Media only: Ellie Reynolds, 202.633.0521; Elizabeth Bridgforth, 202.633.0521
Public only: 202.633.1000

This fall marks the 16th season of the Bill and Mary Meyer Concert Series at the Freer Gallery of Art’s Meyer Auditorium. Beginning October 2008, through May 2009, this season’s musical performances feature combinations of Japanese, Chinese and Western instruments; songs inspired by Persian mystic poet Hafiz; and time-honored favorites by Beethoven, Hadyn and Schubert. Bringing world-renowned soloists and ensembles to the Freer, this unique classical music series emphasizes a synthesis between Asian composers and their influences.

Commencing this series is “Between Tides: Music from Japan,” Oct. 2, performed by an international quartet: Kathryn Woodward, piano; Masayo Ishigure, koto; Theresa Salomon, violin; and James Wilson, cello. Together they use Japanese and Western instruments to perform works spanning the 20th century by Yamada and Michio as well as later compositions by Sawai, Ishii, Satoh, Mayazumi and Takemitsu.
A few highlights of this year’s line up are the Jupiter Quartet, who recently won the prestigious Cleveland Quartet Award; the Swiss baritone soloist, Martin Bruns; the Leipzig String Quartet; and the Shanghai Quartet.

The Jupiter Quartet has performed at Carnegie Hall and holds the esteemed position of “Quartet-in-Residence,” at the Lincoln Center’s Chamber Music Society. On Oct. 29, they perform Haydn’s op. 77, no. 2; Beethoven’s op. 59, no. 2; Shostakovich’s op. 18; and Gubaidulina’s Quartet No. 2. On Feb. 25, Martin Bruns brings his compelling voice to the Meyer Auditorium, singing songs inspired by the Persian mystic poet Hafiz composed by Schubert, Brahms, Wolf, Jensen and Ullmann. In addition, the Prism Saxophone Quartet joins the Music from China ensemble to create a fusion between saxophones and Chinese instruments. In concert March 1, the Prism Saxophone Quartet performs new works by Zhou Long, Ming-hsui Yen, Wang Guowei, Chai-yu Hsu and Dorothy Chen. Another outstanding concert is The Leipzig String Quartet, performing works by Takemitsu, Hosokawa, Tan Dun and John Cage on March 11. Returning to the Meyer Auditorium on April 23 for their 15th consecutive season is the Shanghai Quartet for the world premier of a new work composed for them by Vivian Fung.

In keeping with the Meyer family’s long association with the Marlboro Music Festival, the Musicians from Marlboro return for three concerts that bring a novel approach to their distinct repertoire. Pieces for this season include a Dec. 10 performance of Mozart’s String Quintet, K. 614; Mendelssohn’s Octet, op. no. 20; and Janacek’s String Quartet No. 1. Their second performance, Feb. 19, features Haydn’s Quartet, op. 64, no. 6; Brahms’ Clarinet Quintet, op. 115; and Kodaly’s Duo for Violin and Cello. The Musicians from Marlboro conclude the 2008–2009 Meyer Concert Series May 6, with Schubert’s October for Strings; Winds, D. 803, op. 166; Nielsen’s Serenata-invano; and Kirchner’s String Quartet No. 4.

The Bill and Mary Meyer Concert Series is presented in memory of Bill and Mary Meyer and is generously supported by Elizabeth E. Meyer, Melissa and E. Bradley Meyer, the New York Community Trust—The Island Fund, Victor and Takako Hauge and numerous additional donors.

All concerts begin at 7:30 p.m. and take place in the Meyer Auditorium. Up to four tickets per person are available through Ticketmaster beginning at 10 a.m. two Mondays before the event. Two tickets per person are distributed at the auditorium one hour before the event begins on a first-come, first-served basis. Members of the Friends of the Freer and Sackler Galleries can reserve seats by calling (202) 633-0448.

The Freer Gallery of Art, located at 12th Street and Independence Avenue S.W., and the adjacent Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, located at 1050 Independence Avenue S.W., are on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Hours are from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. every day, except Dec. 25, and admission is free. The galleries are located near the Smithsonian Metrorail station on the Blue and Orange lines. For more information, the public may call (202)633-1000, or visit the Web site:

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