On Sunday January 5, 2020, the New York Philharmonic Quartet
and Joseph Kalichstein played a beautiful concert of Mozart, Dvorak
and Shostakovich at Florida International University’s Wertheim
Concert Hall in Miami to a large, most appreciative audience.
The quartet is comprised of four of the Philarmonic’s principal
musicians – Concertmaster Frank Huang, Principal Associate
Concertmaster Sheryl Staples, Principal Viola Cyntia Phelps, and
Principal Cello Carter Brey.
Roberta Rust, Professor and Head of the Piano Department at Lynn
University Conservatory in Boca Raton, who brought a number of
students, commented that the performance of the Mozart Quartet in G,
K. 387 (the “Spring”) which opened the program, was “resplendent” and
that “the outstanding musicians grasped the magical complexity of the
closing movement with complete finese”.
Cellist Carter Brey then introduced the Dvorak “American” Quartet with
comments about Dvorak’s visit to the United States and the influence
which gave rise to the Quartet having the nickname “the American
Internationally renowned composer Fred Kaufman, who had been the first
Dean of FIU’s Music School and had composed a Piano Concerto entitled
“Guernica” (after Picasso’s famous painting) that has been performed
in Europe and America, commented that the performance of Dvorak’s
American Quartet (Opus 96) was the most beautiful live performance
that he has heard.
After intermission, the Quartet was joined by Joseph Kalichstein, in a
rousing performance of Shostakovich’s Piano Quintet in G minor, Opus
57, a brilliant contrast to the program’s first half. The large
audience gave a rousing, standing ovation.