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December 12, 1995

Juilliard String Quartet Turns 50

To Perform in Library of Congress Series

The Juilliard String Quartet, celebrating its golden anniversary in 1996, presents a pair of concerts for the Library of Congress on Tuesday and Wednesday, January 23 and 24, at 7:30 p.m. The ensemble -- violinists Robert Mann and Joel Smirnoff, violist Samuel Rhodes and cellist Joel Krosnick -- will perform Mozart's Quartet in G major, K. 387, the Quartet No. 5 in E flat major by Hindemith, and Beethoven's Quartet in C sharp minor, Op. 131.

The free concerts will be held at the Terrace Theater of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

The Juilliard String Quartet continues to be "the yardstick against which all other groups are measured" (Newsweek). The quartet began in 1946 as a coaching ensemble for chamber music students at the Juilliard School. Since then, the quartet has attained international acclaim. First violinist Robert Mann, the only original member of the quartet, is president of the Walter W. Naumburg Foundation and a past winner of the Naumburg Competition (1941). Mr. Mann appears frequently as a soloist and has recorded a number of works, including the Sonata for Unaccompanied Violin by Bla Bartk. He is also a composer, conductor, lecturer and coach of many of the quartets active in the world of chamber music. Mr. Mann is on the board of directors of the New York Philharmonic, and he holds honorary doctorates from Oberlin College and Earlham College.

Joel Smirnoff, second violinist, studied history at the University of Chicago, where he played the piano in the Jeff Carp Blues Band and the violin with Ralph Shapey's Contemporary Chamber Players. Eventually, he returned to his native New York City and the Juilliard School, where he studied violin with Dorothy DeLay. He has served as concertmaster of orchestras for the New York City Ballet, Joffrey Ballet, American Ballet Theater and Stuttgart Ballet, and he was also a member of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Smirnoff, who made his solo debut at New York's Carnegie Recital Hall in 1985, has premiered many contemporary works, several of which were composed specifically for him.

Following violist Samuel Rhodes's 1985 Carnegie Recital Hall concert series observing the 90th anniversary of Paul Hindemith's birth, The New York Times said: "It is more important in a project like this that the soloist be absorbed, understanding, convinced than that he be technically expert. Mr Rhodes was both...." Mr. Rhodes has performed as a guest artist with other chamber music groups and as an orchestral soloist. He has also presented viola recitals at the Library of Congress and at the Juilliard School.

Cellist Joel Krosnick has toured with several chamber groups and has performed frequently as a soloist with orchestras. He has actively promoted contemporary cello literature; in past seasons he presented the programs "Crosscurrents of the 20th Century" and "The Cello: A 20th Century American Retrospective," at the Library of Congress and at Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall. Mr. Krosnick appears in concert regularly with pianist Gilbert Kalish at New York City's Miller Theater.

All Library of Congress concerts are free and open to the public. Performances at the Terrace Theater will require tickets, however. Tickets, two per person, will be given out at the entrance to the Terrace Theater, 90 minutes before the concert begins. Seating will be on a first-come, first-served basis.

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PR 95-168
12/12/96
ISSN 0731-3527

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