Tag Archives: St. Lawrence String Quartet

Our 46th season!

On February 16, 2017 we announced our 46th season!

Season subscription for our 2017-2018 season are now on sale.  Existing subscribers – you should have received your renewal information in late February.  You have until May 31st to renew and keep your existing seats.  Contact the box office at 416-366-7723 if you have not received your renewal information.

Quatuor Mosaïques open our season and our string series on October 19th with their Toronto debut.  Celebrating their 30th season, they will perform Mozart and Haydn on their period instruments.

November 7th will be the opening of our piano series with Benjamin Grosvenor.  This will be Grosvenor’s 3rd recital for us and we look forward to his return.

Another Toronto debut!  The Škampa Quartet perform on November 16th.  This outstanding Czech string quartet has released 15 award-winning recordings and now is your chance to hear them live in Toronto.

Montreal pianist Philip Chiu makes his Toronto recital debut with us on November 28th.

Our annual Gryphon Trio concert will finish out the 2017 calendar year for us on December 7th.

We start 2018 with the Brentano Quartet and soprano Dawn Upshaw performing together on January 11th.

Stephen Hough returns to our stage on January 23rd for our first piano recital of 2018.  He will be playing a number of pieces by Debussy in honour of the 100th year anniversary of Debussy’s death.

The exuberant St. Lawrence Quartet return for their annual visit on February 1st.

Esteemed pianist, Alexei Lubimov will make his Toronto recital debut, at the age of 74, with our February 6th concert.

The Apollon Musagète Quartet return on February 22nd

The Penderecki Quartet join us on March 15th.  This 31 year old quartet has been the Quartet-in-Residence down the road in Waterloo at Wilfrid Laurier University for the past 20 years.

Hungarian pianist Dénes Várjon closes our Piano Series for the 2017-2018 season on March 27th.

And the final concert of our 46th season will be the Toronto debut of the award-winning Schumann Quartet on April 12th.

We look forward to having you join us!  For more information on the individual concerts, please visit our website here http://music-toronto.com/season.htm

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St. Lawrence String Quartet 2017

The St. Lawrence Quartet is back on our stage on January 26, 2017!  They have been performing on our stage since 1992 and are known world-wide as a very respected quartet.

Geoff Nuttall (violin), Owen Dalby (violin), Lesley Robertson (viola), and Christopher Costanza (cello) all return to perform the following programme this year for our audience:

Haydn – Quartet in E-flat Major, Op. 20, No. 1

Jonathan Berger – “Swallow” (2014), written for the SLSQ

Leos Janacek – String Quartet No. 1, “Kreutzer Sonata”

Haydn – Quartet in F Minor, Op. 20, No. 5

 

The SLSQ is the quartet in residence at Stanford University.  For several years the quartet has been involved in a summer Chamber Music Seminar held there.  The dates for 2017 are from June 24 to July 2 and applications are being accepted until February 1, 2017.  This seminar gives attendees the opportunity to focus on chamber music by working with the SLSQ and special guest teachers.  For more information, visit this link https://music.stanford.edu/ensembles-lessons/ensemble-in-residence-slsq/slsq-stanford/seminar

We have a few previous blog postings on the SLSQ here on this site so feel free to do a quick search and read some of our past thoughts.  If you would like more information on the quartet or its members, you can find all of that on their website at http://www.slsq.com/   And to hear them in person in Toronto, come and join us on January 26, 2017 http://music-toronto.com/

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Jonathan Berger

Jonathan Berger is an American composer born in New York in 1954.  He obtained a Master of Fine Arts from the California Institute of the Arts and a Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA) in Composition from Stanford University.  He currently holds the position of Denning Family Provostial Professorship in Music at Stanford University in California.

The founding co-director of Stanford Institute for Creativity and the Arts (SICA, now the Stanford Arts Institute) and founding director of Yale University’s Center for Studies in Music Technology, Berger composes for a wide variety of styles – opera, chamber, orchestral, vocal, to name a few.  His work has been performed world-wide and he has been commissioned by several music foundations and ensembles over the years.

Along with composing and teaching, Berger is a researcher in areas related to music, science, and technology with over 60 publications.

Read more about Berger and his works on his website at http://jonathanberger.net/bio/.  You can listen to some of his pieces on his site as well.  This link will take you directly to his music page – http://jonathanberger.net/all-music/

Join us with the St. Lawrence String Quartet on January 26th to hear his piece “Swallow”, written in 2014 for the SLSQ.  http://music-toronto.com/quartets/STLQ.htm

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Our 2016-2017 season!

