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Friday, February 24, 2023 • 7:30 PM

Quartetto di Cremona

Prelude lecture by Michael Gerdes · 6:30 PM

The Baker-Baum Concert Hall

The Italian Quartetto di Cremona, a preeminent quartet of its generation, is noted for its lustrous sound, refined musicianship, and stylistic versatility. Its members make their LJMS debut bringing us a program of beloved classics performed with style and flair. 

“It’s a rare blend: breadth of sound and capriciousness combined with perfect tuning and ensemble has the players sounding absolutely of one voice… Nothing less than life-affirming.” — Gramophone

Quartetto di Cremona
Cristiano Gualco, violin; Paolo Andreoli, violin
Simone Gramaglia, viola; Giovanni Scaglione, cello

Winner of the 2019 Franco Buitoni Award, the Quartetto di Cremona is a preeminent quartet of its generation noted for its lustrous sound, refined musicianship, and stylistic versatility. The quartet was established in 2000 at the Accademia Walter Stauffer in Cremona, Italy, and recently celebrated its 20th anniversary. Over the course of two decades, Quartetto di Cremona has toured extensively in Europe, the United States, South America, and Asia, appeared at leading festivals, and performed regularly on radio and television broadcasts, including RAI, BBC, Westdeutscher Rundfunk, and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. The Quartetto di Cremona’s extensive repertoire encompasses key masterworks from Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert; essential late-ninteenth and twentieth-century literature by Debussy, Schoenberg, Webern, Bartók, and Shostakovich, Prokofiev, Ravel, Janaček, and Dvorák; and contemporary works by Golijov, Lacheman, Fabio Vacchi, Silvia Colasanti, Nimrod Borenstein, and Kalevi Aho.

In the 2021–22 season, Quartetto di Cremona embarked on two North American tours. They made their long-awaited Lincoln Center debut at the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center in New York with Prokofiev, Schoenberg, and Weber’s quintet with clarinetist David Shifrin. Other North American engagements include Houston (with Shifrin), Santa Monica, Montreal, Hamilton, ON, and Ithaca, NY. The group performed last summer in Finland, Denmark, Germany, France, Albania and Italy; they later debuted at the Fundación Juan March in Madrid and in Linz, Austria.

The quartet recently made debuts at the Ravello Festival and at Prague’s Rudolfinum, alongside the Pavel Haas Quartet, but due to the pandemic, several concerts had to be postponed. The group released its 14th album, Italian Postcards, a debut on Avie Records in November 2020. It features works by Hugo Wolf, Mozart, Tchaikovsky, and the world premiere recording of Nimrod Borenstein’s “Cieli d’Italia,” commissioned by the Cremona Quartet. Despite the pandemic, the Quartet was able to make its debut in Istanbul, performing with clarinetist David Orlowsky.

In July 2018, the German label Audite issued Quartetto di Cremona’s complete cycle of the Beethoven quartets, recorded during the period 2013–16, in a box set, which includes the String Quintet in C major, Op. 29 with Lawrence Dutton, violist of the Emerson String Quartet. The first volume in the series received widespread and immediate recognition, including a five-star rating in BBC Music Magazine and selection as album of the month by Fonoforum, the German journal. The seventh CD earned the Supersonic Award from the German magazine Pizzicato and the Echo Klassik 2017 prize. More recently, the Quartet was a winner of the International Classical Music Awards 2018 for the seventh and eighth discs of their Beethoven series. An all-Schubert disc was released in May 2019 on Audite featuring two of composer’s masterpieces, String Quartet “Death & the Maiden” and String Quintet in C major, with cellist Eckart Runge.

Quartetto di Cremona leads a renowned string program currently in its ninth year for professional and advanced string quartets at the Accademia Walter Stauffer, which is now part of the brand new campus of the Stauffer String Center, opening in October 2021. Awarded the Borletti-Buitoni Trust Fellowship in 2005, the Quartetto di Cremona is also the recipient of the second “Franco Buitoni Award” (2019), in recognition of its contribution to promoting and encouraging chamber music in Italy and throughout the world. The quartet is supported by the Kulturfond Peter Eckes which provides the musicians with three superb instruments: violin Paolo Antonio Testore, viola Gioachino Torazzi, cello Dom Nicola Amati. Cristiano Gualco plays his own violin Nicola Amati, Cremona 1640. In 2015, the musicians were awarded honorary citizenship by the city of Cremona.

MOZART
String Quartet No. 1 in G Major, K.80/73f

VERDI
String Quartet in E Minor

WOLF
Italian Serenade

RESPIGHI
String Quartet in D Major

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