Sunday, Feb. 17, 2:30 p.m., Chamber Music Sedona will present the widely acclaimed Escher String Quartet in concert at the Sedona Performing Arts Center.
Consisting of violinists Adam Barnett-Hart and Danbi Um, violist Pierre Lapointe and cellist Brook Speltz, the Escher String Quartet has been hailed as one of the leading ensembles of their generation and frequently performs on prestigious stages worldwide.
The group will perform three of the most beloved works in the repertoire by Mozart, Dvorak (the popular “American quartet), and Samuel Barber, which includes Barber’s iconic “Adagio for Strings” in its original version.
The Escher String Quartet was formed in 2005 and quickly earned the attention of some of the world’s preeminent musicians, including Pinchas Zukerman and Itzhak Perlman. In the years since, the ensemble has collaborated with numerous leading artists and has performed at venues such as Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Berlin Konzerthaus, London’s Kings Place, Tel Aviv Museum of Art and Auditorium du Louvre.
Praised for its expressive performances that combine profound textural clarity with a rich, blended sound, the Escher String Quartet is a former BBC New Generation Artist and currently serves as Season Artists of The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center.
In 2013, the quartet received the coveted Avery Fisher Career Grant -- a rare accomplishment for a chamber ensemble. The Escher String Quartet has also released several recordings; its rendition of the complete Mendelssohn Quartets received the highest critical acclaim, including a nomination for a BBC Music Magazine Award.
Bringing its internationally recognized talent to Sedona audiences, the Escher String Quartet will perform a mesmerizing program of famed works by Mozart, Dvorak and Barber.
Mozart composed his String Quartet in F Major, K. 590 just a year before his death in 1791. A stunning example of Mozart’s melodic beauty and eloquence, the F Major Quartet has drawn widespread praise from audiences and critics, including Albert Einstein, over the centuries.
Dvorak composed his Opus 96 String Quartet- nicknamed “American”— in rural Iowa in 1893. Having achieved international recognition as one of his generation’s most distinguished composers, Dvorak (a Czech native) was invited to serve as Artistic Director for New York City’s National Conservatory in hopes that he would help American musicians develop their own national style. Inspired by the idyllic Midwestern landscape in which it was composed, the “American” Quartet is among the most admired of Dvorak’s repertoire.
American composer Samuel Barber wrote his sole String Quartet in 1936, but it was the work’s mesmerizing and heartbreaking second movement that became a true sensation, later to be known in it’s orchestral version as simply, “Adagio for Strings.” Since it was played alongside the radio announcement of President Franklin Roosevelt’s death in 1945, Adagio for Strings has been considered one of the most important works of American classical music. For decades, its emotional intensity has evoked profound reactions in listeners.
General admission tickets for the Escher String Quartet concert are $40 for adults and $15 for students aged 13-21 (with ID). Admission is free for children 12 and under. Visit chambermusicsedona.org/the-escher-string-quartet/ to learn more about the Escher String Quartet and to purchase tickets.