The American String Quartet – September 15, 2013

Peter Winograd, violin
Laurie Carney, violin
Daniel Avshalomov, viola
Wolfram Koessel, cello.

Join us on Sunday, September 15th at 3PM at the Cyr Center in Stamford for the sixth concert of our 27th Season, when it is our great privilege to present the American String Quartet.

This highly acclaimed ensemble is known to us through cellist Wolfram Koessel, who has performed at the Cyr Center a number of times with various groups but never before with the ASQ. A friend of our own Ilkka Kalliomaa (long-time board member and past President for several terms), Mr. Koessel came to our rescue in 2011 when he helped organize on very short notice the amazing ensemble that performed for the Friends of Music Silver Jubilee celebration. We are equally grateful that he convinced his colleagues in the Quartet to perform for us in Stamford this year.

The American String Quartet had an amazing beginning. Formed when its founding members were students at the Juilliard School in New York City, in 1974 the group won both the Coleman Competition and the Naumberg Chamber Music Award. Thirty-nine seasons later they are internationally recognized as one of the world’s foremost quartets, busy with performances and sought after for collaborations by many leading artists and composers.

The Press has lauded the ASQ for their “Luxurious, beautifully sculptured performances” (The New York Times) with critiques including “The American String Quartet’s program was, simply put, a comprehensive display of ensemble mastery, of passion, precision and interpretive smarts in near perfect synchrony” (The Los Angeles Times) and “The program was played as skillfully as it was constructed, with a finely calculated ensemble sound in which each player showed considerable individuality but all blended their strengths into a fine balance” (The Washington Post). The group is highly touted in Europe as well, with praise such as “The finesse, the thoughtfulness and depth of the performance could not be surpassed” (Berliner Morgenpost) and “Even by European standards, they are perfect” (Tiroler Tageszeitung, Innsbruck, Austria).

While their performances of the complete quartets of Beethoven, Schubert, Schoenberg, Bartok and Mozart have been critically acclaimed, the American String Quartet also champions contemporary music. They have commissioned and premiered works by composers including Claus Adam, Richard Danielpour, Kenneth Fuchs, Tobias Picker and George Tsontakis.

The Quartet has recorded works by Adam, Corigliano, Danielpour, Dvorak, Fuchs, Prokofiev, Schoenberg and Tsontakis on the Albany, CRI, MusicMasters, Musical Heritage Society, Nonesuch and RCA labels. The ASQ’s recordings of the complete Mozart string quartets on a matched set of Stradivarius instruments (originally released by MusicMasters and again in 2008 by Nimbus Records) are widely held to set the standard for this repertoire. According to the American Record Guide “String quartet recordings don’t get much better than this” and The Strad concurs “If you are going to call yourself the American String Quartet, you need to be able to live up to your name.… I cannot think of another U.S. ensemble capable of making recordings as sustainedly stylish and beautiful as these.”

Their innovative programming and creative approach to education has led to notable residencies throughout the country. The American String Quartet continues as quartet in residence at the Manhattan School of Music (1984–present) and the Aspen Music Festival (1974–present).

See below to read more about the artists, or for additional information, to listen to examples of their work and to read more of what the Press has to say about the group, please visit their Web site at

American String Quartet


String Quartet No. 62 in C major, Op. 76, No. 3 (ca. 1796)

  1. Allegro
  2. Poco adagio; cantabile
  3. Menuetto. Allegro
  4. Finale. Presto

Joseph Haydn (1732 – 1809)

String Quartet No. 11 in F minor, Op. 95 (ca. 1810)

  1. Allegro con brio
  2. Allegretto ma non troppo
  3. Allegro assai vivace ma serioso
  4. Larghetto espressivo; Allegretto agitato; Allegro

Ludwig van Beethoven (1770 – 1827)


Quartet in F major (ca. 1903)

  1. Allegro moderato. Très doux
  2. Assez vif. Très rythmé
  3. Très lent
  4. Vif et agité

Maurice Ravel (1875 -1937)

September 15, 2013 Performers

Peter Winograd

Peter Winograd joined the American String Quartet in 1990. He gave his first solo public performance at the age of 11, and at age 17 he was accepted as a scholarship student of Dorothy DeLay at The Juilliard School. Recognized early as an exceptionally promising young artist, Winograd was a top prize winner in the 1988 Naumburg International Violin Competition. He then made his New York debut to critical acclaim and has since appeared as a guest soloist with numerous orchestras and in recital across the country and abroad, including annual collaborative performances with cellist Andrés Díaz at the Florida Arts Chamber Music Festival.

In 2002 Winograd performed the Sibelius Violin Concerto with the Hartford Symphony; his father, Arthur Winograd, was the featured guest conductor. Winograd has been a mem­ber of the violin and chamber music faculties of the Manhattan School of Music and the Aspen Music School (where the American is Quartet-in-Residence) since 1990.

Born into a gifted musical family, Winograd began his studies with his parents. His mother was a pro­fes­sion­al pianist, and his father was the founding cellist of the Juilliard Quartet and a conductor of the Hartford Symphony in Hartford, Connecticut, where Winograd grew up. He holds bach­e­lor’s and master’s degrees from Juilliard. His wife, violinist Caterina Szepes, is a reg­u­lar participant in the Marlboro Festival and a member of the Metropolitan Opera Or­ches­tra.

