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Philharmonic Ensembles at Merkin Concert Hall

This concert is now past.
New York Philharmonic Ensembles
Location: Merkin Concert Hall (Directions)
Sun, Jan, 20, 2013
3:00 PM

Closer to it all.
An Ensembles concert provides an intimate connection between musician and audience. Hear the individual talents that make up the orchestra. Experience the passion and personality of the performers. And see how a small setting can make for a huge musical event.

Tickets
Merkin Concert Hall Box Office
www.merkinconcerthall.org
(212) 501-3330

Individual tickets for this concert will be available starting September 10, 2012. Subscriptions for the Ensembles series are available now. For information on the series, visit the Ensembles series.

The 2014-15 Season

Program (Click the red play button to listen)

String Trio in B-flat major, D. 581

Time Cycle

Masque 2012

Octet

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Piano, Piano and Celeste

Steven Beck

American pianist Steven Beck was born in 1978. He is a graduate of the Juilliard School, where his teachers were Seymour Lipkin, Peter Serkin and Bruce Brubaker.

Mr. Beck made his debut with the National Symphony Orchestra, and has toured Japan as soloist with the New York Symphonic Ensemble. Other orchestras with which he has appeared include the New Juilliard Ensemble (under David Robertson), Sequitur, the Jupiter Symphony Chamber Players, and the Virginia Symphony.

Mr. Beck has performed as soloist and chamber musician at the Kennedy Center, Alice Tully Hall, Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, Merkin Hall, Miller Theater, Steinway Hall, Tonic, and Barbes, as well as on the New York Philharmonic Ensembles Series and WNYC; summer appearances have been at the Aspen Music Festival, Lincoln Center Out of Doors, the Greenwich Music Festival, the Woodstock Mozart Festival, and the Wellesley Composers' Conference. He is an Artist Presenter and regular performer at Bargemusic (where he recently performed all of the Beethoven piano sonatas), performs frequently as a musician with the Mark Morris Dance Group, and has performed with the New York City Ballet. He has worked with Elliott Carter, Henri Dutilleux, George Perle, and Charles Wuorinen, and has appeared with ensembles such as Speculum Musicae, the Da Capo Chamber Players, the Manhattan String Quartet, the Pacifica String Quartet, The Metropolis Ensemble, New York Philomusica, the New York New Music Ensemble, Mosaic, the Lyric Chamber Music Society, the Omega Ensemble, Ensemble Sospeso, the Orchestra of the S.E.M. Ensemble, Counterinduction, the American Contemporary Music Ensemble, the East Coast Composers' Ensemble, the Fountain Ensemble, Friends and Enemies of New Music, Lost Dog, and Antisocial Music. He is a member of the new music ensemble Future In Reverse (FIRE) as well as the notorious Knights of the Many-Sided Table. His recordings are on the Albany, Bridge, Monument, Mulatta, and Annemarie Classics labels.

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Viola

Irene Breslaw

A former Naumburg Scholarship winner and graduate of The Juilliard School, Irene Breslaw joined the viola section of the New York Philharmonic in August 1976. She was named Assistant Principal Viola in 1989. Prior to joining the Orchestra, Ms. Breslaw was a member of both the St. Louis Symphony Ochestra and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. In May 2001 Ms. Breslaw celebrated 25 years as a member of the New York Philharmonic.

An active chamber musician, Ms. Breslaw appears regularly with the New York Philharmonic Ensembles. In the summers of 1993 and 1995, she traveled to Finland to perform chamber music with several of her Philharmonic colleagues and to coach members of the VIVO Youth Orchestra, an experience she found extremely rewarding. She has also recorded the Mozart Clarinet Trio, "Kegelstatt," with Principal Clarinet Stanley Drucker and pianist Lukas Foss for Elysium Records. Since 1998 Ms. Breslaw has been on the orchestral performance faculty at the Manhattan School of Music, and is an adjunct at Queens College.

