The Richard P. Garmany Chamber Music Series
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The Richard P. Garmany Chamber Music Series

Announcing the 2016-2017 Richard P. Garmany Chamber Music Series 

PRISM Quartet – October 6, 2016

Juilliard String Quartet – November 10, 2016 

Chiara String Quartet  RESCHEDULED TO April 3, 2017, 7:30 p.m.  Buy Tickets Now

The Concert Program

Decoda (The Affiliate Ensemble of Carnegie Hall) March 30, 2017  Buy Tickets Now

The Concert Program

The Mini-Residency Schedule

All of the concerts will begin at 7:30 pm in Millard Auditorium.

“I am delighted to announce the eighth season of the Richard P. Garmany Chamber Music Series, and I look forward to greeting everyone at the first concert in October,” said Larry Alan Smith, the newly appointed curator of the Series. “The four ensembles for the upcoming season have very distinct profiles. I know that Garmany patrons will not only enjoy the varied programs, but they will also have opportunities to become acquainted with the ensembles by attending additional events during each group’s two-day mini-residency at the University.”

The annual four-concert series, which has brought to campus more than two dozen of the most admired and innovative musical artists and ensembles in the world, is supported by the Richard P. Garmany Fund at the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving. For the upcoming 2016-17 season, the Fund has provided a grant of $55,000, matching its largest since the series began in 2008.

Please take a moment to read about the 2016-17 Garmany ensembles. We hope that you will also enjoy the video.

Intriguing programs of great beauty and breadth have distinguished the PRISM Quartet as one of America’s foremost chamber ensembles.

PRISM Quartet

PRISM seeks to place the saxophone in unexpected contexts, chart fresh musical territory, and to challenge, inspire, and move audiences. “A bold ensemble that set the standard for contemporary-classical saxophone quartets” (The New York Times), PRISM was founded by students of the renowned Donald Sinta at the University of Michigan in 1984. Shortly after winning the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition, PRISM was chosen by Musical America as “Outstanding Young Artists,” performed on Entertainment Tonight and National Public Radio’s “Performance Today,” and toured virtually every state in the U.S.

Two-time winners of the Chamber Music America/ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming, PRISM has performed in Carnegie Hall on the Making Music Series, in Alice Tully Hall with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, and throughout Latin America and China under the auspices of the United States Information Agency and USArtists International, respectively. PRISM has also been presented to critical acclaim as soloists with the Detroit Symphony and Cleveland Orchestra, and conducted residencies at the nation’s leading conservatories, including the Curtis Institute of Music and the Oberlin Conservatory.

PRISM video link

Above by composer and saxophonist Matthew Levy will be performed at the Garmany concert on October 6th.

Champions of new music, PRISM has commissioned over 200 works, many by internationally celebrated composers, including Pulitzer Prize-winners Julia Wolfe, William Bolcom, Jennifer Higdon, Zhou Long, and Bernard Rands; MacArthur “Genius” Award recipients Bright Sheng and Miguel Zenón; Guggenheim Fellows William Albright, Martin Bresnick, Chen Yi, Lee Hyla, and Steven Mackey; and jazz masters Greg Osby, Rudresh Mahanthappa, Steve Lehman, and Dave Liebman. In 1997, PRISM initiated its own concert series in Philadelphia and New York City, presenting the newest compositions created for the ensemble by composers from around the world. The series has featured an eclectic range of guest artists, including Ethel, Talujon Percussion, Music From China, Miro Dance Theatre, Cantori New York, and top jazz artists, including guitarist Ben Monder, saxophonist Rick Margitza, and drummers Gerald Cleaver, Mark Ferber, and John Riley. PRISM has also joined forces with the New York Consort of Viols, Opera Colorado, and the Chilean rock band Inti-Illimani in touring engagements.

PRISM’s discography is extensive, documenting more than sixty works commissioned by the Quartet on Albany, innova, Koch, Naxos, New Dynamic, and New Focus. PRISM’s recent CD, People’s Emergency Center, features guest artists Jason Moran, Tim Ries, Bill Stewart, and Jay Anderson performing music by Quartet member Matthew Levy. PRISM may also be heard on the soundtrack of the film Two Plus One, by Emmy nominee Eugene Martin, also scored by Levy, and has been featured in the theme music to the weekly PBS news magazine “NOW.”

PRISM performs exclusively on Selmer saxophones and mouthpieces.

These notes are drawn from the ensemble’s website. For more information, visit

Julliard String Quartet

The Juilliard String Quartet, widely known as the quintessential American string quartet, celebrated the 2015/16 season, the Quartet’s 70th, with concert tours in North America, Europe and Asia; performances of Elliott Carter's String Quartet No. 1 and a new work by Richard Wernick commissioned for them by the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society; and concerts honoring cellist Joel Krosnick at New York’s Alice Tully Hall, the Ravinia Festival and the Chamber Music Society of Detroit, featuring the Schubert Cello Quintet with guest cellist Astrid Schween who succeeds Mr. Krosnick in the fall of 2016. The Quartet also celebrates a groundbreaking new interactive app on Schubert's “Death and the Maiden” Quartet, released in 2015 by Touchpress and the Juilliard School.

