Sunday, March 18, 2018
Faith United Church of Christ
- Mendelssohn String Quartet No. 1 in E-flat Major, Op. 12
- Janáček String Quartet No. 2 “Intimate Letters”
- Beethoven String Quartet No. 1 in F Major, Op. 18, No. 1
The Lyds, as they are affectionately known, were formed in 1980, drawn from the Music Department at Brandeis University, where they remain in residence today. Early in the group’s history, it was mentored by Robert Koff of the Juilliard String Quartet and quickly garnered a number of significant awards, including the Naumberg Award for Excellence in Chamber Music in 1984.
Now, extensive world-wide touring, several personnel changes, and 29 recordings later, the Lydian is still “among the world’s best quartets” (Chicago Sun-Times). Founding member and second violin Judith Eissenberg, widely recognized for her chamber music expertise, founded and directs MusicUnitesUs, a Brandeis-based program of intercultural understanding through music. Joshua Gordon, who joined the ensemble at cello in 2002, practices and teaches the physics of cello-playing using the imagery of baseball and points out that the Hungarian word for cello is gordonka. While violist Mark Berger, who became a Lyd in 2014, confesses a special interest in playing and composing new music, the most recent member of the ensemble (as of Fall 2016), first violin Andrea Segar, pursues her own interest in century-old violin and piano music through “The Decade Project” at the Maybeck Studio.
Four strong individuals, the Lyds together, in the words of Sunil Freeman writing for The Washington Post, “[reveal] a fire that makes all timeless music forever contemporary.”