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Borromeo String Quartet



Audiences around the world respond with exhilaration to what the critics call the "razor sharp intensity" and "heart stopping" performances of the award-winning Borromeo String Quartet. Quickly establishing itself as one of the most important string quartets performing today, the Borromeo Quartet has been hailed by The New York Times as "outstanding" and the Boston Globe as "simply the best there is".

During the 2004-2005 season, the Borromeo Quartet will perform over 100 concerts in major venues across three continents. Highlights of the season include engagements in New York, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, as well as international tours of Europe and Asia. In addition to their performances across Japan, they will continue their annual Young Professionals String Quartet Seminar at the Dai-Ichi Semei Hall in Tokyo.

Internationally the Quartet has appeared at such prestigious venues as the Philharmonie in Berlin, the Dai-Ichi Semei, Suntory, and Casals Halls in Tokyo, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Dvorak Hall in Prague, the Opera Bastille in Paris, and Wigmore Hall in London. Its American engagements have included performances at Carnegie Hall's Weill Recital Hall, Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall, and Boston's Jordan Hall in addition to the Library of Congress, the Freer Gallery, the Corcoran Gallery and the National Gallery.

Recent collaborators have included violinist Midori, pianists Christopher Eschenbach, Leon Fleisher, Gary Graffman and Menahem Pressler, sopranos Dawn Upshaw & Audra McDonald, clarinetists David Shifrin & Richard Stoltzman, cellist Bernard Greenhouse as well as members of the Brentano, Guarneri, Juilliard and Cleveland Quartets.

The Quartet has participated in many of the most prestigious international chamber music festivals including the Prague Spring Festival, the Spoleto Festival in Italy, the Orlando Festival in The Netherlands, and Norway's Stavanger Festival. In North America, the Quartet has appeared at the Tanglewood Festival, Ravinia, the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, Caramoor, the Cape Cod Chamber Music Festival, Yale at Norfolk, Bravo! Colorado, Spoleto (Charleston & Italy), Chamber Music Northwest and the Vancouver Chamber Music Festival.

At the Cape Cod Chamber Music Festival, where Nicholas Kitchen serves as Artistic Director, the quartet has worked in a variety of projects spanning traditional quartet presentations such as the Beethoven and Bartok Cycles and bold experiments with percussionists, jazz musicians and multimedia presentations. Their work connecting the New England Conservatory of Music and the Cape Cod Chamber Music Festival to create an ongoing presence in the schools is a program they hope will be a model for other organizations. This work in Cape Cod connects naturally to their work in Boston as Quartet-in-Residence at the New England Conservatory of Music where the Quartet also works with the Conservatory's innovative "Learning Through Music" program. In addition, the members also serve as advisors to Community MusicWorks of Providence, Rhode Island, an organization dedicated to enriching the lives of inner city youths and families through classical music.

In 2000, The Borromeo String Quartet completed two seasons as a member of Chamber Music Society Two, the emerging artists program of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. The Quartet has also had a long-standing relationship as the quartet in residence at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. Completing its first Beethoven Cycle in the spring of 2000 and the complete Bartok String Quartets in 2003, the Schoenberg Quartet Cycle will be the focus throughout the 2004-06 seasons.

Gramophone Magazine hailed the "great clarity and beauty" and "ravishing fury" of the Quartet's most recent commercial recording project, featuring two masterworks by Beethoven, Quartet Op. 95, "Serioso" and Quartet Op. 59, No. 3. Their first recording project, the String Quartet and String Duo of Maurice Ravel, was honored with the Chamber Music America/WQXR Award for Recording Excellence in 2001. Both discs are on the Image Recordings label. For the 98-99 season, the Quartet served as Ensemble-in-Residence for National Public Radio's Performance Today and today is heard frequently on NPR, WGBH in Boston, WNYC in New York, NHK Radio & Television in Japan and KBS Radio and Television in Korea.

In 2003, the Borromeo Quartet embarked on a groundbreaking initiative, Living Archive. This new initiative - a first in the genre of classical music - creates an opportunity for all listeners to order CDs and DVDs of the concert they have just attended and from the growing list of Living Archive performances on the group's Web site The quartet hopes this effort will allow listeners to explore more deeply the content of the music and the magical qualities of communication which are most alive in the concert hall. The proceeds of each sale are divided to benefit all who participated in the production of the concert - composer, presenter, performer and engineer.

The Borromeo String Quartet maintains a strong connection to contemporary composers, having worked with John Cage, John Harbison, Osvaldo Golijov, Steve Mackey, Thomas Ades, Leon Kirchner, Gunther Schuller and Gyorgy Ligeti among many others. The Quartet will begin a new commissioning initiative with the Copland House of New York for the 2005-06 seasons forming an annual collaboration with composers in residence.

Formed in 1989 by four young musicians from the Curtis Institute of Music, the Quartet studied as a group at the New England Conservatory of Music and immediately won international acclaim as the recipient of top prizes in the 1990 International String Quartet Competition in Evian, France. The following year, the Quartet won the Young Concert Artists International Auditions and made its New York and Washington debuts on the YCA series at the 92nd Street Y and the Kennedy Center, respectively. The Borromeo Quartet has continued to win international recognition with recent awards including Chamber Music America's prestigious Cleveland Quartet Award in 1998, and Lincoln Center's Martin E. Segal Award for 2001, given annually to rising artists.

The Quartet takes its name from an area of northern Italy where it played its first concerts together.