Johannes String Quartet Ensemble
The Johannes Quartet consists of four outstanding musicians who take time away from their busy careers to pursue their love of the string quartet literature. This quartet brings together the Principal cello of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Principal viola of the Philadelphia Orchestra, the first American to win the Paganini Violin Competition in 24 years, and a Concert Artist Guild International Competition Winner, and has been praised by listeners and critics alike for its special combination of passion, warmth, elegance and poetry. Each member has spent numerous summers at the celebrated Marlboro Music Festival in Vermont, birthplace of many of the world’s renowned ensembles. New York appearances include debuts at Carnegie Hall and The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, as well as frequent performances on the Schneider Series at the New School and the Peoples’ Symphony Concerts at Town Hall.
Since the Johannes made its acclaimed debut there in 1998, the Chamber Music Society of Philadelphia has played a major role in launching the Quartet, presenting them regularly each season, including a two-concert series of the complete Beethoven opus 18 quartets. Their debut was described by the Philadelphia Inquirer as having “accurate intonation, vigorous interaction and careful regard for the details in the score…the passion and attack that characterize the best of quartet playing.”
A highlight of recent seasons included the group’s collaboration with the legendary Guarneri String Quartet in a program featuring Octet: Double Quartet written specifically for the two ensembles by award-winning composer William Bolcom, and commissioned by the Music Accord consortium of presenters. The two groups also joined together for performances of Mendelssohn’s glorious Octet. In addition to these works, the Johannes also premiered a new string quartet, Homunculus, written for them by Esa-Pekka Salonen. They received acclaim from audiences and critics alike at the Krannert Center (Urbana, IL), University Musical Society (Ann Arbor, MI), Penn State University, and Boston’s Celebrity Series, the Orange County Performing Arts Society, San Francisco Performances, Phoenix Chamber Music Society, UCLA Live, Kansas City Friends of Chamber Music, Hayes University (KS), and the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center in New York City for their performances of these groundbreaking works.
The 2009-10 season included the Johannes Quartet’s triumphant return to the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, where they appear bi-annually in multiple concerts and tours to Alabama, California, Minnesota, New York and Pennsylvania.
The Quartet’s 2010-11 season starts with an extended residency at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music, followed by tours of Vermont and Connecticut, and two performances for the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society. Forthcoming collaborations include plans for performances and a new quintet with renowned clarinetist Richard Stoltzman, Brahms Sextet performances with members of the Guarneri Quartet;a new commission by Jorg Widmann is also projected.
Past season highlights feature performances in Chicago, Hancher Auditorium at the University of Iowa, The Kennedy Center in Washington DC, Norfolk (VA), Princeton (NJ), Schenectady (NY), Storrs (CT) as well as residencies and performances with Middlebury College, the Islip Arts Council and the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society. The Johannes has also been heard around the country through broadcasts on public radio’s Performance Today and St. Paul Sunday programs.