As with most arts organizations, we are already looking to next season! Season subscriptions are already on sale for our 2016-2017 season. Existing subscribers – you should have received your renewal information in late February. You have until May to renew and keep your existing seats. Contact the box office at 416-366-7723 if you have not received your renewal information. Subscriptions done before the end of April will get the bonus of an additional ticket!

This will be our 45th season and it is an exciting one!

We open our season on October 13, 2016 with the Juilliard Quartet. Last fall, cellist Joel Krosnick announced his retirement from the quartet after 42 years. We will have the pleasure of welcoming the quartet back to our stage with their new member, cellist Astrid Schween.

Our piano series starts with Janina Fialkowska on October 25, 2016. This concert is part of her year long “Birthday Celebration Tour” as she celebrates turning 65 years young.

November brings us Quatuor Arthur-LeBlanc on November 10, 2016. Quartet-in-residence at the Université Laval, they were our ensemble-in-residence in 2007-2008. A few short days later, UK pianist Danny Driver joins us on November 15, 2016 for his Toronto debut.

Soprano Suzie LeBlanc and the Blue Engine String Quartet join together for a concert on December 1, 2016. Entitled A Pocket of Time, the evening is a musical tribute to Elizabeth Bishop.

Before we take a break for the holidays, we will enjoy the talented Gryphon Trio on our stage once again! Join us on December 15, 2016 for an evening of great music.

January starts off with young pianist Sean Chen making his Toronto debut on January 10, 2017 and wraps up with long time MTO performers, the St. Lawrence Quartet on January 26, 2017.

Ilya Poletaev takes to our stage on February 7, 2017 with some Bach and Schumann. The Eybler Quartet will play us some Haydn and Beethoven on February 16, 2017.

We finish off our season in March next year with two long standing internationally renowned quartets – the Prazak Quartet on March 2, 2017 and the Philharmonia Quartett Berlin on March 16, 2017.

Bookmark our website at http://music-toronto.com/ and you can find us all season long!

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SLSQ at MTO 2016

It is almost that time of our season. Time for the St. Lawrence Quartet to come and perform on our stage! This year we meet the newest member of the quartet, violinist Owen Dalby. He joins Geoff Nuttall (violin), Lesley Robertson (viola) and Christopher Costanza (cello).

Dalby studied early on at the Crowden School in Berkley and then obtained his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Yale. He also spent 3 years at The Academy, a fellowship of Carnegie Hall and the Juilliard School. In addition to performing over the years, Dalby has taught music and given masterclasses. He is a founding member of Decoda, a chamber ensemble based in New York and performing world wide. To read more about what Decoda is doing, visit their website at http://decodamusic.org/decodamusic/.   As part of the St. Lawrence Quartet, he now lives in the San Francisco bay area and is an artist-in-residence at Stanford.

To read more about the quartet or the individual members, visit this link on their website. http://www.slsq.com/st-lawrence-string-quartet/

To hear them live in Toronto, join us on Thursday February 18, 2016! http://music-toronto.com/

 

 

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Our 2015-2016 season!

We announced our 2015-2016 season at the end of February but perhaps you haven’t had a chance to look at it yet.  Here’s a brief overview of what we have coming up for our 44th season!

Our season opens on October 13th with talented British pianist Benjamin Grosvenor.  He had his Toronto debut on our series in 2013.  He was a sensation then and his talent and reputation continue to grow with every recording and concert he gives.

Our first string quartet of the season will be the Cuarteto Casals on October 22, 2015. Making their Toronto debut, this world-class Spanish quartet is sure to delight.

The Cecilia Quartet did a mini residency with us from 2006 to 2009 and they are back again on November 5, 2015 as part of our main quartet series.

Join us on November 10, 2015 when pianist Peter Jablonski makes his Toronto debut on our stage!

Another Toronto debut in our quartet series – Apollon Musagete Quartett! This young Polish quartet joins us on November 26, 2015.

We end off 2015 with the Gryphon Trio on our stage on December 10, 2015.

The new year brings the return of a familiar face to our stage. Marc-Andre Hamelin performs for us again on January 5, 2016.

January 14, 2016 brings our first Contemporary Classics concert with the JACK Quartet, co-produced with New Music Concerts.

First up in our Discovery Series is soprano Andriana Chuchman. Last January she stepped in at the Met Opera and has being going no where but up since! She performs for us on January 21, 2016.

The Annex Quartet is a rising Toronto quartet who comes to our stage on February 4, 2016. If you haven’t heard them before, you can get a sneak peak (or listen) when they perform on May 7, 2014 at Northern District Library for us. Click here for more details http://www.music-toronto.com/outreach.htm

The St. Lawrence Quartet has had another change in personnel and we will hear them on February 18, 2016. Always a great combination of talent and charisma, it’s a pleasure to have them in our season.