Mr. Winograd’s violin is by Giovanni Maria del Bussetto (Cremona, 1675).

Photo by Wolfram Koessel.

Laurie Carney

A founding member of the American String Quartet, Laurie Carney holds the distinction of performing quartets longer than any other woman in this elite field. The ASQ began concertizing while she was still an undergraduate at Juilliard. Her regular collaborations include trios with her husband, cellist William Grubb, and pianist Anton Nel; duos with Guarneri Quartet violist Michael Tree; and as an ensemble partner to such artists as Isaac Stern, Pinchas Zukerman, Salvatore Accardo, Cho-Liang Lin, Joshua Bell, Yefim Bronfman, Misha Dichter, Ralph Kirshbaum, Alain Meunier and Frederica von Stade.

Carney’s concerto appearances include performing Mozart’s Sin­fo­nia Con­cer­tan­te with the Bournemouth Symphony, Basque National Orchestra and the Welsh National Orchestra. She was featured in the American premiere of Giampaolo Bra­ca­li’s Fantasia, a sonata for violin and piano.

A faculty artist at the Aspen Music Festival and School since 1974 and the Manhattan School of Music since 1984, Carney has held teaching positions at the Mannes College of Music, Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University, University of Ne­bras­ka, University of Michigan, Shepherd School at Rice Uni­ver­si­ty and the Taos School of Music. Her dedication to the development of young players brings frequent invitations to offer master classes, most recently in California, Colorado, Illinois, Michigan and New Mexico.

Laurie Carney is a member of a prodigious musical family: her father was a trumpeter and edu­ca­tor, her mother a concert pianist, and all three siblings are professional violinists.

Ms. Carney’s violin is by Carlo Tononi (Venice, 1720).

Photo by Peter Schaaf.

Daniel Avshalomov

The Strad magazine hailed violist Daniel Avshalomov as “one of the finest occupants of that chair, both instrumentally and musically, of any quartet now active.” Avshalomov performs in recitals and collaborations and as a featured performer and concerto soloist at festivals across the country. Before joining the Quartet, Avshalomov served as principal violist for the Aspen, Tanglewood and Spoleto festival orchestras, as well as for the Brooklyn Philharmonic, Opera Orchestra of New York, and American Composers Orchestra. He also was a founding mem­ber of the Orpheus Chamber Ensemble.

A frequent guest artist with the Guarneri Quar­tet, he has performed with such groups as the Da Camera Society, Marin Music Fest and La Musica di Asolo. He has shared the stage with Norbert Brainin (first violinist of the Amadeus Quartet), Misha Dichter, Bruno Giuranna (a founding member of I Musici), Maureen Forrester, the Juilliard and Tokyo quartets, and the Bolshoi Ballet (as solo violist).

Avshalomov’s articles appear in Notes and Strings; he has edited several viola works for publication and contributed to ASTA’s Playing and Teaching the Viola. He has been the subject of two articles in The Strad magazine and one in Classical Pulse. Avshalomov developed a lecture-demonstration, “Inside Passages,” first presented to the New York Viola Society in 2000. He performed the world premiere of Giampaolo Bracali’s Concerto per Viola, which RAI has broadcast in Europe, and the American premiere of Alessandro Rolla’s Esercizio 3. On his CD, Three Generations Avshalomov, with pianists Robert McDonald and Pamela Pyle, Avshalomov performs works for viola and piano com­posed by his grandfather, father and brother. The CD was featured on NPR’s All Things Con­sidered.

Avshalomov has been on the faculty of the Manhattan School of Music since 1984 and at the Aspen School since 1976.

Mr. Avshalomov’s viola is by Andrea Amati (Cremona, 1568).

Photo by Don Hunstein.

Wolfram Koessel

Since his Carnegie Hall debut in 1994, cellist Wolfram Koessel has performed as a chamber musician, recitalist and soloist throughout the world. The Strad magazine praised his “exceptionally attractive cello playing.” As a soloist he has performed concertos throughout the United States as well as with Japan’s Osaka Symphony Orchestra and orchestras in Germany and South America. He has also appeared often with the New York Metamorphoses Orchestra, which he co-founded in 1994.

His collaborations include performances with legendary tabla virtuoso Zakir Hussain, distinguished dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov and cellist Yo Yo Ma, among many others. Koessel also appears with a wide range of ensembles, including the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and Trio+ (a group he formed with violinst Yosuke Kawasaki and pianist Vadim Serebryani), which performs creative and collaborative concerts throughout Japan, the U.S. and Canada.

Koessel served as music director of the Mark Morris Dance Group from 2004 to 2008 and has toured extensively with the company both nationally and internationally, performing in several world premieres. In the fall of 2009, he was the featured performer in a new choreography, performing Beethoven’s Cello Sonata in C.

He resides with his wife, pianist and writer J. Mae Barizo, and his daughter in Manhattan.

Mr. Koessel’s cello is by Giovanni Cavani (Modena 1917).

Photo by Peter Schaaf.