string quartet, 2019/20 music directors
This remarkable quartet - hailed as "a triumph of ensemble playing" by the New York Times – is a multi-faceted ensemble taking chamber music in new directions. Touring music of the masters as well as exciting original works from visionary composers of our time, the Fry Street Quartet has perfected a "blend of technical precision and scorching spontaneity" (Strad). Since securing the Grand Prize at the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition, the quartet has reached audiences from Carnegie Hall to London, and Sarajevo to Jerusalem, exploring the medium of the string quartet and its life-affirming potential with "profound understanding...depth of expression, and stunning technical astuteness" (Deseret Morning News).
With a discography that includes a wide range of works from Haydn and Beethoven to Stravinsky, Janacek and Rorem, the quartet is known for being "Equally at home in the classic repertoire of Mozart and Beethoven or contemporary music," (Palm Beach Daily News).
The FSQ's tour repertoire reaches many corners of the musical spectrum, including works of Britten, Schubert, Beethoven and Bartok, as well as programs of American women composers Laura Kaminsky, Amy Beach, Joan Tower and a newly commissioned work by Libby Larsen. Over the next two seasons, the Salt Lake City-based NOVA series will present the FSQ’s complete Bartok Cycle, pairing these monumental works with Haydn’s String Quartets Op. 76.
In addition to collaborations with acclaimed instrumentalists (including Joseph Kalichstein, Wu Han, Paul Katz, Donald Weilerstein, Misha Dichter, Andres Cardenes and Roger Tapping, among others), the Fry Street Quartet has commissioned and toured new works by a wide range of composers. Pandemonium by Brazilian composer Clarice Assad received its Fry Street premiere with the San Jose Chamber Orchestra; Michael Ellison's Fiddlin' was co-commissioned by the Arizona Friends of Chamber Music Series and the Salt Lake City based NOVA series; Laura Kaminsky's Rising Tide was commissioned especially for the quartet's global sustainability initiative, The Crossroads Project.
After more than 30 performances in three different countries, The Crossroads Project: Rising Tide continues to resonate with audiences. This fresh approach to communicating society’s sustainability challenges draws upon all the senses with a unique blend of science and art and has been featured on the NPR program joe’s big idea, which aired during All Things Considered, as well as in publications by Yale Climate Connections, Reuters, and the New York Times. The quartet's 2014-2015 season included its premiere of Laura Kaminsky's new chamber opera, As One with soprano Sasha Cooke and baritone Kelly Markgraff at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, as well as a new work by Libby Larsen entitled Emergence, which anchors the Crossroads Project’s second chapter, Crossroads: Emergence for string quartet, film, and actor.
The quartet's significant touring history includes performances at major venues, festivals, and for distinguished series such as Carnegie Hall and the Schneider Series at the New School in New York, the Jewel Box series in Chicago, Chamber Music Columbus, the Kravis Center in West Palm Beach, the DiBartolo Performing Arts Center at Notre Dame, the Theosophical Society in London, and the Mozart Gemeinde in Klagenfurt, Austria.
The Fry Street Quartet is pleased to hold the Dan C. and Manon Caine Russell Endowed String Quartet Residency at the Caine College of the Arts at Utah State University.