Formed in 2002, the Grammy Award-winning Parker Quartet has rapidly distinguished itself as one of the preeminent ensembles of its generation. The New York Times hailed the quartet as “something extraordinary,” and the Boston Globe acclaims their “pinpoint precision and spectacular sense of urgency.” The quartet began touring on the international circuit after winning the Concert Artists Guild Competition as well as the Grand Prix and Mozart Prize at the Bordeaux International String Quartet Competition in France. Chamber Music America awarded the quartet the prestigious biennial Cleveland Quartet Award for the 2009- 2011 seasons. Beginning in the fall of 2014 the Parker Quartet will join the faculty of Harvard University’s Department of Music as Blodgett Artists-in-Residence.
Performance highlights from recent seasons include appearances at Carnegie Hall, 92nd Street Y, Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, Library of Congress, Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Wigmore Hall in London, Musikverein in Vienna, Monte Carlo Spring Festival, Seoul Arts Center, Rockport Chamber Music Festival, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Festspiele in Germany, and San Miguel de Allende Festival in Mexico. The quartet recently collaborated with artists including Kim Kashkashian, Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, Anne- Marie McDermott, Shai Wosner, Jörg Widmann, and Claron McFaddon. In 2012 the Parker Quartet was the recipient of a Chamber Music America commissioning grant, enabling the ensemble to commission and premiere Capriccio, an hour-length work by American composer Jeremy Gill. This upcoming season includes return engagements to Carnegie Hall, Library of Congress, and Monte Carlo Spring Festival, performances of the Beethoven quartets on the Slee Series in Buffalo, and collaborations with Kikuei Ikeda of the now retired Tokyo String Quartet.
Successful early concert touring in Europe helped the quartet forge a relationship with Zig- Zag Territoires, which released their debut commercial recording of Bartók’s String Quartets Nos. 2 and 5 in July 2007. The disc earned high praise from numerous critics, including Gramophone: “The Parkers’ Bartók spins the illusion of spontaneous improvisation… they have absorbed the language; they have the confidence to play freely with the music and the instinct to bring it off.” The quartet’s second recording, of György Ligeti’s complete works for string quartet was released on Naxos in December 2009 to critical acclaim. This recording won the 2011 Grammy Award for Best Chamber Music Performance.
Currently based in Boston, the Parker Quartet holds teaching and performance residencies at the University of South Carolina and the University of St. Thomas. From 2008 to 2013, the quartet spent much of its time in St. Paul, MN, where they served as Quartet-in-Residence with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra (2008-2010), were the first-ever Artists-in-Residence with Minnesota Public Radio (2009-2010), and visiting artists at the University of Minnesota (2011-2012).
The Parker Quartet’s members hold graduate degrees in performance and chamber music from the New England Conservatory of Music and were part of the New England Conservatory’s prestigious Professional String Quartet Training Program from 2006- 2008. Some of their most influential mentors include the Cleveland Quartet, Kim Kashkashian, György Kurtág, and Rainer Schmidt.