Thursday, October 7, 2021 | 7:30pm
Herbst TheatreVenue InformationSan Francisco
About This Performance
The Catalyst Quartet has a bold and compelling mission: “We believe in the unity that can be achieved through music and imagine our programs and projects with this in mind.” The New York Times summed up their artistry: “beautiful to watch, like a family in lively conversation at the dinner table: anticipating, interrupting, changing subjects.” Pianist Stewart Goodyear is a perfect match for the Catalyst, “one of the best pianists of his generation” (Philadelphia Inquirer).
GEORGE WALKER: String Quartet No. 1 “Lyric”
SAMUEL COLERIDGE TAYLOR: Five Fantasiestücke for String Quartet and Piano Quintet in G minor, Op. 1
Hailed by the New York Times as “invariably energetic and finely burnished…playing with earthy vigor,” the Grammy Award-winning Catalyst Quartet celebrated the 10th Anniversary of its founding by the Sphinx Organization. They have toured widely throughout the United States and abroad, including sold-out performances at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., at Chicago’s Harris Theater, Miami’s New World Center, and Stern Auditorium at Carnegie Hall. The Quartet has been guest artists with the Cincinnati Symphony, New Haven Symphony, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, and the Orquesta Filarmónica de Bogotá, and has served as principal players and featured ensemble with the Sphinx Virtuosi on six national tours. They have performed at prominent music festivals ranging from Mainly Mozart to the Sitka Music Festival and Juneau Jazz and Classics; the Grand Canyon Music Festival, where they appear annually; and the Vail Dance Festival. In 2014 they opened the Festival del Sole in Napa, California with Joshua Bell and participated in England’s Aldeburgh Music Foundation String Quartet Residency.
International engagements have brought them to Russia, South Korea, Mexico, Argentina, Colombia, and Puerto Rico. Residents of New York City, the ensemble has performed at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, City Center, Columbia University’s Miller Theatre, Schneider Concerts, and Lincoln Center including six concerts with Cécile McLorin Salvant. The subsequent recording won the 2018 Grammy Award for Best Jazz Vocal Album. Catalyst Quartet launched its own New York series CQ@Howl in 2018.
Recent collaborations include (im)igration, with the Imani Winds, CQ Minute, 10 miniature string quartets commissioned for their anniversary. And the premiere of the still, small voice with the Harlem Quartet. UNCOVERED, a multi-CD series of recordings for Azica Records celebrates beautifully crafted works by composers overlooked and sidelined because of their race or gender. Volume 1, released in February 2021 with Anthony McGill and Stewart Goodyear, includes the string quartet and quintets of Samuel Coleridge-Taylor. Forthcoming releases will feature music of Florence Price, Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson, William Grant Still and George Walker, among others.
Catalyst Quartet’s other recordings include: The Bach/Gould Project, featuring the Quartet’s arrangement of J.S. Bach’s Goldberg Variations paired with Glenn Gould’s String Quartet Opus 1; Strum, music of Jessie Montgomery; Bandoneon y cuerdas: tango-inspired music for string quartet and bandoneon by JP Jofre; and Dreams and Daggers with Cecile McLorin Salvant.
Catalyst Quartet combines a serious commitment to diversity and education with a passion for contemporary works. They serve as principal faculty at the Sphinx Performance Academy at The Cleveland Institute of Music and Curtis Institute of Music. Past residencies have included concerts at the University of Michigan, University of Washington, Rice University, Houston’s Society for the Performing Arts, The Virginia Arts Festival, the In Harmony Project in England, The University of South Africa, and The Teatro De Bellas Artes in Cali, Colombia. Their residency in Havana, Cuba in January 2019, was the first by an American string quartet since the revolution.
Catalyst Quartet is a Sphinx ensemble and proudly endorses Pirastro strings.
Proclaimed “a phenomenon” by the Los Angeles Times and “one of the best pianists of his generation” by the Philadelphia Inquirer, Stewart Goodyear is an accomplished concert pianist, improviser, and composer. Mr. Goodyear has performed with, and has been commissioned by, many of the major orchestras and chamber music organizations around the world.
Last year, Orchid Classics released Mr. Goodyear’s recording of his suite for piano and orchestra, Callaloo and his piano sonata. His recent commissions include a piano quintet for the Penderecki String Quartet, and a piano work for the Honens Piano Competition.
Mr. Goodyear’s discography includes the complete sonatas and piano concertos of Beethoven, as well as concertos by Tchaikovsky, Grieg and Rachmaninov, an album of Ravel piano works, and an album, entitled For Glenn Gould, which combines repertoire from Mr. Gould’s U.S. and Montreal debuts. His Rachmaninoff recording received a Juno nomination for Best Classical Album for Soloist and Large Ensemble Accompaniment. Mr. Goodyear’s recording of his own transcription of Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker (Complete Ballet), was chosen by The New York Times as one of the best classical music recordings of 2015. His most recent recording, entitled Phoenix, will be released in the fall in 2021, and includes works by himself, Higdon, Anthony Davis, Debussy and Mussorgsky. His discography is released on the Marquis Classics, Orchid Classics, Steinway and Sons, and Bright Shiny Things labels.