Harker Concert Series

See music's rising and current stars right here.

Harker Concert Series

The Harker Concert Series launched in 2010-11 as part of the school's ongoing commitment to share thoughtful, entertaining and engaging events with the greater Bay Area community. We’re proud to highlight current and rising musical talent, most of whom also conduct master classes with our students. And with our intimate, 200-seat venue, audiences can usually mingle with the guests after the concert.

All concerts are general seating and held in the Nichols Hall auditorium in Harker's LEED-Gold certified science and technology building on the upper campus at 500 Saratoga Ave., San Jose (view directions). There's a pre-event reception one hour prior to each performance, with complimentary hors d'œuvres and beverages, and a cash bar. For more information, contact communications@harker.org.

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We have exciting construction continuing this school year on our upper school campus; our new athletic center opened Aug. 18 and our new performing arts center will open in early February. During the construction time we will be suspending the Harker Teacher Institute, Harker Concert Series and Harker Speaker Series, but we look forward to continuing them in our wonderful new spaces.

Previous Performances

Past artists have included jazz pianist Taylor Eigsti, the edgy PROJECT Trio, genre-bending The Respect Sextet, classical ensembles Miró Quartet and Afiara Quartet, and Frank Almond with the 1715 Lapinsky Stradivarius.

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Eastman Jazz Quartet

Coming together for a rare West Coast appearance, the Eastman Jazz Quartet features four experienced and respected instructors from the University of Rochester’s Eastman School of Music: pianist Harold Danko, trumpeter Clay Jenkins, bassist Jeff Campbell and drummer Rich Thompson. The members’ performance backgrounds include stints with legends such as Chet Baker, Tito Puente, James Williams, Buddy Rich and the Count Basie Orchestra. In addition to their work as performers and educators, quartet members have appeared on acclaimed recordings such as “Chet Baker in Tokyo,” “CrossWeave” by the Kim Richmond/Clay Jenkins Ensemble and “Stop-Start” by Trio East, a group featuring three of the quartet’s members.

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Jessica Lee

Violinist Jessica Lee, who picked up the instrument at just 3 years old, garnered national attention in her youth after being featured in LIFE magazine. Since then, she has become far more than a one-off sensation, performing extensively worldwide and developing a reputation as a top-flight soloist, chamber musician and orchestra member. Among her many career highlights are her European solo debut at the Rudolfinum in Prague and her solo performance with the Malaysia Festival Orchestra at the Sultan of Malaysia’s birthday gala. In 2006, she performed as a member of the Johannes String Quartet, who joined the Guarneri Quartet on their farewell tour. Her many orchestral performances include appearances with the Minot Symphony Orchestra, Long Bay Symphony, Stamford Symphony and Modesto Symphony.

Aeolus Quartet

Aeolus Quartet

On the program: Haydn's String Quartet Op. 64, No. 6 in E-flat Major; Bartók's String Quartet No. 2; Dvořák's String Quartet Op. 105 in A-flat Major

Formed in 2008 at the Cleveland Institute of Music and now based in New York City, the Aeolus Quartet has earned numerous accolades for its fluid performances and sense of adventure. Grand prize winners of the 2011 Plowman Chamber Music Competition and 2011 Chamber Music Yellow Springs Competition, Aeolus has studied with elite groups such as the Guarneri Quartet, St. Lawrence Quartet and Juilliard Quartet. Their extensive touring experience has taken them to Carnegie Hall, the Library of Congress, London’s St. Martin-in-the-Fields and the Shanghai Oriental Art Center. Having recently received a Residency Partnership Grant from Chamber Music America, Aeolus will spend much of its 2015-16 season involved with outreach efforts and performances at Duke Ellington School for the Arts, the Sitar Arts Center and George Washington University.

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Afiara Quartet

Currently in residency at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto, Afiara has enjoyed a career as one of classical music's most revered young quartets, winning the Young Canadian Musicians Award, the Concert Artist Guild International Competition, top honors at the Banff International String Quartet Competition and more. Their pedigree as musicians has led to performances at top venues including Carnegie Hall, London's Wigmore Hall and the Museum of Modern Art in Sao Paulo, Brazil. This concert will feature an octet with Harker's own string quartet joining Afiara on stage, the culmination of Afiara's three-day residency with the school.

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The Taylor Eigsti Trio

Two-time Grammy-nominated pianist Taylor Eigsti will make his third appearance at the Harker Concert Series on Jan. 28 with the Taylor Eigsti Trio. A performer since childhood, the Bay Area-born, New York-based Eigsti has collected accolades as a recording artist, live performer and sought-after sideman, all before reaching the age of 30.

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Frank Almond

With the famous 1715 Lipinski Stradivarius

Currently concertmaster of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Frank Almond's past stints include concertmaster of the Rotterdam Philharmonic and guest concertmaster of the London Philharmonic. Since being one of the youngest prize-winning participants in the Nicolo Paganini Competition at the age of 17, Almond has appeared as guest concertmaster with the Seattle Symphony, Dallas Symphony and more, in addition to a busy performance schedule that includes the Ojai Festival, Frankly Music and Japan's Nara Academy. Almond was recently at the center of a headline-grabbing story after the “Lipiński" was stolen from him after a concert. It was recovered nine days later.

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Miró Quartet

Founded in 1995 at the Oberlin Conservatory, the Miró Quartet immediately won first prizes at the Coleman, Fischoff and Banff competitions as well as the prestigious Naumburg Chamber Music Award, and were the first ensemble ever to be awarded the Avery Fisher Career Grant. In addition to a mastery of the standard repertoire, the quartet maintains a fierce devotion to contemporary music, commissioning works and releasing recordings of everything from Beethoven to Crumb. The Miró Quartet serves as the faculty string quartet-in-residence at the Sarah and Ernest Butler School of Music at the University of Texas at Austin. They are named for the surrealist Spanish artist Joan Miró.

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PROJECT Trio

PROJECT Trio's high energy performances are redefining chamber music. The trio – a unique configuration of flute, cello and bass – composes all their own music and is blurring the lines between classical and jazz. They made their Carnegie Hall debut in 2010, perform more than 70 concerts a year and have led workshops for more than 150,000 students on four continents. The group's YouTube channel has more than 85,000 subscribers and 77 million-plus views. This season's engagements include the San Diego, Toronto and New World Symphony orchestras, as well as their continuing position as Family Artists in Residence with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra.

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The Respect Sextet

The Respect Sextet formed in 2001 and has since garnered much critical acclaim for its improvisational, freeform stylings that are an amalgam of many different genres. The New York Times described the group thus: “The Respect Sextet stamps ambitious music with a smart-alecky affect, ranging broadly from the antic to the deadpan." Playing traditional instruments as well as toys, the group's is one in which, as they describe it, "the serious, heady, and intellectual mingle with the light, comic, and absurd."

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