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Pacifica Quartet & Marc-André Hamelin

Pacifica Quartet

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Simin Ganatra, violin
Sibbi Bernhardsson, violin
Masumi Per Rostad, viola
Brandon Vamos, cello

Monday, November 11, 2013
7:30pm
SFJAZZ Center
$75/$65/$38

Support this performance as a Concert Partner, call 415.677.0326.

Note: Mr. Hamelin also performs in a solo piano recital January 31 and with Anthony Marwood & Martin Fröst on April 28, See Piano and Virtuosi Series for details.

Pacifica Quartet—Mendelssohn Quartet in D Major, Op. 44 No. 1;
I. Molto Allegro vivace

Program

SHOSTAKOVICH: Quartet No. 7
ORNSTEIN: Piano Quintet
DVOŘÁK: Piano Quintet in A Major, Opus 81

About This Performance

The Grammy Award-winning Pacifica Quartet’s reputation for ambitious and daring repertory choices is closely matched by its superb technical mastery and the palpable joy of music that comes across in live performance. As the Los Angeles Times aptly puts it, “The Pacifica Quartet likes to think big.” The magnetic Marc-André Hamelin is their perfect partner in a program that pairs two great piano quintets; the rarely performed Ornstein and the beloved Dvořák.

Artist Biography

Recognized for its virtuosity, exuberant performance style, and often-daring repertory choices, over the past two decades the Pacifica Quartet has gained international stature as one of the finest chamber ensembles performing today. The Pacifica tours extensively throughout the United States, Europe, Asia, and Australia, performing 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 String Quartet—and received the 2009 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 the appointment to Lincoln Center’s CMS Two, and in 2006 was awarded a prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant, becoming only the second chamber ensemble so honored in the Grant’s long history. Also in 2006 the Quartet was featured on the cover of Gramophone and heralded as one of “five new quartets you should know about,” the only American quartet to make the list. And in 2009, the Quartet was named “Ensemble of the Year” by Musical America. The Pacifica Quartet has carved a niche for itself as the preeminent interpreter of string quartet cycles, harnessing the group’s singular focus and incredible stamina to portray each composer’s evolution, often over the course of just a few days. Having given highly acclaimed performances of the complete Carter cycle in San Francisco, New York, Chicago, and Houston; the Mendelssohn cycle in Napa, Australia, New York, and Pittsburgh; and the Beethoven cycle in New York, Denver, St. Paul, Chicago, Napa, and Tokyo (in an unprecedented presentation of five concerts in three days at Suntory Hall), the Quartet presented the monumental Shostakovich cycle in Chicago and New York during the 2010–2011 season and in Montreal and at London’s Wigmore Hall in the 2011–2012 season. The Quartet has been widely praised for these cycles, with critics calling the concerts “brilliant,” “astonishing,” “gripping,” and “breathtaking.” An ardent advocate of contemporary music, the Pacifica Quartet commissions and performs many new works, including those by Keeril Makan, in partnership with the Celebrity Series of Boston and the Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival, during the 2012–13 season, and Shulamit Ran, in partnership with the Music Accord consortium, London’s Wigmore Hall, and Tokyo’s Suntory Hall, during the 2013–14 and 2014–15 seasons. In 2008 the Quartet released its Grammy Award-winning recording of Carter’s quartets Nos. 1 and 5 on the Naxos label; the 2009 release of quartets Nos. 2, 3, and 4 completed the two-CD set. In 2012 Cedille Records released the second of three volumes comprising the entire Shostakovich cycle, along with other contemporary Soviet works, to rave reviews: “The playing is nothing short of phenomenal.” (Daily Telegraph, London)

Pianist Marc-André Hamelin’s unique blend of musicianship and virtuosity brings forth interpretations remarkable for their freedom, originality, and prodigious mastery of the piano’s resources.  A musician of broad musical interests and curiosity, Hamelin is renowned in equal measure for his fresh readings of the established repertoire and for his exploration of lesser known works of the 19th and 20th century, both in the recording studio and in the concert hall.

