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The Parker Quartet (Photo credit: Luke Ratray)

The Parker Quartet to Premiere Jeremy Gill’s New Work 

 

The Parker Quartet comprises violinists Daniel Chong and Ken Hamao, violist Jessica Bodner, and cellist Kee-Hyun Kim

American composer Jeremy Gill has been a close collaborator of the quartet for over a decade. His new work, Motherwhere, is a concerto grosso for quartet string orchestra. It is his first work for New York Classical Players, who will join in performing the world premiere on April 1 at New York’s W83 Auditorium.

Gill’s piece was inspired by a book titled, “Night School: A Reader for Grownups,” by Hungarian author Zsófia Bán, which contains a myriad of short modern fairytale-esque narratives.

“I wanted to evoke, musically, the experience of reading her book,” explained Gill. With these tales in mind, he created 21 musical bagatelles, each corresponding to a story in the book in the order they are presented. 

The resulting 24-minute piece traces the emotional thread from Motherwhereʼs absence in the first story, through to the unexpected “Miraculous Return of Laughter,” the title of the final story.

“We have worked with Jeremy several times over the last 15 years, and although his voice has always been distinct, it has been inspiring to watch it develop,” the Parker Quartet told The Violin Channel. “This concerto feels like a deep expression of that voice,” they added. “After playing two of his other quartets, we are looking forward to exploring his music in the context of the expansion of the string quartet as a solo voice with chamber orchestra.”

“Writing for the Parkers is every composer’s dream: I feel like they ‘get me’ completely, and always find in my music exactly what I hoped they would find,” Gill told Classical Music Communications. “They are technically perfect, but go so far beyond that in their understanding and sense of the music. 

“They complement one another perfectly – I feel like they are THE string quartet of today, and I’m lucky to have worked with them so often and for so long.”

To be directed by South Korean conductor Dongmin Kim, the premiere will be bookended by Tchaikovsky’s Andante Cantabile for Cello and String Orchestra with cellist Madeline Fayette and Serenade for Strings.

The concert is free with tickets available here.

 

Gill studied oboe, piano, and composition before attending the Eastman School of Music. Receiving his Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania, he also studied at the American Conservatory in Fontainebleau and the Czech-American Summer Music Institute. His mentors included Samuel Adler, George Crumb, Robert Lau, Yinam Leef, David Liptak, James Primosch, Jay Reise, George Rochberg, Christopher Rouse, Joseph Schwantner, and Anna Weesner. 

The Parker Quartet has won prizes at several international competitions and its members hold graduate music degrees from the New England Conservatory and the Juilliard School. They are currently Artists-in-Residence at the music departments of Harvard University and the University of South Carolina.

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