Award-Winning Pacifica Quartet To Return to Mary Baldwin

February 14, 2013

The Mary Baldwin University Music Department is excited to announce the next Carl Broman Concert, featuring the much-anticipated return of the award-winning Pacifica Quartet. Area audiences will not want to miss the opportunity to hear these exceptional artists, who will take the stage at 8 p.m. on February 25 in Francis Auditorium on the Mary Baldwin University campus.

The Carl Broman Concert Series has a long tradition of showcasing talented young musicians, and the Pacifica Quartet showed special promise early in their career. Formed in 1994, the Quartet quickly won several top competitions, including the 1998 Naumburg Chamber Music Award. They were already very much in demand when they presented a brilliant concert at Mary Baldwin in 1999, and the music department seized an opportunity to bring them back for a return engagement in 2001.

Since that time their career has soared to even greater heights, and they are now considered one of the world’s finest chamber ensembles, performing regularly in the world’s major concert halls. Their list of honors is long and still growing. They were bestowed with a prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant in 2006, and that same year, they were featured on the cover of Gramophone and heralded as one of “five new quartets you should know about” (the only American quartet to make that list). In 2009, they won the Grammy Award for Best Chamber Music Performance and were also named “Ensemble of the Year” by Musical America. They consistently receive rave reviews for their concerts and recordings and last year were named the quartet-in-residence at Indiana University’s renowned Jacobs School of Music. Before that appointment, they were on the faculty at the University of Illinois and also the quartet-in-residence at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, a position previously held by the legendary Guarneri String Quartet.

The Pacifica Quartet has carved a niche as the preeminent interpreter of string quartet cycles, demonstrating incredible stamina to portray each composer’s evolution, often over the course of only a few days. They have given highly acclaimed performances of the Carter cycle, the Mendelssohn cycle, and the Beethoven cycle (in an unprecedented presentation of five concerts in three days at Suntory Hall in Japan).  Most recently, the Quartet presented the monumental Shostakovich cycle in Chicago, New York, Montreal, and London, and critics have hailed these concerts as “brilliant,” “astonishing,” “gripping,” and “breathtaking.”

The Francis Auditorium audience will be treated to the second of these exciting Shostakovich quartets. This four-movement work displays a rich blend of all that is Shostakovich, including driving rhythms, a full range of moods, and allusions to Russian folk music. Also on the program is the beautiful String Quartet in F Major by French composer Maurice Ravel, along with Hadyn’s delightful “Sunrise” Quartet, op. 76, no. 4, which will open the concert.

Tickets for the Pacifica Quartet may be purchased at the door and are $25 for the General Public, $20 for seniors, and $5 for students (Mary Baldwin students are free).  For more information call540-887-7294 or visit Music at Mary Baldwin.