March 15, 2016

Recognized as “the young American string quartet of the moment” (New Yorker), last week the Dover Quartet added the Hunt Family Award – one of the inaugural Lincoln Center Emerging Artist Awards – to a string of honors that already includes the Cleveland Quartet Award, a sweep of the 2013 Banff International String Quartet Competition, and top prizes at the Fischoff and Wigmore Hall International competitions. Now the group returns to New York for another major career milestone, making its Carnegie Hall debut on April 8 with a thoughtfully curated program that pairs the first of Beethoven’s three Razumovsky quartets with Berg’s sole quartet and Dvorák’s “American,” in Weill Recital Hall. As Strad magazine observes, “With their exceptional interpretative maturity, tonal refinement, and taut ensemble,” the Dovers are “pulling away from their peers.” Click here to see the Dover Quartet play the first movement of Dvorák’s “American” Quartet.

Speaking for the quartet, cellist Camden Shaw explains:

“For a musician, performing at Carnegie hall is every bit as exciting – and daunting – as one would imagine. We’ve been fortunate enough in the past few years to perform in some incredible venues all over the world, and yet there’s still an aura around Carnegie that is truly unique; as we move toward the performance, we feel an anticipation that combines immense pride and gratitude with a sobering sense of responsibility: not only to do our best, but to show who we are.”

To that end, the Dovers’ program is designed not only to be compelling and musically coherent, but also to showcase something of the genre’s expressive capabilities and their own interpretive range. As Shaw puts it,

“We put considerable thought into constructing a program that is not only varied and stimulating for the audience, but philosophically representative of what our group stands for; therefore, each of the three pieces we will perform represents a facet of our group. The Dvorák ‘American’ represents our passion for romantic, lush music; the Berg, our aim to be fearless (it was the very first piece we learned together, despite its difficulty); and the Beethoven – ah, the Beethoven. Beethoven’s impact on music, and on quartet writing, is nothing short of earth-shattering, but also exemplifies two ideas that we hold dear: the relentless pursuit of artistic development, and a perfect balance between the emotional and intellectual components of music-making.

“It is the latter concept that ties the program together even more completely, for not only are each of these pieces individually significant, they are all in the same key: the Dvorák, the Beethoven, and the longest stretch of clear tonality in the Berg are all in F major. Additionally, the balance between emotion and thought is reflected in the works themselves, ranging from the emotionally driven Dvorák to the intellectually remarkable Berg, and ending with the uniquely balanced palette of Beethoven.”

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The Dovers, who have been hailed as “the next Guarneri Quartet” (Chicago Tribune), cite the venerated ensemble as one of their most important influences. Indeed, their upcoming album debut, which is scheduled for fall release by Cedille Records, is an all-Mozart recording featuring former Guarneri violist Michael Tree, and serves as an homage to the older group. Meanwhile, before their Carnegie concert, the Dovers head back into the studio to record their sophomore disc, a Holocaust-themed program of music by three European composers whose wartime experiences were very different: Soviet subject Shostakovich, Auschwitz victim Viktor Ullmann, and Auschwitz music director Simon Laks, who lived to tell the tale.

Click here to download high-resolution photos.

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Dover Quartet: Carnegie Hall debut

April 8
New York, NY
Weill Recital Hall, Carnegie Hall
Dvorák: String Quartet in F, Op. 96, “American”
Berg: String Quartet, Op. 3
Beethoven: String Quartet in F, Op. 59, No. 1

Dover Quartet: spring engagements

March 11
Los Alamos, NM
Los Alamos Concert Association
Mozart: String Quartet in B-flat, K. 458
David Ludwig: Pale Blue Dot
Beethoven: String Quartet in F, Op. 59, No. 1

March 13
Westport Point, MA
Concerts at the Point
Mozart: Quartet in B-flat, K. 458
Dutilleux: Ainsi la nuit
Shostakovich: String Quartet No. 2

March 14
Norfolk, VA
Feldman Chamber Music Society
Mozart: String Quartet in B-flat, K. 458
Dvorák: String Quartet in F, Op. 96, “American”

March 16
La Jolla, CA
Athenaeum Music & Arts Library

March 17
Costa Mesa, CA
Segerstrom Center for the Arts
Mozart: String Quartet in B-flat, K. 458
Dutilleux: Ainsi la nuit
Shostakovich: String Quartet No. 2

March 18-22
Banff, AB, Canada
Album recording session

March 26
Lunenburg, NS, Canada
Lunenburg Academy of Music Performance
Janácek: String Quartet No. 2, “Intimate Letters”
Berg: String Quartet, Op. 3
Beethoven: String Quartet in F, Op. 59, No. 1

March 31
Tryon, NC
Tryon Concert Association
Mozart: String Quartet in B-flat, K. 458
Dutilleux: Ainsi la nuit
Shostakovich: String Quartet No. 2

April 3
San Antonio, TX
San Antonio Chamber Music Society
Dvorák: String Quartet in F major, Op. 96, “American”
Berg: String Quartet, Op. 3
Shostakovich: String Quartet No. 2

April 8
New York, NY
Carnegie Hall
Dvorák: String Quartet in F, Op. 96, “American”
Berg: String Quartet, Op. 3
Beethoven: String Quartet in F, Op. 59, No. 1

April 11-19
European tour
Details TBA

April 22
Burlington, VT
University of Vermont Lane Series
Dvorák: String Quartet in F, Op. 96, “American”
Weinberg: String Quartet No. 8
Schumann: String Quartet in A minor, Op. 41, No. 1

April 24
Storrs, CT
University of Connecticut
Weinberg: String Quartet No. 8
Janácek: String Quartet No. 2
Schumann: String Quartet in A minor, Op. 41, No. 1

April 26
Evanston, IL
Northwestern University
Residency

May 1
Los Angeles, CA
UCLA – Clark Library
Dvorák: String Quartet in F, Op. 96, “American”
Berg: String Quartet, Op. 3
Beethoven: String Quartet in F, Op. 59, No. 1

May 8
Fernandina Beach, FL
Amelia Island Chamber Music Festival
Brahms: Sextet No. 1
Brahms: Sextet No. 2

May 10
University Heights, OH
Cleveland Chamber Music Society
Weinberg: String Quartet No. 8
Janácek: String Quartet No. 2
Schumann: String Quartet in A minor, Op. 41, No. 1

May 14
Great Barrington, MA
“Close Encounters with Music”
Dvorák: String Quartet in F, Op. 96, “American”
Berg: String Quartet, Op. 3
Beethoven: String Quartet in F, Op. 59, No. 1

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© 21C Media Group, March 2016