Monday, November 15, 2010

It's PROJECT JUPITER week! Welcome the Jupiter String Quartet

The four excellent musicians of the Jupiter String Quartet arrive this evening (Monday) to launch the first week of their three-season Spivey Hall residency -- a very welcome event, and the long-awaited result of about 18 months of planning!

From left to right:  Daniel McDonough, cello; Meg Freivogel, violin; 
Liz Freivogel, viola; and Nelson Lee, violin.  

This initiative is called PROJECT JUPITER, and will have the musicians deeply engaged with the community in outreach and education work in addition to performing, representing both Spivey Hall and themselves as highly talented and accomplished living ambassadors of string quartet music.  They're also four friendly, tremendously articulate and interesting people, and I'm sure that all who come in contact with them will be glad they did.

Leading up to to their Saturday evening Spivey Series concert on November 20th at 8:15 PM (with a pre-concert talk with Clayton State music faculty Dr. Kurt-Alexander Zeller at 7:15) at which they'll be performing two quartets by Beethoven plus Gyorgy Kurtag's exquisite Microludes for String Quartet, the Jupiters will be undertaking the following:

- Playing in the atrium of the world's busiest airport, Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International (right here in Clayton County) in two "sets" from 5 PM to 7 PM on Tuesday

- Making music for residents of the GoldenCrest Senior Community in Stockbridge on Wednesday

- Visiting three southside high schools (Union Grove HS, Lovejoy HS, and Whitewater HS) to work with their chamber orchestras and conductors, as well as student string quartets that will be featured in a Spivey Hall master class led by the Jupiters in March

- Rehearsing with the annual Spivey Hall Chamber Orchestra Workshop musicians from area high-schools, and taking part in the performance conducted by guest clinician Bob Phillips at Spivey Hall on Friday at 7:30 PM

- Rehearsing for their Spivey Series debut on Saturday (they already made their Spivey Hall debut last January, giving a great pair of Young People's Concerts -- but this is their subscription series debut)

- And generally getting know metro Atlanta, which they'll be discovering in full-week visits at least twice a season for three seasons.

(Hmmm....they'd better eat their Wheaties...!)

The first season of Project Jupiter has been generously funded by special grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, South Arts, Country Inn & Suites Atlanta I-75 South, and as part of Spivey Hall's 2010/11 Twentieth Anniversary Season sponsored by The Coca-Cola Company.

And I'm delighted to announce that the National Endowment for the Arts has ALREADY funded Season 2 of Project Jupiter, awarding Spivey Hall an even larger grant for the 2011/12 season.  The Friends of Spivey Hall are also helping make Project Jupiter a reality. Many thanks to all!

The Jupiters have two commercial CDs out on the Marquis Classics label and they'll be available at Spivey Hall when the Quartet performs here.

Here's the press release that went out a few weeks ago about Project Jupiter. Do yourself a favor and come hear the Jupiter String Quartet perform -- you'll be glad you did.

* * *

Clayton State University’s Spivey Hall launches "PROJECT JUPITER,"
November 15 – 20

MORROW, Georgia (Oct. 28, 2010): Clayton State University’s Spivey Hall welcomes the Jupiter String Quartet November 15 – 20 for the inaugural week of "Project Jupiter," a multi-year partnership that will involve the Quartet in a wide variety of performance, teaching, community outreach, and audience development activities in Atlanta’s Southern Crescent.

During the first week of its 2010-2011 season residency that coincides with Spivey Hall’s Twentieth Anniversary Season, the Jupiter String Quartet will work with student musicians at three south-side partner schools: Lovejoy High School in Hampton, Stephen Lawrence, Orchestra Director; Union Grove High School in McDonough, Kathy Saucier, Orchestra Director; and Whitewater High School in Fayetteville, Darilyn Esterline, Orchestra Director. In addition to working with large group ensembles, the Jupiters will mentor student quartets formed as an educational and artistic initiative of Project Jupiter. These quartets will take part in a public master class with the Jupiters at Spivey Hall in Spring 2011.

The fall Project Jupiter residency also dovetails with the annual Spivey Hall Chamber Orchestra Workshop, during which outstanding student string musicians from area schools have the opportunity to come together and work with a nationally renowned conductor. For 2010, the distinguished clinician is Mr. Bob Phillips, noted chamber music educator, composer, and author of over 50 works of strings pedagogy. The workshop’s concluding public performance will take place on Friday, November 19 at 7:30 PM, where students will be joined by the Jupiters on stage for two pieces.

