Current – 2018-19
The Academy of St Martin in the Fields Chamber Ensemble was created in 1967 to perform the larger chamber works with players who customarily worked together, instead of the usual string quartet with additional guests. Drawn from the principal players of the orchestra and led by violinist Tomo Keller, the Chamber Ensemble performs in all shapes and sizes, from string quintets to octets, and in various other configurations featuring winds. Its touring commitments are extensive and include regular tours of Europe and North America, whilst recording contracts with Philips Classics, Hyperion, and Chandos have led to the release of over thirty CDs.
“They have established standards of chamber music performance equal to any in the world,” in the words of the Washington Post. And The New York Times said, “They appealed to the heart and the head, offering a warm, seductively luxurious sound and an impressive precision and unity of purpose.”
Among today’s most exciting and innovative chamber music ensembles, The American Chamber Players were formed in 1985 by Miles Hoffman from a core group of artists of The Library of Congress Summer Chamber Festival. The ensemble performs repertoire ranging from familiar masterpieces to neglected gems to newly commissioned American works, and its fascinating and delightful programs with varied instrumental combinations have been as enthusiastically praised as its extraordinary, dynamic performances.
The Arod quickly came to international attention when they won the coveted First Prize of the 2016 ARD International Music Competition in Munich, having already taken First Prize at the Carl Nielsen Chamber Music Competition in Copenhagen. In 2018-19 the Arod will make its American debut, featuring its inaugural Carnegie Hall performance, following its North American debut premiere at the Festival Lanaudiere in July 2018. The 2017-2018 season saw the Arod Quartet perform at the Auditorium of the Louvre, the Philharmonie de Paris, London’s Wigmore Hall, Salzburg’s Mozarteum, the Konzerthaus in Vienna, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, the Tonhalle Zurich, the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation in Lisbon, Portugal; and in Italy, Japan, Denmark, and Serbia, and saw the group join the prestigious BBC New Generation Artists’ roster.
The phenomenal Dover Quartet catapulted to international stardom following a stunning sweep of the 2013 Banff Competition. Recently named the Cleveland Quartet Award winner, and awarded the coveted Avery Fisher Career Grant, the Dover has become one of the most in-demand ensembles in the world. The Quartet’s rise from up-and-coming young ensemble to occupying a spot at the top of their field has been “practically meteoric” (Strings). With its burnished warmth, incisive rhythms, and natural phrasing, the Quartet’s distinctive sound has helped confirm its status as “the young American string quartet of the moment” (New Yorker). The Quartet serves as the quartet-in-residence for the Bienen School of Music at Northwestern University.
For several decades, the Talich Quartet has been recognized internationally as one of the world´s finest string quartets, and as the embodiment of the great Czech musical tradition.
The Quartet was founded in 1964 by Jan Talich Sr., during his studies at the Prague Conservatory, and named it in honour of his uncle Václav Talich, the renowned chief conductor of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra between 1919 and 1939. During the 1990s, there was a gradual and complete change in personnel, rejuvenating the Quartet while continuing the tradition of its predecessors through involvement in a wide spectrum of musical engagements and recording activities. Jan Talich Jr., the current first violinist, is the son of the Quartet’s founder.
The Talich Quartet is regularly invited to prestigious chamber music festivals such as the Pablo Casals Festival in Prades, Prague Spring Music Festival, Europalia Festival, Printemps des Arts in Monte Carlo, Tibor Varga Festival of Music, and the International String Quartet Festival in Ottawa; 2015 first appearances included Malta Arts Festival and Kuhmo Chamber Music Festival, Finland.
Over the span of more than three decades of performing, the American String Quartet has appeared in all fifty states and at major venues throughout the world to become internationally regarded as one of the finest quartets around. They have been widely acclaimed for their presentations of the complete quartets of Beethoven, Schubert, Schoenberg, Bartok, and Mozart. Their 1998 recording of the complete Mozart quartets was performed on a matched set of Stradivarius instruments, and helped set the standard for this repertoire.
The Biava Quartet is recognized as one of today’s most exciting and accomplished young American string quartets. Winner of the Naumburg Chamber Music Award and top prizes at the Premio Borciani and London International Competitions, the Quartet has established an enthusiastic following in the United States and abroad, impressing audiences with its sensitive artistry and communicative powers. Formed in 1998 at the Cleveland Institute of Music, the Quartet takes its name from Maestro Luis Biava, a mentor since its inception.
Since its inception in 1992, the Brentano String Quartet has appeared throughout the world to popular and critical acclaim. “Passionate, uninhibited and spellbinding,” raves the London Independent; the New York Times extols its “luxuriously warm sound [and] yearning lyricism.”
Renowned for bringing fresh excitement to traditional string quartet repertoire as well as for creating insightful interpretations of new music, the Chiara String Quartet captivates its audiences throughout the country. The Chiara has established itself as among America’s most respected ensembles, lauded for its “highly virtuosic, edge-of-the-seat playing” (The Boston Globe).
