A NOTE FROM THE ARTISTIC DIRECTORS
“This performance is a dream come true—as the newest member of the St Lawrence Quartet I have spent the past three years touring the world, but very rarely do we have the opportunity to perform in my home community of San Francisco. This program, designed in partnership with the other presenters of the Bay Area Music Consortium, contains some of the very best gems in our repertoire and gets straight to the heart of what makes chamber music so powerful. We are thrilled to be presenting it in Noe Valley.”
HAYDN String Quartet in D major, Op. 20 no. 4
JONATHAN BERGER Tango alla Zingarese (2016)
BEETHOVEN Heiliger Dankgesang (Molto Adagio - Andante) from String Quartet in A minor, Op. 132
OSVALDO GOLIJOV Dreams and Prayers of Isaac the Blind
with Todd Palmer, clarinet
St. Lawrence String quartet
Geoff Nuttall and Owen Dalby, violins
Lesley Robertson, viola
Christopher Costanza, cello
"Modern...dramatic...superb...wickedly attentive...with a hint of rock 'n roll energy..." are just a few ways critics describe the musical phenomenon that is the St Lawrence String Quartet. The SLSQ is renowned for the intensity of its performances, its breadth of repertoire, and its commitment to concert experiences that are at once intellectually exciting and emotionally alive.
Recent highlights include performances with Gustavo Dudamel and the LA Philharmonic and Marin Alsop and the Baltimore Symphony in John Adams's Absolute Jest for string quartet and orchestra, and the European premieres of Adams's second string quartet. Fiercely committed to collaboration with living composers, the SLSQ's fruitful partnership with Adams, Jonathan Berger, Osvaldo Golijov and many others has yielded some of the finest additions to the quartet literature in recent years. The Quartet is also especially dedicated to the music of Haydn, and are recording his groundbreaking set of six Op. 20 quartets in high-definition video for a free, universal release online. According to The New Yorker, "...no other North American quartet plays the music of Haydn with more intelligence, expressivity, and force..."
Established in Toronto in 1989, the SLSQ quickly earned acclaim at top international chamber music competitions and was soon playing hundreds of concerts per year worldwide. They established an ongoing residency at Spoleto Festival USA, made prize-winning recordings for EMI of music by Schumann, Tchaikovsky, and Golijov, earning two Grammy nominations and a host of other prizes before being appointed ensemble-in-residence at Stanford University in 1998.
At Stanford, the SLSQ is at the forefront of intellectual life on campus. The SLSQ directs the music department's chamber music program, and frequently collaborates with other departments including the Schools of Law, Medicine, Business and Education. The Quartet frequently performs at Stanford Live, hosts an annual chamber music seminar, and runs the Emerging String Quartet Program through which they mentor the next generation of young quartets. In the words of Alex Ross of The New Yorker: "The St. Lawrence are remarkable not simply for the quality of their music making, exalted as it is, but for the joy they take in the act of connection."