The Fine Arts Quartet receives a standing ovation at their sell-out performance on December 11th. "...a powerhouse of American chamber music..." the Washington Post reported, going on to say "The Fine Arts Quartet turned in a superb and absolutely impassioned performance — a seamless and astute reading from its slashing opening chords to its galloping, heart-racing finale."
The Fine Arts Quartet, with pianist Xiayin Wang, has recorded three chamber music masterpieces by Robert Schumann: the Piano Quintet, Piano Quartet, and Piano Trio (Fairy Tales). The sessions, which took place December 13-16, 2010 at the American Academy of the Arts and Letters in New York, were produced and engineered by Grammy® Award winner Steven Epstein. This CD, the Fine Arts Quartet's 11th recording for the Naxos label, was released in September, 2012. See Naxos News story about the recording session.
During the months July-September 2011, the Fine Arts Quartet appeared in many renowned international festivals, among them: Ottawa's Music and Beyond Festival, Amalfi Coast Music & Arts Festival, Lille's Festival Clef de Soleil, Festival des Arcs, Musicales Internationales Guil Durance, Festival Pablo Casals de Prades, Sion Festival, and the George Enescu Festival in Bucharest.
The 2011 Gramophone Classical Music Guide singled out the Fine Arts Quartet's Fauré Quintets CD with pianist Cristina Ortiz on Naxos as a "Gramophone award-winner and recording of legendary status". The Guide also labeled it as, "Simply the best: An unrivalled version, a cornerstone of the catalogue. A real gem!", and listed it as among the Guide's top 100 recordings. "Ideally balanced and recorded, Cristina Ortiz and the Fine Arts Quartet offer performances that are warmly affectionate, fluent and musicianly to the core. Surpassing Domus's fine Hyperion disc, these are outstanding readings."
The Fine Arts Quartet has recorded 3 rareties by "Golden Age" master violinist-composers: the world premiere recording of Efrem Zimbalist's Quartet in E Minor in its 1959 revised edition; the world premiere digital recording of Eugène Ysaÿe's long-lost masterpiece for quartet and string orchestra, "Harmonies du Soir"; and Fritz Kreisler's Quartet in A Minor. Sessions took place 26-30 April, 2010 at the library of Wittem Monastery (Klooster Wittem), The Netherlands. For the Ysaÿe work, the Fine Arts Quartet was joined by the Philharmonic Orchestra of Europe, conducted by Otis Klöber. For details on this CD, the Fine Arts Quartet's 10th recording for the Naxos label, click here: Naxos. See Naxos News story about the recording session.
Mitch Miller died July 31, 2010 in Manhattan at the age of 99. The New York Times described him as "an influential record producer who became a hugely popular recording artist and an unlikely television star a half century ago by leading a choral group in familiar old songs and inviting people to sing along." In 1947, Miller joined the Mercury Records label as a classical producer. The first album he produced, the Fine Arts Quartet recording of Schubert’s "Death and the Maiden" Quartet, won France's Grand Prix du Disque.
During the summer of 2010, the Fine Arts Quartet appeared in many of Europe's most renowned festivals: the Amalfi Coast Music & Arts Festival, Lille's Festival Clef de Soleil, Festival Internacional de Música da Póvoa de Varzim, Le Festival de Musique de Musicalta, Fêtes Musicales de Savoie, Nuits Musicales de Mazaugues, Festival Musicales Internationales Guil Durance, Academia Internacional de Musica de Solsona, and the Festival du Périgord Noir.
The Fine Arts Quartet's recording of the Franck String Quartet and Piano Quintet with pianist Cristina Ortiz is designated an "EDITOR'S CHOICE" by Gramophone Magazine in February 2010.
The Fine Arts Quartet’s Fauré CD with pianist Cristina Ortiz was among the recordings for which musical producer Steven Epstein won a a 2009 Grammy® Award (Producer of the Year, Classical). The other recordings were: Yo-Yo Ma & Friends' Songs Of Joy And Peace; the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra's (David Robertson) Doctor Atomic Symphony by John Adams; the Nashville Symphony Orchestra's (Leonard Slatkin) Dylan Thomas Trilogy by Corigliano; and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra's (Marin Alsop) Mass by Bernstein.
The Fine Arts Quartet's recording on Naxos of the Fauré Quintets with pianist Cristina Ortiz is named one of "The Best Classical Recordings of 2009"...One of top 3 in the chamber category by ArkivMusic in January 2010 and was designated aMusicWeb International critic's choice: "Recording Of The Year 2009" in December 2009.