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The Los Angeles Piano Quartet made its debut at The Music Center in Los Angeles in 1977, and soon earned recognition as America’s premier piano quartet. The vibrant ensemble has been repeatedly re-engaged by major chamber music presenters, and hailed by the public and press in New York, Washington, Detroit, St. Louis, Chicago, Dallas, St. Paul, Phoenix, Houston, Salt Lake City, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. The Quartet has been a popular guest on Minnesota Public Radio’s “St. Paul Sunday” and New York’s “Live from WNCN,” and has been featured at the Bermuda and Tucson Festivals and the Eugene and Carmel Bach Festivals.
Following an impressive international debut at the Cheltenham Festival in England, the Los Angeles Piano Quartet was engaged for an appearance at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam and an extensive tour of Europe. Highlights of subsequent European tours have included two additional appearances at the Concertgebouw, and concerts at the Hamburg Musikhalle and Santa Cecilia in Rome.
The Los Angeles Piano Quartet has been an active force in the creation of new works for piano quartet, commissioning works from such prominent contemporary composers as Stephen Hartke, Gerard Schurmann, and Pulitzer Prize-winner Steven Stucky, whose piano quartet had its premiere performance by the LAPQ at the 2005 Tucson Festival. The ensemble has been supported in this activity by the National Endowment for the Arts and Chamber Music America.
Their recordings include the 2009 Chandos release of works by composer Stephen Hartke, Dvorak and Schumann on the MusicMasters label, and the two Fauré piano quartets on Pickwick.
A prizewinner at the 1993 Naumburg competition and a recipient of the 1996-97 Prix Opus, Yehonatan Berick is in high demand internationally as soloist, recitalist, chamber musician (on violin as well as on viola) and pedagogue. His busy concert schedule has already taken him throughout North America, Europe and Israel.
He has performed, among others, under Yoav Talmi, Mendi Rodan, Kees Baakels and Keith Lockhart, with the Quebec, Winnipeg, Windsor, Ann Arbor, Grand Junction, Jerusalem and Haifa Symphonies, and the Israeli, Cincinnati, Montreal and Manitoba Chamber Orchestras, Thirteen Strings and Ensemble Appassionata. He has presented numerous recitals with such pianists as James Tocco, Louis Lortie, Stephen Prutsman and Michael Chertock, and collaborated in chamber music performances with David Soyer and Michael Tree of the Guarneri Quartet, cellists Peter Wiley, Stephen Isserlis and Yehuda Hanani, clarinetists Wolfgang Meyer and James Campbell, flutist Julius Baker and many others from a long list of internationally renowned artists.
Berick's many festival and chamber series’ credits include Marlboro, Ravinia, Seattle, Vancouver, Ottawa, Jerusalem, El Paso, Maui, Domaine Forget (Canada), Great Lakes (Michigan), Close Encounters with Music (Great Barrington, MA), Leicester (U.K.), Moritzburg (Germany), Lapland (Sweden), Riihimaki (Finland), Strings in the Mountains (Colorado), Alpenglow (Colorado), Four seasons (N. Carolina), Agassiz (Winnipeg), Killington (Vermont) and Bowdoin (Maine). He was co-artistic director of the revived Quebec Chamber Music Society. Touring as a chamber musician with Musicians from Marlboro, The Lortie-Berick-Lysy Piano Trio, the Huberman String Quartet, Concertante Chamber Players and other chamber ensembles, he has been featured in the world's most important music centers: in Europe (London's Wigmore Hall, Paris's Musee du Louvre, Milan's Sala Verdi), the US (New York's Carnegie Hall and Metropolitan Museum, Washington's Kennedy Center, Freer Gallery and the Phillips Collection) and Canada (Toronto's Glenn Gould Studio and St. Lawrence Centre, North York's Ford Centre and Quebec City's Palais Montcalm). His recital programs have featured, among others, Bach’s complete Sonatas and Partitas, and Paganini’s 24 caprices, each cycle performed in a single day or concert.
On CD, Berick has recorded for the Centaur, Summit, Gasparo, Acoma, JMC and Helicon labels. His recording with the Amici ensemble, entitled Contrasts, has won rave reviews in the Canadian press. Other CD features include the Grand Concert for violin, piano and string quartet by Chausson; Chamber Music by Paul Ben Haim; The Impossible Dream by Gerhard Samuel; and Mordechai Seter's unaccompanied violin sonata. Many of his concerts are broadcast on Radio and TV in Canada, Europe and Israel.
