quartet with its new first violinist, Nick Eanet, originally scheduled for July 8, 2009, at the Ravinia Festival, will be delayed for two performances (at Ravinia and the Centre d'Arts Orford in Canada). Mr. Eanet, currently one of two concertmasters of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, sustained a wrist injury from which he is gradually and successfully recovering.

About his injury, Mr. Eanet said, "I've definitely learned a few things from this experience. One is that the body repairs itself at its own pace. The healing process is coming along very successfully and I am close to being fully recovered. By the fall, I expect to be back in my chair and ready to dive into this next exciting chapter of my life."

Mr. Eanet expects to join the Quartet, which is known as one of the foremost chamber music ensembles in the world, for its full 2009-2010 schedule in the U. S. and abroad that includes a Japanese tour in the autumn of 2009 and a European tour in January, 2010.

Joel Smirnoff, the current first violinist of the Quartet who is leaving to become president of the Cleveland Institute of Music, will perform with the Quartet for the concerts in July that Mr. Eanet will miss. The existing members of the Quartet, after Mr. Smirnoff's departure, are Ronald Copes, violin; Samuel Rhodes, viola; and Joel Krosnick, cello.

The arrival of Nick Eanet marks a new era in the history of the world-renowned ensemble. Changes in the Quartet's personnel have occurred singly and slowly, with an average of eleven years' gap between changes. This will be only the ninth incarnation of the Quartet since its inception in 1946.

The goal of the existing members of the Quartet was to find a player who would take the ensemble into the next generation, and continue the Juilliard String Quartet's legacy with youthfulness and vitality. The qualifications for the new member included an interest in performing contemporary music and a dedication to teaching. Mr. Eanet was a natural choice, as he brings to the Quartet the ideal qualities of having a new viewpoint as well as a shared emotional connection and musical philosophy with his new colleagues.

For Nick Eanet, the connection to the Juilliard String Quartet is almost familial. He was a student of the founding first violinist, Robert Mann, and his memories of the JSQ date back to his early childhood.

About the Juilliard String Quartet

The Juilliard String Quartet was founded as Juilliard's resident string quartet in 1946 by then-Juilliard President William Schuman. The current Quartet with violinist Joel Smirnoff has been together since 1997, when the founding violinist of the Quartet, Robert Mann, retired after 50 years. At that time, Mr. Smirnoff assumed the first violin position, with Ronald Copes joining as second violin.

Nick Eanet was a member of the Mendelssohn String Quartet earlier in his career and had continued his chamber music performance while a member of the Met Opera Orchestra since 1999. He is also an experienced teacher of his instrument; while a member of the Mendelssohn String Quartet, he was in residence and taught at Harvard University. He also was a member of the faculty of the University of Delaware and the North Carolina School of the Arts.

As champions of contemporary music since their founding, the Juilliard String Quartet's commissioned works come from noted composers such as Milton Babbitt, Ralph Shapey, Ezekiel Viñao, and Richard Wernick. In 2007-08, the Juilliard String Quartet offered special programming in honor of Elliott Carter's 100th birthday, and on April 29, 2008, at Juilliard, the Quartet, with clarinetist and Juilliard faculty member Charles Neidich, performed the world premiere of Elliott Carter's Quintet for Clarinet and String Quartet. It is the latest milestone in the Quartet's history of performing contemporary works as if they had been written years ago, and to play the classics as if they had been written yesterday.



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