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Calder Quartet



Hailed as “Superb” and “imaginative, skillful creators” by the New York Times, the Calder Quartet captivates audiences exploring a broad spectrum of repertoire, always striving to fulfill the composer’s vision in their performances. The group’s distinctive artistry is exemplified by a musical curiosity brought to everything they perform and has led them to be called “one of America’s most satisfying – and most enterprising – quartets”. (Los Angeles Times)

Winners of the prestigious 2014 Avery Fisher Career Grant, they are widely known for the discovery, commissioning, recording and mentoring of some of today’s best emerging composers. In addition to performances of the complete Beethoven and Bartok quartets, the Calder Quartet’s dedication to commissioning new works has given rise to premieres of dozens of string quartets by established and up-and-coming composers including Peter Eötvös, Andrew Norman, Christopher Rouse, Ted Hearne and Christopher Cerrone. Inspired by innovative American artist Alexander Calder, the Calder Quartet’s desire to bring immediacy and context to the works they perform creates an artfully crafted musical experience.

2023/24 includes the world premiere of The Great Span, a Piano Quintet written by and performed with Timo Andres at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts, with additional dates at San Francisco Performances and Chamber Music Albuquerque. A new production, “In The Mind’s Ear: Motion Beyond Silence” with dancer Antoine Hunter, receives its world premiere at the String Quartet Biennale Amsterdam, followed by Stanford, San Francisco Performances and the Meany Center for the Arts.  The Calder’s season begins with a tour of Alaska, and includes a return to Chamber Music Napa Valley.  Summer engagements included the Mendocino Music Festival, Festival de Lanaudiere, and performances of Adès at La Jolla Music Society.

Past highlights include Carnegie Hall, Kennedy Center, Disney Hall, Lincoln Center, Metropolitan Museum of Art, multiple performances at Wigmore Hall, Barbican, Salzburg Festival, Donaueschingen Festival, Frankfurt Alte Oper, Tonhalle Zurich, IRCAM Paris, Hamburg’s Elbphilharmonie and the Sydney Opera House. They have performed as soloists with the Cleveland Orchestra and LA Philharmonic and have collaborated with musicians such as Thomas Adès, Peter Eötvös, Anders Hillborg, Daniel Bjarnasson, Andrew Norman, Audrey Luna, Johannes Moser, Joshua Bell, Menahem Pressler, Joseph Kalechstein, Paul Neubauer, Iva Bittová and Edgar Meyer.

In 2017, the quartet signed an exclusive, multi-disc record deal with Pentatone Records. Their 2018 debut recording features the music of Beethoven and Swedish composer Anders Hillborg. Previously the quartet has appeared on Signum Classics, BMC records, Bridge Records and E1 recording the quartets of Peter Eötvös with Audrey Luna, Thomas Adès’ chamber music with the composer at the piano, early works of Terry Riley, the chamber music of Christopher Rouse, Mozart Piano concertos with Anne-Marie McDermott, and Ravel and Mozart quartets.

As a side project, the quartet has collaborated with acts such as Andrew WK, Lord Huron, Vampire Weekend, and The National. Television appearances include the Late Show with David Letterman, Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien, Late Night with Jimmy Kimmel, and the Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson as well as radio appearances on KCRW’s Morning Becomes Eclectic, Performance Today, WQXR New York, KUSC Los Angeles, Colorado Public Radio, and NPR.

In 2011 the Calder Quartet launched a non-profit dedicated to furthering its efforts in commissioning, presenting, recording, and education, collaborating with the Getty Museum, Segerstrom Center for the Arts, and the Barbican Centre in London. The Calder Quartet formed at the University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music and continued studies at the Colburn Conservatory of Music with Ronald Leonard, and at the Juilliard School, receiving the Artist Diploma in Chamber Music Studies as the Juilliard Graduate Resident String Quartet. The quartet regularly conducts master classes and has taught at the Colburn School, the Oberlin School the Juilliard School, Cleveland Institute of Music, University of Cincinnati College Conservatory and USC Thornton School of Music.

Benjamin Jacobson, violin
Tereza Stanislav, violin
Jonathan Moerschel, viola
Eric Byers, cello

August 2023. Please discard previously dated materials and contact email hidden; JavaScript is required before making any alterations or cuts.

Example Programs

  • Program I, 22/23

    • Beethoven: String Quartet Op.18, No. 3
    • Ades: Four Quarters
    • Eastman: Joy Boy
    • Debussy: String Quartet in G minor, Op. 10
  • Program II, 22/23

    • Ives: String Quartet No. 2
    • Shaw: Entracte
    • Norman: Stop Motion
    • Dvorak: String Quartet No. 12 in F major, Op. 96 'American'
  • Program III, 22/23

    • Janacek: String Quartet No. 1 'Kreutzer Sonata'
    • Kurtag: Six Moments Musicaux or Alberga: String Quartet No. 2
    • Beethoven: String Quartet No. 13, Op. 130 w/grosse fugue
  • Program IV, 22/23

    • Andres: Machine Learning
    • Verdi: String Quartet in E minor
    • Norman: Stop Motion
    • Beethoven: String Quartet No. 14 in C-sharp minor, Op. 131
  • Program V, 22/23

    • Webern: Langsamer Satz
    • Rouse: String Quartet No. 3
    • Beethoven : Op. 130 w/grosse fugue or Bruckner: String Quintet in F Major
  • Program VI, 22/23

    • Complete Beethoven Cycle:
Contact Us for More Program Options

Essential Links

Program Offerings 2022-2024 Official Website Instagram YouTube Twitter Facebook Soundcloud

Press Quotes

"Performances like these — freshly rethought, impeccably played — do more than provide enjoyable listening. They reveal hidden dimensions, renew a bond with the composer, and justify the continuance of familiar works in the repertory."

Boston Globe

"Tuesday’s concert by the superb Calder Quartet showed that the time-honored string quartet format still provides fertile ground for innovation and surprise in the hands of imaginative, skillful creators."

The New York Times

"The Calder’s Beethoven was full of flaring drama, furrowed brows and quiet intensity. But, with the tightest of ensemble playing and well-judged balancing of instrumental voices, the piece retained its classical integrity and polished finish."

The Washington Post

"I've written before that every time I hear the Calder, the ensemble seems to have reached a new level. That remains true, and now only the stars are the limit, as the Calder takes its place as one of America's most satisfying -- and most enterprising -- quartets."

Los Angeles Times
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