Prior to his current appointment as Professor of Violin at the University of Michigan, Yehonatan Berick was on the faculties of McGill University and the Eastman School of Music. He has been invited as teacher and artist-in-residence at Bowdoin Music Festival (Maine), Killington Music Festival (Vermont), The Shouse Institute (MI), The Beethoven Seminar (New York), Music@Menlo (CA), Sounds in the Valley and the JMC Young Players' Unit (Israel), and has presented master classes worldwide.
Yehonatan Berick started his musical education at the age of six. Having graduated from high school at 16, he entered the Tel Aviv University's Music Academy, and completed his studies at the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati, earning a full tuition and a Summa cum Lauda. His principal violin teachers were Ilona Feher, Henry Meyer, Kurt Sassmanshauss, and Dorothy Delay. He had theory teachings with composer Sergiu Natra, and attended master classes with such artists as Isaac Stern, Henryk Szeryng, Max Rostal and Josef Gingold. One of the brightest talents of Israel, Berick won several Clairemont Awards, and received yearly stipends from the America-Israel Cultural Foundation.
Yehonatan Berick is currently playing on a violin by Joseph Guarneri from 1735, on a generous loan from the RAD Instrument Foundation and its head Yehuda Zisapel, and a viola by Stanley Kiernoziak from 2003.
Violist Katherine Murdock has performed as soloist and chamber musician in the musical capitals of the U.S., Europe, Canada, New Zealand, and South America. A frequent guest at music festivals throughout the world, she has appeared at the Edinburgh, Salzburg, Spoleto, and Gulbenkian festivals, the International Musicians Seminar at Prussia Cove in Cornwall, and in the U.S. at Ravinia, Saratoga, Wolftrap, Mostly Mozart, Tanglewood, Aspen, and the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival. A past participant at the Marlboro Music Festival, she has toured with Music from Marlboro, and was invited to perform on the Marlboro Fortieth Anniversary Concerts in Philadelphia and New York's Carnegie Hall. She has appeared on the Great Performers Series at Lincoln Center as a guest of the Beaux Arts Trio.
Born in Burlington Vermont to music loving parents, Ms. Murdock moved with her family to Toronto at the age of ten. A recipient of two Canada Council Arts Awards, she received her musical training at Oberlin and Boston University, and pursued graduate studies at Yale School of Music. She studied viola with Karen Tuttle and Joseph Silverstein, and for two summers she attended the Banff School of Fine Arts to study with the late William Primrose. She has studied chamber music with such teachers as Felix Galimir, Mischa Schneider, Sandor Vegh, and Eugene Lehner.
From 1988 to 1994 Ms. Murdock was a member of the Mendelssohn String Quartet. With this group she toured internationally and premiered many new works for string quartet, including works of Augusta Read Thomas, Bruce Adolphe, Tobias Picker, Bernard Rands, Tina Davidson, and Ned Rorem. She has also been a member of the Boston Chamber Music Society, the Cambridge Chamber Players, the N.Y. Philomusica, and has toured New Zealand as a guest of the New Zealand String Quartet. In concert she has collaborated with the Vermeer, Emerson, and Guarneri string quartets, members of the Juilliard and Cleveland quartets, and has performed with such artists as pianists Peter Serkin, Leon Fleischer, Claude Frank, and Menahem Pressler, violinists Salvatore Accardo and Jaime Laredo, cellist Janos Starker, and flutist Jean-Pierre Rampal.
Active in the field of contemporary music, she was a member for ten years of the contemporary chamber ensemble Boston Musica Viva, with whom she recorded and performed internationally. She has recently premiered several pieces written for her, including a work for viola and piano by Nathaniel Tull Phillips; her trio Polaris with her husband oboist Mark Hill has trios for viola, oboe, and piano by Steven Burke and Dana Wilson.
