Formosa Quartet with Reiko Uchida

Saturday, February 11, 2017 - 7:30pm at Mary Irwin Theatre, Rotary Centre For The Arts

The FORMOSA QUARTET is “one of the very best quartets of their generation” (David Soyer, cellist of the Guarneri Quartet). Winners of the First Prize and the Amadeus Prize at the London International String Quartet Competition in 2006, the Formosa’s debut recording on the EMI label was hailed as “spellbinding” (Strad Magazine) and “remarkably fine” (Gramophone). Formed in 2002 when the four founding members came together for a concert tour of Taiwan, the quartet has given critically acclaimed performances at the Ravinia Festival, the Library of Congress, the Da Camera Society of Los Angeles, Rice University, the Walter Reade Theater at Lincoln Center, and Wigmore Hall in London. 

The Formosa Quartet is deeply committed to championing Taiwanese music and promoting the arts in the land of its heritage, and their active commissioning has contributed significantly to the 21st century’s string quartet literature. In 2016, they premiered Lei Liang’s Song Recollections. Based on music indigenous to aboriginal tribes of Taiwan, the piece is the result of two-year commissioning project which looks ahead to a new disc of music inspired by Hungarian and Taiwanese folk traditions. Other commissions include Shih-Hui Chen’s Returning Souls: Four Pieces on Three Formosan Amis Legends and Fantasia on the Theme of Plum Blossom, Dana Wilson’s Hungarian Folk Songs, and Wei-Chieh Lin’s Pasibutbut

The members of the Formosa Quartet – Jasmine Lin, Wayne Lee, Che-Yen Chen, and Deborah Pae – have degrees from the Juilliard School, Curtis Institute of Music, and New England Conservatory, and have been top prizewinners in prestigious competitions such as the Paganini, Primrose, Fischoff, Naumburg, and Tertis competitions. Each summer, they serve as faculty quartet-in-residence at the National Youth Orchestra of Canada, as well as at their very own Formosa Chamber Music Festival in Hualien, Taiwan. The Formosa Quartet forms an octet with violins Joseph Curtin (2001) and Andrea Guarneri (1662), an Enrico Catenari viola (1680), and a Vincenzo Postiglione cello (1885) on generous loan from the Arts and Letters Foundation.

REIKO UCHIDA is a pianist of rare poetic quality. Her playing has been described as “refined and exquisite” by New York Times. Ms.Uchida made her New York solo debut in 2001 at Carnegie's Weill Hall under the auspices of the Abby Whiteside Foundation. She has performed solo and chamber music concerts in Germany, France, Italy, Russia, Finland, Bulgaria, Romania, the Czech Republic, Korea, and Japan, in venues including Suntory Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, Alice Tully Hall, the 92nd Street Y, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Kennedy Center, and the White House. First prize winner of the Joanna Hodges Piano Competition and Zinetti International Competition, she has appeared as a soloist with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Santa Fe Symphony, Greenwich Symphony, and the Princeton Symphony, among others.

A passionate chamber musician, Ms.Uchida is a member of Camera Lucida and the Moebius Ensemble. She is a past member of Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center Two and has toured with Musicians from Marlboro, as well as with the Lincoln Center Chamber Music Society. She has collaborated with many of the leading artists of today including Hillary Hahn, Pinchas Zukerman, Osmo Vänskä and members of the Tokyo String Quartet. She has performed as guest artist with the American Chamber Players, and the Borromeo, Talich, Formosa, Daedalus, and St. Lawrence String Quartets. She has partnered in recital with Jennifer Koh, Jessica Lee, Thomas Meglioranza, Anne Akiko Meyers, Anthony McGill, David Shifrin, Sharon Robinson, and Jaime Laredo.  "String Poetic,” her recording with Jennifer Koh, was nominated for a Grammy Award. 

Ms. Uchida holds a Bachelor's degree from the Curtis Institute of Music, a Master's degree from the Mannes College of Music, and an Artist Diploma from the Juilliard School. She studied with Claude Frank, Leon Fleisher, Edward Aldwell, Sophia Rosoff, and Margo Garrett. She has taught at the Brevard Music Center, and is currently a Music Associate at Columbia University.