(Parker Quartet CMNW | Photo credit Luke Ratray)
Chamber Music Northwest (CMNW) will present the concert premiere of the Grammy Award-winning string ensemble Parker Quartet on Saturday, April 24 at 7pm PT on CMNW.org. Parker Quartet: Inventive & Inspired will be available to stream through Saturday, May 1. This concert was recorded for CMNW at the visually stunning and acoustically superb Mechanics Hall in Worcester, Massachusetts. In connection with this concert, CMNW will livestream a free Musical Conversation with Ara Guzelimian on Tuesday, April 20 at 6pm PT. Guzelimian will explore how Beethoven and Thomas Adès employed the string quartet medium as a vehicle for acute personal expression.
Inspiring performances, luminous sound, and exceptional musicianship are the hallmarks of the Grammy Award-winning Parker Quartet. Renowned for its dynamic interpretations and polished, expansive colors, the group has rapidly distinguished itself as one of the preeminent ensembles of its generation, dedicated purely to the sound and depth of their music. In this concert, the Parker Quartet will apply their “exceptional virtuosity [and] imaginative interpretation” (The Washington Post) to Thomas Adès’ magically evocative Arcadiana, and Beethoven’s spiritual Opus 132 string quartet.
“…flawlessly balanced, perfectly tuned and sheathed in lustrous textures.” – The New York Times
From CMNW Artistic Directors Gloria Chien and Soovin Kim: “We have admired the Parker Quartet’s poetic artistry for many years. Their cultivated tone, thoughtful interpretations, and impeccable taste make them one of the most enjoyable string quartets to listen to again and again. Their compelling playing is particularly suited for capturing the spirituality of the late-Beethoven quartets. We are so happy to present the Parkers in their CMNW debut!”
Single Concert Passes: $20
Musical Conversation series: Free
THOMAS ADÈS Arcadiana (1994)
Das klinget so herrlich, das klinget so schön
Auf dem Wasser zu singen
BEETHOVEN String Quartet in A Minor, Op. 132
Assai sostenuto – Allegro
Allegro ma non tanto
Alla marcia, assai vivace
Ø Program Notes by Frederick Noonan will be posted here prior to the concert
Ø Learn about Thomas Adès
Ø Learn about Thomas Adès’ Arcadiana
Ø Learn about Beethhoven
Ø Learn about Beethhoven’s String Quartet in A Minor, Op. 132
ABOUT THE MUSICIANS
Daniel Chong, violin
Ken Hamao, violin
Jessica Bodner, viola
Kee-Hyun Kim, cello
Inspiring performances, luminous sound, and exceptional musicianship are the hallmarks of the Grammy Award-winning Parker Quartet. Renowned for its dynamic interpretations and polished, expansive colors, the group has rapidly distinguished itself as one of the preeminent ensembles of its generation, dedicated purely to the sound and depth of their music. The Quartet has appeared at the world’s most important venues since its founding in 2002.
Following a 2019 summer season that had the ensemble crossing North America for appearances at music festivals from Banff to Bard, the Parker Quartet began its sixth year as faculty members of Harvard University’s Department of Music in the group’s role as Blodgett Artists-in-Residence. Recent seasons included performances and residencies around the United States and Europe, including at the University of Iowa, the University of Chicago, the Wigmore Hall, the University of South Carolina, the Schubert Club, Skidmore College and Kansas City’s Friends of Chamber Music.
The Quartet has been influential in projects ranging from the premiere of a new octet by Zosha di Castri alongside the JACK Quartet at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity; to the premiere of Augusta Read Thomas’s Helix Spirals, a piece inspired by the Meselson-Stahl DNA replication discovery; to the Schubert Effect, in collaboration with pianist Shai Wosner at the 92nd Street Y. Other recent highlights include appearances at Carnegie Hall, the Library of Congress, the Slee Series in Buffalo and New York’s Lincoln Center Great Performers series. The Quartet also continues to be a strong supporter of their friend and frequent collaborator Kim Kashkashian’s project Music for Food by participating in concerts throughout the United States for the benefit of various food banks and shelters.
