"...so much devotion and romantic spirit, power and tenderness...just beautiful!"
--Neue Wernigeröder Zeitung
Renowned for their dynamic performances and innovative repertoire choices, the Madison String Quartet has firmly established itself as a trailblazing ensemble, with a special focus on exploring Hispanic musical traditions from both sides of the Atlantic. As noted by Paul Somers of Classical New Jersey, the quartet has expertly carved out a unique niche in the world of classical music.
One of the Quartet's distinguishing features is its commitment to breaking down the barrier between performers and the audience, creating an inviting and immersive atmosphere that allows masterpieces from various eras to shine.
In a testament to their versatility and dedication to contemporary music, the Quartet recently unveiled their second CD recording, centering on the compositions of New Jersey-based artist David Rimelis. Their 2004 release, "Life is a Dream," garnered critical acclaim and exemplified their trademark eclectic programming. This album not only featured the world premiere of pieces by the award-winning composer Miguel del Aguila but also included quartets by Silvestre Revueltas and Peter Schickele. In addition to their advocacy for Latin American works, the Quartet has fostered collaborations with prominent composers in their home state of New Jersey, such as Dale Trumbore, Paul Moravec, and Charles Griffin. Their performance of Paul Moravec's "Vince and Jan: 1945" at the inaugural "Facebook Friends" concert organized by composer Douglas Townsend stands as a testament to their commitment to promoting contemporary compositions.
The Madison String Quartet has also ventured into the realm of literature and poetry, partnering with New York-based poet Kate Light to bring her collection "Einstein's Mozart" to life. Through captivating performances that intertwined poetry and music, they explored the parallel lives and contributions of Einstein and Mozart. Moreover, in April 2016, the Quartet introduced the world to "In Kharms' Way," a groundbreaking theatrical production featuring quartet music and actors, conceived by Ray Luedeke.
From 2008 to 2016, the Quartet proudly served as the quartet-in-residence at the Kenai Peninsula Summer Festival in Alaska. Their impressive journey has included a prestigious performance at Carnegie Hall, where they mesmerized the audience with Modesta Bor's "Imitación Serial para Cuerdas." The Quartet has also graced the stages of various chamber series, including the Friends of Music in Westchester, Mozart and Friends in Princeton, and the Rhinebeck Chamber Series. Their performance of Schubert's "Death and the Maiden" at the Rhinebeck Chamber Series left an indelible mark, captivating the audience like an untold story.
In celebration of their 20th anniversary in 2019, the Madison String Quartet embarked on their inaugural European tour, captivating audiences in Austria and Germany. In Vienna, they showcased their artistry at the Arnold Schoenberg Center, performing Schoenberg's 1942 work "Ode to Napoleon Bonaparte" and premiering a piece by Venezuelan composer Icli Zitella, inspired by Schoenberg's "Survivor from Warsaw." This milestone tour underscored their commitment to bridging cultures through music and solidified their place as musical ambassadors on the international stage.
Photo credit: Leonardo Aponte
Photo credit: Helen Houldsworth