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Rolston String Quartet

Tuesday, December 11, 2018 7:30 PM Weill Recital Hall
Rolston String Quartet by Bo Huang
The First Prize Laureate of the 12th Banff International String Quartet Competition, the Rolston String Quartet has been cited for “maturity and cohesion rivaling the best string quartets in the world” (Musical Toronto). The Rolston String Quartet makes its Carnegie Hall debut in a program that features one of Mozart’s "Haydn" quartets, a brilliant work that was a Beethoven favorite, and noteworthy for the daring Andante variations and tightly constructed finale. The musicians also dive deeper into the Beethoven connection with one of his late quartets, and explore the adventurous harmonies and daring string writing of a youthful Ligeti work inspired by Bartók.


Rolston String Quartet
·· Luri Lee, Violin
·· Emily Kruspe, Violin
·· Hezekiah Leung, Viola
·· Jonathan Lo, Cello


MOZART String Quartet in A Major, K. 464

LIGETI String Quartet No. 1, "Métamorphoses nocturnes"

BEETHOVEN String Quartet in B-flat Major, Op. 130

Event Duration

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

Salon Encores

Get together with people who love music after this Weill Recital Hall concert for a free drink and discussion with the evening's musicians.
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Presented by Carnegie Hall in partnership with Chamber Music America's Cleveland Quartet Award.

Distinctive Debuts is supported by endowment gifts from The Lizabeth and Frank Newman Charitable Foundation and the Stavros Niarchos Foundation.

At a Glance

MOZART  String Quartet in A Major, K. 464

One of the six “Haydn” quartets dedicated to Mozart’s beloved mentor, the A-Major Quartet dates from January 1785, just before Haydn made his often-quoted remark to Leopold Mozart that his son was “the greatest composer known to me either in person or by name.” In his 29th year, Mozart was at the height of his powers as both composer and pianist. Later that year, he would commence work on Le nozze di Figaro, the first of his great operatic collaborations with Lorenzo Da Ponte.


LIGETI  String Quartet No. 1, “Métamorphoses nocturnes”

Insatiably curious and constitutionally incapable of falling into a rut, 20th-century Hungarian composer György Ligeti continually reinvented his musical language over the course of his long life. He once said that “all cultures, indeed the whole wide world is the material of art!” Early in his career, Ligeti concentrated on distilling his musical language to its essence, as illustrated by his first quartet, which unfolds organically from a basic four-note motif.


BEETHOVEN  String Quartet in B-flat Major, Op. 130

The Quartet in B-flat Major, Op. 130, is one of three quartets commissioned late in Beethoven’s life by his Russian patron Prince Nikolai Golitsyn, an enthusiastic amateur cellist. In its first incarnation, the six-movement work culminated in a resplendent display of contrapuntal fireworks. Upon 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.


Rolston String Quartet

The 2018 recipient (and first international recipient) of Chamber Music America’s prestigious Cleveland Quartet Award, Canada’s Rolston String Quartet continues to receive acclaim and recognition for its musical excellence. In 2016, the quartet won first prize at the 12th Banff ...

The 2018 recipient (and first international recipient) of Chamber Music America’s prestigious Cleveland Quartet Award, Canada’s Rolston String Quartet continues to receive acclaim and recognition for its musical excellence. In 2016, the quartet won first prize at the 12th Banff International String Quartet Competition (BISQC), and in the same year won the Astral National Auditions and the 31st Chamber Music in Yellow Springs Competition. The ensemble was also named among CBC Music’s “30 Hot Canadian Classical Musicians Under 30” in 2016.

Immediately following its Banff win, the Rolston String Quartet embarked on the BISQC winner’s tour to Germany, Italy, Austria, Canada, and the United States. In the 2017–2018 season, the quartet surpassed 100 concerts, including performances at the Smithsonian, Kennedy Center, Koerner Hall, and Esterházy Palace. Upcoming highlights in the 2018–2019 season include debut performances at Carnegie Hall, the Freer Gallery of Art, Wigmore Hall, and Chamber Music Houston; two major tours in Canada under the Prairie Debut and Debut Atlantic touring networks; and three European tours with dates in Leipzig, Berlin, Lucerne, Heidelberg, Barcelona, Graz, and other centers of music.

The Rolston String Quartet began its two-year appointment as Yale School of Music’s fellowship quartet-in-residence in the fall of 2017. It has also served as graduate quartet-in-residence at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music, and participated in residencies and fellowships at the Académie musicale de Villecroze, Aspen Music Festival, McGill International String Quartet Academy, Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, Robert Mann String Quartet Institute,
St. Lawrence String Quartet Seminar, and Yehudi Menuhin Seminar and Festival for Chamber Music.

The Rolston String Quartet was formed in the summer of 2013 at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity’s Chamber Music Residency. The quartet takes its name from Canadian violinist Thomas Rolston, the late founder and director of the music and sound programs at the Banff Centre.

Luri Lee plays a Carlo Tononi violin, generously on loan from Shauna Rolston Shaw.
Emily Kruspe plays a 1900 Stefano Scarampella violin, generously on loan from the Canada Council for the Arts Musical Instrument Bank. The Rolston String Quartet is endorsed by Jargar Strings of Denmark.

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