Pacifica Quartet

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

Friday, February 12, 2016
Herbst Theatre

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“The secret to the group’s success, it seems, is the utter lightness and transparency of its playing.”

—San Francisco Chronicle

“Ms. Ran’s craftsmanship is, as ever, expert.”

—The New York Times

Pacifica Quartet Play Mendelssohn
Quartet in E minor, Op. 44, No. 2, II. Scherzo: Allegro di molto


MOZART: Quartet in F Major, K. 590
SHULAMIT RAN: Glitter, Doom, Shards, Memory
MENDELSSOHN: Quartet in E minor, Op. 44, No. 2

Lento assai from String Quartet in F Major, Op. 135
(Dedicated to Ruth Felt)

About This Performance

Known for its thrilling virtuosity and daring repertory choices, the Pacifica Quartet returns with a program featuring Pulitzer Prizewinner Shulamit Ran’s acclaimed third string quartet. Written for these standard-bearers of the new American canon, Ran’s work is inspired by the deeply moving works of artist Felix Nussbaum (1904–1944), who died at Auschwitz.

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 that has otherwise been held only 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. And in 2009, the Quartet was named “Ensemble of the Year” by Musical America.

During the 2014–15 season, the Pacifica will record and perform the Brahms piano quintet with the legendary pianist Menahem Pressler, and will participate in weeklong residencies at the University of Iowa and at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. In addition, the Quartet will return twice to Europe for four weeks of performances.

An ardent advocate of contemporary music, the Pacifica Quartet commissions and performs many new works, including those by Keeril Makan 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 2014–15 seasons. The work—entitled Glitter, Doom, Shards, Memory—will have its New York debut as part of the Chamber Music Society at Lincoln Center series.

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

The Pacifica Quartet is endorsed by D’Addario and proudly uses their strings.