Tag Archives: Jerusalem 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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When people think of chamber music, they sometimes assume that it was all written long, long ago in France, Italy, or Germany. But that simply isn’t true. Chamber music has been around in various forms since the 1600s – and is still being created today. And it has been and still is written in many locations around the world.

Born in 1906, Shostakovich was a Soviet Russian composer and pianist. Shostakovich was a child prodigy, playing the piano since the age of 9, displaying an amazing talent to be able to recall what he had heard played previously, and composing by the age of 12. At 13, he entered the Conservatory in Saint Petersburg.

He started his career as both a pianist and a composer. Along with concerts and competitions, he played piano in a movie house to earn money to pay his way in life. In his early 20s, he shifted more to composition. Over the course of the next 48 years of his life he composed quite a variety of classical work including 15 symphonies, 15 string quartets, 2 piano trios, numerous preludes and fugues, 3 operas, and the list goes on.

Shostakovich received awards, praise, and disfavour from the government over the course of his career. Early on he had a favourable relationship with the government. However, in 1936 he fell out of favour with Stalin. Bad reviews followed, and his income dropped. Those who had supported him publicly distanced themselves from him. During the Great Purge (1936-1939), Shostakovich lost many friends and family members. Difficulties continued off and on for Shostakovich until Stalin’s death in 1953. Throughout it all though, he continued to compose and, as many artists do, he allowed those trials to shape his wonderful work.

In 2013 we heard the Jerusalem Quartet perform Shostakovich’s Quartet No. 11 in F Minor, Op. 122 and the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields Chamber Ensemble perform Prelude and Scherzo for String Octet, Op. 11, one of 2 pieces that Shostakovich wrote for string octets.  The St. Petersburg Quartet treated us to Quartet No. 8 in October 2014.

We will hear Shostakovich twice on our stage this coming season.  The Carducci Quartet will perform Quartet No. 4 in D Major, Op. 83 on November 16, 2017 and the Schumann Quartet bring us Quartet No. 7 in F-sharp Minor, Op. 108 on April 12, 2018.

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Jerusalem Quartet

The Jerusalem Quartet will open our 2013-2014 season on Thursday, October 3rd! They performed for MTO in 2011, making their Toronto debut.

Founded back in 1993, they quickly became an award winning quartet. As early as 1996, they were awarded first prize by the Jerusalem Academy. In the years that have followed they have received several awards and many accolades including most recently being nominated for Gramophone Artist of the Year 2013. It is not hard to understand why once you have heard them play. If you haven’t had the pleasure of listening to the Jerusalem Quartet before, you can find some clips on their YouTube channel. http://www.youtube.com/user/jerusalemquartet

This talented quartet features Alexander Pavlovsky (first violin), Sergei Bresler (second violin), Ori Kam (viola), and Kyril Ziotnikov (cello). Individually they are each accomplished soloists, having played with several internationally acclaimed orchestras. They have taught students around the world and recorded numerous CDs, individually and as a quartet. When you add to all of this the very busy world wide touring performance schedule of the quartet, you can only be amazed and wonder if they ever sleep!

You can read a bit more about the quartet and its members by visiting their website at http://www.jerusalem-quartet.com/index.php/about

Their program for October 3rd includes Mozart, Shostakovich, and Dvorak. Full details can be found here http://www.music-toronto.com/quartets/jerusalem.htm

Come and join us for an amazing opening night!

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