The Quartet has been particularly focused on recording projects this past year. For ECM Records, they recorded Dvořák’s Viola Quintet, joined by Kim Kashkashian, as well as Kurtag’s Six Moments Musicaux and Officium breve in memoriam. Under the auspices of the Monte Carlo Festival Printemps des Arts, they recorded a disc of three Beethoven quartets, due to be released this fall. The Quartet’s recording featuring Mendelssohn’s Quartets Op. 44, Nos. 1 and 3, was widely lauded by the international press, and their debut commercial recording of Bartók’s String Quartets Nos. 2 and 5 for Zig-Zag Territoires won praise from Gramophone: “The Parkers’ Bartók spins the illusion of spontaneous improvisation…they have absorbed the language; they have the confidence to play freely with the music and the instinct to bring it off.” Their Naxos recording of György Ligeti’s complete works for string quartet won the 2011 Grammy Award for Best Chamber Music Performance (the last string quartet to win this category).
Musical Conversation: Song of Thanksgiving – The Interior World of the String Quartet
Pre-Concert Talk with Ara Guzelimian
Tuesday, April 20, 2021 @ 6:00pm (PT) | FREE
Livestream Zoom link: https://us02web.zoom.us/wc/join/82337033288
Conversation available on-demand at CMNW.org on Wednesday, April 21
In this Musical Conversation, Ara Guzelimian will explore how Beethoven and Thomas Adès employed the string quartet medium as a vehicle for acute personal expression through their work. The conversation will include a Q&A that invites questions from the audience.
Conversation Focus: For many composers, the medium of the string quartet has been the vehicle of the most private expression and exploration. Beethoven’s late quartets contain some of his most personal and boldly audacious music — qualities very much evidenced in the Opus 132 quartet. Thomas Adès builds upon a decidedly personal set of subtle musical and visual art references as inspiration for his own first quartet, Arcadiana.
CMNW’s Musical Conversations are hosted for each CMNW concert by Co-Artistic Director Soovin Kim the week preceding the concert premiere, the Musical Conversation audience enrichment series is free and can be accessed on the CMNW website.
About Ara Guzelimian
Ara Guzelimian is Artistic and Executive Director of the Ojai Music Festival, beginning in that position in July 2020. The appointment culminates many years of association with the festival, including tenures as director of the Ojai Talks at the Festival and as Artistic Director 1992-97. Ara Guzelimian stepped down as Provost and Dean of the Juilliard School in New York City in June 2020, having served in that position since 2007. At Juilliard, he worked closely with the President in overseeing the faculty, curriculum and artistic planning of the distinguished performing arts conservatory in all three of its divisions – dance, drama and music. He continues in a transitional role at Juilliard as Special Advisor, Office of the President. Learn more about Ara Guzelimian
Jason Vieaux: Eloquent & Eclectic
Saturday, May 15, 2021, 7pm PT at CMNW.org; $20 or free with All-Access Pass
Free live Musical Conversation on Tuesday, May 11, 2021, 6pm PT at CMNW.org
Grammy Award-winning guitarist, Jason Vieaux, makes his CMNW debut in our season finale. Considered “among the elite of today’s classical guitarists” (Gramophone), Vieaux is highly regarded for his versatility, lyricism, broad musical range, and virtuosity. A passionate advocate of new music, Vieaux was chosen to premiere the 20-time Grammy-winning guitarist/composer Pat Metheny’s genre-defying Four Paths of Light, which will be featured on this concert, along with other works by Bach, Scarlatti, Brouwer, and Ellington, spanning more than 300 years — an evening brimful of eclectic inspiration. Learn more about this concert
ABOUT CHAMBER MUSIC NORTHWEST
Now in its 51st season, Chamber Music Northwest shares the richness and diversity of chamber music with more than 50,000 people through 80 events annually, including our Summer Festival of outstanding concerts, illuminating outreach activities, educational programs supporting young musicians and innovative collaborations across the Portland Metro region.
Chamber Music Northwest’s mission is to inspire our community through concerts and events celebrating the richness and diversity of chamber music, performed by artists of the highest caliber, presenting our community with exceptional opportunities for enjoyment, education and reflection. Chamber Music Northwest is led by Artistic Directors Gloria Chien and Soovin Kim, and Executive Director Peter Bilotta.
As one of the nation’s leading chamber music presenters, Chamber Music Northwest brings to our community the world’s greatest musicians and composers, from rising-star members of our Protégé Project and exceptional local musicians to world-renowned artists that include Grammy Award winners, Avery Fisher Prize honorees and MacArthur ‘Genius Award’ recipients. Together they collaborate to perform the expansive 500-year chamber music repertoire, ranging from beloved classics and hidden masterpieces to contemporary works and less conventional projects.
Chamber Music Northwest is an international leader in celebrating chamber music’s enduring relevance and diversity, with more than 100 commissions and premieres of new works as well as its Protégé Project, which cultivates the next generation of dynamic chamber music performers by supporting exceptional, early-career chamber musicians and composers in their professional development.