This season Mr. Hamelin performs Haydn piano concerti with Les Violons du Roy and Bernard Labadie in a performance that will be recorded for release on Hyperion Records. He also performs Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 4 with the Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich and David Zinman, with the Atlanta Symphony and Hugh Wolff, and with the National Arts Centre in Ottawa and Ainars Rubikis. He joins the National Philharmonic of Russia and Dmitry Vasiliev for concerti by Rubinstein and Medtner and appears with the San Francisco Symphony with David Robertson in the Ravel Left Hand Piano Concerto and Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, as well as the Columbus Symphony and Manitoba Chamber Orchestra.

Mr. Hamelin tours the Shostakovich Piano Quintet with the Takacs String Quartet to Great Performers at Lincoln Center, Royal Conservatory of Music—Toronto, the Library of Congress, Celebrity Series of Boston, San Francisco Performances, the Pittsburgh and Philadelphia Chamber Music Societies, and the University of Florida.

He will appear in recital at the 92nd Street Y for the New York premiere of his *Variations on a Theme by Paganini,( and is presented in recital by the Chicago Symphony. Other recital engagements include Baltimore’s Shriver Hall, Detroit Chamber Music Society, Music Toronto, Vancouver Recital Society, Edmonton Chamber Music Society, Portland Ovations (Maine) and Portland Piano (Oregon), Wigmore Hall, Berlin Piano Festival, and in Libson, Munich, Stuttgart, Moscow, and Antwerp.

During the summer of 2012 Mr. Hamelin appeared at the Ojai Music Festival, opened the Aspen Music Festival season with Robert Spano leading the orchestra in Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue and returned in recital.  He joined the Seattle Chamber Music Society, the International Keyboard Festival, a recital and Mozart concerto the the Sao Paolo Symphony, recitals for the Montreal Symphony as part of their day long music marathon, Festival International de Piano La Roque d’Athéron in Aix-en-Provence, and the Helsingborg Piano Festival. In coordination with serving on the jury of the Edvard Grieg Piano Competition, he performed a recital at Grieg’s home, Troldhaugen.

In 2011–2012, Hamelin opened the season at the BBC Proms with a late night recital of Liszt works and with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales performing Rachmaninov’s Rhapsody on a Theme by Paginini. He debuted with Berliner Philharmoniker in performances of Szymanowski’s Symphony No. 4, and appeared with the Basel Symphony Orchestra, the Danish Radio Orchestra and the Helsingborg Symphony. In North America, he performed with the symphony orchestras of Chicago, Montreal, Quebec and Seattle; he also performs the epic Busoni Piano Concerto throughout the season, in dates with the Rundfunk Sinfonie Orchester Berlin, the Orchestra Symphonique de Trois-Rivieres, and the New Jersey Symphony and Jacques Lacombe at Carnegie Hall for the Spring for Music Festival.

He also performed in recital throughout North America and internationally at London’s Wigmore Hall and at the Lucerne Piano Festival, and in Denmark, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Russia and Sweden. Hamelin returned to Asia for appearances with the Singapore Symphony and Hong Kong Philharmonic, and recitals in Hong Kong and Seoul.

In recent seasons, Hamelin has performed with orchestra and in solo recital at New York City’s Lincoln Center; in recital and in chamber music on the various stages of Carnegie Hall; and on an international tour of the Schumann Piano Quintet with the Takács Quartet. The Pro Musica Society of Montreal paid tribute to Hamelin with a six-concert series, The Art of Marc-André Hamelin.

Marc-André Hamelin records exclusively for Hyperion Records. His most recent releases include Reger and Strauss concerti with the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, and a solo disc of works by Liszt that was selected by Bryce Morrison for Gramophone’s 2011 “Critic’s Choice” feature.  An album of his own compositions, Hamelin: Ètudes, received a 2010 Grammy nomination (his ninth) and a first prize from the German Record Critic’s Association; the works are published by Edition Peters. His complete Hyperion discography includes concertos and works for solo piano by composers such as Alkan, Busoni, Godowsky, and Medtner, as well as brilliantly received performances of Brahms, Chopin, Haydn, Liszt and Schumann.  

A resident of Boston, Marc-André Hamelin is the recipient of a lifetime achievement prize by the German Record Critic’s Association, and is an Officer of the Order of Canada, a Chevalier de l’Ordre du Québec, and a member of the Royal Society of Canada.

Links/Downloads

Artist Links Download Program Notes*

*To view the program notes, you need Adobe Acrobat Reader (available as a free download from Adobe).