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Friday, April 14, 2006 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Concert Preview

2 siblings, 4 strings and 1 Seattle pianist

Seattle Times music critic

Concert preview


Daedalus String Quartet, International Chamber Series, part of the UW World Series, Seattle pianist Byron Schenkman will join in for the popular Dvork Piano Quintet, 8 p.m. Tuesday, Meany Theater, University of Washington; $31 (206-543-4880; www.meany.org).

A Tuesday chamber program will feature a promising debut: the Daedalus String Quartet, winner of the 2001 Banff International String Quartet Competition. The young foursome will appear on the International Chamber Series, part of the UW World Series at Meany Theater, and there's also a local twist: Seattle pianist Byron Schenkman will join in for the popular Dvorák Piano Quintet. They're also playing quartets of Mendelssohn (D Major, Op. 44, No. 1) and Bartók (No. 3), sans pianist.

A handful of string quartets in history have had family connections in their memberships, though it's not that common (one thinks of the Hagen Quartet of Salzburg, founded by four siblings, and also of the Philadelphia String Quartet, where for a time there was a father-daughter pairing in Alan and Karen Iglitzin). The Daedalus has a sister-brother pair, Min-Young Kim and Kyu-Young Kim, who alternate in the first-violin chair. The other two musicians, violist Jessica Thompson and cello Raman Ramakrishnan, met the Kims at the Marlboro Festival, and the quartet was established in 2000.

Since the Banff win, the Daedalus has an increasingly busy touring and performance schedule, with four dates this month at the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center.

Schenkman, too, has been building an active career as a pianist, though his career trajectory has been almost the opposite of most keyboard players. Usually, musicians start out on the ubiquitous piano and then occasionally move on to more exotic instruments. Schenkman began as a harpsichordist and fortepianist, achieving considerable renown on those instruments and making many well-received recordings. His reviews include such phrases as "a superb and imaginative instrumentalist" and "an extraordinary keyboard virtuoso." As co-founder of the Seattle Baroque Orchestra, Schenkman also has been a regular Northwest presence.

Since his 2001 debut performance on the modern piano, however, Schenkman has been drawn to the sound and the repertoire of the newer instrument, and he has announced his resignation from Seattle Baroque after 12 years of memorable performances.

A new CD of Haydn, on the Centaur label, demonstrates Schenkman's imaginative, cleanly articulated form in six sonatas plus the G Major Adagio. Next month, you can hear Schenkman live in a solo recital at Town Hall, at 7:30 p.m. May 9, as part of a CD release party (ticketholders get treats and refreshments; tickets at wwwticketweb.com, and info at www.townhallseattle.org). The recital/party is in the "Downstairs" space; enter off Seneca Street. Schenkman will play some Haydn, Beethoven and Bartók.

The occasion marks another reason for celebration: the debut of the new piano at Town Hall, a 1921 Hamburg Steinway. The piano was left to Town Hall by the late, beloved conductor and Seattle Opera outreach director, Hans Wolf, who died last summer.

Don't forget: Another chance to experience the Seattle Symphony's "Shostakovich Uncovered" Festival, 8 p.m. Saturday at Benaroya Hall, when Gerard Schwarz conducts the Symphony No. 8. The violin soloist will be Julian Rachlin, who plays the Bruch Violin Concerto No. 1. Call 206-215-4747 for tickets, or visit www.seattlesymphony.org.

Melinda Bargreen: mbargreen@seattletimes.com

Copyright © 2006 The Seattle Times Company

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