After 18 years — 13 in residence at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln — the Chiara String Quartet will end performing full time together in September 2018.
Violinist Rebecca Fischer said she’s looking at it as a beginning rather than an end.
“We still love playing together,” she said. “We’ll miss playing together. But it was a mutual decision we made with a lot of care and a lot of good feeling. We’re ready to pursue other interests.”
The quartet will begin its final Hixson-Lied Concert Series Wednesday at Kimball Recital Hall. Its program, titled “Chiara Favorites,” will feature Mendelssohn’s String Quartet in A minor, Op. 13, Shostakovich’s String Quartet No. 8 in C minor, Op. 110, and Debussy’s String Quartet in G minor, Op. 10.
The foursome — Fischer, violinist Hyeyung Julie Yoon, violist Jonah Sirota and cellist Gregory Beaver — also will perform Hixson-Lied concerts at Kimball on Oct. 18 and Jan. 31.
The Oct. 18 concert, “Heavenly Voices,” will feature UNL voice professor, soprano Jamie Reimer, and include Karl Weigl’s “5 Songs for Soprano and String Quartet” and Aaron Jay Kernis’ String Quartet No. 1.
The Jan. 31 concert, “The Family of Strings,” is a thank you of sorts to the other string instructors at UNL’s Glenn Korff School of Music. It will feature UNL faculty members David Neely (violin), Clark Potter (viola), Karen Becker (cello) and Hans Sturm (bass) and the winner of the Play With the Chiara Competition. The program will include music from Mendelssohn, Schubert, Bacewicz, Dvorak and more as well as a repeat performance of Beethoven’s Op. 132 String Quartet, played “by heart.”
Chiara’s final, scheduled Lincoln performance is April 17 when the quartet joins UNL piano professor Paul Barnes in a world premiere of a new piano quintet by Philip Glass in celebration of the composer’s 80th birthday at the Lied Center for Performing Arts. The concert is part of the Lied’s 2017-18 season.
Fischer said none of the members have decided what they will do after disbanding. Each are considering other performance opportunities and/or more teaching, she said. The group will reunite occasionally, she said.
“It’s been a wonderful collaboration, a fantastic collaboration, and we’ll miss each other,” Fischer said. “It’s been a very unique and special ensemble. But we’re branching out as individuals, and it’s just time.”