CORVALLIS - The Miami String Quartet and award-winning pianist Jon Nakamatsu will perform in concert on Friday, Jan. 14, at Oregon State University. The performance will begin at 7:30 p.m. in OSU's LaSells Stewart Center.

The concert is jointly sponsored by the Corvallis-OSU Music Association and Chamber Music Corvallis. Tickets, priced at $15 for adults and $5 for students, are available at Rice's Pharmacy in Corvallis, Sid Stevens Jewelers in Albany, and at the door. For more information, call 541-754-7097.

Nakamatsu is a rising young musician who, in 1997, was named gold medalist of the 10th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, the first American to earn that distinction since 1981.

A former high school German teacher from Sunnyvale, Calif., with no formal conservatory background, Nakamatsu stunned the music world with his accomplishment. He became an overnight popular hero and later that summer performed with Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, the Boston Pops, and the Montpellier Festival in France.

During the past two years, Nakamatsu has had engagements with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the New World Symphony, the Philharmonie der Nationen, and the symphony orchestras of Dallas, Detroit, Fort Worth, Honolulu, Milwaukee, San Francisco, Seattle and Utah.

He has collaborated with numerous conductors of note, including Marin Alsop, James Conlon, Marek Janowski, Raymond Leppard and Keith Lockhart.

In 1998, he was named Debut Artist of the Year by National Public Radio's "Performance Today." He has made three recordings, has been profiled by CBS on its "Sunday Morning" show, and was featured in a PBS documentary on the Van Cliburn competition, "Playing with Fire."

Nakamatsu has a bachelor's degree in German studies and a master's degree in education, both from Stanford University.

The Miami String Quartet has performed extensively throughout the United States, Europe and South America, establishing itself as one of the premier American quartets. From Carnegie Hall and Paris to smaller venues, the quartet has received enthusiastic responses. A critic for the New York Times described the Miami String Quartet as "everything one wants in a quartet: a rich, precisely balanced sound, a broad coloristic palette, real unity of interpretive purpose and seemingly unflagging energy."

The quartet is comprised of Ivan Chan, a Hong Kong native, who is first violinist; Cathy Meng Robinson, of Greenville, S.C., a founding member of the quartet; Chauncey Patterson, a faculty member at Florida International University and violist for the quartet; and Keith Robinson, also a Florida International faculty member and founding member of the group.

The quartet has been the "quartet in residence" at Florida International, and recently was appointed to the Chamber Music Society Two program of the Lincoln Center for the 1999-2000 and 2000-01 seasons.

For the past several years, the quartet has served as the resident ensemble at the Kent/Blossom Music Festival in Ohio.

The quartet performs a variety of music styles and its interest in new music has led to commissions and premier performances of works by Maurice Gardner, Bruce Adolphe, Eduardo Diazmunoz, Robert Starer, David Baker and others.

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Flo Leibowitz, 541-737-5647