Morrison Artists Series: Brentano String Quartet with special guest Hsin-Yun Huang, viola

Thursday, April 3, 2014, 5:00 pm
The renowned Brentano String Quartet performs with special guest Hsin-Yun Huang, viola. The concert includes the world premiere of Felipe Lara's Viola Quintet. Free.
Creative Arts Building, McKenna Theatre
May T. Morrison Chamber Music Center
SF State Box Office
Event extras: 

Brentano String Quartet

Since its inception in 1992, the Brentano String Quartet has appeared throughout the world to popular and critical acclaim.

The London Independent writes: “Passionate, uninhibited and spellbinding.” The New York Times extols the quartet’s “luxuriously warm sound (and) yearning lyricism.” The Philadelphia Inquirer praises its “seemingly infallible instincts for finding the center of gravity in every phrase and musical gesture.” The Times (London) writes: "The Brentanos are a magnificent string quartet....This was wonderful, selfless music-making.”

Within a few years of its formation, the Brentano String Quartet garnered the first Cleveland Quartet Award and the Naumburg Chamber Music Award. In 1996 the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center invited the quartet to serve as the inaugural member of Chamber Music Society Two, designed to be a coveted distinction for chamber groups and individuals. The Brentano String Quartet had its first European tour in 1997, and was honored in the U.K. with the Royal Philharmonic Award for Most Outstanding Debut. That debut recital was at London's Wigmore Hall, and the Quartet has continued its warm relationship with Wigmore, appearing there regularly and serving as the hall’s quartet-in-residence in 2000–01.

Hsin-Yun Huang, viola

Hsin-Yun Huang, recognized as one of the leading violists of her generation, came to international prominence in 1993 when she won the top prize of the ARD International Music Competition in Munich and the Bunkamura Orchard Hall Award. In 1988, Huang was the youngest-ever gold medalist of the Lionel Tertis International Viola Competition on the Isle of Man. These and other honors have propelled a career as soloist and chamber musician on stages of major concert halls throughout North America, Europe and the Far East.

Huang has appeared as a soloist with the Berlin Radio Symphony, City of London Sinfonia, Russian State Symphony, Tokyo Philharmonic, Zagrab Soloists, Bavarian Symphony Orchestra, International Contemporary Ensemble, Evergreen Symphony Orchestra and the National Symphony of Taiwan among many others.

Recent highlights include concerto appearances in New York’s Central Park and Alice Tully Hall; collaborations with the Guarneri, Juilliard, Brentano and St. Lawrence string quartets; a special project of new chamber concertos for viola, premiering at the Aspen Festival; and a solo album, Viola Viola (Bridge Records, 2012).

Huang was violist in the world-renowned Borromeo Quartet from 1994 to 2000. She teaches at the Curtis Institute of Music and The Juilliard School.


  • Shostakovich (1906–1975): String Quartet No. 11 in F minor, Op. 122 (1966)
  • Lara (1979–): “Archi Elastici” (2013)*
  • Intermission
  • Haydn (1732–1809): Two movements from The Seven Last Words of Christ on the Cross (1785–1787)
  • Mozart (1756–1791): String Quintet No. 4 in G minor, K. 516 (1787)

*World premiere

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