Friday, February 22, 2019
Moravian College, Foy Concert Hall
Mozart: String Quartet No. 23 in F major, K.590 (“Prussian”)
Michael Gilbertson: “Quartet” (written for Verona Quartet; Finalist for 2018 Pulitzer Prize)
Mendelssohn: String Quartet, Op. 44/2
Hailed by The New York Times as an “outstanding ensemble,” the Verona Quartet is dedicated to showcasing the art form of the string quartet and to elevating their music making to convey the poetic narrative of storytelling. The Quartet’s members represent four different nations (USA, UK, Singapore and Canada), but their singular approach and unanimity of purpose in both musical and cultural cooperation has quickly earned the group a reputation for its “interpretive strength… robust characterization [and] commanding resonance” (Calgary Herald).
The Verona Quartet has established itself as one of the most sought after string quartets of its generation, delighting audiences at venues worldwide including Wigmore Hall (London, UK), Izumi Hall (Osaka, Japan), the National Theatre (Abu Dhabi, UAE), Melbourne Recital Hall (Melbourne, Australia), and, in New York City, at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall and Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center. 2018-2019 season highlights include performances on the Lincoln Center Great Performers Series, Buffalo Chamber Music Society, Boston Celebrity Series, Lunenburg Academy of Musical Performance, Jordan Hall and Strathmore’s Music in the Mansion.
Since winning the 2015 Concert Artists Guild competition, the Verona Quartet has continued its progressive approach to collaboration and programming including numerous cross-cultural and inter-disciplinary enterprises. Past projects have included a performance art installation with visual artist Ana Prvački, artistic exchange with traditional Emirati poets in the UAE and collaborative work with dancers from Brooklyn’s Dance Heginbotham. The Quartet also regularly champions, premieres and commissions works from contemporary composers including Julia Adolphe, Sebastian Currier, Richard Danielpour and Atar Arad, as well as Michael Gilbertson, whose Quartet (commissioned by the Verona Quartet and CAG) was named a finalist for the 2018 Pulitzer Prize in Music.
Strongly committed to education, the Quartet was the 2017-18 Quartet-in-Residence at the Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts and has been on the faculty of the Indiana University Summer String Academy as Quartet-in-Residence since 2016. Recent international residencies include: the Beethoven-Haus (Bonn, Germany); Oberlin Conservatory of Music; New York University-Abu Dhabi, and Lunenberg Academy of Music Performance (Nova Scotia, Canada). They have also appeared on National Public Radio, WQXR, WFMT, The Weekly Special on PBS, and Abu Dhabi Classical FM.
Among its many accolades, the Verona Quartet have been D’Addario Artists since 2017 and can be seen regularly on The Violin Channel as Violin Channel Artists. In addition to being named by Musical America as “New Artists of the Month” in May 2016, the group has garnered worldwide recognition by winning top prizes at international competitions across four continents including the Wigmore Hall International String Quartet Competition (London), the 8th Osaka International Chamber Music Competition (Japan) and the Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition (Australia), in addition to its CAG victory in 2015. The Quartet is currently the quartet-in-residence at the New England Conservatory of Music’s Professional String Quartet Training program, under the mentorship of Paul Katz, and has previously studied at The Juilliard School under the Juilliard String Quartet and David Finckel as well as at Indiana University under the Pacifica Quartet. Other notable mentors include Atar Arad, Donald Weilerstein, Martha Katz, Alex Kerr, Miriam Fried, Kim Kashkashian and Gerhard Schulz.
The Verona Quartet’s “thoughtful, impressive” performances (Cleveland Classical) spring from the spirit and power of storytelling. The quartet believes that the essence of storytelling transcends genre and so the name “Verona” pays tribute to William Shakespeare, one of the greatest storytellers of all time.