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(PDF) (DOC) (JPG)July 10, 2003

(Mahwah) – The Shanghai Quartet, hailed by The Strad as a foursome of uncommon refinement and musical distinction,” will perform a program of works by Beethoven as well as original compositions at Ramapo College of New Jersey Saturday, September 13 at 8 p.m. in the Sharp Theater.

Originally formed at Shanghai Conservatory in 1983, this versatile ensemble is known for passionate musicality, astounding technique and multicultural innovations. The Quartet’s elegant style of melding the delicacy of Eastern music with Western repertoire allows them to travel the world, both onstage and in the recording studio. Members of the Quartet include Weigang Li, violinist; Yi-Wen Jiang, violinist; Honggang Li, violinist; and Nicholas Tzavaras, cellist.

The Quartet is celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2003 and has just released two CDs, Silent Temple (Bis label), featuring music by Bright Sheng, and ChinaSong (Delos International), a 24-track collection of Chinese folk songs featuring music arranged by Quartet-member Yi-Wen Jiang. ChinaSong is a departure from the Quartet’s classical side, but is a demonstration of their inventive musicality and ability to bring Eastern sounds to Western audiences. The Bright Sheng-Silent Temple disc, presents a program of chamber music by the composer, with a string quartet, piano trio and an unconventional duo made up of the traditional Chinese pipa” (a type of lute) accompanied by the cello. Memories of Chinese and Tibetan melodies and sonorities are used throughout the recording. As part of their 2003 20th anniversary year, the Shanghai Quartet has planned a groundbreaking tour through China, performing the entire Beethoven cycle. This has never before been attempted in Chinese history.

The Shanghai Quartet has worked with such distinguished artists as cellists Yo-Yo Ma and David Soyer; flutist Eugenia Zukerman; guitarists Eliot Fisk and Sharon Isbin; pianists Gerhard Oppitz, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Manahem Pressler, Ruth Laredo and Joseph Kalichstein; and violinist Arnold Steinhardt. Regularly touring the major music centers of Europe and North America, the Shanghai Quartet has performed among other locations, in London, Hamburg, Milan and Amsterdam, as well as in Detroit, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Portland, Princeton, St. Paul, Toronto and Washington, D.C., where they appear frequently at the Freer Gallery. In addition, they often tour major Asian cities in China, Japan and Korea.

Tickets for the Shanghai Quartet concert are $21 for adults, $18 for seniors and $12 for students. The Sharp Theater is located in the Angelica and Russ Berrie Center for Performing and Visual Arts.

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Ramapo College of New Jersey is the state’s premier public liberal arts college and is committed to academic excellence through interdisciplinary and experiential learning, and international and intercultural understanding. The College is ranked #1 among New Jersey public institutions by College Choice, has been named one of the 50 Most Beautiful College Campuses in America by CondeNast Traveler, and is recognized as a top college by U.S. News & World Report, Kiplinger’s, Princeton Review and Money magazine, among others. Ramapo College is also distinguished as a Career Development College of Distinction by CollegesofDistinction.com, boasts the best campus housing in New Jersey on Niche.com, and is designated a “Military Friendly College” in Victoria Media’s Guide to Military Friendly Schools.

Established in 1969, Ramapo College offers bachelor’s degrees in the arts, business, data science, humanities, social sciences and the sciences, as well as in professional studies, which include business, education, nursing and social work. In addition, the College offers courses leading to teacher certification at the elementary and secondary levels, and offers graduate programs leading to master’s degrees in Accounting, Business Administration, Creative Music Technology, Data Science, Educational Technology, Educational Leadership, Nursing, Social Work and Special Education, as well as a post-master’s Doctor of Nursing Practice.

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