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Brentano Quartet

Overview

Since its inception in 1992, the Brentano String Quartet has appeared throughout the world to popular and critical acclaim. “Passionate, uninhibited and spellbinding,” raves the London Independent; the New York Times extols its “luxuriously warm sound [and] yearning lyricism”; the Philadelphia Inquirer praises its “seemingly infallible instincts for finding the center of gravity in every phrase and musical gesture”; and the Times (London) opines, “the Brentanos are a magnificent string quartet…This was wonderful, selfless music-making.” Within a few years of its formation, the Quartet garnered the first Cleveland Quartet Award and the Naumburg Chamber Music Award; and in 1996 the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center invited them to be the inaugural members of Chamber Music Society Two, a program which was to become a coveted distinction for chamber groups and individuals. The Quartet had its first European tour in 1997, and was honored in the U.K. with the Royal Philharmonic Award for Most Outstanding Debut. That debut recital was at London’s Wigmore Hall, and the Quartet has continued its warm relationship with Wigmore, appearing there regularly and serving as the hall’s Quartet-in-residence in the 2000-01 season.

In recent seasons the Quartet has traveled widely, appearing all over the United States and Canada, in Europe, Japan and Australia. It has performed in the world’s most prestigious venues, including Carnegie Hall and Alice Tully Hall in New York; the Library of Congress in Washington; the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam; the Konzerthaus in Vienna; Suntory Hall in Tokyo; and the Sydney Opera House. The Quartet has participated in summer festivals such as Aspen, the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, the Edinburgh Festival, the Kuhmo Festival in Finland, the Taos School of Music and the Caramoor Festival.

In addition to performing the entire two-century range of the standard quartet repertoire, the Brentano Quartet has a strong interest in both very old and very new music. It has performed many musical works pre-dating the string quartet as a medium, among them Madrigals of Gesualdo, Fantasias of Purcell, and secular vocal works of Josquin. Also, the quartet has worked closely with some of the most important composers of our time, among them Elliott Carter, Charles Wuorinen, Chou Wen-chung, Steven Mackey, Bruce Adolphe, and György Kurtág. The Quartet has commissioned works from Wuorinen, Adolphe, Mackey, David Horne and Gabriela Frank.

The Quartet has recorded the Opus 71 Quartets of Haydn, and has also recorded a Mozart disc for Aeon Records, consisting of the K. 464 Quartet and the K. 593 Quintet, with violist Hsin-Yun Huang. In 2010-2012, the Quartet recorded all of Beethoven’s late quartets, which were also released on Aeon. In the area of newer music, the Quartet has released a disc of the music of Steven Mackey on Albany Records, and has also recorded the music of Bruce Adolphe, Chou Wen-chung and Charles Wuorinen. Upcoming releases include a recording of Schubert’s Cello Quintet, recorded at Amherst with Michael Kannen.

In 1998, cellist Nina Lee joined the Quartet, succeeding founding member Michael Kannen. The following season the Quartet became the first Ensemble-In-Residence at Princeton University, where they taught and performed for fifteen years.

In the fall of 2014, the Quartet became the Resident String Quartet at the Yale School of Music, succeeding the Tokyo Quartet in that position. At Yale, they perform in concert each semester, and work closely with the students in chamber music contexts.

The Quartet is named for Antonie Brentano, whom many scholars consider to be Beethoven’s “Immortal Beloved”, the intended recipient of his famous love confession.

"[Their sound] was like a golden sheen that could darken or sparkle as needed."

-The Daily Gazette

Brentano Quartet w/ Marina Piccinini, flute

Wednesday, April 4, 2018 - 8:00 PM

Perelman Theater, Kimmel Center, 300 South Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102

The Program

Kernis: Air for Flute and String Quartet [Philadelphia Premiere]
Mozart: String Quartet in C Major, K. 465, Dissonance
Mozart: Flute Quartet in C Major, K. 285b
Beethoven: String Quartet in C Minor, Op. 18, No. 4

 

This performance features a free pre-concert lecture starting at 6:45 PM with Suhnne Ahn

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Brentano Quartet with Hsin-Yun Huang, viola and Jonathan Biss, piano

Date: Monday, March 6, 2017 - 8:00 PM

Location: Perelman Theater, Kimmel Center, 300 South Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102

Schumann: Gesänge der Frühe, Op. 133
Gesualdo: Selected Madrigals
Brahms: Klavierstücke, Op. 118
Mozart: String Quintet in E-flat Major, K. 614

 

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Departure and Discovery: New Directions at the Apex of Creativity is supported by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage.