The Daedalus Quartet is a lively young group that has received a great deal of attention since its founding in 2000. It won the Grand Prize of the Banff International String Quartet Competition in 2001, and Lincoln Center’s Martin E. Segal Award in 2007. The Daedalus Quartet was designated by the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center as the Chamber Music Society Two quartet for last year’s season and the year before. This is a residency program which offers high-profile performance opportunities, artist collaboration, and professional training to outstanding young performers in the early stages of major careers.
The Emerson String Quartet has an unparalleled list of achievements over three decades: more than thirty acclaimed recordings, nine Grammys® (including two for Best Classical Album), three Gramophone Awards, the Avery Fisher Prize, Musical America’s “Ensemble of the Year” and collaborations with many of the greatest artists of our time.
For over 25 years, the Gryphon Trio has firmly established itself as one of the world’s preeminent piano trios, garnering acclaim and impressing international audiences with its highly refined, dynamic and memorable performances. With a repertoire that ranges from traditional to contemporary and from European classicism to modern-day multimedia, the Gryphons are committed to redefining chamber music for the 21st century.
Internationally acclaimed clarinetist Håkan Rosengren has performed as soloist, recitalist and chamber musician all over Europe, the United States, Israel, Brazil and Asia—from Berlin, Beijing and Bratislava, to Tel Aviv, Vilnius and Warsaw. Rosengren’s repertoire includes all the traditional works for clarinet solo and chamber music he has performed the Messiaen Quartet for the End of Time on at least 50 occasions throughout the world and has recorded the work both for Caprice and for CD Accord, that latter winning nomination for the Polish Frederyk Award.
Harlem Quartet advances diversity in classical music while engaging new audiences with varied repertoire that includes works by minority composers. Their mission to share their passion with a wider audience has taken them around the world; from a 2009 performance at The White House for President Obama and First Lady, Michelle Obama, to a highly successful tour of South Africa in 2012, and numerous venues in between.
Over the course of their 20+ year career, Grammy nominated quintet Imani Winds has discovered what audiences value most from their concerts: a sense of connection – with the music, the performers, the composers, the artistry and beyond. Extolled by the Philadelphia Inquirer as “what triumph sounds like”, Imani Winds has created a distinct presence in the classical music world through their dynamic playing, culturally relevant programming, virtuosic collaborations and inspirational outreach programs.
Joan Kwuon is a vibrant, highly acclaimed violinist who consistently receives rave reviews from critics delighted by her fire, elegance, and commanding technique. Kwuon has performed as concerto soloist throughout the world, with orchestras that include the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the London Symphony Orchestra, the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, the Moscow State Radio Symphony, the Seattle Symphony Orchestra, the State Symphony Orchestra of Mexico, and more.
Founded in 1946, the ever-evolving Juilliard String Quartet has become a living American legend. Widely known as the “quintessential American string quartet,” the Juilliard has been recognized for the boldness of its interpretation of the classics, with an equal and parallel tradition of championing the new — a vibrant combination of the familiar and the daring. The Quartet’s sound is famously characterized by clarity of structure, compelling rhythmic drive and an extraordinary unanimity of purpose, no matter the work at hand.
Established in 1989, the St. Lawrence String Quartet has developed an undisputed reputation as one of the world’s great ensembles. Called “witty, buoyant, and wickedly attentive” (The Gazette, Montreal), with a “peerless” sense of ensemble (Financial Times, London), the quartet is celebrated for its “smoldering intensity” (Washington Post), and “flexibility, dramatic fire and… hint of rock ‘n’ roll energy” (LA Times). SLSQ performs around the world and has served as Ensemble-in-Residence at Stanford University since 1998.
Trio Solisti has forged a reputation as “the most exciting piano trio in America” (The New Yorker), with a passionate performance style that combines exceptional virtuosity and musical insight. Possessing a repertoire that encompasses the standard repertoire and works by contemporary composers, rave reviews follow the trio throughout its concert tours. Noted Wall Street Journal critic Terry Teachout proclaimed that Trio Solisti is “the group that to my mind has now succeeded the Beaux Arts Trio as the outstanding chamber music ensemble of its kind.” The New York Times called it “probably the finest American (piano trio) currently on the field,” and the trio was praised by The Washington Post for a “transcendent performance.”
The Wihan Quartet has been described by International Record Review as: ‘one of the best quartets in the world today.’ In 2015 the Quartet celebrated 30 years since its formation, and over the years it has developed an outstanding reputation for the interpretation of its native Czech heritage, and of the many classical, romantic and modern masterpieces of the string quartet repertoire.
Cellist David Finckel and pianist Wu Han rank among the most esteemed and influential classical musicians in the world today. Their appearances take them to the world’s most prestigious concert series and festivals as soloists, as a duo, and in David’s case, as cellist of the Emerson String Quartet. With repertoire spanning virtually the entire literature for cello and piano, and a commitment to new music, the duo premiered Pierre Jalbert’s Cello Sonata at the Aspen Music Festival in 2007-08, and will premiere a new work for cello and piano by award-winning composer George Tsontakis during the 2008-09 season.