Tag Archives: Alcan Quartet

The end of a season!

Tonight we close out our 42nd season with The Parker Quartet and Kikuei Ikeda, violist.

Our 42nd year has been another great season filled with old friends and new faces. Long term MTO performers the Gryphon Trio, the St. Lawrence Quartet, and Marc-André Hamelin all played with their usual brilliance. The Jerusalem Quartet, Arnaldo Cohen, the Miró Quartet, Eve Egoyan, the Alcan Quartet, David Jalbert, and the Arditti Quartet all delighted us with amazing return performances. Cohen, the Miró, and Jalbert also gave delightful master classes for us – fun and informative for the students onstage and the audience attending.

We were able to bring an octet to our stage again for the first time in several years and enjoyed some pieces that we don’t often hear live with the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields Chamber Ensemble. Our vocal recital for the season brought us Phillip Addis and his lovely baritone voice. And previously seen as a accompanist on our stage, pianist Stephanie Chua gave us a fabulous contemporary classics concert! Making his Toronto and MTO debut, pianist Benjamin Grosvenor charmed us on stage with his talent and off stage with his grace and intelligence at a chat with some students. Also debuting on our stage was violinist (and new father) Alexandre Da Costa. Accompanied by Wonny Song, as a last minute replacement, Da Costa gave us a stunning performance.

Tonight we shall enjoy the Parker Quartet and Kikuei Ikeda. Tomorrow brings our last master class for the season with Ikeda. We look forward to bringing you more great music again in the fall. Join us for our 43rd season!

Thursday, October 9, 2014 – St. Petersburg Quartet
Thursday, October 23, 2014 – Belcea Quartet
Tuesday, October 28, 2014 – Janina Fialkowska
Thursday, November 20, 2014 – Daedalus Quartet
Tuesday, November 25, 2014 – Simon Trpceski
Thursday, December 11, 2014 – Trio D’Argento with Barbara Croall
Thursday, January 8, 2015 – Juilliard Quartet
Tuesday, January 20, 2015 – Barbara Pritchard
Thursday, January 29, 2015 – St. Lawrence String Quartet
Thursday, February 12, 2015 – Bertoli-Marleyn Duo
Tuesday, February 17, 2015 – Denes Varjon
Thursday, February 26, 2015 – Gryphon Trio
Tuesday, March 10, 2015 – Till Fellner
Thursday, March 19, 2015 – Elias Quartet
Thursday, March 26, 2015 – Elliot Madore
Thursday, April 16, 2015 – Lafayette Quartet


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Count Razumovsky

Back at the beginning of the season, we heard one of the Prussian string quartets from Mozart played by the Jerusalem Quartet. On January 30th, we will be treated to another one of the Prussian string quartets with the Alcan Quartet, Quartet in F Major, K. 590. These pieces were originally commissioned by the King of Prussia. (https://mtochambermusic.wordpress.com/2013/09/12/mozart-and-the-king-of-prussia/) On the 30th, we will also be treated to a piece from Beethoven that was commissioned by a Count. The String Quartet No. 8 in E minor, opus 59, no. 2 is one of three pieces written for Count Razumovsky.

Andrey Kirillovich Razumovsky was a Russian diplomat stationed in Vienna for many years. He was born in November of 1752 and married in 1788. His marriage was in Vienna to Countess Elisabeth Thun, sister to the wife of Prince Lichnowsky, a friend of Beethoven. Razumovsky was also the brother-in-law to Prince Joseph Lobkowitz, another of Beethoven’s main supporters. It is believed that Razumovsky met Beethoven fairly soon after Beethoven’s arrival in Vienna in 1792. This is the same year that Razumovsky was appointed as the diplomatic representative to the Habsburg court in Vienna. At this point, Razumovsky held the title of Count and eventually he would be elevated to Prince by Alexander I.

The Razumovsky quartets were commissioned and composed in 1806 and published in 1808. Each piece was to contain a Russian theme. In String Quartet No. 8 in E minor, opus 59, no. 2, Beethoven used a folk song called Slava in the fourth movement. Count Razumovsky was an amateur violin player, playing second violin at times with quartets. He was a patron of the arts, known for his art collection. In 1808, he established a house string quartet with Ignaz Schuppanzigh, Louis Sina, Franz Weiss, and Joseph Linke.

Patrons play a large part in classical music and we are grateful for all of them past, present, and future!

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The Alcan Quartet

The Alcan Quartet returns to our stage on January 30th. They were last here with us in 1998. On the 30th, they will bring us Quartet in F Major, K. 590 by Mozart, Quartet No. 1 Griko (2012) by Alessandro Annunziata (https://mtochambermusic.wordpress.com/2014/01/16/alessandro-annunziata/) and Quartet in E Minor, Op. 59, No. 2, Razumovsky by Beethoven.

The Alcan Quartet was formed in 1989. Its current members are Laura Andriani (violin), Nathalie Camus (violin), Luc Beauchemin (viola), and David Ellis (cello). All of the quartet members are also connected with the Orchestre symphonique du Saguenay Lac St-Jean in Chicoutimi, Québec. They are performed across Canada as well as in the United States, Europe, and Asia. About to celebrate their 25th season, the quartet will release the complete cycle of 16 Beethoven string quartets in 2014. Along with their many CDs and concert performances, they have also presented over 100 live radio broadcasts to date.

You can find out more about the quartet on their website at http://quatuoralcan.com/en

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Alessandro Annunziata

Alessandro Annunziata is an Italian composer, born in 1968. He has been involved with music for most of his life, having started playing and composing when he was quite young. Along with being a composer, Annunziata has also been a musicologist, journalist, teacher, and lecturer. To learn more about him, visit his website at http://www.alessandroannunziata.com/

A great influence on his artistic development was his connection with Dimitri Nicolau, a Greek composer who became an Italian citizen. In his piece entitled String Quartet No. 1, Griko, he draws on folk material from Salento, an area in southern Italy with a Greek history. Salento was once known as Messapia and inhabited by Messapii who came from Crete. The Griko dialect is still spoken by some residents of Apulia, a small region in Salento. On January 30th, we will hear the Alcan Quartet play String Quartet No. 1, Griko. Here’s a clip to wet your appetite! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5E8kugxJEcIc

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