Ms. Breslaw is married to Dr. Daniel Grapel and is the mother of a son and daughter.

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Cello

Carter Brey

Carter Brey was appointed Principal Cello, The Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Chair, of the New York Philharmonic in 1996. He made his official subscription debut with the Orchestra in May 1997 performing Tchaikovsky’s Rococo Variations under the direction of then Music Director Kurt Masur, and has since performed as soloist each season.

From the time of Mr. Brey’s New York and Kennedy Center debuts in 1982, he has been regularly hailed by audiences and critics for his virtuosity, flawless technique, and complete musicianship. He rose to international attention in 1981 as a prizewinner in the Rostropovich International Cello Competition. The winner of the Gregor Piatigorsky Memorial Prize, Avery Fisher Career Grant, Young Concert Artists’ Michaels Award, and other honors, he also was the first musician to win the Arts Council of America’s Performing Arts Prize.

Mr. Brey has appeared as soloist with virtually all the major orchestras in the United States, and performed under the batons of prominent conductors including Claudio Abbado, Semyon Bychkov, Sergiu Comissiona, and Christoph von Dohnányi. His chamber music career is equally distinguished; he has made regular appearances with the Tokyo and Emerson string quartets as well as The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and at festivals such as Spoleto (both in the United States and Italy), and the Santa Fe and La Jolla Chamber Music festivals. He presents an ongoing series of duo recitals with pianist Christopher O’Riley; together they recorded Le Grand Tango: Music of Latin America, a disc of compositions from South America and Mexico released on Helicon Records. On another CD he collaborated with violinist Pamela Frank and violist Paul Neubauer in Aaron Jay Kernis’s Still Movement with Hymn (on Decca’s Argo label). He also recorded all of Chopin’s works for cello and piano with pianist Garrick Ohlssen (currently available on Hyperion).

Mr. Brey was educated at the Peabody Institute, where he studied with Laurence Lesser and Stephen Kates, and at Yale University, where he studied with Aldo Parisot and was a Wardwell Fellow and a Houpt Scholar. His violoncello is a rare J. B. Guadagnini made in Milan in 1754.

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Guitar

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Percussion

Daniel Druckman

Percussionist Daniel Druckman is active as a soloist, chamber and orchestral musician, and recording artist, concertizing throughout the United States, Europe, and Japan. He has appeared as soloist with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the American Composer’s Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic’s Horizons concerts, the San Francisco Symphony’s "New and Unusual Music Series," and in recital in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Tokyo. He has been a member of the New York Philharmonic since 1991, where he serves as Associate Principal Percussionist, and has made numerous guest appearances with The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the Da Capo Chamber Players, the American Brass Quintet, the Group for Contemporary Music, Orpheus, Steve Reich and Musicians, and the Philip Glass Ensemble. Mr. Druckman has also participated in chamber music festivals at Santa Fe, Ravinia, Saratoga, Caramoor, Bridgehampton, Tanglewood, and Aspen.

An integral part of New York’s new music community, both as soloist and as a member of the New York New Music Ensemble and Speculum Musicae, Mr. Druckman has premiered works by Milton Babbitt, Elliott Carter, Jacob Druckman, Aaron Jay Kernis, Oliver Knussen, Poul Ruders, Joseph Schwantner, Ralph Shapey, and Charles Wuorinen, among many others. Recent appearances include collaborations with Alan Feinberg at Dartmouth College, with Fred Sherry at BargeMusic, with Dawn Upshaw at Carnegie Hall, and solo concerts at Columbia University’s Miller Theatre and Merkin Concert Hall in New York. Recent solo recordings include Elliott Carter’s Eight Pieces for Four Timpani on Bridge Records and Jacob Druckman’s Reflections on the Nature of Water on Koch International. Mr. Druckman is a faculty member of The Juilliard School, where he serves as chairman of the percussion department and director of the percussion ensemble.

