SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 26, 2023 | 5:30 PM
Joseph Conyers, double bass
The Howard Family Concert & The Reiko T. and Yuan C. Lee Fund for Outstanding String Performers
Location: Shriver Hall
Joel Link, violin
Bryan Lee, violin
Milena Pajaro-van de Stadt, viola
Camden Shaw, cello
Named one of the greatest string quartets of the last 100 years by BBC Music Magazine, the GRAMMY® nominated Dover Quartet has followed a “practically meteoric” (Strings) trajectory to become one of the most in-demand chamber ensembles in the world. In addition to its faculty role as the Penelope P. Watkins Ensemble in Residence at the Curtis Institute of Music, the Dover Quartet holds residencies with the Kennedy Center, Bienen School of Music at Northwestern University, Artosphere, and the Amelia Island Chamber Music Festival. The group’s awards include a stunning sweep of all prizes at the 2013 Banff International String Quartet Competition, grand and first prizes at the Fischoff Chamber Music Competition, and prizes at the Wigmore Hall International String Quartet Competition. Its prestigious honors include the Avery Fisher Career Grant, Chamber Music America’s Cleveland Quartet Award, and Lincoln Center’s Hunt Family Award.
The Dover Quartet’s active 2021–22 season includes world premiere performances of Marc Neikrug’s Piano Quintet No. 2 at the Kennedy Center with Haochen Zhang, Chris Rogerson’s Dream Sequence for Santa Fe Pro Musica with Anne-Marie McDermott, and Steven Mackey’s theatrical musical work Memoir at Artosphere with arx duo and narrator Natalie Christa. Other recent and upcoming artist collaborations include Emanuel Ax, Inon Barnaton, Ray Chen, the Escher String Quartet, Bridget Kibbey, Edgar Meyer, Anthony McGill, the Pavel Haas Quartet, Roomful of Teeth, the late Peter Serkin, and Davóne Tines. In addition to two previous albums for the label, the Dover Quartet is recording the Beethoven Complete String Quartets for Cedille Records, with the second volume released in October 2021. Its recording of The Schumann Quartets for Azica Records was nominated for a 2020 GRAMMY® Award. The Dover Quartet was formed in 2008 at the Curtis Institute of Music. Its website is doverquartet.com.
Joseph Conyers was appointed assistant principal bass of the Philadelphia Orchestra in 2010 and has been acting associate principal since 2017. He previously held tenures with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra; the Grand Rapids Symphony, where he served as principal bass; and the Santa Fe Opera Orchestra.
Mr. Conyers has performed with many orchestras as soloist, including the Alabama, Flagstaff, and Richmond symphony orchestras; the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia; and the Sphinx Symphony Orchestra, having won second prize at the 2004 Sphinx Competition. In 2008 John B Hedges wrote a concerto for him—Prayers of Rain and Wind—commissioned by the Grand Rapids Symphony.
Mr. Conyers is an artist of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. Other chamber music festivals and collaborations have included the Ilumina Festival, the Festival Internacional de Música de Esmeraldas, and chamber music festivals in Savannah, Charlottesville, Kingston, and Lexington.
In 2019 Mr. Conyers received the Sphinx Organization’s Medal of Excellence. In 2018 he received the C. Hartman Kuhn Award from the Philadelphia Orchestra and was named one of Musical America’s 30 Professionals of the Year. In 2015 he was the recipient of the inaugural Young Alumni Award from the Curtis Institute of Music, and in 2007 was named one of “30 Leaders 30 and Under” by Ebony magazine. In 1999 he was one of the first guests on a pilot taping of NPR’s From the Top.
Mr. Conyers has served as adjunct faculty at Calvin University and Clark Atlanta University. He is currently on the faculty at Temple University and has been music director of Philadelphia’s All City Orchestra since 2015. He has taught at numerous summer music festivals including the Philadelphia International Music Festival, the Wintergreen Summer Music Festival and Academy, and the National Repertory Orchestra. He has given master classes and lectures across the country, including at the Colburn School, the Curtis Institute of Music, New England Conservatory, Yale University, Ohio State University, the University of Georgia, and Peabody Conservatory.
Mr. Conyers is the founder of the nonprofit Project 440. Through its nationally recognized curricula, Project 440 uses music as a tool to engage, educate, and inspire young musicians, providing them with care and life skills to become tomorrow’s civic-minded, entrepreneurial leaders.
Mr. Conyers received his bachelor’s degree from the Curtis Institute of Music, where he studied with both Harold Robinson and Edgar Meyer. Other mentors have included David Warshauer, Daniel Swaim, and Albert Laszlo. He performs on the “Zimmerman/Gladstone” 1802 Vincenzo Panormo double bass, which he has affectionately named “Norma.” His website is josephconyers.com.