January 22, 2024
CMS Winter Festival: Quartet Panorama, Feb 27 - Mar 10

Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center 

February 27 - March 10

Calidore Quartet • Schumann Quartett • Quartetto di Cremona • Escher Quartet 

New York, NY: January 22, 2024 - The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center (CMS), which has been presenting chamber music and fostering the careers of chamber musicians for generations, dedicates its Winter Festival, Quartet Panorama, to four critically acclaimed string quartets whose artistry is is lighting the way for the next generation: the Calidore, Schumann, Cremona and Escher Quartets. Three of the quartets (all except the Cremona) are alumni of CMS's Bowers Program, a competitive three-year residency program dedicated to developing the chamber music leaders of the future. 

Quartet Panorama is offered as a counterbalance to the farewell concerts of the Emerson Quartet, which took place at CMS in two sold-out concerts in October 2023, and the farewell concert of the Orion Quartet, scheduled for April 2024. Situated purposefully between those farewells is this series of concerts with four ensembles providing a thrilling look at the bright future of string quartets.  

The Winter Festival concludes on March 10 with a marathon Sunday afternoon concert of all six Bartók String Quartets, performed by the Escher Quartet . 

Bach/Mozart, Mendelssohn, Purcell & Britten

Tuesday February 27, 7:30 PM • Alice Tully Hall
Jeffrey Myers, Ryan Meehan, Violin
Jeremy Berry, Viola • Estelle Choi, Cello

The Calidore String Quartet, founded in 2010 at the Colburn School in Los Angeles, has garnered recognition as one of the world’s foremost interpreters of the repertoire, winners of a 2018 Avery Fisher Career Grant, and the only American ensemble to win the prestigious Borletti-Buitoni Trust Fellowship. Their recent album of Beethoven's late Quartets has garnered considerable acclaim

For the Calidore, this program explores the way the past inspires the future. The first half is dedicated to the deep connection between Mendelssohn and J.S. Bach. "Mendelssohn spent much of his career studying and championing the nearly forgotten music of J.S. Bach, thereby ushering in a brilliant new style in the early Romantic Era," says violinist Ryan Meehan. "Just over a century later, Benjamin Britten would use his study of the music of his countryman, the baroque composer Henry Purcell, as the foundation for his revolutionary Second String Quartet." 

The Calidore's name is an amalgamation of “California” and “doré” (French for “golden”), representing its reverence for the diversity of culture and the strong support it received from its original home, Los Angeles, California, the “golden state.”

Bach/Mozart Selections from The Well-Tempered Clavier, K. 405 (C. 1740, arr. 1782)
Felix Mendelssohn Quartet in E minor for Strings, Op. 44, No. 2 (1837)
Henry Purcell Chacony in G minor for String Quartet (arr. Britten) (C. 1678, arr. 1948, rev. 1963)
Benjamin Britten Quartet No. 2 in C major for Strings, Op. 36 (1945)
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Beethoven, Berg & Smetana

Sunday March 3, 5:00 PM • Alice Tully Hall
Erik Schumann, Ken Schumann, Violin 
Veit Hertenstein, Viola • Mark Schumann, Cello

The internationally esteemed Schumann Quartett are three brothers who have been playing together since childhood, along with violist Veit Hertenstein.  

They present a highly charged program of emotional extremes—from Beethoven’s shortest, most frenetic quartet to Berg’s Quartet (included on the Schumann's 2023 recording, "1923" on BR Klassik) and Smetana’s "From My Life." 

"All three works of the evening are autobiographical," says violinist Erik Schumann. "They are very personal to the composer and serve as a mirror to the composer's soul at that particular time. All the pieces are highly emotional on many layers and we look forward to making the journey through these works together with the audience."

The Schumann Quartett has reached a stage "where anything is possible, because it has dispensed with certainties," their bio states. "This also has consequences for audiences, which from one concert to the next have to be prepared for all eventualities: A work really develops only in a live performance. That is 'the real thing', because we ourselves never know what will happen. On the stage, all imitation disappears, and you automatically become honest with yourself. Then you can create a bond with the audience – communicate with it in music.” 

Beethoven Quartet in F minor for Strings, Op. 95, “Serioso” (1810–11)
Berg Quartet for Strings, Op. 3 (1910)
Smetana Quartet No. 1 in E minor for Strings, “From My Life” (1876)
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Golijov, Shostakovich & Schubert

Friday, March 8, 7:30 PM • Alice Tully Hall
Cristiano Gualco, Paolo Andreoli, Violin 
Simone Gramaglia, Viola  •  Giovanni Scaglione, Cello

Winner of the 2019 Franco Buitoni Award, Quartetto di Cremona, established in 2000 at the Accademia Walter Stauffer in Cremona, Italy, is one of the preeminent international quartets of its generation, heir apparent to the great Quartetto Italiano, whose members served as mentors to the Cremona in their early years as an ensemble. Following a memorable CMS debut in 2022, which, according to The Strad, was distinguished by "splendid balance, abundant colour and a relaxed mastery of all the musical elements,” the quartet returns with a program of impressive breadth and depth, featuring music by Golijov and two landmark works by Shostakovich and Schubert. 

Cremona’s violist Simone Gramaglia says, “Shostakovich wrote his eighth quartet in memory of the victims of fascism and war; Golijov brings us the beauty of peace and transcendence alongside the drama of fight, violence and hate. Schubert tells us about youth and the unexpected. So it’s a program about life and death, joy and tragedy and the message that, despite all, there is always time for hope.” 

The quartet plans to release their recording of Bach’s The Art of the Fugue later this year.

Osvaldo GolijovTenebrae for String Quartet (2002)
Shostakovich Quartet No. 8 in C minor for Strings, Op. 110 (1960)
Schubert Quartet in D minor for Strings, D. 810, “Death and the Maiden” (1824)
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The Complete Bartók Cycle

Sunday March 10, 3:00 PM • Alice Tully Hall
 Adam Barnett-Hart, Brendan Speltz, Violin 
Pierre Lapointe, Viola  • Brook Speltz, Cello

The Escher String Quartet, founded in 2005, is a former BBC New Generation Artist and recipient of the Avery Fisher Career Grant; they provide an awe-inspiring conclusion to the Winter Festival with a marathon performance of the complete cycle of Bela Bartók's six string quartets. This is the first opportunity in more than 20 years to hear the complete Bartók cycle at CMS in a single concert -- since the Takács Quartet undertook the feat in 2000. 

Cellist Brook Speltz told Playbill, "The craft itself is of the highest order. Every single part, for each individual instrument, is so important, and each member is given a very strong voice in all six of the quartets.”  It’s a career milestone that Speltz is particularly looking forward to: “It’s such a monumental undertaking. We’re so proud to be doing it and so excited by the opportunity to present this cycle in New York City, in Alice Tully Hall. It’s a dream come true."

The Escher Quartet takes its name from the Dutch graphic artist M.C. Escher, inspired by Escher’s method of interplay between individual components working together to form a whole.

Bartók Quartet No. 1 for Strings, BB 52 (1908–09)
Bartók Quartet No. 2 for Strings, BB 75 (1914–17)
Bartók Quartet No. 3 for Strings, BB 93 (1927)
Bartók Quartet No. 4 for Strings, BB 95 (1928)
Bartók Quartet No. 5 for Strings, BB 110 (1934)
Bartók Quartet No. 6 for Strings, BB 119 (1939)
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