Additionally, the Jupiters will present two public outreach performances, the first in the Atrium of Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport (Tuesday, November 16, 5:00 – 7:00 PM), the second at Golden Crest Assisted Living Residence at Eagle’s Landing in Stockbridge (Wednesday evening, November 17).

The week culminates in a Spivey Series concert, November 20, at 8:15 PM, with a pre-concert talk by Jupiter cellist Daniel McDonough in dialogue with Clayton State University music faculty member, Dr. Kurt-Alexander Zeller, at 7:15 PM.

For their first performance in Spivey Hall’s annual series of concerts by outstanding international musicians, the Jupiters have chosen two works by Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827), whose string quartets are central to the chamber music repertoire, as well as a primary focus of the Jupiters’ three-season residency: an early quartet, Opus 18 No. 2 in G major, and a late quartet, Opus 130 in B-flat major.

The program also includes the 12 Microludes for String Quartet (Hommage à Mihály András), Opus 13, composed in 1977/78 by contemporary Hungarian composer, György Kurtág (b. 1926) – lyrical, fleeting, intricately-woven short pieces that the Jupiters will introduce with spoken commentary from the stage before performing them.

This program is the first of several that will explore the theme “the evolution of compositional voice,” and the distinctive ways in which composers over several centuries have written for the ensemble of two violins, viola, and cello.

Project Jupiter, a natural extension of Spivey Hall’s far-reaching Education Program, was spearheaded by Spivey Hall’s Executive & Artistic Director, Samuel C. Dixon, in consultation with the Jupiter String Quartet musicians and the Spivey Hall Education Committee, an advisory group chaired by Jay Wucher that identifies ways for Spivey Hall to respond to music education needs in its region. Spivey Hall Education Manager Catherine Striplin leads the implementation of Project Jupiter, a significant addition to the scope of Spivey Hall’s award-winning Education Program that includes the renowned Spivey Hall Children’s Choir Program, popular Young People’s Concerts, choral, chamber orchestra and jazz-band workshops, master classes by distinguished guest artists, and professional development opportunities for teachers, all of which serve more than 18,000 individuals annually from throughout Atlanta and beyond.

A generous $9,000 grant awarded to Clayton State University in December 2009 from the National Endowment for the Arts’ prestigious and highly competitive "Access to Artistic Excellence" program provides Spivey Hall essential resources to launch the first year of the anticipated three-season Project Jupiter, which also receives a special grant from South Arts, as well as deeply appreciated operating support from the Georgia Council for the Arts, Clayton State University, the Walter & Emilie Spivey Foundation, and the Friends of Spivey Hall. Country Inn & Suites Atlanta I-75 South is the official hotel sponsor of the Jupiter Quartet, and The Coca-Cola Company, as corporate sponsor of Spivey Hall’s Twentieth Anniversary Season, is the exclusive beverage sponsor of Project Jupiter. Spivey Hall and the Jupiter String Quartet musicians extend their thanks to all of these entities, as well as its high school and community partners, for making this important residency possible.

Additional support is already being sought to continue, extend and enrich the program.

The JUPITER STRING QUARTET, formed in 2001, consists of violinists Nelson Lee and Megan Freivogel, violist Liz Freivogel (older sister of Meg), and cellist Daniel McDonough (husband of Meg, brother-in-law of Liz). They currently reside in Boston, Massachusetts.

In addition to its extensive concert schedule, the Jupiter String Quartet places a strong emphasis on developing relationships with future classical music audiences through outreach work in schools and other educational performances. They believe that chamber music, because of the intensity of its interplay and communication, is one of the most effective ways of spreading an enthusiasm for “classical” music to new audiences.

The Jupiters have received several major chamber music honors, including first prize in the Banff International String Quartet Competition, grand prize in the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition, membership in Lincoln Center’s Chamber Music Society Two, and Chamber Music America’s Cleveland Quartet Award, which “honors and promotes a rising young string quartet whose artistry demonstrates that it is in the process of establishing a major career.” The Quartet also won the 2005 Young Concert Artists International auditions; most recently, they were the recipients of a coveted Avery Fisher Career Grant.

In addition to their extensive schedule of performances in chamber music series and festivals throughout North America and beyond, the Jupiter String Quartet has earned accolades for its compact disc recordings on the Marquis label. Following the critical success of their first CD of quartets by Benjamin Britten and Sergei Prokofiev, the Jupiters’ second Marquis CD, released in 2009, features two masterworks of the Romantic repertoire: Felix Mendelssohn’s final Quartet in F minor, Opus 80, and another of Ludwig van Beethoven’s late quartets, the Quartet in F major, Opus 135.

The Jupiter String Quartet ( is managed by Bill Capone of Arts Management Group, Inc., New York.

