Koerner Quartet to Kick Off First Ever Public Concert Season on 9/28
The Koerner Quartet has announced its first public season, launching this fall with the brilliant program - From Spillville to St. Petersburg - on Sunday, September 28, 2014 at 2pm in the Koerner Recital Hall at the Vancouver Academy of Music (VAM). The Vancouver-based ensemble in-residence at VAM has expanded beyond its successful academic concentration to present a public series of four breathtaking classical concerts in the Koerner Recital Hall. Since its founding in 2012, the quartet has been in-demand by enthusiasts - captivated by their impeccable technique, unparalleled musicianship, and bold programming.
"We couldn't be happier to launch our first public season with this incredible program of music," said Joseph Elworthy, VAM Executive Director, cellist, and founding member of the Koerner Quartet. "After venturing to Hong Kong for a recent musical residency, the quartet has had world travel in our collective minds. This focus on journeying and the discovery of other cultures served as stimulus for our inaugural program, which transports listeners, with each work, to a completely different time and place."
The Koerner Quartet is comprised of revered Canadian musicians, all of whom are current or recent Vancouver Symphony Orchestra (VSO) colleagues - violinist Nicholas Wright (hired as youngest member of the London Symphony Orchestra in 2003, current Assistant Concertmaster with VSO), violinist Jason Ho (Vancouver native and graduate of the prestigious Cleveland Institute of Music, current VSO first violin section member), brand new ensemble member and violist Emilie Grimes (Master of Music degree recipient from the Juilliard School, current VSO viola section member), and cellist Joseph Elworthy (Fellow of the Royal Conservatory of Music, Juilliard and Yale educated, former member of VSO, and current Executive Director of VAM).
For its first concert of the season, the ensemble is poised to enchant with a program of three exceptional early 20th century masterpieces drawn from vastly different inspirational landscapes: Anton Webern's expressionist 1905 Langsamer Satz is regarded as a love song and was influenced by a romantic hike through majestic Lower Austria; Antonín Dvo?ák's String Quartet No. 12, "American" pays homage to his 1893 summer sojourn in the tiny Czech immigrant community of Spillville, Iowa; and Dimitri Shostakovich's titanic Piano Quintet in G Minor - written in St. Petersburg in 1940 at the start of World War II while under oppressive Soviet rule - provides a dramatic conclusion to this spectacular season opening concert.
Accomplished guest artist and Vancouver Academy of Music alumna, Grace Huang joins the Koerner Quartet to round out the instrumentation for the Piano Quintet. Educated at the Royal Academy of Music in London, Huang has performed throughout Europe, South America, Asia, and North America and was recently praised for her "blend of power, delicacy, and seductive swagger" by the Yorkshire Post.