ESCHER STRING QUARTET

The Escher String Quartet has received acclaim for its profound musical insight and rare tonal beauty. A former BBC New Generation Artist, the quartet has performed at the BBC Proms at Cadogan Hall and is a regular guest at Wigmore Hall. In its home town of New York, the ensemble serves as Season Artists of The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, where last season it not only presented the complete Zemlinsky Quartets Cycle in a concert streamed live from the Rose Studio, but was also one of five quartets chosen to collaborate in a complete presentation of Beethoven’s string quartets. In the current season, the quartet is invited to tour with CMS to China.

Escher String Quartet

Brook Speltz, cello; Adam Barnett-Hart, violin; Aaron Boyd, violin; Pierre Lapointe, violin.

"I truly enjoyed working with the members of the Escher Quartet. They have worked with the students multiple times over the past academic year and have proved with every visit how knowledgeable they are. What endears me to them is their inherent ability to be personable to each student as well as incredibly relatable. In how they handle master classes, they show the utmost respect towards each other's musical suggestions as well as to the students that they speak to. It is obvious they love their chosen profession and have a passion for sharing that with students.

I learned much from my interactions with the Escher Quartet both in private lessons and in the master classes. I gained new insights to my solo repertoire that I had not considered yet. What was staggering was how intensive and how much thought goes in to quartet performance. They proved how a few suggestions can give music a fresh and unique perspective for both the audience as well as the performer. Every opportunity to learn from them was wonderful and I hope to work with them again in the future."

Rachel, graduate student, violin

Within months of its inception in 2005, the ensemble came to the attention of key musical figures worldwide. Championed by the Emerson Quartet, the Escher Quartet was invited by both Pinchas Zukerman and Itzhak Perlman to be Quartet in Residence at each artist's summer festival: the Young Artists Programme at Canada’s National Arts Centre; and the Perlman Chamber Music Programme on Shelter Island, NY. The quartet has since collaborated with artists including David Finckel, Leon Fleischer, Wu Han, Lynn Harrell, Cho Liang Lin, Joshua Bell, Paul Watkins, and David Shifrin, and In 2013, the quartet became one of the very few chamber ensembles to be awarded the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant.

Known for their wide stylistic interests, the Escher Quartet has collaborated with jazz saxophonist Joshua Redman, vocalist Kurt Elling, legendary Latin artist Paquito D'Rivera, and tours regularly with Grammy award winning guitarist Jason Vieaux.

The Escher Quartet has made a distinctive impression throughout Europe, with recent debuts including the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Berlin Konzerthaus, London’s Kings Place, Slovenian Philharmonic Hall andAuditorium du Louvre. With a strong collaborative approach, the group has appeared at festivals such asHeidelberg Spring Festival, Dublin’s Great Music in Irish Houses, Risør Chamber Music Festival in Norway, Hong Kong International Chamber Music Festival and Perth International Arts Festival in Australia.

Alongside its growing European profile, the Escher Quartet continues to flourish in its home country, performing at Alice Tully Hall in New York, Kennedy Center in Washington DC and the Ravinia and Caramoor festivals. In 2014, the quartet gave a highly praised debut at Chamber Music San Francisco and in 2015 presented a Schubert quartets focus at Music@Menlo in California, where it returns in the current season.

Currently String Quartet in Residence at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas and with Akron’s Tuesday Musical, the quartet fervently supports the education of young musicians and has given masterclasses at institutions such as the Royal Academy of Music in London and Campos do Jordão Music Festival in Brazil.

Volumes I and II of the complete Mendelssohn Quartets, released on the BIS label in 2015, were received withthe highest critical acclaim, with comments such as “…eloquent, full-blooded playing... The four players offer a beautiful blend of individuality and accord” (BBC Music Magazine). The Mendelssohn series is concluded this season with the release of Volume III. The quartet has also recorded the complete Zemlinsky String Quartets in two volumes, released on the Naxos label in 2013 and 2014 respectively, to accolades including five stars in the Guardian with “Classical CD of the Year”, a Recommendation in The Strad, “Recording of the Month” on MusicWeb International and a nomination for a BBC Music Magazine Award.

The Escher Quartet takes its name from Dutch graphic artist M.C. Escher, inspired by Escher’s method of interplay between individual components working together to form a whole.