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Brentano Quartet and Jonathan Biss, piano

Date: Thursday, February 16, 2017 - 8:00 PM

Location: Perelman Theater, Kimmel Center, 300 South Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102

Bach: Art of the Fugue, BWV 1080 [Sel.]
Kurtág: Játékok, Volume VII, for Piano [Sel.]
Britten: String Quartet No. 3, Op. 94
Beethoven: Piano Sonata in C Minor, Op. 111

Prior to this concert at 5:30 pm in the Perelman Theater, Gregg Whiteside (morning host on WRTI) will lead a free interdisciplinary panel discussion featuring musicologist Christoph Wolff, music critic Allan Kozinn, writer and thought leader Lewis Lapham, and behavioral scientist Dr. Daniel Gottlieb.  Their discussion will explore the effect that accumulated knowledge and experience has on artistic creation, highlighting the dramatic new directions taken and fresh discoveries made by these great composers while at the height of their creative powers.

pew_logo_color-smallDeparture and Discovery: New Directions at the Apex of Creativity is supported by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage.

Brentano Quartet
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Brentano Quartet w/ Anthony McGill, clarinet

Date: Sunday, April 17, 2016 - 8:00 PM

Location: Perelman Theater, Kimmel Center, 300 South Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102

Haydn: Quartet in F-sharp Minor, Op. 50, No. 4
Ran: STREAM for Clarinet Quintet [World Premiere - PCMS Commission]
Dvorák: Quartet in C Major, Op. 61

Special time of 8:00 PM

This performance features a free pre-concert lecture at 6:45pm with Scott Ordway

Jonathan Biss
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30th Anniversary Gala

Date: Thursday, March 24, 2016 - 7:30 PM

Location: Perelman Theater, Kimmel Center, 300 South Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102

Richard Goode, piano; Jonathan Biss, piano; Sarah Shafer, soprano; Anthony McGill, clarinet; Pamela Frank, violin; Peter Wiley, cello; Brentano Quartet

Haydn: Piano Trio in E-flat Major, Hob. XV:29
Schubert: Fantasy in F Minor, D. 940
Schubert: Der Hirt auf dem Felsen, D. 965
DvoÅ™ák: Piano Quintet in A Major, Op. 81

Brentano Quartet
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Brentano Quartet w/ Ignat Solzhenitsyn, piano

Date: Sunday, May 3, 2015 - 3:00 PM

Location: Perelman Theater, Kimmel Center, 300 South Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102

Haydn: Quartet in B-flat Major, Op. 50, No. 1
Schnittke: Piano Quintet
Mendelssohn: Quartet in E-flat Major, Op. 12

Brentano Quartet
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Brentano Quartet w/ Hsin-Yun Huang, viola

Date: Sunday, February 23, 2014 - 3:00 PM

Location: American Philosophical Society, Benjamin Franklin Hall
427 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106

Beethoven: Quartet in F Minor, Op. 95, "Serioso"
BernsteinI Feel Pretty [Arr. Mackey]
DvoÅ™ák: Waltz, Op. 54, No. 1
Shostakovich: Polka
Carter: Elegy
DvoÅ™ák: Waltz, Op. 54, No. 2
Ives: Scherzo
TchaikovskyAndante Cantabile
MackeyI've Grown So Ugly
Mozart: String Quintet in G Minor, K. 516

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Brentano Quartet w/ Anthony McGill, clarinet

Date: Tuesday, December 11, 2012 - 8:00 PM

Location: Perelman Theater, Kimmel Center, 300 South Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102

Haydn: Quartet in E-flat Major, Op. 33, No. 2, “Joke”
Mozart: Clarinet Quintet in A Major, K. 581
Brahms: Quartet in A Minor, Op. 51, No. 2

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Brentano Quartet w/ Ignat Solzhenitsyn, piano

Date: Sunday, February 19, 2012 - 3:00 PM

Location: Perelman Theater, Kimmel Center, 300 South Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102

Haydn: Quartet in D Minor, Op. 103
Ginastera: Piano Quintet, Op. 29
Beethoven: Quartet in B-flat Major, Op. 130, w/Grosse Fuge, Op. 133

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Brentano Quartet w/ Hsin-Yun Huang, viola

Date: Wednesday, December 1, 2010 - 8:00 PM

Location: Perelman Theater, Kimmel Center, 300 South Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102

Haydn: String Quartet in F Major, Op. 77, No. 2, Hob. III:82
Schumann: String Quartet in F Major, Op. 41, No. 2
Mendelssohn: String Quintet in A Major, Op. 18

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Brentano Quartet

Date: Friday, January 15, 2010 - 8:00 PM

Location: Private: Independence Seaport Museum, 211 South Columbus Blvd.
Philadelphia, PA 19106

