© Sophie Zhai
Finely honed technique and a focused ensemble blend are this group's strong suits...a dark ambrosial brew all its own.
– The Boston Globe
The Escher String Quartet has received acclaim for its profound musical insight and rare tonal beauty. Championed by the Emerson String Quartet, the group was a BBC New Generation Artist from 2010-2012, giving debuts at both Wigmore Hall and BBC Proms at Cadogan Hall. In its home town of New York, the ensemble serves as Artists of The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, and in 12/13 presented a critically acclaimed 3-concert series featuring the quartets of Benjamin Britten. In 2013, the quartet became one of the very few chamber ensembles to be awarded the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant.
Within months of its inception in 2005, the Escher Quartet was invited by both Pinchas Zukerman and Itzhak Perlman to be Quartet in Residence at each artist’s summer festival: the Young Artists Programme at Canada’s National Arts Centre; and the Perlman Chamber Music Programme on Shelter Island, NY. The quartet has since collaborated with artists including David Finckel, Leon Fleischer, Wu Han, Lynn Harrell, Cho Liang Lin, David Shifrin and guitarist Jason Vieaux Last season, the Escher Quartet undertook an extensive UK tour with pianist Benjamin Grosvenor.
The Escher Quartet is increasingly making a distinctive impression throughout Europe as it builds important debuts into its diary and receives consistently high acclaim for its work. Recent such engagements have included the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the Auditorium du Louvre in Paris and the Conservatoire de Musique in Geneva among others. In 2013, the group’s first appearance at Israel’s Tel Aviv Museum of Art resulted in an immediate re-invitation, and its performance at Wigmore Hall was followed by an invitation to establish a regular relationship with the venue. The current season sees further significant debuts at London’s Kings Place, Berlin’s Konzerthaus and Slovenian Philharmonic Hall in Ljubljana, as well as Great Music in Irish Houses and the Risør Festival in Norway.
Alongside its growing European profile, the Escher Quartet continues to flourish in its home country, performing at Alice Tully Hall in New York, Kennedy Center in Washington DC and Ravinia and Caramoor festivals. Last season saw a critically acclaimed debut at Chamber Music San Francisco and an appearance at Music@Menlo in California. Elsewhere, the group gave its first Australian performances at Perth International Arts Festival in 2012, and this season makes its debut at the Hong Kong International Chamber Music Festival. Adding to the current season is the quartet’s involvement in the education of young musicians, with coaching activities at Campos do Jordão Music Festival in Brazil and the Royal Academy of Music in London.
The quartet has recorded the complete Zemlinsky String Quartets on the Naxos label, releasing two highly acclaimed volumes in 2013 and 2014 respectively. Forthcoming releases include the complete Mendelssohn Quartet cycle on the BIS label.
The Escher Quartet takes its name from Dutch graphic artist M.C. Escher, inspired by Escher’s method of interplay between individual components working together to form a whole.