Shriver Hall Concert Series to Conclude 2023-24 Discovery Series With Isidore String Quartet

The quartet will perform works by Mozart, Mendelssohn, and Billy Childs. Free concert on March 30 at The Baltimore Museum of Art.

By: Feb. 07, 2024
Shriver Hall Concert Series to Conclude 2023-24 Discovery Series With Isidore String Quartet

Shriver Hall Concert Series will conclude its 2023-24 free Discovery Series with the Isidore String Quartet ("sweeping coherence and blazing virtuosity", in its Baltimore debut on Saturday, March 30, 2024 at 3:00 pm. The concert will take place at The Baltimore Museum of Art and features works by W.A. Mozart, Felix Mendelssohn, and Billy Childs.

The New York City-based Quartet - which recently had a momentous win at the 2022 Banff International String Quartet Competition and was awarded an Avery Fisher Career Grant last spring - opens its program with Mozart's String Quartet in C major, K. 465, which was nicknamed "Dissonant" because of its chromatic Adagio introduction. K. 465 is also the last of the six "Haydn" Quartets that Mozart presented to his revered mentor in 1785.

Following is String Quartet No. 2, "Awakening" by Billy Childs, one of music's most versatile composers in both the jazz and classical genres. Written in 2012 and commissioned by the Ying Quartet, the second of Childs' three string quartets is steeped in the expressionist sound worlds of Bartók and Schoenberg, while also responding to his wife's emergency hospitalization at the time

Closing out the program is String Quartet in E-flat major, Op. 44, No. 3, the opening Allegro vivace of which is the longest of Mendelssohn's quartet's first movements. The piece ends with an athletic finale, an action-packed display of sizzling virtuosity.

"We are thrilled to be coming to Baltimore for the first time in March!" the members of Isidore String Quartet share. "We look forward to seeing the beautiful museum and it's an honor to appear on a series alongside some of our favorite artists. Our program features the monumental "Dissonance" quartet by Mozart, but also two incredible works by Billy Childs and Mendelssohn. The Childs and even the Mendelssohn are not heard very often, so we look forward to bringing this program to Baltimore and we hope that you love these works as much as we do."

The Discovery Series, an initiative created specifically for the community, is an annual series of concerts featuring extraordinary young artists emerging on the international scene, with most making their Baltimore debuts on the series. Recitals are presented in different, intimate venues and neighborhoods throughout the region, thereby offering greater access to different local communities.

Preceding Idisore String Quartet's performance, the acclaimed tenor Mark Padmore and pianist Mitsuko Uchida perform for the first time at Shriver Hall on Sunday, March 10, 2024 at 5:30 pm. The duo - hailed as "Two Schubert masters" by The New York Times - will perform the composer's famous song cycle Winterreise.

The following concert in the Shriver Hall Concert Series 23-24 season features the Ébène Quartet in its Baltimore debut on Sunday, April 7, 2024 at 5:30 pm at Shriver Hall. The program will include works by Schnittke, Grieg, and Mozart.

Concert Information

Isidore String Quartet (Baltimore debut)
Saturday, March 10, 2024 at 3:00 pm
Baltimore Museum of Art | 10 Art Museum Drive | Baltimore, MD 21218
Tickets: Free, Suggested Donation of $10

W.A. MOZART - String Quartet in C major, K. 465
BILLY CHILDS - String Quartet No. 2, "Awakening"
Felix Mendelssohn - String Quartet in E-flat major, Op. 44, No. 3

About Shriver Hall Concert Series

For more than 50 years, Shriver Hall Concert Series (SHCS) has been "Baltimore's finest importer of classical music talent" (The Baltimore Sun) and the area's premier presenter of chamber music ensembles and solo recitalists with a mission to craft performances and educational programs at the highest level of excellence. A 5-time recipient of Baltimore Magazine's distinction "Best Classical Music" in its annual "Best of Baltimore" issue, the coveted subscription series features many of the world's most renowned soloists and ensembles, presented in The Johns Hopkins University's Shriver Hall.

Founded in 1966 by Dr. Ernest Bueding, a pharmacologist at Johns Hopkins University, and a group of similarly dedicated music enthusiasts, SHCS set out to make an important contribution to the vitality of an already vibrant city. When flutist Jean-Pierre Rampal walked onto the stage of Shriver Hall for the first concert, more than 1,100 people witnessed the launch of what is now recognized as a remarkable success story: Shriver Hall Concert Series. In the succeeding years, SHCS has presented hundreds of acclaimed and emerging International Artists in classical chamber music and recitals and a legacy of important debuts and premieres. In addition, SHCS collaborates with local schools and subsidizes hundreds of student tickets each season.

