Choose a performance from the dates below
Our Winter Festival presents four spectacular ensembles whose artistry is lighting the way for the next generation of string quartets.
Like the Beethoven cycle, Bartók’s six quartets constitute a compelling and comprehensive journey through the composer’s creative and personal life. Hearing them in a single evening is a rare gift. The Escher Quartet’s searing intensity and explosive virtuosity provide an awe-inspiring conclusion to this season’s Winter Festival.
Quartet No. 1 for Strings, BB 52(1908–09)
Quartet No. 2 for Strings, BB 75(1914–17)
Quartet No. 3 for Strings, BB 93(1927)
Quartet No. 4 for Strings, BB 95(1928)
Quartet No. 5 for Strings, BB 110(1934)
Quartet No. 6 for Strings, BB 119(1939)
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 and recipient of the Avery Fisher Career Grant, the quartet has performed at the BBC Proms at Cadogan Hall and is a regular guest at Wigmore Hall. In its hometown of New York, the ensemble serves as season artists of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. The 2021-2022 season found the Escher Quartet touring the U.S. extensively, performing in numerous cities and venues including Alice Tully Hall and Rockefeller University, the Kennedy Center, the Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa, La Jolla Music Society, Savannah Music Festival, and Chamber Music Society of Detroit. Internationally, the quartet returns to Wigmore Hall in London and the Sociedad Filarmonica de Bilbao. 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, Les Grands Interprètes Geneva, Tel Aviv Museum of Art, and Auditorium du Louvre. The group has appeared at festivals such as the Heidelberg Spring Festival, Budapest’s Franz Liszt Academy, Dublin’s Great Music in Irish Houses, the Risør Chamber Music Festival in Norway, the Hong Kong International Chamber Music Festival, and the Perth International Arts Festival in Australia. Alongside its growing European profile, the Escher Quartet continues to flourish in its home country, performing at the Aspen Music Festival, Bravo! Vail, Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, Bowdoin Music Festival, Toronto Summer Music, Chamber Music San Francisco, Music@Menlo, and the Ravinia and Caramoor festivals. The quartet has held faculty positions at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX and the University of Akron, OH. Recordings of the complete Mendelssohn quartets and beloved romantic quartets of Dvorak, Borodin and Tchaikovsky were released on the BIS label in 2015-18 and received critical acclaim, with comments such as “…eloquent, full-blooded playing... The four players offer a beautiful blend of individuality and accord” (BBC Music Magazine). In 2019, Dance, an album of quintet’s with Grammy award winning guitarist Jason Vieaux, was enthusiastically received. The Escher’s most recent recording, the complete quartet of Charles Ives and Samuel Barber, was met with equal excitement, including “A fascinating snapshot of American quartets, with a recording that is brilliantly detailed, this is a first-rate release all around” (Strad Magazine). The quartet has also recorded the complete Zemlinsky String Quartets in two volumes, released on the Naxos label in 2013 and 2014. 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 Program at Canada’s National Arts Centre; and the Perlman Chamber Music Program on Shelter Island, NY. The Escher Quartet takes its name from the Dutch graphic artist M.C. Escher, inspired by Escher’s method of interplay between individual components working together to form a whole.