Daniel Druckman was born and raised in New York City. The son of composer Jacob Druckman, he had invaluable exposure to music and musicians at an early age. He attended The Juilliard School, where he was awarded the Morris A. Goldenberg Memorial Scholarship and the Saul Goodman Scholarship, receiving both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music in 1980. Additional studies were undertaken at the Berkshire Music Center at Tanglewood, where he was awarded the Henry Cabot Award for outstanding instrumentalist.

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Viola

Vivek Kamath

Violist Vivek Kamath joined the New York Philharmonic in January 1998. Mr. Kamath earned his bachelor's degree at the Cleveland Institute of Music, studying with Donald Weilerstein. He has appeared as soloist with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra and the Metamorphosen Chamber Orchestra. An avid chamber musician, he has performed at the Marlboro, Ravinia, Sarasota, Blossom, and Bowdoin festivals. In 1997 Mr. Kamath was a prize-winner in the Washington International String Competition and in the Irving Klein International String Competition. In his spare time he enjoys playing tennis, studying wildlife, and dining out.

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Violin

Lisa Kim

Lisa Kim joined the Philharmonic violin section in 1994 and was named Associate Principal, Second Violin Group (In Memory of Laura Mitchell), in 2003. She teaches in South Korea and the United States, and has performed with the Seoul National Philharmonic Orchestra and the SooWon, North Carolina, Winston-Salem, and Durham symphony orchestras. Ms. Kim's chamber music activities have included the Philharmonic Ensembles series, Hofstra Chamber Ensemble series, Mostly Chamber Festival, Lyric Chamber Music Society, and Brooklyn's Bargemusic; collaborations with the late Lukas Foss, Lynn Harrell, Ani Kavafian, Yo-Yo Ma, and Garrick Ohlsson; European performances under the International Music Program; and Jordan's Jurash Festival at the invitation of King Hussein. Lisa Kim began violin studies at age seven, attended the North Carolina School of the Arts, and earned bachelor's and master's degrees from The Juilliard School. She has won prizes in the Arts Recognition and Talent Search, Bryan Young Artists String Competition, Winston-Salem Young Talent Search, and Durham Symphony Young Artists Competition. She joined the faculty of the Manhattan School of Music in 1999.

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Bassoon

Judith LeClair

Judith LeClair joined the New York Philharmonic as Principal Bassoon in 1981, at the age of 23. Since then, she has made more than 50 solo appearances with the Orchestra, performing with conductors such as Sir Colin Davis, Sir Andrew Davis, Alan Gilbert, Christopher Hogwood, Rafael Kubelik, Erich Leinsdorf, Lorin Maazel, Kurt Masur, Zubin Mehta, André Previn, and John Williams.

Ms. LeClair is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music, where she studied with K. David Van Hoesen. She made her professional debut with The Philadelphia Orchestra at age 15, playing Mozart’s Sinfonia concertante with colleagues from the Settlement Music School in Philadelphia, where she studied with Shirley Curtiss. Before joining the New York Philharmonic, she was Principal Bassoonist for two seasons with the San Diego Symphony and San Diego Opera.  

Active as a chamber musician, she has performed with numerous leading artists and has participated in leading festivals around the country. She has given solo recitals and master classes at the Eastman School of Music, Northwestern University, New England Conservatory, Oberlin College, Michigan and Ohio Universities, and the University of Colorado at Boulder. Every August she gives a solo recital and week-long master class at the Hidden Valley Music Seminar in Carmel Valley, California. She performed with the Philharmonic Woodwind Quintet of New York, formed in 2001 with her colleagues from the New York Philharmonic wind section. They gave recitals throughout the country and on the Orchestra’s foreign tours.

In April 1995 Ms. LeClair premiered The Five Sacred Trees, a concerto written for her by John Williams and commissioned by the New York Philharmonic as part of its 150th Anniversary celebration. She later performed the concerto with the San Francisco Symphony and with the Royal Academy Orchestra in London. She recorded it for Sony Classical with the London Symphony Orchestra in June 1996, with Mr. Williams conducting. This, along with her solo New York Legends CD for Cala Records, was released in March 1997. Her newest CD, Works for Bassoon, was released in the spring of 2010.

