"Everything played phenomenally with an intense expression profound and very immense technical maturity. "Stretto, 02-11-2018
The Calidore Quartet present their first disc on Signum Records – a collection of quartets by Janáček, Prokofiev, Golijov and Mendelssohn. The pieces were the products of four compelling personal narratives: an escape from the NAZI eastern offensive in WWII, a life caught in the crosshairs of a surge of violence in the Middle East, the sudden death of one’s closest friend and the struggle of being trapped in a loveless marriage. Felix Mendelssohn and Leoš Janáček turned to their art to find an outlet for their personal grief while Sergei Prokofiev and Osvaldo Golijov used their compositions to make sense of a world that was turned upside down by violent conflict.
Because of and despite these origins the works are imbued with emotional potency, and the quartet hope that that these works can provide “a message of hope because they illuminate the human potential to create beauty even in the darkest of circumstances.”
The Calidore String Quartet’s “deep reserves of virtuosity and irrepressible dramatic instinct” (New York Times) and “balance of intellect and expression” (Los Angeles Times) has won them accolades across the globe and firmly established them as one of the finest chamber music ensembles performing today.
Performances of the Calidore String Quartet are renowned for their “deep reserves of virtuosity and irrepressible dramatic instinct” (New York Times). Their unique “balance of intellect and expression” (Los Angeles Times) is complemented by the feeling that “four more individual musicians are unimaginable, yet these speak, breathe, think and feel as one” (Washington Post). After over a decade of performances and residencies in the world’s most esteemed venues and festivals, the release of numerous critically acclaimed recordings and lauded with significant awards, the Calidore String Quartet is recognized as one of the world’s foremost interpreters of a vast repertory; from the cycles of quartets by Beethoven and Mendelssohn to works of celebrated contemporary voices like Grygory Kurtag, Jörg Widmann and Caroline Shaw.
In their most ambitious recording project to date, the Calidore are amidst recording the complete cycle of Beethoven’s String Quartets for Signum Records. The recording will involve multiple releases beginning in March 2023. The 22-23 season includes debuts in the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Prague, Madrid, Vancouver and Key West. Their concert activities also see returns to Wigmore Hall, Kennedy Center, Copenhagen, Florence, Montreal, St. Paul, Houston and Los Angeles. In September 2022, the Calidore performs at Carnegie Hall with violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter, in a memorial concert honoring the late composer Andre Previn. They also enjoy collaborations this season with the Emerson Quartet, clarinetist Anthony McGill, bassist Xavier Foley, violist Matthew Lipman, harpist Bridget Kibbey and pianists Ivo Kahanek and Sophiko Simisive.
Recipient of a 2018 Avery Fisher Career Grant and a 2017 Lincoln Center Emerging Artist Award, the Calidore String Quartet first made international headlines as winner of the $100,000 Grand Prize of the 2016 M-Prize International Chamber Music Competition. The quartet was the first and only North American ensemble to win the Borletti-Buitoni Trust Fellowship, was a BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artist, and is currently in residence with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center.
Highlights of recent seasons have included performances in major venues throughout North America, Europe, and Asia including Carnegie Hall, Wigmore Hall, the Kennedy Center, Konzerthaus Berlin, Brussels’s BOZAR, Cologne Philharmonie, Seoul’s Kumho Art Hall, and at significant festivals including the BBC Proms, Verbier, Ravinia, Mostly Mozart, Music@Menlo, Rheingau, East Neuk, and Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.
The Calidore has given world premieres of works by Caroline Shaw, Hannah Lash and Mark-Anthony Turnage among others. Its collaborations with esteemed artists and ensembles include Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Marc-André Hamelin, Joshua Bell, David Shifrin, Inon Barnatan, Lawrence Power, Sharon Isbin, David Finckel and Wu Han. The Calidore has collaborated and studied closely with the Emerson Quartet and Quatuor Ébène, and has also studied with Andre Roy, Arnold Steinhardt, Günter Pichler, Guillaume Sutre, Paul Coletti, and Ronald Leonard.
As a passionate supporter of music education, the Calidore String Quartet is committed to mentoring and educating young musicians, students, and audiences. In 2021 the Calidore joined the faculty of the University of Delaware School of Music and serve as directors of the newly established Graduate String Quartet Residency. Formerly, they served as artist-in-residence at the University of Toronto, University of Michigan and Stony Brook University.
The Calidore String Quartet was founded at the Colburn School in Los Angeles in 2010. Within two years, the quartet won grand prizes in virtually all the major US chamber music competitions, including the Fischoff, Coleman, Chesapeake, and Yellow Springs competitions, and it captured top prizes at the 2012 ARD International Music Competition in Munich and the International Chamber Music Competition Hamburg. An amalgamation of “California” and “doré” (French for “golden”), the ensemble’s name represents its reverence for the diversity of culture and the strong support it received from its original home: Los Angeles, California, the “golden state.”
Jeffrey Myers plays a violin by Francesco Rugeri c.1680, owned by a private benefactor on loan through the Leonhard Fellowship and plays a bow by Francois Tourte
Ryan Meehan plays a violin by Vincenzo Panormo c.1775 and a bow by Joseph Henry
Jeremy Berry plays a viola by Giovanni Battista Ceruti c.1811, owned by a private benefactor and a 1903 Umberto Muschietti viola. He plays a bow by Pierre Simon.
Estelle Choi plays a cello by Charles Jacquot c.1830
Jakob Ludwig Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy born and widely known as Felix Mendelssohn, was a German composer, pianist, organist and conductor of the early Romantic period.
Mendelssohn is often compared to Mozart. Both of them were child prodigies, both had a talented sister and they both died at a young age. Mendelssohn, who as a child also painted wrote poetry, was born in small family which converted to christianity from judaism. As a composer he preferred looking back, rather than forward: his main examples were Bach, Handel and Mozart. It was Mendelssohn who retrieved Bach from oblivion and pushed for a revival of his music, which still lasts today. One century after its premier, Mendelsson performed the St Matthew Passion for the second time ever, in 1829.
Three years, earlier, on his 17th, he had already composed his masterfully overture A midsummer night's dream op. 21, based on Shakespeare's play. Today, it is still considered as one of the absolute masterpieces in all of the orchestra reperoire. His Violin Concerto op. 64 belongs to the most beautiful works of the 19th century as well. During his travels through Europe, he wrote his brilliant Italian Symphony, Scottish Symphony and the overture The Hebrides.
Although Mendelssohn had a prosperous career, his weak physique made him emotionally vulnerable. The death of his favourite sister Fanny became fatal: Mendelssohn died in the same year, at the age of 38.
Everything played phenomenally with an intense expression profound and very immense technical maturity.