Beethoven: String Quartet in F Major, Op. 18, No. 1
Hartke: Night Songs for a Desert Flower [Philadelphia Premiere]
Beethoven:String Quartet in C Major, Op. 59, No. 3, ‘Razumovsky”

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Brentano Quartet w/ Hsin-Yun Huang, viola

Date: Sunday, March 1, 2009 - 3:00 PM

Location: Private: Independence Seaport Museum, 211 South Columbus Blvd.
Philadelphia, PA 19106

Haydn: String Quartet in G Minor, Op. 20, No. 3, Hob. III:33
Hyla: Howl [Philadelphia Premiere]
Mendelssohn: String Quintet in B-flat Major, Op. 87

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Brentano Quartet w/ Ignat Solzhenitsyn, piano

Date: Monday, February 4, 2008 - 8:00 PM

Location: Pennsylvania Convention Center Auditorium,

Beethoven: Quintet for Winds and Piano in E-­flat Major, Op. 16 [Arr. for Piano Quartet]
Frank: Quijotadas [U.S. Premiere]
Beethoven: Quartet in E­flat Major, Op. 127

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Brentano Quartet w/ Mitusko Uchida, piano

Date: Thursday, November 9, 2006 - 8:00 PM

Location: Perelman Theater, Kimmel Center, 300 South Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102

Mozart: Piano Quartet in G Minor, K. 478
Bartók: String Quartet No. 2, Op. 17
Schumann: Piano Quintet in E-flat Major, Op. 44

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Brentano Quartet w/ Ignat Solzhenitsyn, piano

Date: Friday, December 10, 2004 - 8:00 PM

Location: Perelman Theater, Kimmel Center, 300 South Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102

Mozart: String Quartet in A Major, K. 464 [1785]
Crumb: Gnomic Variations [1981]
Dvorák: Piano Quintet in A Major, Op. 81, B. 155

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Brentano Quartet

Date: Friday, April 11, 2003 - 8:00 PM

Location: Pennsylvania Convention Center Auditorium,

10 Contrapuncti from Johann Sebastian Bach’s Die Kunst der Fuge, BWV 1080 [1742­49] interlaced with 10 Philadelphia Premieres

Maw: Intrada
Bach: Contrapunctus I and IV
Zivian: Double Fugue
Wuorinen: ALAP
Bach: Contrapunctus IX
Ran: Bach — Shards
Bach: Contrapunctus X and XVIII [unfinished]
Gubaidulina: Reflections on the theme B-A-C-H
Bach: Contrapunctus XII
Marsalis: Fugue
Bach: Contrapunctus II
Adolphe: ContraDictions
Bach: Contapunctus VI [in the French style]
Horne: Subterfuge
Bach: Contrapunctus VII
Wenchung: Contrapunctus Variabilis I
Mackey: Lude interspersed with Contrapunctus XI

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Brentano Quartet; Samuel Rhodes, viola; Joel Krosnick, cello

Date: Friday, March 22, 2002 - 8:00 PM

Location: Perelman Theater, Kimmel Center, 300 South Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102

Haydn: Quartet in F Minor, Op. 20, No. 5, Hob. III:35
Janáček: Quartet No. 1, “Kreutzer Sonata”
Dawe: Quartet No. 2, “Liber de Arte Contrapuncti” [Philadelphia Premiere]
Brahms: Sextet in G Major, Op. 36

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Brentano Quartet w/ Ignat Solzhenitsyn, piano

Date: Thursday, October 19, 2000 - 8:00 PM

Location: Pennsylvania Convention Center Auditorium,

Stravinsky: Three Pieces for String Quartet
Haydn: String Quartet in A Major, Op. 20, No. 6, Hob. III:36
Prokofiev: Piano Sonata in C Major, Op. 135
Shostakovich: Piano Quintet in G Minor, Op. 57

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Brentano Quartet w/ Ignat Solzhenitsyn, piano

Date: Thursday, November 7, 1996 - 8:00 PM

Location: Pennsylvania Convention Center Auditorium,

Bach: The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book II [Selections]
Busoni: Violin Sonata in E Minor, Op. 36a
Beethoven: String Quartet in B­flat Major, Op. 130

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Brentano Quartet

Date: Monday, November 21, 1994 - 8:00 PM

Location: Pennsylvania Convention Center Auditorium,

Mozart: Quartet in D Major, K. 499, “Hoffmeister”
Vií±ao: La noche de las noches
Beethoven: Quartet in C Major, Op. 59, No. 3, “Razumovsky”

New York Times

“The Brentano is something special... Their music making is private, delicate, and fresh, but by its very intimacy and importance it seizes attention.”

The Daily Gazette

“[Their sound] was like a golden sheen that could darken or sparkle as needed.”

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