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Carnegie Hall Presents

Pacifica Quartet

Saturday, June 18, 2022 8 PM Weill Recital Hall
Pacifica Quartet by Lisa-Marie Mazzucco
The Grammy Award–winning Pacifica Quartet’s command of a vast range of repertoire and impeccable technique makes it a preeminent string ensemble. The quartet members have performed and recorded music that spans Mozart to the leading composers of our day, including Jennifer Higdon and Ellen Taaffe Zwilich. Experience their superb musicianship to hear why The Telegraph called them “nothing short of phenomenal.” 

Performers

Pacifica Quartet
·· Simin Ganatra, Violin
·· Austin Hartman, Violin
·· Mark Holloway, Viola
·· Brandon Vamos, Cello
Karen Slack, Soprano

Program

PROKOFIEV String Quartet No. 2 in F Major, Op. 92

JAMES LEE III A Double Standard (NY Premiere, co-commissioned by Carnegie Hall)

BEETHOVEN String Quartet in C Major, Op. 59, No. 3, "Razumovsky"

Event Duration

The printed program will last approximately 90 minutes, including one 20-minute intermission.

At a Glance

PROKOFIEV  String Quartet No. 2 in F Major, Op. 92

Prokofiev cultivated a sharply etched, ironic, and occasionally acerbic style that propelled him to the forefront of the modernist movement in the years before and during World War I. Yet in his lyrical moments, he was equally capable of childlike simplicity and directness. The combination of traditional and avant-garde elements helps explain the enduring appeal of his music. The String Quartet No. 2 incorporates folk songs and dances from the Caucasus region, where Prokofiev took refuge during World War II.

 

JAMES LEE III  A Double Standard

James Lee III’s new work for soprano and string quartet takes its title from a poem by the pioneering 19th-century suffragist, abolitionist, and social reformer Frances Ellen Watkins Harper. In a famous address to the 1866 National Woman’s Rights Convention in New York, Harper called on white suffragists to embrace the cause of Black women. According to Lee, the work “displays [Harper’s] pain and frustration of the biases against women and the 19th-century mindset of sex, gender, and societal roles.”

 

BEETHOVEN  String Quartet in C Major, Op. 59, No. 3, “Razumovsky”

The three great quartets that Beethoven composed in 1806 for the Russian Count Andrey Razumovsky marked a turning point both in his stylistic development and in the evolution of the string quartet. They exerted a seminal influence on R. Schumann, Felix Mendelssohn, Brahms, and many other composers. The C-Major Quartet holds listeners on the edges of their seats from its darkly mysterious choral introduction to its sparkling fugal finale.

Bios

Pacifica Quartet

Simin Ganatra, Violin | Austin Hartman, Violin
Mark Holloway, Viola | Brandon Vamos, Cello

With a career spanning nearly three decades, the Grammy Award–winning Pacifica Quartet has ...

Simin Ganatra, Violin | Austin Hartman, Violin
Mark Holloway, Viola | Brandon Vamos, Cello

With a career spanning nearly three decades, the Grammy Award–winning Pacifica Quartet has achieved international recognition as one of the finest chamber ensembles performing today. The quartet is known for its virtuosity, exuberant performance style, and often-daring repertory choices. Having served as quartet-in-residence at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music for the past decade, it also leads the Center for Advanced Quartet Studies at the Aspen Music Festival and School, and was previously the quartet-in-residence at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. In 2021, the Pacifica Quartet received a second Grammy Award for Contemporary Voices, an exploration of music by three Pulitzer Prize–winning composers, Shulamit Ran, Jennifer Higdon, and Ellen Taaffe Zwilich.

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 the appointment to Lincoln Center’s The Bowers Program, and in 2006 was awarded the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant. With its powerful energy and captivating, cohesive sound, the Pacifica Quartet has established itself as the embodiment of the senior American quartet sound. 

Following the COVID-19 pandemic, the Pacifica Quartet is prioritizing collaboration with its esteemed group of friends and colleagues in addition to continuing to perform extensively from the quartet repertoire. Upcoming performances and recordings include projects with clarinetist Anthony McGill, guitarist Sharon Isbin, and pianist Marc-André Hamelin.

The members of the Pacifica Quartet live in Bloomington, Indiana, where they serve as quartet-in-residence and full-time faculty members at Indiana University. Prior to their appointment, the members of the quartet were on the faculty of the University of Illinois at Champaign Urbana from 2003 to 2012, and also served as resident performing artist at the University of Chicago for 17 years.

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Karen Slack

Hailed for possessing a voice of extraordinary beauty, a seamless legato, and great dramatic depth, American soprano Karen Slack has appeared with the Metropolitan Opera (where she made her  ...

Hailed for possessing a voice of extraordinary beauty, a seamless legato, and great dramatic depth, American soprano Karen Slack has appeared with the Metropolitan Opera (where she made her debut in the title role of Verdi’s Luisa Miller), Lyric Opera of Chicago, Washington National Opera, and San Francisco Opera. In recent seasons, she has appeared as Alice Ford (Falstaff), Leonora (Il Trovatore), and Tosca with Arizona Opera; Aïda at Austin Opera; Emelda Griffith (Champion) with New Orleans Opera; Donna Anna (Don Giovanni) with Nashville Opera; Violetta (La Traviata) with Sacramento Philharmonic and Opera and Sister Rose (Dead Man Walking) with both Minnesota Opera and Vancouver Opera; and as Anna (Le villi) in her debut with the Scottish Opera. In addition, Ms. Slack portrayed a featured role as the Opera Diva in Tyler Perry’s movie and soundtrack For Colored Girls.

Recent performances include Tosca with Opera Birmingham, Addie Parker (Yardbird) with Arizona Opera, Sister Rose with The Atlanta Opera, Serena (Porgy and Bess) with Fort Worth Opera, and her debut with Opera Theatre of Saint Louis as Billie (Fire Shut Up in My Bones). In concert, she was a soloist in the world premiere of Hannibal Lokumbe’s Healing Tones with The Philadelphia Orchestra and conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin and in Wagner’s Wesendonck Lieder with the Union Symphony Orchestra.

Other concert performances include Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, G. Mahler’s Second Symphony, and Verdi’s Requiem with orchestras throughout the US. Abroad she has appeared with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, and most recently, with the St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra in celebration of the 80th birthday of Yuri Temirkanov. She made her Carnegie Hall debut as Agnes Sorel in Tchaikovsky’s Maid of Orleans with Orchestra of St. Luke’s.

A graduate of the Adler Fellowship and Merola Opera Program at the San Francisco Opera, the native Philadelphian is also a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music. She is a winner of numerous competitions and awards, most notably the Montserrat Caballé International Competition and the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions.

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