Ms. LeClair is on the faculty of The Juilliard School, and she will join the faculty of the Manhattan School of Music in fall 2014. She lives in New Jersey with her husband, pianist Jonathan Feldman, and their son, Gabriel.

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Violin

Kuan-Cheng Lu

Violinist Kuan Cheng Lu joined the New York Philharmonic at the start of the 2004–05 season — the first Taiwanese classical musician to earn a seat in the Philharmonic in its 170-year history. Mr. Lu has received numerous awards and scholarships that include the top prize in the Taiwan National Violin Competition, first prize in the ASTA string competition, the Raphael Bronstein Award, and the Taiwan Chi-Mei Corporation’s Outstanding Young Artist award. He received his bachelor’s in music degree from Oberlin College, and his master’s in music from the Manhattan School of Music. He has studied with New York Philharmonic Concertmaster Glenn Dicterow, Lisa Kim, Associate Principal, Second Violin Group, and Yoko Takebe. Other teachers have included Roland and Almita Vamos, Daniel Phillips, Julia Bushkova, as well as his father, Chung Chih Lu.

Mr. Lu has served as concertmaster of the Verbier Orchestra, Pacific Music Festival, Music Academy of the West, Oberlin Orchestra, Oberlin Contemporary Music Ensemble, Manhattan Chamber Sinfonia, Manhattan Symphony, and Manhattan Philharmonia. As a member of the New York Philharmonic Ensembles, he makes regular appearances at Merkin Concert Hall. Mr. Lu is currently a doctoral candidate at the CUNY Graduate Center, and teaches at the Manhattan School of Music in the graduate program for orchestra performance.

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Horn

Philip Myers

Philip Myers, The Ruth F. and Alan J. Broder Chair, joined the New York Philharmonic as Principal Horn in January 1980. He made his solo debut during his first month with the Orchestra in the premiere of William Schuman’s Three Colloquies for French Horn and Orchestra, and he has appeared as a Philharmonic soloist on numerous occasions. In October 2012 he performed Mozart’s Horn Concerto No. 3, conducted by Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, and in November 2013 he performed Britten’s Serenade for Tenor, Horn, and Strings, led by Alan Gilbert. Other highlights include Schumann’s Konzertstück for Four Horns, with Lorin Maazel in February 2007 and Kurt Masur in May 2001; Britten’s Serenade for Tenor, Horn, and Strings led by André Previn in October 2001; and Mozart’s Sinfonia concertante in E-flat major for Oboe, Clarinet, Horn, and Bassoon in March 2010, led by Music Director Alan Gilbert. He is a member of the New York Philharmonic Principal Brass Quintet, which performs an annual Holiday Brass Concert at Avery Fisher Hall, and appears often internationally in conjunction with the Orchestra’s tours.

Mr. Myers began his orchestral career in 1971 with a three-year term as principal horn of the Atlantic Symphony in Halifax, Nova Scotia. He was third horn with the Pittsburgh Symphony from 1974 until 1977. As principal horn of the Minnesota Orchestra for a season and a half, he made his solo debut with that ensemble in 1979, performing Richard Strauss’s Horn Concerto

No. 1 with Sir Neville Marriner conducting. A native of Elkhart, Indiana, Philip Myers holds two degrees from Carnegie-Mellon University in Pittsburgh. He plays Engelbert Schmid French horns.