Tickets to the Jupiter String Quartet’s Spivey Hall performance on Saturday, November 20, 2010 at 8:15 PM are available from the Spivey Hall Box Office, telephone (678) 466-4200, and online at

# # #

Monday, November 08, 2010

Celebrating 20 years, Spivey Hall welcomes The Coca-Cola Company as corporate sponsor

A new sponsorship supports the Jupiter String Quartet’s "Project Jupiter" residency, a visual retrospective of Spivey Hall’s first twenty years, and the acquisition of a new concert grand piano

The Coca-Cola Company and Clayton State University’s Spivey Hall have revived a decades-old relationship through a corporate sponsorship of Spivey Hall’s Twentieth Anniversary Season of high-quality music education programs and concerts by superb international guest artists.

The Coca-Cola Company, headquartered in Atlanta, was a Founding Donor to the campaign led by The Walter and Emilie Spivey Foundation to build Spivey Hall in the late 1980s, making a pivotal gift that helped ensure the campaign’s success. These generous and far-sighted gifts haven proven to be exceptionally fruitful investments in the region’s cultural development and enrichment.

From the very first dedication concert at Spivey Hall, given by superstar violinist Itzhak Perlman on January 23, 1991, the Hall’s world-class acoustics have drawn universal accolades from artists, audiences and critics alike. Spivey Series concerts by distinguished international musicians supported by The Spivey Foundation quickly established a reputation of excellence for the intimate, elegant, 392-seat hall – a reputation extended to millions of listeners via frequent nationwide public-radio broadcasts.

Spivey Hall’s service to the region was further enhanced by the creation of music education programs under the guidance the Spivey Hall Education Committee and its chairman, Jay Wucher, responding to the needs of metro-Atlanta teachers and students though fine music, and now serving some 18,000 individuals each year.

Marking a significant milestone in the Hall’s history, The Coca-Cola Company’s new sponsorship sustains the excellence for which Spivey Hall is renowned, and directly supports three Twentieth Anniversary Season initiatives. The first is "Project Jupiter," a three-year residency by the critically-acclaimed Jupiter String Quartet, designed to develop greater appreciation for string chamber music through partnerships with three high schools in Clayton, Fayette, and Henry counties. In addition to regular Spivey Hall performances for schoolchildren and adults, the Jupiter String Quartet will give numerous outreach concerts in metro Atlanta, thereby introducing new audiences to the pleasures of hearing chamber music expertly performed, and heightening awareness of Spivey Hall’s community-service mission of access to fine music. The Coca-Cola Company is the exclusive beverage sponsor of Project Jupiter.

Coca-Cola sponsorship funds make possible the production of a ten-panel, full-color display for Spivey Hall’s lobby, celebrating the artistic and community-service highlights of the Hall’s first twenty seasons. This exhibit, to be unveiled in January 2011, will illustrate for concert-goes and visitors the broad scope of Spivey Hall’s achievements, especially in presenting international artists and ensembles whose performances have significantly enriched the musical wealth of the region, and in the creation of the award-winning Spivey Hall Children’s Choir Program under the direction of Dr. Martha Shaw. Augmenting the display on a rotating basis will be photographs and program books autographed by guest artists, and other memorabilia that tell the story of Spivey Hall’s rise to national and international prominence.

Additionally, The Coca-Cola Company sponsorship supports the Friends of Spivey Hall Piano Fund, established with a seed gift from The Chaparral Foundation to acquire a new Steinway grand piano, which will enhance Spivey Hall’s ability to meet the performance needs of the world’s foremost concert pianists who appear each season in the Spivey Series. With major funding also committed by Clayton State University, The Coca-Cola Company sponsorship and additional gifts from the Friends of Spivey Hall will soon enable the Piano Fund campaign to reach its goal. Delivery of the new Steinway grand piano is anticipated later this season.

"I am delighted and sincerely grateful that the long relationship between Spivey Hall and The Coca-Cola Company has been strengthened and rekindled through this sponsorship," said Spivey Hall Executive & Artistic Director Samuel C. Dixon. "As a Founding Donor of Spivey Hall, The Coca-Cola Company helped make access to first-rate classical, jazz, and world music possible for millions of people in Georgia and across the country. Our Twentieth Anniversary Season sponsorship reinforces our commitment to serve people of all ages through fine music, and to extend our tradition of artistic excellence as Spivey Hall enters its third decade."

Spivey Hall’s home is Clayton State University, an outstanding comprehensive university of the University System of Georgia offering bachelor’s and master’s degrees, which through a 2009 partnership agreement designated Coca-Cola as the exclusive provider of non-alcoholic beverages on campus.