The International Intensive Chamber Music Course and Concert Series, known as QuartetFest, brings young artists from across Canada and abroad together with world renowned performers. QuartetFest is one of the most anticipated spring festivals by chamber music lovers and young musicians.
QuartetFest is hosted by Laurier's Faculty of Music, the Penderecki String Quartet and the Kitchener-Waterloo Chamber Music Society. 2020 guest faculty include pianist Leopoldo Erice.
QuartetFest 2020 will take place from May 25 to June 7
QuartetFest began at Wilfrid Laurier University in 1992 and is led by Laurier's Quartet-in-Residence the Penderecki String Quartet.
Formed in 1986, the Penderecki String Quartet began their career as winners of the Penderecki Prize at the National Chamber Music Competition in Łódź, Poland. Now based in Waterloo, Ontario where they have been Quartet-in-Residence at Wilfrid Laurier University since 1991, The Penderecki String Quartet has become one of the most celebrated chamber ensembles of their generation. The four Penderecki musicians (now originating from Poland, Canada, and USA) bring their varied yet collective experience to create performances that demonstrate their “remarkable range of technical excellence and emotional sweep” (Toronto, Globe and Mail).
The PSQ’s international performing schedule has included appearances in New York (Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall), Amsterdam (Concertgebouw), Hong Kong (Academy for the Arts), Los Angeles (REDCAT Hall at Disney Center), St. Petersburg (Sheremetev Palace), the Adam Festival in New Zealand, and throughout Europe in Rome, Madrid, Paris, Belgrade, Prague, Kraków, Vilnius, and Zagreb. The PSQ has also toured extensively in Mexico, Venezuela and Brazil and from coast to coast in Canada.
Dedicated educators, the PSQ have been recent guests at Bloomington Indiana University’s String Academy, the Beijing Conservatory, University of Southern California (Los Angeles), University of British Columbia in Vancouver, and with their partner universities in Osnabrück, Germany and Lyon, France.
To this day the PSQ is a devoted champion of the music of our time, having premiered over 100 new works from composers in Canada and abroad. Penderecki Quartet’s large discography includes over three dozen recordings including the chamber music repertoire of Beethoven and Brahms on both the Marquis and Eclectra labels, as well as the first Canadian release of the six Béla Bartók quartets. Their disc of Marjan Mozetich’s “Lament in the Trampled Garden” won the 2010 JUNO Award for Best Composition. In October 2013, the PSQ worked with Maestro Krzysztof Penderecki on his Third Quartet (2008) and performed it at Symphony Space in New York City on the occasion of his 80th birthday. This season they will release a disc of Penderecki’s Third Quartet along with quartets of Norbert Palej on the Marquis label.
The Penderecki Quartet has performed with such eminent classical artists as Martin Beaver, Atar Arad, Antonio Lysy, Jeremy Menuhin, James Campbell and enjoy exploring new music collaborations having recently appeared with jazz saxophonist Jane Bunnett, Brazilian jazz pianist Egberto Gismonti, pipa virtuoso Ching Wong, Dancetheatre David Earle, Pentaedre Wind Quintet, actor Colin Fox, and New York turntable artist DJ Spooky.
The Penderecki Quartet continue to be active members of the Faculty of Music at Laurier University where they have built the string program to be one of the top programs in Canada, attracting an international body of students. Their annual QuartetFest at Laurier is an intensive study seminar and concert series that has featured such ensembles as the Tokyo, Lafayette, Miro, Ying, and Ariana String Quartets.
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