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Soprano

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Bass

Satoshi Okamoto

Acting Associate Principal Bass Satoshi Okamoto, The Herbert M. Citrin Chair, was an assistant principal double bassist in the San Antonio Symphony for eight years and a member of the New York City Ballet Orchestra for a year before joining the New York Philharmonic in September 2003. He received his master’s degree from The Juilliard School, and a bachelor’s degree from Tokyo University of Fine Arts. An eight-time Aspen Music Festival participant, he won the festival’s bass competition twice, in 1993 and 1997. He also became a finalist of the International Society of Bassist Solo Competition in 1997, and the Izuminomori International Double Bass Competition in 2001. His teachers include former Philharmonic Principal Bass Eugene Levinson, Paul Ellison, Al Laszlo, Bruce Bransby, Yoshio Nagashima, and Osamu Yamamoto.

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Viola

Robert Rinehart

Robert Rinehart, who joined the New York Philharmonic’s viola section in 1992, is a familiar figure on the New York chamber-music scene. He has appeared at the Spoleto, Vancouver Chamber Music, and Santa Fe Chamber Music festivals, and with Chamber Music Northwest and The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. A founding member of the Ridge String Quartet, Mr. Rinehart has performed in every major music center in the United States, as well as in Canada, Australia, Japan, and in Europe. He has collaborated with Benny Goodman, Rudolf Firkusny, and the Guarneri String Quartet, among others, and his chamber music recordings have received a Grammy Award, two Grammy nominations, and the Diapason d’Or. A native of San Francisco, Mr. Rinehart studied violin at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music with Isadore Tinkleman, and at The Curtis Institute of Music with Jaime Laredo, David Cerone, and Ivan Galamian. He is on the faculty of the Manhattan School of Music.

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Clarinet

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Violin

Vladimir Tsypin

Vladimir Tsypin was born in the Soviet Union and was a top prizewinner there in three major competitions among five Soviet Republics, including the Tchaikovsky National Competition in 1972. He graduated from the Latvian State Conservatory in Riga. After emigrating to the United States, Mr. Tsypin made his Carnegie Recital Hall debut in 1979.

As concertmaster and soloist with the Camerata of Los Angeles, he toured the United States, Europe, and Mexico, and spent a year teaching and performing in Taiwan. He joined the New York Philharmonic in 1983, where he was Assistant Principal, Second Violin Section, from 1986–2002. He participates in chamber music as often as possible, and has performed with the New York Philharmonic Ensembles at Merkin Concert Hall in New York City. In 1994 and 1995, Mr. Tsypin toured Japan as part of the New York Trio Concertant.

Every summer Mr. Tsypin combines his summer teaching with solo concertizing in Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Germany, Italy, and Slovakia. He also has served as a judge at the Johannes Brahms International Competition in Austria.

Mr. Tsypin has recorded three solo CDs in Germany and Slovakia; one features him performing his own arrangements and compositions, with Russian poetry and lyrics by his wife, Luba (who also sings on the recording). Another recent release, Songs Without Words for Violin and Piano (Preiser Records), features the music of German composer Nikolaus Schapfl. Three recent releases feature works by composers John Sichel, Joel Suben, and Anthony Louis Scarmolin. Mr. Tsypin, leading New York Philharmonic musicians, recorded the complete salon solo and chamber music of Scarmolin (MSR Classics). In April 2008 Mr. Tsypin performed a concerto by the Argentinean composer Enrique Roel with the Gran Orquesta Sinfonica Ciudad de Buenos Aires. In August 2009 he plans to record music by Argentinean and American composers in Buenos Aires for the Tradition label, as well as to perform recitals there.

Mr. Tsypin is the music director — and his wife is the organizer — of the Artistic Club Luba in New Jersey. Through this chamber-music salon, founded in 1992, they present concerts in other people’s homes as well as in their own.

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Cello

Qiang Tu

Since arriving in the United States in 1987, Chinese-born Qiang Tu has established himself as a multifaceted artist much in demand. He won the San Angelo, Texas, Symphony Young Artist Competition in 1987, and the Grand Prize in the Downey Symphony Young Artist Competition of Los Angeles the following year. In 1994, he served as Principal Cellist of the Princeton Chamber Symphony. Mr. Tu joined the New York Philharmonic in November 1995.

