This Grammy award-winning string quartet is known for its daring programs, ranging from Beethoven to Carter, and celebrated for its explorations of complete cycles.
Recognized for its virtuosity, exuberant performance style, and often-daring repertory choices, the Pacifica Quartet has gained international stature as one of the finest chamber ensembles performing today. The Pacifica tours extensively throughout the United States, Europe, Asia, and Australia, performing regularly in the world’s major concert halls. Named the quartet-in-residence at Indiana University’s Jacob School of Music in March 2012, the Pacifica also served as quartet-in-residence at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (2009–2012) — a position previously held only by the Guarneri String Quartet — and received the 2009 Grammy Award for Best Chamber Music Performance.
Formed in 1994, the Pacifica Quartet quickly won chamber music’s top competitions, including the 1998 Naumburg Chamber Music Award. In 2002, the ensemble was honored with Chamber Music America’s Cleveland Quartet Award and the appointment to Lincoln Center’s CMS Two. In 2006, Pacifica was awarded a prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant, becoming only the second chamber ensemble so honored in the grant’s long history. Also in 2006, the Quartet was featured on the cover of Gramophone and heralded as one of “five new quartets you should know about,” the only American quartet to make the list. In 2009, the Quartet was named “Ensemble of the Year” by Musical America.
The Pacifica Quartet has carved a niche as the preeminent interpreter of string quartet cycles, harnessing the group’s singular focus and incredible stamina to portray each composer’s evolution, often over the course of just a few days. Having given highly acclaimed performances of the complete Elliott Carter cycle in San Francisco, New York, Chicago, and Houston; the Mendelssohn cycle in Napa, Australia, New York, and Pittsburgh; and the Beethoven cycle in New York, Denver, St. Paul, Chicago, Napa, and Tokyo (in an unprecedented presentation of five concerts in three days at Suntory Hall), the Quartet presented the monumental Shostakovich cycle in Chicago and New York during the 2010 –2011 season and in Montreal and London’s Wigmore Hall in the 2011–2012 season. The Quartet has been widely praised for these cycles, with critics calling the concerts “brilliant,” “astonishing,” “gripping,” and “breathtaking.”
An ardent advocate of contemporary music, the Pacifica Quartet commissions and performs many new works, including those by Keeril Makan and Shulamit Ran to be premiered during the 2013–2014 and 2014–2015 seasons. In 2008, the Quartet released its Grammy Award-winning recording of Carter’s Quartets Nos. 1 and 5 on the Naxos label; the 2009 release of Quartets Nos. 2, 3, and 4 completed the two-CD set. The Pacifica’s other recordings for Cedille Records include Mendelssohn: The Complete String Quartets, Declarations: Music Between the Wars, and its acclaimed, four-volume The Soviet Experience: String Quartets by Dmitri Shostakovich and his Contemporaries.
For more information — pacificaquartet.com