As a member of the Mendelssohn Quartet, Ms. Murdock served as Artist-in-Residence at Harvard University and the University of Delaware. She has previously been on the faculties of Wellesley College, the Boston Conservatory, the Hartt School of Music, and for eight years at Stony Brook. In the summer she is a member of the artist faculty the Yellow Barn and Kneisel Hall chamber music festivals, and is on the faculty and Co-Director of the Chamber Music Program at the National Orchestral Institute. She served on the juries of the Juilliard Concerto Competition, the Peabody "Concours", and the Banff International String Quartet Competition.
Ms. Murdock's extensive orchestral experience includes performances, tours, and recordings with the Boston Symphony, the National Symphony, and the New York Philharmonic; for ten years she toured and recorded with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra.
Ms Murdock has recorded for Deutsche Grammophon, Columbia, Delos, CRI, Nonesuch, and John Marks Records; her discography includes a newly released Dorian DVD of Schoenberg's Verklarte Nacht. She has been broadcast live and in recordings on NPR, West German Radio, the BBC Radio and TV, and the NBC "Today Show." Ms. Murdock currently performs and records as a member of the Los Angeles Piano Quartet, and is a member of the Left Bank Quartet and the Left Bank Concert Society of Washington D.C.
Internationally known soloist, recitalist, chamber musician, recording artist, and pedagogue Steven Doane appears at festivals and on concert series throughout the United States and overseas. Doane received his BM from Oberlin Conservatory and his MM from SUNY Stony Brook. He received a Watson Foundation Grant for overseas study in 1975, and had further studies with Richard Kapuscinski, Bernard Greenhouse, Jane Cowan, and Janos Starker. He is currently Professor of Violoncello at the Eastman School of Music.
Steven Doane and Eastman pianist Barry Snyder have made a series of recordings for the Bridge label. The duo’s recording of the complete music of Gabriel Fauré for cello and piano was awarded the Diapason D’or in France, and has been broadcast throughout the United States and Canada, over the BBC in England, and throughout Europe. The second recording in the series, of works by Britten and Frank Bridge, was also released to critical acclaim. New releases on Bridge include the Rachmaninoff Sonata with Barry Snyder (May 2012) and Britten Solo Suites (due for release in 2013).
Steven Doane received Eastman’s Eisenhart Award for Excellence in Teaching in 1993, and the Piatigorsky Prize in teaching at the New England Conservatory in 1986. As a member of the New Arts Trio, Doane was awarded the Naumburg Chamber Music Award in 1980. He made his Carnegie Hall and Kennedy Center debuts in Don Quixote with David Zinman and the Rochester Philharmonic in 1983. His Tully Hall recital debut occurred in 1990, and has been followed by numerous recital appearances, including programs in London’s Wigmore Hall, Boston’s Saunders Theater, and many other venues. Steven Doane currently holds the title of “visiting professor” at the Royal Academy of Music, London, where he has done several residencies.
Pianist Xak Bjerken has given solo and chamber music recitals in Europe and throughout the United States. Orchestral solo appearances include Edinburgh with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Rome with the Spoleto Festival Orchestra and in Disney Hall, Los Angeles, with members of the LA Philharmonic. He has performed at the Royal Concertgebouw Hall in Amsterdam, Alice Tully Hall, Weill Hall, the Kennedy Center, and has given recitals throughout Europe. Mr. Bjerken is the pianist of the Los Angeles Piano Quartet, which tours the U.S. regularly and he was for nine years a member and later a co-director with Steven Stucky of ensemble X, a new music group. Mr. Bjerken has held chamber music residencies at the Tanglewood Music Center and the Festival of Two Worlds in Spoleto, Italy, performed at the Olympic Music Festival, the Tucson Winter Chamber Music Festival, and served on the faculty of the Eastern Music Festival and the Icicle Creek Festival. Since last year, he has been on the faculty at Kneisel Hall in Maine, and at the Bennington Chamber Music Conference in Vermont. His first solo recording for CRI, released in 2001, was entitled "High Rise;" he has also recorded for Chandos, Albany Records, Fleur de Son, and Koch International, and in 2010, his recording for Chandos of music by Stephen Hartke received much acclaim. Mr. Bjerken earned his bachelor’s degree cum laude at UCLA, studying with Aube Tzerko, and his master’s and doctoral degrees from the Peabody Institute as a student and teaching assistant to Leon Fleisher. He is a Professor of Piano at Cornell University.