The Emerson String Quartet
Eugene Drucker, violin; Philip Setzer, violin; Lawrence Dutton, viola; Paul Watkins, cello
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.
The arrival of Paul Watkins in 2013 has had a profound effect on the Emerson Quartet. Mr. Watkins, a distinguished soloist, award-winning conductor, and devoted chamber musician, joined the ensemble in its 37th season, and his dedication and enthusiasm have infused the Quartet with a warm, rich tone and a palpable joy in the collaborative process. The reconfigured group has been greeted with impressive accolades. "One of the characteristics of the Emerson Quartet is that its players (the violinists Eugene Drucker and Philip Setzer and the violist Lawrence Dutton in addition, now, to Mr. Watkins) all have the ability and the instruments to produce a sweet and glossy sound — but do so sparingly. Instead, they establish a chromatic scale of timbres that range from dry and tart over clean and zesty all the way to lustrous and singing. Listening to them pass tiny rhythmic motifs around the group, I was struck by how evenly calibrated these timbres were." The New York Times
The Quartet's summer season began with engagements in Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and a pair of concerts in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Following a tour of Japan, the Quartet performed at the Ravinia, Tanglewood, Chamber Music Northwest, Aspen, Domaine Forget, Toronto, Austin, Norfolk, Cape Cod and Mostly Mozart festivals. In a season of over 80 quartet performances, mingled with the Quartet members' individual artistic commitments, Emerson highlights feature numerous concerts on both coasts and throughout North America. In October, Paul Watkins performs with the Emerson Quartet for the first time in Carnegie Hall. The program includes the Schumann Piano Quintet with acclaimed pianist and colleague Yefim Bronfman. Multiple tours of Europe comprise dates in Austria, Ireland, Switzerland, France, Germany and the United Kingdom. The Quartet continues its series at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC for its 35th season, and, in May, is presented by colleagues David Finckel and Wu Han for the two final season concerts at Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center in Alice Tully Hall. Guest artists Colin Carr and Paul Neubauer join the Emerson in a program that also includes the New York premiere of Lowell Liebermann's String Quartet No. 5, commissioned by a consortium of presenters through Music Accord.
As an exclusive artist for SONY Classical, the Emerson recently released Journeys, its second CD on that label, featuring Tchaikovsky's Souvenir de Florence and Schoenberg's Verklaerte Nacht. Future recordings are planned with Mr. Watkins.
Formed in 1976 and based in New York City, the Emerson was one of the first quartets formed with two violinists alternating in the first chair position. In 2002, the Quartet began to stand for most of its concerts, with the cellist seated on a riser. The Emerson Quartet took its name from the American poet and philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson and is Quartet-in-Residence at Stony Brook University. In January of 2015, the Quartet will receive the Richard J. Bogomolny National Service Award, Chamber Music America's highest honor, in recognition of its significant and lasting contribution to the chamber music field.
For more information, visit www.emersonquartet.com
The Calidore String Quartet
Jeffrey Myers, violin; Ryan Meehan, violin; Jeremy Berry, viola; Estelle Choi, cello
Formed at the Colburn Conservatory of Music in Los Angeles in 2010, the Calidore String Quartet are currently based in Manhattan. In 2014 the Calidore were hand selected by the Emerson Quartet to become artists-in-residence and visiting faculty at Stonybrook University (SUNY). September 2014 marks the release of their debut album featuring works by Mendelssohn and Haydn as well as a release on the Editions Hortus Label of works to commemorate the centenary of World War I.
Within two years of their inception, the Calidore String Quartet quickly won grand prize in virtually all major American chamber music competitions including the Fischoff, Coleman, Chesapeake, and Yellow Springs competitions. Internationally they captured top prizes at the 2012 ARD Munich International String Quartet Competition and the 2012 Hamburg International Chamber Music Competition. Their performances have been broadcast on NPR, CBC (Canada), KBS (South Korea), Bayerischer Rundfunk (Munich) and Norddeutscher Rundfunk (Hamburg) as well as being featured on German national television as part of a documentary produced by ARD public broadcasting.
Highlights of the 2014-15 season include debuts at Wigmore Hall, Lincoln Center and a year-long residency as the Stiefel Quartet in Residence at the Caramoor Center (NY). Other engagements include debuts at Shriver Hall (Baltimore), Phillips Collection (Washington D.C) the National Arts Center (Ottawa) as well as tours and reengagements across Europe, California and the Midwest US. Summer 2014 marked the Calidore String Quartet’s inaugural season as the quartet-in-residence at the Bellingham Festival of Music and the Innsbrook Institute Summer Music Academy and Festival.
The Calidore has collaborated with many esteemed artists and ensembles including Menahem Pressler Joshua Bell, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Quatuor Ebene among others. In 2014 the Calidore String Quartet joins the class of Gunter Pichler (Alban Berg Quartet) at the Reina Sofia School in Madrid. Formerly, they were the Graduate String Quartet in Residence at the Colburn School. The Calidore has studied closely with such luminaries as Andre Roy, Arnold Steinhardt, Guillaume Sutre, Gunter Pichler, Gerhard Schulz, Martin Beaver, Gabor Takacs Nagy, Paul Coletti, Ronald Leonard, and the Quatuor Ebène.
As passionate supporters of music education, the Calidore String Quartet is deeply committed to mentoring and educating young musicians, students and audiences. In January 2104, the Calidore joined the faculty of the Ed and Mari Edelman Chamber Music Institute at the Colburn School. Most recently, the Calidore was selected by the Saint Lawrence String Quartet to conduct a two-week outreach residency of over twenty performances in the San Francisco Area.
Using an amalgamation of “California” and “doré”, (French for “golden”), the ensemble’s name represents a reverence for the diversity of culture and the strong support it has received from its home base in Los Angeles, California, the “golden state.” The Calidore String Quartet aims to present performances that share the passion and joy of the string quartet chamber music repertoire.
For more information, visit www.calidorestringquartet.com