The Miró Quartet is one of America’s most celebrated and passionate string quartets, having been labeled by The New Yorker as “furiously committed” and applauded by the Cleveland Plain-Dealer for its “exceptional tonal focus and interpretive intensity.” For the past twenty-five years the Quartet has performed throughout the world on the most prestigious concert stages, earning fervent accolades from critics and audiences alike. Based in Austin, TX, and thriving on the area’s storied music scene, the Miró takes pride in finding new ways to communicate with audiences of all backgrounds while cultivating the longstanding tradition of chamber music.
In fall 2019, the Miró Quartet will release its highly anticipated recording of the complete Beethoven quartets for Pentatone as a joint celebration of Beethoven’s 250th birthday and the Miró’s 25th anniversary. Extensive international touring will follow, including complete Beethoven cycles in Seattle, Portland, Austin, and Orcas Island, as well as Beethoven-themed programs in New York, Washington, D.C., Toronto, Tokyo, Hong Kong, and Singapore. Other engagements include residencies for the Honens Competition in Calgary with Gabriel Kahane and Jon Kimura Parker, for the University of Iowa with Kiera Duffy, at Chamber Music Northwest, for Pro Musica Joplin, and for the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra. The Miró opens the Chamber Music Society of Detroit’s season with the clarinetist Anthony McGill, returns to Carnegie Hall and to the Ensemble Music Society in Indianapolis, and was honored to be asked by the Library of Congress to play the institution’s celebrated set of matched Stradivari instruments.
Other recent highlights have included a sold-out return to Carnegie Hall to perform Beethoven’s Opus 59 quartets; a performance of the complete Beethoven cycle in just nine days for Chamber Music Tulsa; the world premiere of a new concerto for string quartet and orchestra by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Kevin Puts; an appearance for the New York Philharmonic with Gabriel Kahane; and debuts in Korea, Singapore, and at the Hong Kong International Chamber Music Festival.
A favorite of summer chamber music festivals, the Miró Quartet has recently performed at La Jolla Music Society’s SummerFest, Caramoor, the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, OK Mozart, and Music@Menlo. The Miró collaborates with pianists Jon Kimura Parker, Jeffrey Kahane, and Wu Han; percussionist Colin Currie; cellist Clive Greensmith; violinist Martin Beaver; and mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke.
Formed in 1995, the Miró Quartet was awarded first prize at several national and international competitions including the Banff International String Quartet Competition and the Naumburg Chamber Music Competition. Deeply committed to music education, members of the Quartet have given master classes at universities and conservatories throughout the world, and since 2003 the Miró has served as the quartet-in-residence at the University of Texas’s Butler School of Music. In 2005, the Quartet became the first ensemble ever to be awarded the coveted Avery Fisher Career Grant.
Having released nine celebrated recordings, the Miró recently produced an Emmy Award-winning multimedia project titled Transcendence. A work with visual and audio elements available on live stream, CD, and Blu-ray, Transcendence encompasses philanthropy and documentary filmmaking and is centered around a performance of Franz Schubert’s Quartet in G major on rare Stradivarius instruments. The Miró records independently and makes its music available on a global scale through Apple Music, Amazon, Spotify, Pandora, and YouTube.
The Miró Quartet took its name and its inspiration from the Spanish artist Joan Miró, whose Surrealist works — with subject matter drawn from the realm of memory, dreams, and imaginative fantasy and a deep focus on detail and experimentation — are some of the most groundbreaking, influential, and admired of the 20th century.
Visit www.miroquartet.com for more information.
June 2019 – Please do not edit without permission.
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The Miró has a terrific, ambitious 25th-anniversary project they've developed for 2019-20, in which they'll offer a series of programs that replicate date- and site-specific concerts from the 250-year history of string quartets performing in the concert hall. The Miró Quartet Archive Project commemorates two major 2020 musical celebrations: the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth and 25th anniversary of the founding of the Miró.
To create the project and mark these milestones the Miró has conducted tremendous amounts of research, and with help from archivists at these major institutions (Carnegie Hall, the Library of Congress, and the Coleman Chamber Music Association) has discovered historically significant programs that were first performed by some of the leading quartets of the time (the Kneisel, the Flonzaley, and the Kolisch) which will be replicated at these very institutions and around the country. The Quartet aims to highlight how programs have evolved in the 250 years since string quartets began performing in the concert hall – a shift that took place during Beethoven’s life – and how surprisingly adventurous programming has always been. You can choose one to all three programs for the Miró to perform.
The Miró Quartet has long been a champion for the music of the Argentinian composer Alberto Ginastera. In a program featuring the three string quartets, the Miró tracks Ginastera’s progression from composing nationalist, folkloric music toward abstract serialism. The sensational American soprano Kiera Duffy joins the Miró for Ginastera’s third quartet. Following a performance for the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln, The New York Times declared, “How can this stunning piece not have become a staple of the repertory?”
The Miró Quartet is joined by their close friend and collaborator Clive Greensmith - the longtime cellist of the famed Tokyo String Quartet. Together, they’re offering programs built around Schubert’s monumental cello quintet paired with either Schumann, or Boccherini’s lesser known cello quintet entitled “Night Music on the Streets of Madrid.”
2019-2020 Program Choices
2020 is a major year of musical celebrations: the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth and 25th anniversary of the founding of the Miró Quartet. To mark these milestones the Miró has cultivated a special multiple-concert program project called “Quartet Archive.” Through tremendous amounts of research and with help from archivists at these major institutions, the Quartet has discovered programs with historic significance that were first performed by some of the leading quartets of the time, which will be replicated at these very institutions. The Quartet aims to highlight how programs have evolved in the 250 years since string quartets began performing in the concert hall – a shift that took place during Beethoven’s life – and how surprisingly adventurous programming has always been.
Program I: Kneisel Quartet | Carnegie Hall 1910
Mozart: Quartet in B-flat major, K. 458, “The Hunt”
Glière: Quartet in A major, Op. 2 III. Andante con variazioni
Franck: Quartet in D major II. Scherzo: Vivace
Servais: Fantasie sur deux Airs Russes, Op. 13
Schubert: Quartet in D minor, D. 810, “Death and the Maiden”
Program II: Kolisch Quartet | Library of Congress 1935
Beethoven: Quartet in B-flat major, Op. 130, with Grosse Fuge, Op. 133
Berg: Lyric Suite
Bartók: Quartet No. 5
2020-2021 Program Choices
Program I: Kolisch Touring Program 1936
Mozart: Quartet in D major, K. 575
Bartók: Quartet No. 5
Beethoven: Quartet in F major, Op. 59, No. 1, “Razumovsky”
Wolf: Italian Serenade
Kevin Puts: Home
Beethoven: Quartet in E-flat major, Op. 127 OR Beethoven: Quartet in C-sharp minor, Op. 131
Haydn: Quartet in B-flat major, Op. 76, No. 4, “Sunrise”
Caroline Shaw: Entr’acte
Gabriella Smith: Carrot Revolution
Smetana: Quartet No. 1 in E minor, “From My Life”