After making his solo debut at age 13 in Beijing, Mr. Tu began a two-year engagement as soloist with one of China’s major symphony orchestras. At age 17, he was awarded England’s Menuhin Prize as a member of the China Youth String Quartet, and was later selected by the Chinese government to study in the Sydney Conservatory. In that capacity, he toured the country giving chamber-music and solo recitals, including a concert broadcast live from the Sydney Opera House. The culmination of his Australian tenure came when he won Sydney’s Parlings Award for Music. Returning to Beijing, he was appointed, at age 20, Associate Professor of Cello at the Central Conservatory. Concurrently, he became Principal Cellist of the China Youth Symphony and concertized with the orchestra in Switzerland, West Germany, France, Belgium, Italy, and Great Britain. His solo album, Meditation, was distributed by the China Record Company.

In the United States, Mr. Tu has appeared in Chicago, St. Louis, New York, and other major cities. Early on, he gave a solo recital to benefit the Princeton Chamber Symphony and also performed the Dvořák Cello Concerto with the Greater Princeton Symphony. Additional performances included the Elgar and Walton cello concertos with the Princeton Chamber Symphony. He also performed in recital with pianist Helen Huang to benefit the New Jersey Chinese community.

Mr. Tu’s appearances also include six recitals in Taiwan, including one at the National Concert Hall in Taipei, in addition to recitals in Japan, Hawaii, and at Weill Recital Hall in New York.

His extensive chamber music appearances have included performances with the group, Elysium, at Weill Recital Hall; in Hawaii; and at the Hellenic-American Cultural Association of Colorado. He has performed at chamber music festivals in Maine, played cello works and chamber music in Korea, and has appeared with Lukas Foss in chamber works at Weill Recital Hall and at the Stephanie H. Weill Center for the Performing Arts in Wisconsin. Mr. Tu has performed on a live broadcast on WNYC, and appears frequently with the New York Philharmonic Ensembles chamber music series at Merkin Concert Hall.

Mr. Tu earned his Bachelor of Arts from China’s Central Conservatory. In 1990, he received his master’s degree from Rutgers University, where he studied with Bernard Greenhouse. Other past teachers include Zara Nelsova, Geoffrey Rutkowski, Lois Simpson, Paul Tortelier, and Zeguang Tu.

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Cello

Wei Yu

Cellist Wei Yu joined the New York Philharmonic in September 2007 at age 26. Mr. Yu has been a prizewinner at the Hudson Valley Philharmonic String, Holland American Music Society Cello, Music Teacher National Association (MTNA National Collegiate Strings), Canada’s National Music Festival, Calgary’s Kiwanis Festival, and China’s National Cello competitions. He was invited to play for Mstislav Rostropovich at the Seventh American Cello Congress in 2003.

An active chamber musician, Mr. Yu has been invited to the Marlboro and Ravinia music festivals, and recently he has collaborated with musicians such as cellist David Soyer, pianists Richard Goode and Menahem Pressler, violinists Midori and Pinchas Zukerman, and members of the Guarneri and Juilliard Quartets. As a member of the New York Philharmonic Ensembles, he makes regular appearances at Merkin Concert Hall.

In the summers of 1998 through 2000, Wei Yu participated in the Morningside Music Bridge program at Mount Royal University in Calgary, Canada. He subsequently enrolled in the University’s Gifted Youth program under the tutelage of John Kadz and is currently on the faculty of the Morningside Music Bridge program and has given cello master classes at universities and festivals in the United States, Canada, and China.

Born in Shanghai, China, Mr. Yu began studying the cello at age four and made his concerto debut at age eleven performing Elgar’s Cello Concerto with the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra. His principal teachers include Mei-Juan Liu, John Kadz, Hans Jørgen Jensen, and David Soyer. He performs on the 1778 “Ex-Soyer” Gagliano cello, on generous loan from the Marlboro Music Festival.

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