Apollon Musagète Quartet
Pawel Zalejski, violin
Bartosz Zachlod, violin
Piotr Szumiel, viola
Piotr Skweres, cello
Sunday, February 25, 2018 | 7pm
Herbst TheatreVenue Information
SIBELIUS: Andante Festivo
MOZART: String Quartet in C Major, K. 465 “Dissonant”
GRIEG: String Quartet in G Major, Opus 27
OSVALDO FRESEDO: Tango Vida Mia
The Gift Concert is made possible through the generous support of George and Camilla Smith.
About This Performance
San Francisco Performances began the tradition of offering “Gift Concerts” to subscribers and donors back in the 1991–92 season. The first artist to perform on a Gift Concert that season was the late great pianist, Edward Aldwell. Every year since, we have offered a free performance to our family of concert goers and patrons, as a gesture of thanks for their continued participation and support, and as a means of introducing them to some extraordinary young artists.
This season, we welcome the accomplished and innovative young string quartet, Apollon Musagète, named for its mythical inspiration, the god Apollo.
Winner of first prize and several other awards at the International Music Competition of the ARD in 2008, the Apollon Musagète Quartet has rapidly become an established feature of the European musical scene, captivating public and press alike. The quartet studied with Johannes Meissl at the European Chamber Music Academy and was inspired by the musicians of the Alban Berg Quartet at the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna.
The quartet was nominated ECHO Rising Stars 2010, followed by highly successful performances at prestigious European venues. It was also named BBC New Generation Artist in 2012, leading to extensive touring in the UK and a number of recordings for the BBC. More recently, the Quartet was announced as recipient of the Borletti-Buitoni Trust Award in 2014.
Recent engagements have taken the quartet to the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, De Singel Antwerp, Festspielhaus Baden-Baden, Auditori Barcelona, Beijing, Konzerthaus and Philharmonie Berlin, Bozar Brussels, Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, Philharmonie Cologne, Gewandhaus Leipzig, Wigmore Hall London, Philharmonie Luxembourg, Milan, Munich, Carnegie Hall New York, Louvre Paris, Shanghai, Konserthuset Stockholm, Tokyo, Toronto, Vancouver, Warsaw, Washington, Vienna Konzerthaus and Musikverein as well as to the Tonhalle Zurich.
Highlights for the 2017–18 season include re-invitations to the Schubertiade in Hohenems, Music Toronto, West Cork Chamber Music Festival and to Wigmore Hall as well as appearances in Budapest, Festival de Notre-Dame de Vie in Mougins, Vevey and at La Folle Journée Warsaw. In February 2018 they go on an extensive USA-debut tour performing in locations such as Boston, Carnegie Hall New York, Salt Lake City and San Francisco. The quartet takes part of a production of the Berlin performance group Nico and the Navigators at the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg and Konzerthaus Berlin.
The Apollon Musagète Quartet collaborates with renowned artists in chamber music such as Martin Fröst, Per Arne Glorvigen, Angelika Kirchschlager, Gabriela Montero and Jörg Widmann. The quartet appeared in chamber music festivals including the Bach Festival Leipzig, Budapest Spring, Chopin Festival in Warsaw, Edinburgh International Festival, Esterhazy String Quartet Festival in Eisenstadt, Grafenegg Festival, Heidelberger Frühling, Kissinger Sommer, Musikfest Bremen, Musikfestspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Mozartfest Würzburg, Rheingau Music Festival, Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival as well as the Settimane Musicali di Ascona and Stresa. It has also appeared in several symphonic series with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Dresden Philharmonic, Philharmonic Orchestra Heidelberg and the Symphony Orchestra Vorarlberg.
An essential element of the Quartet’s work is its collaborations with living composers such as Konstantia Gourzi and Krzysztof Penderecki; in addition to the traditional repertoire for string quartet, the group has had a number of works dedicated, often on the theme of its mythical inspiration Apollo. Moreover, the quartet focuses on concert repertoire of the 20th & 21st century and recently recorded works by Panufnik and Palester.
Concert programs also include the quartet’s own compositions: Multitude for String Quartet and A Multitude of Shades; these collective compositions were also published by Doblinger, a traditional Viennese publishing company.
The ensemble’s debut CD was released in 2010 on Oehms Classics to great critical acclaim and received a number of awards. The quartet has also recorded works by Lutosławski, Penderecki and Górecki for Decca Classics, receiving glowing reviews from the press. Recently the quartet has released Russian Soul presenting works by Tchaikovsky, Prokofiev and Shostakovich with the label Oehms Classics in 2014. Their live recording of Beethoven and Weber as part of the BBC Proms in London was released in 2016 at the BBC Music Magazine CD.
Beyond their regular concert activities the quartet has participated in the CD Night of Hunters by the American pop singer Tori Amos on Deutsche Grammophon. The album was rewarded with the ECHO in 2012 and was followed by a joint tour through Europe and America.
Paweł Zalejski plays a violin by the Amati brothers from 1615 and Piotr Skweres plays a cello by Gennaro Gagliano dated 1741. The MERITO String Instruments Trust has kindly provided these instruments. Furthermore, the quartet thanks Thomastik Infeld for its generous support and the enterprise Stoffwerk for exclusive and custom-made concert clothes.