New York, March 31, 2015. The Chamber Music Society is pleased to announce the appointment of two outstanding young ensembles, the Calidore String Quartet, and the Schumann Quartet, to its prestigious CMS Two program beginning with the 2016-2017 season.
Chosen from an international pool of applicants by a distinguished panel of performers, educators, and artistic administrators, each quartet is an award-winning ensemble with exceptional musical training and significant careers.
Appointment to the three-year CMS Two residency program affords the young members of these quartets three full seasons of potential opportunities to participate in all facets of CMS activity, such as CMS’s various New York concert series, touring, recordings on both the in-house CMS Studio Recordings label and the CMS Live! digital download series, concert broadcasts on CMS’s 52-week syndicated radio series and American Public Media’s Performance Today, television broadcasts on Live From Lincoln Center, and numerous educational outreach programs.
The depth of involvement reflects the commitment of CMS, under the leadership of artistic directors David Finckel and Wu Han, to nurture the careers of the finest young chamber musicians, and the foster an intergenerational roster of talent. Described as “a miracle of unified thought” (La Presse, Montreal) and as "four highly intelligent, deeply sensitive virtuosos" (Strings Magazine), the Calidore String Quartet has established an international reputation for its informed, polished, and captivating performances.
Within two years of its formation in 2010 at the Colburn Conservatory of Music in Los Angeles, the Calidore String Quartet won grand prizes in virtually all the major American chamber music competitions, including the Fischoff, Coleman, Chesapeake, and Yellow Springs competitions and captured top prizes at the 2012 ARD Munich International String Quartet Competition, and Hamburg International Chamber Music Competition.
The Calidore String Quartet performs throughout North America, Europe and Asia and has debuted in such prestigious venues and festivals as Verbier, Ravinia, Wigmore Hall, Lincoln Center, Seoul’s Kumho Arts Hall and the Schneider Concert Series in New York City.
In 2014, the Calidore were selected by the Emerson Quartet to become artists-in-residence and visiting faculty at Stony Brook University (SUNY), where they are privileged to be mentored by the Emerson Quartet and cellist David Finckel.
Highlights of the quartet’s 2014-15 season included debuts at Lincoln Center, Wigmore Hall, a year-long residency as the Stiefel Quartet in Residence at the Caramoor Center (NY), Shriver Hall (Baltimore), Phillips Collection (Washington D.C), the National Arts Center (Ottawa), Ottawa Chamber Music Festival, East Neuk Festival (UK), Festspiele Mecklenburg- Vorpommern and Rheingau Festival (Germany).
Summer 2014 marked the Calidore String Quartet's inaugural season as the quartet-in-residence at the Bellingham Festival of Music (WA) and the Innsbrook Institute Summer Music Academy and Festival (MO).
In February 2015, the Calidore String Quartet released its debut recording of quartets by Mendelssohn and Haydn.
Additionally, the Calidore will release an album on Editions Hortus later this year with music by Hindemith, Milhaud, Stravinsky, de la Presle and Toch commemorating the World War I Centennial. The Calidore was featured as Young Artists-in- Residence on American Public Media's Performance Today, and its performances have been broadcast on National Public Radio, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Korean Broadcasting Corporation, Bayerischer Rundfunk (Munich), Norddeutscher Rundfunk (Hamburg), and on German national television as part of a documentary produced by ARD public broadcasting.
As advocates of contemporary music, the Calidore String Quartet performs Pulitzer-prize- winning composer Caroline Shaw's "Entr'acte" in concerts throughout the 2014-15 season in New York, Washington D.C. and Los Angeles. In summer 2015, the Calidore premiers a string quartet by Patrick Harlin, commissioned by the Caramoor Center, as well as a new work by Mark Grey, commissioned by the Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival.
The Calidore String Quartet has collaborated with many esteemed artists and ensembles, including Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Joshua Bell, Paul Coletti and Quatuor Ebéne, among others. In 2014, the Calidore String Quartet joined the class of Günter Pichler (Alban Berg Quartet) at the Reina Sofia School in Madrid. Additionally, they participated in masterclasses with the Artemis Quartet, Gerhard Schulz and Heime Müller in Weikersheim, Germany (Jeunesse Musicales).
