Naumburg Winners Telegraph Quartet Premiere Robert Sirota's Wave Upon Wave at Carnegie Hall 2/6
On Tuesday, February 6, 2018 at 7:30pm, the Telegraph Quartet, winners of the 2016 Naumburg Competition, will perform the world premiere of composer Robert Sirota's third string quartet, Wave Upon Wave, at Carnegie Hall's Weill Recital Hall (57th Street and Seventh Avenue), presented by The Walter W. Naumburg Foundation. Sirota's new work was commissioned by The Walter W. Naumburg Foundation for the competition winners. The concert will also include Kirchner's String Quartet No. 1 and Schoenberg's String Quartet No. 1 in N*E*R*D Minor, Op. 7.
Wave Upon Wave is the third string quartet in a trilogy spanning fifteen years, which Sirota began in 2002 with Triptych, an extended meditation on 9/11. Sirota's second string quartet, American Pilgrimage, celebrates the rich diversity of the American landscape and the American spirit, and was completed in spring 2016.
Sirota says, "Each of the string quartets in my trilogy is in essence a long journal entry reflecting a response to our times. Now, given the uncertainty of this moment in our history, rife with threats of tyranny, environmental catastrophe, and the human potential for evil, I find myself turning inward to examine the topography of the human heart: our vast potential for creative energy, idealism and altruism. Wave Upon Wave is about our fears, our hopes, and our prayers that we will triumph over the forces of darkness which threaten to overwhelm us."
About the Telegraph Quartet:
The Telegraph Quartet (Joseph Maile, violin; Eric Chin, violin; Pei-Ling Lin, viola; Jeremiah Shaw, cello) was formed in 2013 with an equal passion for standard chamber music repertoire and contemporary and non-standard repertoire. Described by the San Francisco Chronicle in 2017 as, "an incredibly valuable addition to the cultural landscape," and "powerfully adept... with a combination of brilliance and subtlety," the Telegraph Quartet was most recently awarded the prestigious 2016 Walter W. Naumburg Chamber Music Award. Past prizes include the Grand Prize at the 2014 Fischoff Chamber Music Competition. The Quartet has since gone on to perform in concert halls, music festivals, and academic institutions from Los Angeles and New York to Italy and Taiwan, including Carnegie Hall, San Francisco's Herbst Recital Hall and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music Chamber Masters Series and at festivals including the Chautauqua Institute, Kneisel Hall Chamber Music Festival, and the Emilia Romagna Festival. In 2016, the Quartet was invited as one of a handful of emerging professional string quartets from around the world to perform in Paris, France at the Biennale de quatuors à cordes, a showcase for major concert presenters of Europe and Asia taking place at the Philharmonie de Paris. The Telegraph Quartet gave its first Carnegie Hall appearance in Weill Recital Hall in 2015 along with violinist Ian Swensen and pianist Jeff LaDeur. A fervent champion of contemporary and 20th century repertoire, the Telegraph Quartet has co-commissioned John Harbison's String Quartet No. 6, which received its West Coast premiere in the fall of 2017 at San Francisco State University's Morrison Artist Series. In 2018, the Quartet plans to release its debut album featuring works by Anton Webern, Benjamin Britten, and Leon Kirchner.
About Robert Sirota:
Over four decades, composer Robert Sirota has developed a distinctive voice, clearly discernible in all of his work - whether symphonic, choral, stage, or chamber music. Writing in the Portland Press Herald, Allan Kozinn asserts: "Sirota's musical language is personal and undogmatic, in the sense that instead of aligning himself with any of the competing contemporary styles, he follows his own internal musical compass."
Robert Sirota's works have been performed by orchestras across the US and Europe; ensembles such as Alarm Will Sound, Sequitur, yMusic, Chameleon Arts, and Dinosaur Annex; the Chiara, American, Ethel, Elmyr, and Blair String Quartets; the Peabody, Concord, and Webster Trios; and at festivals including Tanglewood, Aspen, Yellow Barn, and Cooperstown music festivals; Bowdoin Gamper and Bowdoin International Music Festival; and Mizzou International Composers Festival. Recent and upcoming commissions include the American Guild of Organists, the American String Quartet, Alarm Will Sound, the Naumburg Foundation, Concert Artists of Baltimore, and yMusic.
Recipient of grants from the Guggenheim Foundation, United States Information Agency, National Endowment for the Arts, Meet the Composer, and the American Music Center, Sirota's works are recorded on the Capstone, Albany, New Voice, Gasparo and Crystal labels. His music is published by Muzzy Ridge Music, Schott, Music Associates of New York, MorningStar, Theodore Presser, and To the Fore.
A native New Yorker, Sirota studied at Juilliard, Oberlin, and Harvard and divides his time between New York and Searsmont, Maine with his wife, Episcopal priest and organist Victoria Sirota. They frequently collaborate on new works, with Victoria as librettist and performer, at times also working with their children, Jonah and Nadia, both world-class violists.