Returning to our stage on March 1, 2016 is pianist Steven Osborne. He debuted on our series in 2007 but it has been a while since we have had the pleasure of his playing on our stage!

March 10, 2016 brings us something a little different – a nonet. Montreal based collectif9 (pronounce collectif neuf) performs classical music often with original arrangements as part of our Discovery series.

Rounding out March with some strings so that we have one performance from each of our series is Quatuor Ebene on March 17, 2016.

Duo Turgeon brings their piano duo proficiency to our stage on April 5, 2016.

And we close our season on April 14, 2016 with one more Toronto debut – the Artemis Quartet!

For more details on the individual concerts, please visit our website.
http://www.music-toronto.com/index.html

Tu. Oct 13 Benjamin Grosvenor, pianist
Th. Oct. 22 Cuarteto Casals
Th. Nov 5 Cecilia Quartet
Tu. Nov. 10 Peter Jablonski, pianist
Th. Nov 26 Apollon Musagète Quartett
Th. Dec. 10 Gryphon Trio
Tu. Jan. 5 Marc-André Hamelin, pianist
Th. Jan. 14 JACK Quartet
Th. Jan. 21 Andriana Chuchman, soprano with Craig Terry, pianist
Th. Feb. 4 Annex Quartet
Th. Feb. 18 St. Lawrence Quartet
Tu. Mar. 1 Steven Osborne, pianist
Th. Mar. 10 collectif9
Th. Mar. 17Quatuor Ebène
Tu. Apr. 5 Duo Turgeon, pianists
Th. Apr. 14 Artemis Quartet

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St. Lawrence String Quartet

The St. Lawrence String Quartet members are not strangers to our audiences! Members Geoff Nuttall (violin), Mark Fewer (violin), Lesley Robertson (viola), and Christopher Costanza (cello) have all performed for us before.

The SLSQ are the Ensemble in Residence at Stanford University. In addition to teaching music students, the quartet also works with other departments (like the School of Medicine and the Law School) to collaborate and explore musical connections. To read more about the quartet, visit their website at http://slsq.com

Their concert for us this season includes one of their Haydn Discovery pieces. Here they will talk about Haydn and one of his pieces before playing it for us. They will explore and deconstruct it a bit with us. To listen to an early version of one of the Haydn Discovery presentations, visit this link http://www.davidroweartists.com/html/slsq/slsq_rep.html

It is sure to be an entertaining evening as always with the SLSQ!

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John Adams

The new year will bring us a new composition from John Adams. The St. Lawrence Quartet has commissioned a piece from Adams and we will hear it at our concert on January 29th.

Born in New England, his initial music training came from his family. Learning clarinet from his dad, he performed in marching bands and local orchestras. He started composing at the age of 10 and had some of his works performed when he was a teenager. Adams attended Harvard and then moved to California in 1971. He taught at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and was composer-in-residence of the San Francisco Symphony. He continues to live in the San Francisco Bay area.

We look forward to hearing Adams latest piece with the SLSQ at the end of January!

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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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Bohuslav Martinu

Bohuslav Martinu is another composer whose life was filled with many changes. He was born on December 8, 1890 in Policka, a small town in Bohemia. His father was the town’s fire watcher and bell ringer and they lived in the tower of one of the local churches. He spent much of the early years of his life in the tower looking out upon the world as he was too weak to climb the 193 step staircase and had to be carried.

He played the violin and did concerts in his town at a young age. With financial help from the townsfolk, he attended the Prague Conservatory starting in 1906. School life did not agree with him and he was eventually dismissed in 1910. Martinu went back to Policka for a while, teaching, playing, and composing. In 1920, he started as a second violinist in the Czech Philharmonic.

1923 brought another major shift in Martinu’s life. He moved to Paris. This brought about many changes for him. Here he studied composition with Albert Roussel until Roussel’s death in 1937. He met and married a French seamstress. And it is also here in Paris that Martinu composed many pieces including his String Quartet No. 5 in 1938. We will have the pleasure of hearing this quartet performed by the St. Lawrence String Quartet at their concert on January 9th. It was the last string quartet Martinu composed in Paris and was inspired by a trip back to Czechoslovakia.

Blacklisted due to his connections with the Czech resistance, he fled Paris in 1940 when the Germany army approached France. Eventually he made his way to America in 1941. He stayed in the U.S. until 1953, writing numerous pieces including his 6 symphonies. In 1953, Martinu returned to France and spent most of his remaining years in Europe. He passed away in 1959 in Switzerland.

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