Tag Archives: Shostakovich

Carducci Quartet

After a cancellation by another quartet, we were fortunate enough to secure the Carducci Quartet with fairly short notice to perform on November 16, 2017.  This will be their Toronto debut. The performance will include Beethoven – Quartet No. 11 in F Minor, Op.95, Serioso; Shostakovich – Quartet No. 4 in D Major, Op. 83; and Debussy – Quartet in G Minor, Op. 10.

2017 marks the 20th anniversary for Britain’s brilliant Anglo-Irish quartet.  The Carducci Quartet members are Matthew Denton (violin), Michelle Fleming (violin), Eoin Schmidt-Martin (viola), and Emma Denton (cello). Award winning in several areas, they received the 2016 Royal Philharmonic Society Chamber Music Award for their Shostakovich15 project, in which they commemorated 40 years since the composer’s death by performing all of Shostakovich’s string quartets in 2015. Check out their blog about the project http://shostakovich15.blogspot.ca/

As you would expect, they perform around the globe and record. They actually have their own recording label, Carducci Classics. Sharing their knowledge is also important to the quartet.  They set up the Carducci Music Trust in 2009 to help fund their work with schools and at their annual Festival at Highnam.

You can read more about the Carducci Quartet and all of their endeavours on their website http://www.carducciquartet.com/ and hear them live in Toronto on November 16, 2017. http://music-toronto.com/index.html


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Artemis Quartett

On April 14, 2016 we will close our 44th season with the Toronto debut performance of the renowned Artemis Quartett. We have tried to bring them in the past but scheduling conflicts have meant we were unable to have them as part of our series until now.

Currently comprised of Vineta Sareika (violin), Anthea Kreston (violin), Gregor Sigl (viola), and Eckart Runge (cello), the quartet was originally formed in 1989 by four students at the Musikhochschule in Lübeck and has seen a few changes in personnel over the years. Eckart Runge is the remaining founding member.

All four of the performers teach at University of the Arts Berlin and Chapelle Musicale Reine Elisabeth in Brussels. As with many prominent string quartets, they maintain a busy schedule of performances in addition to teaching. And somehow managed to squeeze in time to record and release 18 CDs in the past 10 years with Virgin Classics/EMI.

To read more about the quartet or to listen to some excerpts, visit their website at http://artemisquartett.de/

To hear them live, join us on April 14th for some Wolf, Shostakovich, and Beethoven with the Artemis Quartett! http://music-toronto.com/

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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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