Friday, October 14, 2016
Moravian College, Foy Concert Hall
- Mozart String Quartet No. 14 in G Major, K 387
- Wiancko Lift (2016) (Aizuri commission)
- Mendelssohn String Quartet No. 2 in A Minor, Op. 13
Philadelphia-based, world-traveled, and cosmically-attuned, the Aizuri Quartet has established an impressive reputation and pursued unexpected projects in the short time since its 2012 inception. String Quartet-in-Residence at the Curtis Institute and an active participant in Curtis-on-Tour, with strong ties to the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia and the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, the ensemble has brought its art to world audiences and international students of music not only
in person but virtually—through “The World of the String Quartet,” a free seven-hour Curtis-Coursera online course hosted by Arnold Steinhardt of the fabled Guarneri Quartet.
Since the group is named for a Japanese method of woodblock printing, mostly in blue, it is not surprising that their partnerships and appearances often feature a marriage of the visual and musical arts. As the 2015 ensemble-in-residence at the Barnes Foundation, the musicians premiered or presented three works commissioned for the Aizuri at the openings of four special exhibitions of art and artists throughout the year. Boston’s Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, New York’s Morgan Library and Museum, and Philadelphia’s Museum of Art are also included among their concert venues—as is Philly’s World Café Live, where the Aizuri added poetry to its artistic fusion, collaborating with award-winning poet Denice Frohman and composer Andrew Lipke in premiering two more specially commissioned works.
About music education, the group confesses to being “passionate.” This mission produced a series of “Curiosity Concerts,” for example, at Connecticut’s Byram Shubert Library, where musicians and students chatted happily together about friendship in Mozart’s K. 575, trains in Janacek’s “Kreutzer,” and watery shapes and forms in Debussy’s String Quartet.