Pacifica String Quartet
Time: 4:00 P.M., Sunday,  February 19, 2012
Moody Music Building, University of Alabama

Program Notes

Named Musical America's 2009 Ensemble of the Year, the Grammy-winning Pacifica Quartet has received international acclaim as one of the finest chamber ensembles performing today. Recent career honors include appointment as quartet-in-residence at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, the position held for 43 years by the Guarneri String Quartet. In 2009 the Pacifica was named Ensemble of the Year by Musical America and received the 2009 Grammy Award for Best Chamber Music Performance.

The Pacifica Quartet tours extensively throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia and performs in the world’s major concert halls. The ensemble can be also be heard on many of the nation’s most prominent radio broadcasts. Having given highly acclaimed performances of the complete Beethoven, Mendelssohn, and Elliott Carter string quartets in recent seasons, the Quartet will perform the monumental Shostakovich quartet cycle in Chicago and New York during the 2010-2011 season. In 2011-2012, the Pacifica will take the Shostakovich cycle to London’s Wigmore Hall and will also present the complete Beethoven cycle at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art.

An ardent advocate of contemporary music, the Pacifica Quartet commissions and performs many new works each year. It has been widely acclaimed for its single-concert performances of Elliott Carter’s complete cycle of five string quartets since it first gave them in 2002 and 2003 in New York, Chicago, San Francisco, and abroad. Critics have called these groundbreaking concerts “brilliant,” “astonishing,” and “breathtaking.”

Formed in 1994, the Pacifica Quartet quickly won chamber music’s top competitions, including the 1998 Naumburg Chamber Music Award. In 2002 the ensemble was honored with Chamber Music America’s Cleveland Quartet Award and appointment to The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s program for gifted young musicians. In 2006 the Pacifica was awarded a prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant, becoming only the second chamber music ensemble to be so honored in the Grant’s long history.

The members of the Pacifica Quartet live in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, where they were appointed to the faculty of the University of Illinois in 2004 and serve as Faculty Quartet in Residence. In addition to their recent appointment as quartet-in-residence at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Pacifica Quartet members also serve as resident performing artists at the University of Chicago and the Longy School of Music in Boston.