Borromeo String Quartet

Friday, April 21, 2017
7:30 PM
Christ United Methodist Church

Artist Bio

The visionary performances of the BORROMEO STRING QUARTET have established them as one of the most important string quartets of our time. Having just celebrated their 25th anniversary, the quartet has performed a vast repertoire worldwide and collaborated with many of today's great composers and performers. They have been the faculty ensemble-in-residence at the New England Conservatory of Music for twenty-two years and work extensively with the Library of Congress, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.

The Borromeo have been trailblazers in the use of laptop computers for reading music. This method allows them to perform entirely from 4-part scores and also composer's manuscripts, a revealing and transformative experience that they now teach to students around the world. In concert they often employ projections of handwritten manuscripts to vividly illustrate the creative process. In 2003, the Borromeo became the rst classical ensemble to make their own live concert recordings and videos on tour and distribute them to audiences through the Borromeo Living Archive.

The Borromeo Quartet have received many awards throughout their illustrious career, including Lincoln Center's Avery Fisher Career Grant and Martin E. Segal Award, and Chamber Music America's Cleveland Quartet Award. They won the Young Concert Artists International Auditions and top prizes at the International String Quartet Competition in Evian, France.


NICHOLAS KITCHEN has been hailed as "thrilling, vibrant and captivating" (New York Times). He was born in Durham, NC and his mother served as Associate Concertmaster of the Greensboro Symphony. His father was organist at St. Stephen's Episcopal Church where he helped found the chamber orchestra. Kitchen studied at Duke and performed multiple times with the North Carolina Symphony. He went on to study at the Curtis Institute and the New England Conservatory of Music.

Kitchen has performed an extensive range of repertoire including the full cycles of Bach solo works, Beethoven sonatas, and premieres of many works including a violin concerto written for him by Stephen Jaffe. He is also a member of Music from Copland House which endeavors to continue the legacy of Aaron Copland by encouraging constant exploration of contemporary music in America. Kitchen has worked closely with broadcast stations in Boston and DC and has recorded for numerous labels. In 2003 he began the Living Archive series, a recording venture devoted to capturing and communicating the essence of live music.

Kitchen performs on the "Baron Vita" Guarneri del Gesù on loan from the family of Szymon Goldberg.

Considered one of the most exciting musicians emerging today, violinist KRISTOPHER TONG has been praised for his depth of insight, virtuosity and creative air. In 2005 Tong served on the faculty at the Yellow Barn Festival's Young Artists Program and from 2002–2004 he was Principal Second Violin with the Verbier Festival Orchestra, with whom he toured throughout Europe, Asia, and the Americas. Tong has performed with Mizayaki Festival Orchestra in Japan, the New York String Orchestra, and appeared as a guest soloist with the Verbier Chamber Orchestra under Dmitri Sitkovetsky and Yuri Bashmet. He was also a member of the original cast of Classical Savion at the Joyce Theater in New York City, a collaborative project with tap dancer Savion Glover. He received his Bachelor's degree from Indiana University and his Master's degree from New England Conservatory of Music.

Tong performs on the Stradivarius originally on loan to Nicholas Kitchen from the A.J. Fletcher Foundation in Durham, NC.

MAI MOTOBUCHI has earned distinction as a soloist, chamber musician and teacher in the United States and her native Japan. As a soloist, she has performed with such well-known artists as Yo-Yo Ma and Seiji Ozawa. Motobuchi toured with the Colorado String Quartet during their 1999–2000 season and joined the Borromeo String Quartet in 2000. In addition to her active performing career, Motobuchi is in demand as a teacher on two continents, serving on the Viola and Chamber Music faculty at both the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, Massachusetts and at the Tenrikyo Institute of Music in Tenri, Japan. Born in Tokyo, Japan, Motobuchi received her Bachelor of Music from Michigan State University and Master of Music from Rice University. She followed with an advanced performance diploma from Internationale Meisterkurze Koblenz in Koblenz, Germany.

Motobuchi plays a Moes and Moes viola, dated 1988.

Hailed by the New York Times for her "focused intensity" and "remarkable" performances, cellist YEESUN KIM enjoys worldwide acclaim as a soloist, chamber musician and teacher. A founding member of the Borromeo String Quartet, Ms. Kim has performed in over 20 countries, and in many of the world's most illustrious concert halls and Festivals.

Ms. Kim has performed throughout Europe and Asia with the Borromeo, in duo with violinist Nicholas Kitchen, and as a soloist, including engagements with the Philharmonie in Berlin, the Tonhalle in Zurich, the Opera Bastille in Paris, Wigmore Hall in London, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Suntory Hall and Casals Hall in Tokyo, the Saejong Cultural Center in Seoul, Carnegie Hall, and the Library of Congress and Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. Kim currently serves on the faculty of the New England Conservatory, in the cello and chamber music departments, and teaches each summer at the Taos School of Music in New Mexico. She has also taught at the McGill International String Quartet Academy in Canada, the Suntory Hall Fellows Academy in Japan, at the Seoul National University and National University of Arts in Korea, and for the Foulger Institute in New Jersey. Kim is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music, with advanced degrees from the New England Conservatory of Music.

She plays a Peregrino Zanetto cello, circa 1576, one of the oldest in the world.

Music for a Great Cause

With our season finale, MGS is giving back to our community by partnering with a non-profit organization working in health and human services. We have chosen Sanctuary House because of the fantastic work they are doing in Greensboro supporting adults with mental illness. 50% of this concert's ticket sales will be donated to Sanctuary House.

Sanctuary House is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the rehabilitation of adults living with mental illness. Members do not live at Sanctuary House but use it as a base of community support. Each day, members and staff work closely together to learn new skills, build confidence, gain a greater sense of independence and pride, and prepare for a purposeful and rewarding life.

Sanctuary House logo


  • Goldberg Variations, BWV 988 J.S. Bach (1685-1750) Aria
    Variation 1
    Variation 2
    Variation 3 Canone all'unisono
    Variation 4
    Variation 5
    Variation 6 Canone alla seconda
    Variation 7
    Variation 8
    Variation 9 Canone alla terza
    Variation 10 Fughetta
    Variation 11
    Variation 12 Canone alla quarta
    Variation 13
    Variation 14
    Variation 15 Canone alla quinta
    Variation 16 Ouverture
    Variation 17
    Variation 18 Canone alla sesta
    Variation 19
    Variation 20
    Variation 21 Canone alla settima
    Variation 22 Alla breve
    Variation 23
    Variation 24 Canone all'ottava
    Variation 25
    Variation 26
    Variation 27 Canone alla nona
    Variation 28
    Variation 29
    Variation 30 Quodlibet
    Aria da capo

  • String Quartet in E flat major, Op. 127 Ludwig van Beethoven (1770–1827) Maestoso - Allegro
    Adagio, ma non troppo e molto cantabile
    Scherzando vivace