Sunday, March 8, 2009 3:00 pm Concert Hall
Pre-concert panel discussion with composers at 2:00 pm
The world-renowned string quartet plays works by Mills composers past and present
Now in its 35th year, the Arditti Quartet is quite simply without parallel in the world of contemporary music. It is not merely a matter of their longevity, nor the sheer volume of string quartets written especially for them, impressive though these may be. Rather, it is the fact that their world premieres of quartets—by composers such as Birtwistle, Cage, Carter, Dillon, Ferneyhough, Gubaidulina, Harvey, Hosokawa, Kagel, Kurtag, Lachenmann, Ligeti, Nancarrow, Neuwirth, Reynolds, Rihm, Scelsi, Stockhausen, and Xenakis—have had a major impact upon 20th-century music, giving the Arditti Quartet their own distinguished place in music history.
The Arditti Quartet believes that close collaboration is crucial to any successful interpretation, and therefore attempts to work with every composer whose work they perform. Their passion and discipline is equally clear when working with lesser-known composers as with recognized stars, and their commitment to educational work is indicated by master classes and workshops given to young performers and composers around the world. The Arditti Quartet's exemplary series on the French label Naïve Montaigne, now numbering more than 40 recordings, features numerous contemporary composers, as well as the first digital recordings of the complete Second Viennese School's string quartet music, Stockhausen's infamous Helicopter String Quartet, and many composer portraits recorded in their presence. The complete quartets of Luciano Berio, who taught at Mills in the '60s, were recorded for the same label shortly before his death.
Over the past 25 years, the ensemble has received many prizes for its work. They have won the Deutsche Schallplatten Preis several times, and Britain's Gramophone Award for the best recording of contemporary music in 1999 (Elliott Carter) and 2002 (Harrison Birtwistle). They are also recipients of the prestigious Ernst von Siemens Music Prize for lifetime achievement in music.
For this concert, they will perform quartets from Mills composers past and present in what promises to be both a reunion and a celebration.
"As it has done for more than a quarter-century with astonishing virtuosity and bravery, the Arditti Quartet continues to treat music as something of crucial importance and endless amazement." —LA Times
View Program Notes
Arditti Quartet: Iannis Xenakis' String Quartet, ST/4
This performance by the Arditti Quartet is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.