The list of artists presented by SHCS is remarkable-Radu Lupu, Murray Perahia, Ewa Podlés, Maurizio Pollini, Jacqueline du Pré, Mstislav Rostropovich, Jordi Savall, András Schiff, Rudolf Serkin, Janos Starker, Daniil Trifonov, Lynn Harrell, Emmanuel Ax, Alban Berg Quartet, Guarneri Quartet, Kronos Quartet, Cleveland Quartet, and Quartetto Italiano, among many others. SHCS also has a history of championing important musicians early in their careers, including Richard Goode, Hilary Hahn, Hélène Grimaud, Dawn Upshaw, Lang Lang, and the Emerson String Quartet. Commissioned composers include Timo Andres, Sebastian Currier, Jonathan Leshnoff, James Lee III, Han Lash, Caroline Shaw, and Nina C. Young.

Designed specifically for the community, SHCS offers the Discovery Series, a series of free concerts presented in venues throughout the region focused on artists emerging on the national and international scene. Artists featured include Narek Hakhnazaryan, Colin Currie, Xavier Foley, Eric Lu, and the Dover Quartet. SHCS also offers the annual Spring Lecture Series, a series of free talks focused on annual topics related to the intersection of music and society, and a variety of student programs.

For more information, visit

About Isidore String Quartet

Adrian Steele and Phoenix Avalon, violins
Devin Moore, viola
Joshua McClendon, cello

Winners of a 2023 Avery Fisher Career Grant, and the 14th Banff International String Quartet Competition in 2022, the New York City-based Isidore String Quartet was formed in 2019 with a vision to revisit, rediscover, and reinvigorate the repertory. The quartet is heavily influenced by the Juilliard String Quartet and the idea of 'approaching the established as if it were brand new, and the new as if it were firmly established.'

The members of the quartet are violinists Adrian Steele and Phoenix Avalon, violist Devin Moore, and cellist Joshua McClendon. The four began as an ensemble at the Juilliard School, and following a break during the global pandemic reconvened at the Kneisel Hall Chamber Music Festival in the summer of 2021 under the tutelage of Joel Krosnick. In addition to Mr. Krosnick, the ISQ has coached with Joseph Lin, Astrid Schween, Laurie Smukler, Joseph Kalichstein, Roger Tapping, Misha Amory, Timothy Eddy, Donald Weilerstein, Atar Arad, Robert McDonald, Christoph Richter, Miriam Fried, and Paul Biss.

Their Banff triumph brings extensive tours of North America and Europe, a two-year appointment as the Peak Fellowship Ensemble-in-Residence at Southern Methodist University in Dallas beginning in 2023-24, plus a two-week residency at Banff Centre including a professionally produced recording, along with extensive ongoing coaching, career guidance, and mentorship.

The Isidore Quartet has appeared on major series in Chicago, Pittsburgh, Seattle, Durham, Washington (JFK Center), San Antonio, Toronto, Montreal, and Ottawa, and has collaborated with a number of eminent performers including James Ehnes, Jeremy Denk, Shai Wosner, and Jon Nakamatsu. Their 23/24 season will feature appearances in Berkeley (Cal Performances), Boston (Celebrity Series), Washington DC (Phillips Collection), New York (92nd St. Y), Chicago, Baltimore, Ann Arbor, Denver, Houston, Indianapolis, Tucson, Phoenix, Santa Fe, La Jolla, Aspen, Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, and at Dartmouth College, and Spivey Hall in Georgia, among many others. European highlights include Edinburgh, Lucerne, Brussels, Amsterdam, Hanover, Frankfurt, and Hamburg's ElbPhilharmonie.

Outside the concert hall the quartet has worked with PROJECT: MUSIC HEALS US providing encouragement, education, and healing to marginalized communities - including elderly, disabled, rehabilitating incarcerated and homeless populations - who otherwise have limited access to high-quality live music performance. They have also been resident ensemble for the Contemporary Alexander School/Alexander Alliance International. In conjunction with those well-versed in the world of Alexander Technique, as well as other performers, the ISQ explores the vast landscape of body awareness, mental preparation, and performance practice.

The name Isidore recognizes the ensemble's musical connection to the Juilliard Quartet: one of that group's early members was legendary violinist Isidore Cohen. Additionally, it acknowledges a shared affection for a certain libation - legend has it a Greek monk named Isidore concocted the first genuine vodka recipe for the Grand Duchy of Moscow!

Photo credit: Jiyang Chen