Recognized for its virtuosity, exuberant performance style, and often-daring repertory choices, over the past two decades the Pacifica Quartet has achieved international recognition as one of the finest chamber ensembles performing today.
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 the appointment to Lincoln Center’s CMS Two, and in 2006 was awarded a prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant. Also in 2006 the Quartet was featured on the cover of Gramophone and heralded as one of “five new quartets you should know about,” the only American quartet to make the list. And in 2009, the Quartet was named “Ensemble of the Year” by Musical America.
The Quartet’s 2017-18 season features performances with the guitar legend Sharon Isbin, the complete Beethoven cycle for the University at Buffalo’s renowned Slee Cycle, and multiple performances of the Mendelssohn octet with the Dover Quartet. Highlights of the 2016-17 season included a return performance at New York’s famed 92nd Street Y; the culmination of a two-season residency at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston; tours with Johannes Moser, Jörg Widmann, and Marc-André Hamelin; and the debut of a new cello quintet by the Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Julia Wolfe.
Hailed as “the pre-eminent guitarist of our time”, Sharon Isbin, as a woman in a male-dominated field, has been a trailblazer in more ways than most classical musicians could ever dream. She has appeared as soloist with over 170 orchestras and has given sold-out performances in the world’s finest halls.
Born in Minneapolis, Sharon Isbin began her guitar studies at age nine in Italy, and later studied with Andrès Segovia and Oscar Ghiglia. Her teachers also included the legendary piano doyenne Rosalyn Tureck. She’s the first guitarist to record with the New York Philharmonic. What’s more, Sharon Isbin has had no difficulty straddling the worlds of classical music and pop culture; her playing is on the soundtrack of the Martin Scorsese Academy Award-winning film The Departed. She has won multiple Grammys and has commissioned an impressive number of works for guitar, from composers of vastly different styles including Leo Brouwer (Cuban) , John Duarte (British) and Tan Dun (Chinese). A frequent guest on NPR’s All Things Considered and Garrison Keillor’s A Prairie Home Companion, she has been profiled on television throughout the world. On September 11, 2002, Ms. Isbin performed at Ground Zero for the internationally televised memorial. Among other career highlights, she performed at the White House for President and Mrs. Obama in November 2009, and was the only classical artist to perform in the 2010 GRAMMY Awards. She has been profiled in periodicals from People to Elle, The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times, as well as appearing on the covers of over 45 magazines. Her 2015 national television performances on PBS include the Billy Joel Gershwin Prize, Tavis Smiley, and American Public Television’s presentation of the acclaimed one-hour documentary on her life and work produced by Susan Dangel titled Sharon Isbin: Troubadour, seen by millions on nearly 200 PBS stations across the US, and the winner of the 2015 ASCAP Television Broadcast Award. The film was released with bonus performances on DVD/Blu-ray by Video Artists International. Watch the trailer at: www.sharonisbintroubadour.com
Simin Ganatra (violin)
Austin Hartman (violin)
Guy Ben-Ziony (viola)
Brandon Vamos (cello)
Sharon Isbin (guitar)
Quartet in G major, Op. 76, No. 1
Guitar Quintet in F major, op. 143
Concerto in D major for guitar and strings, RV 93
Guitar Quintet No. 4 in D Major, G.448
Address: 211 Belknap Place
Time: 3:15 PM