Performance Tuesday, November 19, 2013 | 7:30 PM

Pacifica Quartet
Marc-André Hamelin

Zankel Hall
Fresh and daring, the Pacifica Quartet performs strikingly personal interpretations of classical and contemporary composers with “remarkable unanimity of vibrato, attack, and volume” (The New York Times). This inventive group comes to Carnegie Hall with one of its signature programs, pairing experimental composer Leo Ornstein’s rhythmically engaging Piano Quintet with pianist Marc-André Hamelin and one of Beethoven’s sublime late string quartets.


  • Pacifica Quartet
    ·· Simin Ganatra, Violin
    ·· Sibbi Bernhardsson, Violin
    ·· Masumi Per Rostad, Viola
    ·· Brandon Vamos, Cello
  • Marc-André Hamelin, Piano


  • ORNSTEIN Piano Quintet
  • BEETHOVEN String Quartet in B-flat Major, Op. 130, with Grosse Fuge, Op. 133

  • Encore:
  • DVOŘÁK Scherzo-Furiant: Molto vivace from Piano Quintet No. 2 in A Major, Op. 81

Event Duration

The printed program will last approximately two and one-half hours, including one 20-minute intermission.


  • Pacifica Quartet

    Recognized for its virtuosity, exuberant performance style, and daring repertory choices, the Pacifica Quartet has gained international stature over the past two decades as one of the finest chamber ensembles performing today. The Pacifica tours extensively throughout the US, Europe, Asia, and Australia, and performs regularly in the world's major concert halls. Named the quartet-in-residence at Indiana University's Jacobs School of Music in March 2012, the Pacifica was also the quartet-in-residence at The Metropolitan Museum of Art (2009-2012), a position previously held by the Guarneri Quartet. In 2009, the quartet received a Grammy Award for Best Chamber Music Performance.

    Formed in 1994, the Pacifica Quartet quickly won chamber music's top competitions, including the 1998 Naumburg Chamber Music Award. In 2002, the ensemble was honored with Chamber Music America's Cleveland Quartet Award and was appointed to Lincoln Center's CMS Two. It was awarded the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant in 2006, becoming only the second chamber ensemble so honored in the grant's long history. In 2009, the quartet was named Ensemble of the Year by Musical America.

    An ardent advocate of contemporary music, the Pacifica Quartet commissions and performs many new works, including new compositions by Keeril Makan and Shulamit Ran to be premiered during the 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 seasons. Cedille Records recently released the third of four volumes that comprise the entire Shostakovich cycle, along with other contemporary Soviet works, to critical acclaim.

    The members of the Pacifica Quartet live in Bloomington, Indiana, where they serve as full-time faculty members-in addition to their appointment as quartet-in-residence-at the Jacobs School of Music. The quartet was previously on the faculty of University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign from 2003 to 2012. The quartet also serves as resident performing artist at the University of Chicago. The Pacifica Quartet is endorsed by D'Addario and proudly uses their strings. Visit for more information.


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  • Marc-André Hamelin

    Four different multi-concert series celebrate pianist Marc-André Hamelin's artistry worldwide during the 2013-2014 season: the Celebrity Series of Boston, San Francisco Performances, Wigmore Hall in London, and deSingel in Antwerp. Highlighting his diverse repertoire and interests, he will perform in solo recitals; collaborate with guest artists, including the Pacifica and Takács quartets, violinist Anthony Marwood, clarinetist Martin Fröst, and pianist Emanuel Ax; and appear with the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra and conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin, with whom this season he performs the world premiere of Mark-Anthony Turnage's Piano Concerto.

    Additional recital highlights include performances at the Berlin Philharmonie, Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center for the Washington Performing Arts Society, Théâtre des Champs-Élysées in Paris, Herkulessaal in Munich, and the Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ in Amsterdam.

    Orchestral highlights include performances with the New York Philharmonic and Sir Andrew Davis, Chicago Symphony Orchestra with Bernard Labadie, London Symphony Orchestra with Osmo Vänskä, Danish National Symphony Orchestra with Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, and a European tour with the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal and Kent Nagano.

    Mr. Hamelin records exclusively for Hyperion Records. His newest release is Busoni: Late Piano Music,   which follows a critically acclaimed disc of Haydn concertos with Les Violons du Roy and Bernard Labadie. Other recent releases include three double-disc sets of Haydn sonatas; a solo disc of works by Liszt; and an album of his own compositions, Hamelin: Études, which received a 2010 Grammy nomination (his ninth) and a first prize from the German Record Critics' Award Association. The Hamelin études are published by Edition Peters. His complete Hyperion discography includes concertos and works for solo piano by such composers as Alkan, Godowsky, and Medtner, as well as brilliantly received performances of Brahms, Chopin, Liszt, and Schumann.

    A resident of Boston, Mr. Hamelin is the recipient of a lifetime achievement prize by the German Record Critics' Award Association. He is an Officer of the Order of Canada, a Chevalier de l'Ordre national du Québec, and a member of the Royal Society of Canada.

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Beethoven's String Quartet in B-flat Major, Op. 130 (Cavatina: Adagio molto espressivo)
Cleveland Quartet

At a Glance

LEO ORNSTEIN  Piano Quintet

After earning an international reputation as an enfant terrible of "ultramodern" music in the 1910s, American composer-pianist Leo Ornstein fashioned a more lyrical and expressive style in works such as the Piano Quintet of 1927. Yet in tempering the uncompromisingly dissonant idiom of his earlier music, he did not sacrifice its searing and often violent intensity. "Possibly it might have been less blunt and emotionally more reserved," the composer commented of the Piano Quintet, "but if one does not sense its almost brutal emotional directness, then I have indeed failed. The untamed emotion of the piece at first annoyed and shocked my own ears, but any attempt to modify it destroyed whatever was genuine."

LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN  String Quartet in B-flat Major, Op. 130, with Grosse Fuge, Op. 133           

Beethoven's 16 string quartets have long been regarded as the Mount Everest of the genre, the lofty pinnacle that composers have aspired to scale ever since. His five late-period quartets pose special challenges—and offer commensurate rewards—for listeners and performers. The Quartet in B-flat Major, Op. 130—one of three commissioned by Prince Nikolai Golitsin, Beethoven's Russian patron—is laid out in six movements of strikingly diverse characters. In its first incarnation, the quartet culminated in a resplendent display of contrapuntal fireworks. Under prodding from his publisher, however, Beethoven spun the Grosse Fuge off as a separate opus and replaced it with a more conventional, listener-friendly Allegro. Tonight, we hear the composition performed with its original ending.

Program Notes
This concert is made possible, in part, by an endowment fund for young artists established by Mr. and Mrs. Anthony B. Evnin and the A. E. Charitable Foundation.
This performance is part of Chamber Sessions III.