Founded in 1946, the Juilliard String Quartet was the first ensemble to play all six Bartók quartets in the United States, and its performances of Schoenberg’s quartets helped establish the works as cornerstones of the modern string quartet literature. The Quartet’s recordings of the Bartók and Schoenberg Quartets, as well as those of Debussy, Ravel and Beethoven won Grammy Awards, and in 2011 the Quartet became the first classical music ensemble to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. In 2014 Sony Classical reissued the Quartet's landmark recordings of the first four Elliott Carter String Quartets together with the recently recorded Carter Quartet No. 5, making a complete historical document.

Over its seven decades, the Quartet has made manifest the credo of its founders to “play new works as if they were established masterpieces and established masterpieces as if they were new.”  In addition to Carter and Wernick, the Quartet’s 2015/16 season repertoire featured Schubert’s Quartettsatz, Mozart’s “Dissonance” Quartet, the Debussy Quartet and Beethoven’s Quartet Op. 135. Their collaborations also include the Brahms Piano Quintet with Mihae Lee, as well as the Brahms G major Sextet with cellist Marcy Rosen and former Juilliard Quartet violist Samuel Rhodes. Last season they toured North America, Asia and Europe with typically varied programming including Shulamit Ran’s Quartet No. 2, “Vistas,” works by Webern, Berg, Martinu and Elgar, as well as Schubert’s  “Death and the Maiden” Quartet. In 2013 they premiered the String Quartet No. 3, “Whereof man cannot speak . . .” by Jesse Jones.

Devoted master teachers, the members of the Juilliard String Quartet offer classes and open rehearsals when on tour. At The Juilliard School, where they are the String Quartet in Residence, all are sought-after members of the string and chamber music faculty. Annually in May, they are hosts of the 5-day internationally recognized Juilliard String Quartet Seminar.

In performance, recordings and incomparable work educating and training the major quartets of our time, the Juilliard String Quartet has carried the banner of the United States and The Juilliard School throughout the world.

For more information, visit

JSQ video link

Chiara String Quartet

Renowned for bringing fresh excitement to traditional string quartet repertoire as well as for creating insightful interpretations of new music, the Chiara String Quartet (Rebecca Fischer and Hyeyung Julie Yoon, violins; Jonah Sirota, viola; Gregory Beaver, cello) captivates its audiences throughout the country. The Chiara has established itself as among America’s most respected ensembles, lauded for its “highly virtuosic, edge-of-the-seat playing” (The Boston Globe). They are currently Hixson-Lied Artists-in-Residence at the Glenn Korff School of Music at the University of Nebraska

-Lincoln and were the Blodgett Artists-in-Residence at Harvard University from 2008-2014. For the 2015-2016 season, the Chiara was the quartet-in-residence at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

Performing together since 2000, the Chiara is moving forward by taking a cue from the past. Harkening back to a tradition that is centuries old and still common among soloists, the Chiara Quartet has adopted a new way of performing: from memory, without printed sheet music. After memorizing a work, the Quartet is rewarded with deeply gratifying performances where each member feels fully present in the moment, truly performing with heart, by heart. The Chiara is currently recording Bartók by Heart, a 2-CD set featuring Bartók’s six string quartets, played entirely from memory, slated for release in 2016 on Azica. The quartet’s latest album, Brahms by Heart, was released on Azica in March 2014.

In addition to the Chiara Quartet’s regular performances in major concert halls across the country,

including Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall, Carnegie Hall, Philadelphia's Kimmel Center, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the National Gallery in Washington DC, the ensemble was one of the first string quartets to perform in alternative venues for chamber music performance. Recent highlights of the Chiara Quartet's international performances include extensive tours of China, Korea, and Sweden.

CSQ video link

In addition to Brahms by Heart and the forthcoming Bartók by Heart, the complete Chiara discography includes a Grammy-nominated recording of Jefferson Friedman’s String Quartets Nos. 2 and 3 on New Amsterdam Records, the Mozart and Brahms clarinet quintets for SMS Classical, and the world premiere recordings of Robert Sirota's Triptych and Gabriela Lena Frank's Leyendas: An Andean Walkabout on the Quartet's own New Voice Singles label.

