“2009 Musical America’s “Ensemble of the Year”
- New York Times
“The pre-eminent guitarist of our time” – Boston Magazine
Pacifica Quartet with Sharon Isbin, guitar
October 1, 2019, 7:30pm
CABELL HALL AUDITORIUM, UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA
Underwriters: David W. Garrison & Mary Jane King
Underwriter: David Sansone
Turina La Oración del Torero, Op. 34
Castelnuovo-Tedesco Guitar Quintet in F Major, Op. 143
Vivaldi Concerto in D Major for guitar & strings,
Tárrega Capricho árabe
Boccherini Guitar Quintet No. 4 in D Major, G. 448
Recognized for its virtuosity, exuberant performance style, and often-daring repertory choices, over the past twenty-five years the Pacifica Quartet has achieved international recognition as one of the finest chamber ensembles performing today. Named the quartet-in-residence at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music in March 2012, the Pacifica was previously the quartet-in-residence at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and received a Grammy Award for Best Chamber Music Performance. In 2017, the Pacifica Quartet was appointed to lead the Center for Advanced Quartet Studies at the Aspen Music Festival and School.
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 The Bowers Program (formerly CMS Two), and in 2006 was awarded a prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant. With its powerful energy and captivating, cohesive sound, the Pacifica has established itself as the embodiment of the senior American quartet sound.
The Pacifica Quartet has proven itself 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 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, New York, Montreal and at London’s Wigmore Hall. The Quartet has been widely praised for these cycles, with critics calling the concerts “brilliant,” “astonishing,” “gripping,” and “breathtaking.”
In the 2019-20 season the Pacifica will perform at Carnegie Hall; in collaborations with Sharon Isbin, Johannes Moser, and Orion Weiss; and at the Metropolitan Museum of Art as part of the Guarneri Quartet celebration. Recent season highlights include defining performances at Shriver Hall with Marc-André Hamelin and for the Montreal International String Quartet Academy, as well as appearances on North America’s major chamber-music series, including concerts in Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Kansas City, Charlottesville, and Vancouver.
An ardent advocate of contemporary music, the Pacifica Quartet commissions and performs many new works including those by Keeril Makan, Julia Wolfe, and Shulamit Ran, the latter in partnership with the Music Accord consortium, London’s Wigmore Hall, and Tokyo’s Suntory Hall. The work – entitled Glitter, Doom, Shards, Memory – had its New York debut as part of the Chamber Music Society at Lincoln Center series.
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. Cedille Records released the group’s four-CD recording of the entire Shostakovich cycle, paired with other contemporary Soviet works, to rave reviews: “The playing is nothing short of phenomenal.” (Daily Telegraph, London) Other recent recording projects include recording Leo Ornstein’s rarely-heard piano quintet with Marc-André Hamelin with an accompanying tour, the Brahms piano quintet with the legendary pianist Menahem Pressler, and the Brahms and Mozart clarinet quintets with the New York Philharmonic’s principal clarinetist, Anthony McGill.
The members of the Pacifica Quartet live in Bloomington, IN, where they serve as quartet-in-residence and full-time faculty members at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music. Prior to their appointment, the Quartet was on the faculty of the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana from 2003 to 2012, and also served as resident performing artist at the University of Chicago for seventeen years.
The Pacifica Quartet is endorsed by D’Addario and proudly uses their strings.
For more information on the Quartet, please visit www.pacificaquartet.com.
Acclaimed for her extraordinary lyricism, technique and versatility, multiple GRAMMY Award winner Sharon Isbin has been hailed as “the pre-eminent guitarist of our time.” Winner of Guitar Player’s Best Classical Guitarist award, Germany’s Echo Klassik, and the Munich, Toronto and Madrid international competitions, she has appeared as soloist with nearly 200 orchestras. She has given sold-out performances in many of the world’s finest halls, including New York’s Carnegie and Geffen Halls, Boston’s Symphony Hall, Washington D.C.’s Kennedy Center, Philadelphia’s Kimmel Center, London’s Barbican and Wigmore Halls, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, Paris’ Châtelet, Vienna’s Musikverein, Munich’s Herkulessaal, and Madrid’s Teatro Real. She created and directed festivals for Carnegie Hall, New York’s 92nd Street Y and the national radio series Guitarjam.
The acclaimed documentary Sharon Isbin: Troubadour has been seen by millions on over 200 PBS stations across the U.S., and abroad including Europe, Japan and Mexico. Winner of the 2015 ASCAP Television Broadcast Award, the film is available with bonus performances on DVD and Blu-ray. Watch the trailer at: www.sharonisbintroubadour.com. Other recent national PBS television performances include the Billy Joel Gershwin Prize with Josh Groban, and Tavis Smiley. Ms. Isbin has been featured on NPR’s All Things Considered, A Prairie Home Companion, CBS Sunday Morning, Showtime’s The L Word, Scorsese’s Oscar-winning The Departed, at Ground Zero for the first internationally televised 9/11 memorial, the White House by invitation of President Obama, and as the only classical artist in the 2010 GRAMMY Awards. Profiled in periodicals from People to Elle, The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times, she has appeared on the cover of over 45 magazines.
Ms. Isbin’s catalogue of over 25 recordings—from Baroque, Spanish/Latin and 20th Century to crossover and jazz-fusion—reflects remarkable versatility. Her latest release, Alma Española with Argentinian-American opera star Isabel Leonard, has been a #1 bestseller, and is the first Spanish art song album of its kind in 40 years, including twelve world premiere arrangements by Isbin. It was honored by a 2018 GRAMMY Award for Producer of the Year, Classical in recordings by David Frost. Other recent bestselling titles include Sharon Isbin: 5 Classic Albums, and Sharon Isbin & Friends: Guitar Passions with guests Steve Vai, Heart’s Nancy Wilson and others. Her 2010 GRAMMY-winning Journey to the New World with guests Joan Baez and Mark O’Connor spent 63 consecutive weeks on top Billboard charts. Other GRAMMYs include her world premiere recording of concerti written for her by Christopher Rouse and Tan Dun, and Dreams of a World which made her the first classical guitarist in 28 years to receive the award. She received a Latin GRAMMY nomination for her disc of Rodrigo/Ponce/Villa-Lobos concerti with the New York Philharmonic—their only recording with a guitar soloist.
Sharon Isbin has been acclaimed for expanding the guitar repertoire with some of the finest new works of our time. She has commissioned and premiered more concerti than any other guitarist, and her American Landscapes with works written for her by Corigliano, Schwantner and Foss is the first-ever recording of American guitar concerti. Her latest world premieres include Affinity: Concerto for Guitar & Orchestra composed for her by Chris Brubeck, and a work by Richard Danielpour commissioned for her by Carnegie Hall for its 125th anniversary and by Chicago’s Harris Theater. Other recent highlights include a 21-city Guitar Passions tour with jazz greats Stanley Jordan and Romero Lubambo, collaborations with Sting, tours with the Pacifica Quartet, performances with the Detroit, National and Montreal Symphonies, and sold-out recitals at the Kennedy Center and Carnegie Hall.
Sharon Isbin began her guitar studies at nine in Italy, later studying with Andrés Segovia, Oscar Ghiglia, and Rosalyn Tureck with whom she collaborated on landmark editions/recordings of the Bach lute suites for guitar. She authored the Classical Guitar Answer Book, and directs guitar departments at the Aspen Music Festival and The Juilliard School, which she created in 1989. Please visit her on Facebook, Twitter and sharonisbin.com.