PhoenixPhest Gala Concert and Champagne Reception with the Jupiter Quartet PhoenixPhest Gala Concert and Champagne Reception with the Jupiter Quartet





PhoenixPhest Gala Concert and Champagne Reception with the Jupiter Quartet

7PM Reception; 7:30PM Pre-concert Lecture

  • $50 Assigned Rows 1-2
  • $35 Assigned Rows 3-5
  • $25 General Admission
  • Nelson Lee, violin
  • Megan Freivogel, violin
  • Liz Freivogel, viola
  • Daniel McDonough, cello

Event Details

The Phoenix Ensemble is thrilled to have the Jupiter Quartet as artists in residence at PhoenixPhest. Please join us for this gala event to welcome them and hear their thoughts on the art of the string quartet. The champagne reception will start at 7pm, the pre-concert lecture will start at 7:30pm, and the concert will begin at 8pm.


String Quartet No. 12 in F major, Op. 96 ("American") - Dvoƙák
String Quartet No. 10 in E-flat major, Op. 74 ("Harp") - Beethoven


The Jupiter String Quartet is a particularly intimate group, consisting of violinists Nelson Lee and Meg Freivogel, violist Liz Freivogel (older sister of Meg), and cellist Daniel McDonough (husband of Meg, brother-in-law of Liz). Formed in 2002, the members of this tightly-knit ensemble make it their mission to spread a love of chamber music through both performing and teaching. In addition to touring throughout the United States and abroad, the Jupiters are Artists-in-Residence at the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana, where they maintain private studios and run the string chamber music program. The quartet also places a strong emphasis on developing relationships with future classical music audiences through outreach work in schools and other educational performances. They believe that chamber music, because of the intensity of its interplay and communication, is one of the most effective ways of spreading an enthusiasm for “classical” music to new audiences.

It was early exposure to chamber music that brought these four musicians to form the Jupiter String Quartet. Meg and Liz grew up playing string quartets with their two brothers, Ben and J. Rehearsals were often quite raucous, but they fell in love with chamber music during weekly coachings with Oliver Edel, a wonderful cellist who taught generations of students in the Washington, D.C. area. Nelson also comes from a musical family–both of his parents are pianists (his father also conducts) and his twin sisters, Alicia and Andrea, are both musicians. Although Daniel originally wanted to be a violinist, he ended up on the cello because the organizers of his first string program declared that he had “better hands for the cello.” He remains skeptical of this comment (he was, after all, only five), but is happy that he ended up where he did.

The Jupiters studied with mentors from both the Cleveland and Takacs quartets extensively in their early years together, and were lucky to find early success with several chamber music honors: grand prize in the Banff International String Quartet Competition in 2004, grand prize in the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition in 2004, winner of the Young Concert Artists Competition in 2005, the Cleveland Quartet Award in 2007, and an Avery Fisher Career Grant in 2008. They were also members of the Lincoln Center Chamber Music Two Society from 2007-10.

Today the quartet concertizes across the United States, Canada, Europe, Asia, and the Americas. They relish the opportunity to perform in the world’s finest halls, including New York’s Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center, London’s Wigmore Hall, Boston’s Jordan Hall, Mexico City’s Palacio de Bellas Artes, Washington, D.C.’s Kennedy Center and Library of Congress, Austria’s Esterhazy Palace, and Seoul’s National Arts Center and Sejong Chamber Hall. They have been enthusiastically received at many major music festivals, including the Aspen Music Festival (where they performed their first complete Beethoven quartet cycle), West Cork (Ireland) Chamber Music Festival, Caramoor International Music Festival, Music at Menlo, Maverick Concerts, Madeline Island Music Festival, Rockport Music Festival, the Banff Centre, Yellow Barn Festival, Bowdoin International Music Festival, Lanaudiere Festival, Skaneateles Festival, and the Seoul Spring Festival, among others.

The Jupiter String Quartet feels a strong connection to the core string quartet repertoire (they performed Beethoven string quartet cycles at the Aspen Music Festival and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, as well as a Bartok cycle at the University of Illinois–another Beethoven quartet cycle is in progress at the Lanaudiere Festival in Quebec. They also frequently commission and premiere new works, including string quartets by Syd Hodkinson, Hannah Lash and Dan Visconti, as well as a quintet (with vocalist Thomas Hampson) by Mark Adamo, and an upcoming quintet by Pierre Jalbert.