The Chiara has been committed to the creation of new music for string quartet since its inception, and has commissioned composers including Gabriela Lena Frank, Jefferson Friedman, Nico Muhly, Daniel Ott, Robert Sirota, among others. Recent collaborators in performance include The Juilliard String Quartet, Joel Krosnick, Roger Tapping, Todd Palmer, Robert Levin, Simone Dinnerstein, Norman Fischer, Nadia Sirota, and Paul Katz, as well as members of the Orion, Ying, Cavani, and Pacifica Quartets.

In the summer, the Chiara Quartet is in residence at Greenwood Music Camp as well as the University of Nebraska-Lincoln's Chamber Music Institute. The Chiara trained and taught at The Juilliard School, mentoring for two years with the Juilliard Quartet, as recipients of the Lisa Arnhold Quartet Residency.

Chiara (key-ARE-uh) is an Italian word meaning "clear, pure, or light."

For more information, visit

Decoda ensemble

Decoda is a chamber ensemble comprised of virtuoso musicians, entrepreneurs, and passionate advocates of the arts. Based in New York City, we create innovative performances and engaging projects with partners around the world.

The artists of Decoda first collaborated with one another in the renowned Ensemble ACJW fellowship program, created by Carnegie Hall, The Juilliard School and Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute; and they now extend that relationship as an Affiliate Ensemble of Carnegie Hall. Since its inception in 2011, Decoda’s projects have reached audiences in schools, hospitals and prisons as well as in prominent concert halls across the globe.

Recent travels have taken Decoda to Abu Dhabi, Iceland, Japan, Mexico, Germany, Hong Kong, and Switzerland, the United Kingdom and Denmark, and in the 2015-16 season, Decoda presented projects with partners in the U.S., Mexico, Asia and the United Kingdom.

Decoda’s engagements have included performances at the Mainly Mozart Festival (San Diego), Bay Chamber Concerts (Maine), in the UK at the Southbank Centre and the Barbican (London), Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (Germany), Chelsea Music Festival (NYC), Carnegie Kids @ Suntory Hall (Tokyo), Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Festival (UAE), Við Djúpið Festival (Iceland), Programa de Educación Musical Fomento Cultural Banamex & Carnegie Hall (Mexico), and the Performing Arts Center at SUNY Purchase. Since 2011, Decoda has participated in Carnegie Hall's Musical Connections Program, undertaking creative projects at Sing Sing Correctional Facility, Beth Abraham Hospital, Clinton High School in Bronx, NY and Valley Lodge Shelter. 

Decoda’s NYC offerings this past season included performances at Kosciuszko Foundation, two concerts presented on the Tertulia chamber music series, and an interactive family concert at 92nd Street Y. In addition to concerts, Decoda returns this season to create projects with partners in Abu Dhabi, Mexico, South Carolina, Purchase College in New York, Lawrence University in Wisconsin, and Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London. 

After a successful launch of the inaugural Decoda | Skidmore Chamber Music Institute in July 2014, Decoda musicians continue to return to Skidmore College to lead the 2-week program that enables young musicians to explore leadership and community service through the intensive study of chamber music. Under the guidance of Decoda artists, students learn how to fully engage their audiences and communities through scripted interactive chamber music performances while improving their own performance and public speaking skills. 

New partnerships this season will take Decoda to Vassar College (NY), Bowling Green State University (OH), Impromptu Classical Concerts in Key West (FL) and Curiosity Concerts in Greenwich (CT). 

For more information, visit

Decoda video link

Please check back in mid-August for a complete schedule of the mini-residency activities. Many of these will be free and open to the public.

For more information, contact Larry Alan Smith (Curator of the Richard P. Garmany Chamber Music Series) via e-mail at

Ticket Information:

Series SubscriptionNew subscriptions  on sale June 14, 2016

Each subscription includes one ticket to each of the four series performances.

Adults: $120

Seniors (age 60 & over), University of Hartford Alumni, and Non-University of Hartford Educators and Students: $100

University of Hartford Faculty, and Staff: Free 

To purchase new subscriptions, please call the Box Office at 860-768-4228.

Individual Concert Tickets - On sale beginning August 16, 2016

Adult: $35

Seniors (age 60 & over), and University of Hartford Alumni: $30

Non-University of Hartford Educators and Students: $25 

University of Hartford Faculty, Staff and Students, and Hartt Community Division Students: Freeartt Community Division Students: Free

University of Hartford Box Office

Tuesdays - Fridays, 10a.m. - 5 p.m.


Located in Lincoln Theater, University of Hartford

*Pre-concert Reception - Special Announcement

A popular feature of the Garmany concert experience is an informal wine and hors d'oeuvres reception, held in the lobby prior to each performance. The receptions offer a cash bar; hors d'oeuvres are complimentary to all ticket holders. Guests may arrive any time during the 6:00 to 7:00 p.m. serving hour, with no advance reservations required.

This series is made possible in part by a grant from the Richard P. Garmany Fund at the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving.

Hartford Foundation for Public Giving