Pacifica Quartet: Grammy Award-winning Chamber Ensemble

3 p.m., Sunday, January 8, 2012
Fairfield University's Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts

Image: Pacifica QuartetRecognized for its virtuosic and exuberant performance style and its often-daring repertory choices, the Grammy Award-winning chamber ensemble Pacifica Quartet performs at 3 p.m., Sunday, January 8, 2012, at Fairfield University's Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts. A pre-concert talk takes place at 2 p.m. hosted by Robert Sherman, writer, teacher, and radio broadcaster for WQXR and WFUV. The concert program consists of Ludwig van Beethoven's Quartet in F Major, Op. 18, No. 1 and Quartet No. 9, Op. 117, and Dmitri Shostakovich's Quartet in F Major, Op. 59, No. 1, "Razumovsky." Pacifica Quartet was named Ensemble of the Year by Musical America and received the 2009 Grammy Award for Best Chamber Music Performance. Tickets are $35.

Through extensive touring throughout the United States, Europe, Asia, and Australia, Pacifica Quartet has gained international stature as one of today's finest performing chamber ensembles. The Quartet appears in the world's major concert halls and is the Resident Quartet of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. The Quartet consists of Simin Ganatra and Sibbi Bernhardsson on violin, Masumi Per Rostad on viola, and Brandon Vamos on cello.

Having given highly acclaimed performances of the complete Beethoven, Mendelssohn, and Carter string quartets in recent seasons, the Quartet presented the monumental Shostakovich cycle in Chicago and New York during the 2010-2011 season. In the summer of 2011, the Quartet presented the complete Beethoven cycle at Tokyo's famous Suntory Hall, in an unprecedented presentation of five concerts in three days. And in 2011-2012, the Quartet will take the Shostakovich cycle to London's Wigmore Hall and will also perform the complete Beethoven cycle at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and for the Denver Friends of Chamber Music.

An ardent advocate of contemporary music, Pacifica Quartet commissions and performs many new works. The ensemble has been widely praised for its single-concert performances of Elliott Carter's five-quartet cycle, performed in New York, San Francisco, and abroad. Critics have called these groundbreaking concerts "brilliant," "astonishing," and "breathtaking." In 2008 the Quartet released its Grammy Award-winning recording of Carter's quartets Nos. 1 and 5 on the Naxos label; the 2009 release of quartets Nos. 2, 3, and 4 completed the two-CD set. The Quartet's other recordings, including Mendelssohn's complete string quartets and Declarations: Music Between the Wars, both on the Cedille label, have also attracted international acclaim.

Formed in 1994, the Pacifica Quartet quickly won chamber music's top competitions, including the 1998 Naumburg Chamber Music Award. In 2002 the ensemble was honored with Chamber Music America's Cleveland Quartet Award and the appointment to Lincoln Center's CMS Two. In 2006 the Pacifica was awarded a prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant, becoming only the second chamber ensemble so honored in the Grant's long history. Also in 2006 the Quartet was featured on the cover of Gramophone and heralded as one of "five new quartets you should know about," the only American quartet to make the list.

The members of the Pacifica Quartet live in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, where they were appointed to the faculty of the University of Illinois in 2003 and serve as quartet-in-residence. They also serve as resident performing artists at the University of Chicago.

Tickets are available through the Quick Center Box Office: (203) 254-4010, or toll-free 1-877-ARTS-396. (1-877-278-7396). Tickets can also be purchased online at

The Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts is located on the campus of Fairfield University at 1073 North Benson Road in Fairfield, Connecticut. Entrance to the Quick Center is through the Barlow Road gate at 200 Barlow Road. Free, secure parking is available. Access for people with disabilities is available throughout the Quick Center for audience members and performers. Hearing amplification devices are available upon request at the Box Office. Fairfield University is located off exit 22 of Interstate-95. For further information and directions, call (203) 254-4010 or 1-877-278-7396, or visit


Image: pictured (left to right) are Simin Ganatra on violin, Brandon Vamos on cello, Masumi Per Rostad on viola, and Sibbi Bernhardsson on violin. Photo: Anthony Parmelee.

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Media Contact: Mike Horyczun, (203) 254-4000 ext. 2647,

Posted on December 9, 2011

Vol. 44, No. 142

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