The Cypress String Quartet will perform in Oak Ridge on Saturday, March 21. The quartet features Cecily Ward on violin, Tom Stone on violin, Ethan Filner on viola, and Jennifer Kloetzel on cello.
The quartet will play at Pollard Auditorium in a concert presented by the Oak Ridge Civic Music Association. The program will include Beethoven’s “Quartet Op. 18 No. 3,” Bartók’s “Quartet No. 4,” and Beethoven’s “Quartet Op. 59 No. 1.”
Beethoven’s “Quartet Op. 59 No. 2” is featured on the Cypress’ newest album, “Beethoven: Middle Quartets,” released on November 11. The Cypress Quartet has steeped itself in performing Beethoven’s string quartets over the last 18 years.
“Hardly a week has passed that we haven’t been studying or performing one of Beethoven’s string quartets,” Kloetzel said in a press release. “Our first 12 years together were spent exploring, performing, and crafting our ‘take’ on the Late Quartets, and then we made the choice to move backwards in time to these robust, earthy pieces—the Middle Quartets—so rich and massive after the more spiritual Late Quartets.”
The Cypress Quartet released recordings of Beethoven’s late string quartets in three volumes from 2009-2012, with a full box set released in March 2012.
Known for its elegant performances, the Cypress String Quartet has been praised by Gramophone for its “artistry of uncommon insight and cohesion,” and its sound has been called “beautifully proportioned and powerful” by The Washington Post. The Cypress Quartet was formed in San Francisco in 1996, and during its initial rehearsals, the group created a signature sound through intense readings of J.S. Bach’s Chorales. Built up from the bottom register of the quartet and layered like a pyramid, the resulting sound is clear and transparent, allowing the texture of the music to be discerned immediately, the press release said.
The Cypress String Quartet has added several new recordings to its extensive discography in recent years. In November 2011 and March 2012, respectively, the Quartet released “The American Album” (featuring Barber’s “Quartet Op. 11,” Griffes’s “Two Sketches Based on Indian Themes,” and Dvořák’s “String Quartet No. 12 ‘American'”), and the complete three-CD set of “Beethoven’s Late Quartets,” which was named Best Classical CD of 2012 by the Dallas Morning News.
In February 2013, the Cypress String Quartet added an all-Dvořák disc on the AVIE record label featuring “Cypresses, B. 152” (the work from which the ensemble draws its name) and “String Quartet in G, Op. 106.” The album has garnered significant attention and is being featured on Sirius XM and PRI Classical, and was chosen as a CD of the Week on WQXR in New York, the press release said. Additionally, a full hour was devoted to the new CSQ disc on ORF, the largest and most listened-to classical music radio station in Austria.
In May 2014, the Cypress released a recording of Schubert’s “String Quintet D956” with cellist Gary Hoffman paired with Schubert’s “Quartettsatz D703,” also on Avie. The New York Times called the album a “tender, deeply expressive interpretation.”
The Cypress continues to maintain a busy national and international tour schedule, making appearances on concert series and in venues including Cal Performances, Kennedy Center, Library of Congress, Stanford Lively Arts, Krannert Center, Ravinia Festival, and the 92nd Street Y’s series at SubCulture, a new downtown music venue in New York, the release said. Their collaborators include artists such as Leon Fleisher, Jon Nakamatsu, Awadagin Pratt, Gary Hoffman, Atar Arad, James Dunham, and Zuill Bailey.
The Cypress Quartet is a vibrant member of the San Francisco arts community, and members received degrees from many of the world’s finest conservatories before coming together as a quartet, the release said. These include The Juilliard School, Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and the Royal College of Music (London), Indiana University, The Cleveland Institute of Music, and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. After a residency at the Banff Centre and a fellowship at the Center for Advanced Quartet Studies of the Aspen Music Festival, the Quartet coached intensively in London with the Amadeus Quartet. Cypress members count the Cleveland and Juilliard Quartets as some of their greatest influences.
The members of the Cypress Quartet play exceptional instruments including violins by Antonio Stradivari (1681) and Carlos Bergonzi (1733), a viola by Vittorio Bellarosa (1947), and a cello by Hieronymus Amati II (1701). The Cypress Quartet takes its name from the set of twelve love songs for string quartet, “Cypresses,” by Antonin Dvořák.
For more information, visit www.cypressquartet.com.
Here is more information on the March 21 concert:
- Beethoven—”Quartet Op. 18 No. 3″
- Bartók—”Quartet No. 4″
- Beethoven—”Quartet Op. 59 No. 2″
When: Saturday, March 21, at 7:30 p.m.
Where: Pollard Auditorium, 210 Badger Avenue, Oak Ridge
Tickets: $25 adults, $10 children and students
Contact: (865) 483-5569 or www.orcma.org