Monday, August 3, 2009

Welcome JACK

As noted below, the Center's 2009-10 season features visits by a tempting array of topnotch ensembles. On October 14, the NYC-based JACK Quartet will perform as part of the Center's Wednesday Composer Series, reading a selection of works by students in UB's composition program.

Lucky students! JACK - the name is an acronym derived from the first initials of its members, John Pickford Richards (viola), Ari Streisfeld (violin), Christopher Otto (violin), and Kevin McFarland (cello) - is rapidly gaining notice for high-energy performances of today's most demanding works for string quartet. The New York Times called the quartet's performance of Iannis Xenakis' complete string quartets one of the "most memorable classical music presentations of 2008," and in 2009, the group received an ASCAP/Chamber Music America Award for Adventurous Programming of Contemporary Music.

Commissioning and performing new works for string quartet is central to the group's mission, leading them to work closely with composers Helmut Lachenmann (who'll be visiting the Center in April), György Kurtág, Matthias Pintscher, Wolfgang Rihm, Elliott Sharp, Samuel Adler, and Aaron Cassidy. Upcoming premieres include works by Caleb Burhans, Peter Ablinger, and Alan Hilario.

Here's a clip of JACK playing the opening movement of New York composer Christian Amigo's String Quartet No. 1.

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