Brentano String QuartetMore Info
Mark Steinberg, Violin
Serena Canin, Violin
Misha Amory, Viola
Nina Lee, Cello
Since its inception in 1992, the Brentano String Quartet has appeared throughout the world
to popular and critical acclaim. Within a few years of its formation, the quartet garnered
the first Cleveland Quartet Award and the Naumburg Chamber Music Award. In 1996, the
Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center invited the Brentano Quartet to the inaugural
Chamber Music Society Two, a program that has become a coveted distinction for chamber
groups and individuals ever since. The quartet had its first European tour in 1997, and was
honored in the UK with the Royal Philharmonic Award for Most Outstanding Debut. That debut
recital was at London's Wigmore Hall, where the quartet later served as
quartet-in-residence during the 2000-2001 season.
In recent seasons, the Brentano Quartet has traveled widely, appearing across the US,
Canada, Europe, Japan, and Australia. It has performed in the world's most prestigious
venues, including Carnegie Hall and Alice Tully Hall in New York; the Library of Congress
in Washington, DC; the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam; the Konzerthaus in Vienna; Suntory Hall
in Tokyo; and the Sydney Opera House. The quartet has also participated in summer
festivals, including Aspen, Music Academy of the West, Edinburgh, Kuhmo, Taos School of
Music, and Caramoor.
In addition to performing the entire two-century range of the standard quartet repertoire,
the Brentano Quartet has a strong interest in both very old and very new music. It has
performed many musical works pre-dating the string quartet as a medium, among them
madrigals of Gesualdo, fantasias of Purcell, and secular vocal works of Josquin. Also, the
quartet has worked closely with some of the most important composers of our time, among
them Elliott Carter, Charles Wuorinen, Chou Wen-chung, Steven Mackey, Bruce Adolphe, and
György Kurtág. The quartet celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2002 by commissioning 10
composers to write companion pieces for selections from Bach's The Art of Fugue,
the result of which was an electrifying and wide-ranging single concert program. The
quartet has also worked with the celebrated poet Mark Strand, commissioning poetry from him
to accompany works of Haydn and Webern.
In 1998, cellist Nina Lee joined the Brentano Quartet, succeeding founding member Michael
Kannen. The following season, the quartet became the first Resident String Quartet at
Princeton University. The quartet's duties at the university are wide-ranging, including
performances at least once each semester, as well as workshops with graduate composers and
chamber-music coachings with undergraduate performers.
The quartet is named for Antonie Brentano, whom many scholars consider to be Beethoven's
"Immortal Beloved," the intended recipient of his famous love confession.