String Theory at the Hunter to Present Concert December 19

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Alumni Hero
By Jillian Ellis

String Theory will continue its fifth season by welcoming celebrated sisters Ani and Ida Kavafian, along with Yura Lee, violin/viola, Steven Tenenbom, viola, Peter Wiley, cello, and Gloria Chien, piano, to the Hunter Museum of American Art in Chattanooga on Dec. 19 at 6:30 p.m.

The concert will feature Beethoven’s Variations on an Original Theme in E flat, Moszkowski’s Suite in G, and Brahms’ String Quintet No. 2 in G.

String Theory, founded by Artistic Director Gloria Chien in 2009, 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.

Ani Kavafian enjoys a prolific career as a violin soloist, recitalist, and chamber musician. She has performed with virtually all of America’s leading orchestras, including the New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra, Cleveland Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony Orchestra and many others. Her numerous solo recital engagements include performances at New York’s Carnegie and Alice Tully halls, as well as in major venues across the country. Ani currently serves as a professor of violin at Yale University.

Violinist/violist Ida Kavafian has an international reputation as one of the most active and versatile musicians performing today. Artist of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and former violinist of the renowned Beaux Arts Trio, she presently performs as both a soloist and with her sister Ani, as guest with distinguished ensembles, as Artistic Director of the highly successful festival, Music from Angel Fire in NM for 29 years, and as a faculty member at The Curtis Institute, The Juilliard School and Bard College.

Yura Lee, violin/viola, is enjoying a career that spans almost two decades and takes her all over the world. At age 12, Lee became the youngest artist ever to receive the Debut Artist of the Year prize at the “Performance Today” awards given by National Public Radio and in 2007, was the recipient of the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant. She has appeared with many major orchestras, including the New York Philharmonic, the Chicago Symphony, the Baltimore Symphony, the Cleveland Orchestra, the San Francisco Symphony, the Hong Kong Philharmonic, and many others.

Violist Steven Tenenbom is established as a chamber musician, soloist, recitalist and teacher. He has appeared as guest artist with such eminent ensembles as the Guarneri and Emerson String Quartets, the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson and Beaux Arts Trios, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and Chamber Music at the “Y.” He has appeared as soloist with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra and the Brandenburg Ensemble in performances at Boston’s Symphony Hall, the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., Avery Fisher Hall in New York City, and on tour in Japan. Tenenbom is also on the faculty of the Curtis Institute of Music, where he is the Coordinator of String and Piano Chamber Music.

Peter Wiley, cello, enjoys an active career as a performer and teacher. He is a member of the piano quartet Opus One, a group he co-founded in 1998 with pianist Anne-Marie McDermott, Ida Kavafian and Tenenbom. He has been awarded an Avery Fisher Career Grant, nominated for a Grammy Award in 1998 with the Beaux Arts Trio and in 2009 with the Guarneri Quartet. Wiley currently teaches at the Curtis Institute of Music and Bard College Conservatory of Music.

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 won a spot on the roster of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center in 2012, and now frequently plays at Alice Tully Hall in New York as well as other venues around the country with CMS on Tour.

Prior to the concert, Chien will host “Musical Dialogues” at 6 p.m., featuring an in-depth conversation with the performers about their lives, inspirations, and the masterpieces being performed.

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.

For more information on String Theory at the Hunter or to purchase tickets, call 423-267-0968 or visit