Part of: Chamber Sessions III
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.
“Modern,” “dramatic,” “superb,” “wickedly attentive,” and “a hint of rock ‘n’ roll energy” are just a few ways critics describe the musical phenomenon that is the St. Lawrence String Quartet (SLSQ). The SLSQ is renowned for the intensity of its performances, its breadth of repertoire, and its commitment to concert experiences that are at once intellectually exciting and emotionally alive. Highlights in 2018–2019 include performances with pianist Inon Barnatan and the long-awaited release of the quartet’s recording of Haydn’s Op. 20 quartets.
Fiercely committed to collaboration with living composers, the SLSQ’s fruitful partnerships with John Adams, Jonathan Berger, Osvaldo Golijov, and many others have yielded some of the finest additions to the quartet literature in recent years. The quartet is also especially dedicated to the music of Haydn—according to The New Yorker, “No other North American quartet plays the music of Haydn with more intelligence, expressivity, and force.”
Established in Toronto in 1989, the SLSQ quickly earned acclaim at top international chamber music competitions and was soon playing hundreds of concerts a year worldwide. It established an ongoing residency at Spoleto Festival USA and made prize-winning recordings of music by Schumann, Tchaikovsky, and Golijov for EMI Records, earning two Grammy nominations and a host of other prizes before being appointed ensemble-in-residence at Stanford University in 1999.
At Stanford, the SLSQ is at the forefront of intellectual life on campus. The quartet directs the music department’s chamber music program and frequently collaborates with other departments, including the schools of law, medicine, business, and education. The quartet performs regularly at Stanford Live, hosts an annual chamber music seminar, and runs the Emerging String Quartet Program, through which the musicians mentor the next generation of young quartets. In the words of Alex Ross of The New Yorker, “The St. Lawrence are remarkable not simply for the quality of their music making, exalted as it is, but for the joy they take in the act of connection.”
Visit slsq.com for more information.
“One of the most admired pianists of his generation” (The New York Times), Inon Barnatan is celebrated for his poetic sensibility, musical intelligence, and consummate artistry. He is the recipient of both a prestigious 2009 Avery Fisher Career Grant and Lincoln Center’s 2015 Martin E. Segal Award, which recognizes “young artists of exceptional accomplishment.” He was recently named music director of the La Jolla Music Society SummerFest, beginning in 2019.
A regular soloist with many of the world’s foremost orchestras and conductors, the Israeli pianist recently served three seasons as the inaugural artist-in-association of the New York Philharmonic. This season, he plays Beethoven with Hamburg’s NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra led by Alan Gilbert, Mozart with the Australian Chamber Orchestra in New York’s Alice Tully Hall, and Rachmaninoff with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, again led by Mr. Gilbert. In recent seasons, he made debuts at the BBC Proms; with the London and Helsinki philharmonic orchestras; with the Chicago, Baltimore, Fort Worth, and Indianapolis symphony orchestras; and with the Nashville, San Diego, and Seattle symphonies.
A sought-after chamber musician, Mr. Barnatan collaborates this season with the Dover Quartet, and the Calidore and St. Lawrence string quartets; and tours the US and Europe with his frequent collaborator, cellist Alisa Weilerstein, along with violinist Sergey Khachatryan and percussionist Colin Currie. He makes his recital debut in the International Piano Series at London’s Southbank Centre, and plays additional recitals at the Seattle Symphony’s Benaroya Hall and Boston’s Celebrity Series, where he has appeared in various configurations since 2008. His passion for contemporary music has seen him commission and perform many works by living composers, including premieres of pieces by Thomas Adès, Sebastian Currier, Avner Dorman, Alan Fletcher, Joseph Hallman, Alasdair Nicolson, Andrew Norman, and Matthias Pintscher.
“A born Schubertian” (Gramophone), Mr. Barnatan’s critically acclaimed discography includes Avie and Bridge recordings of the Austrian composer’s solo piano works, as well as the album Darknesse Visible, which The New York Times included on its “Best of 2012” list. His most recent release is a live recording of Messiaen’s 90-minute masterpiece Des canyons aux étoiles, in which he played the formidable solo piano part at the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival. His 2015 Decca Classics release of Rachmaninoff’s and Chopin’s cello sonatas with Ms. Weilerstein earned rave reviews on both sides of the Atlantic.