Calidore has studied closely with such luminaries as Andre Roy, Arnold Steinhardt, Guillaume Sutre, Martin Beaver, Gabor Takacs-Nagy, Paul Coletti, Ronald Leonard, the Quatuor Ebène, the Emerson Quartet and David Finckel. As a passionate supporter of music education, the Calidore String Quartet is deeply committed to mentoring and educating young musicians, students and audiences.
In February 2015, the Calidore String Quartet conducted a residency at the University of Michigan School of Music, as well as at Chamber Music Connection in Columbus, Ohio. In January 2014, the Calidore joined the faculty of the Ed and Mari Edelman Chamber Music Institute at the Colburn School.
Most recently, the Calidore was selected by the Saint Lawrence String Quartet to conduct a two-week outreach residency of over twenty performances in the San Francisco Area.
Using an amalgamation of “California” and “doré” (French for “golden”), the ensemble’s name represents a reverence for the diversity of culture and the strong support it received from its home of origin, Los Angeles, California, the “golden state.” The Calidore String Quartet aims to present performances that share the passion and joy of the string quartet chamber music repertoire.
"The Schumann Quartet impresses with almost effortless, world-class virtuosity. Together, they create a very special force, and they inspire each other as well as the audience. I am convinced that this ensemble's future is bright, and that they will continue to delight their audiences," writes Harald Eggebrecht, music critic of the Süddeutsche Zeitung, about the Schumann Quartet.
The members of the ensemble, brothers Erik, Ken, and Mark Schumann, along with Estonian violist Liisa Randalu, have impressed audiences worldwide ever since winning the renowned Concours de Bordeaux in May 2013.
Critics have praised their “high emotional intelligence” and “supreme technical accomplishment,” declaring “the future belongs to them.”
Founded in 2007 in Cologne, and in its current formation since 2012, the Schumann Quartet attracted much attention early on. The ensemble is a prize winner of such international competitions as the Premio Paolo Borciani in Italy and the Osaka International Music Competition in Japan, and winner of the Schubert and Modern Music Competition in Graz, Austria in 2012.
Among the ensemble’s formative experiences were its studies with the Alban Berg Quartet in Cologne and with Günther Pichler at the Escuela Superior de Reina Sofia in Madrid. Chamber music instruction from the Cherubini Quartet’s Harald Schoneweg was an important source of inspiration during the quartet’s early days, as was artistic collaboration with Eberhard Feltz.
Among the ensemble’s chamber music partners are renowned artists such as Menahem Pressler, Henri Sigfridsson, Sabine Meyer, Nils Mönkemeyer, Diemut Poppen, Nicolas Altstaedt and David Orlowsky.
Beginning with the 2009-2010 season, the Schumann Quartet has been artist in residence at the “Erstklassik” concert series at the Robert Schumann-Saal in Düsseldorf.
The Schumann Quartet has made numerous live recordings with broadcasters such as WDR, SWR and Radio France. Its debut recording with works by Beethoven, Bartók and Brahms was released in April 2013 to great critical acclaim. The second CD with works by Mozart, Ives and Verdi was released in January 2015 and has been greeted with enthusiastic reviews.
The Schumann Quartet is supported by the Villa Musica Rheinland-Pfalz Foundation and by the Irene Steels-Wilsing Foundation.
In February 2014, the Jürgen Ponto Foundation awarded its Music Prize for String Quartet to the Schumann Quartet. In the 2015-2016 season, the ensemble will hold a residency at the Schloss Esterhazy, which includes concerts and the world premiere of a work commissioned for the Quartet.
The Calidore String Quartet and the Schumann Quartet are continuing CMS’s distinguished lineage of CMS Two ensembles, which include:
Amphion String Quartet (2013-16) Danish String Quartet (2013-16) Escher String Quartet (2007-10) Jupiter String Quartet (2007-10) Daedalus Quartet (2005-07) Imani Winds (2003-05) Pacifica Quartet (2003-05) Miró String Quartet (2001-03) Miami String Quartet (1999-01) Borromeo String Quartet (1997-99) Brentano String Quartet (1995-97).