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Apr. 25: 5BMF and The Noguchi Museum Present the Argus Quartet in noise/SILENCE

April 6, 2021 | By Katy Salomon
Account Director, Morahan Arts and Media

PR Contact: 
Katy Salomon | Morahan Arts & Media | 863.660.2214

Five Boroughs Music Festival and The Noguchi Museum Present
the Argus Quartet in noise/SILENCE, Premiering April 25

“[This] vivacious foursome … plays canonical standards with authority and
verve and approaches modern music with care and assurance.” – The New Yorker | 

NEW YORK, NY (April 6, 2021) — Five Boroughs Music Festival and The Noguchi Museum co-present the daring and innovative Argus Quartet in noise/SILENCE, a digital world premiere concert, on Sunday, April 25, 2021 at 7:30pm ET. Part of Five Boroughs Music Festival’s 2020-2021 digital mainstage season, noise/SILENCE is co-produced by the Argus Quartet and will be filmed on-site at the Queens-based Noguchi Museum in early April 2021, exploring the symbiosis of silence and sound through music inspired by and in response to the art of Isamu Noguchi, the iconic 20th century sculptor. Noguchi’s sculptures, on display at his eponymous museum, provide a stunning backdrop to the Argus Quartet’s performances of works by John Cage, Rolf Wallin, Dorothy Rudd Moore, and Paul Wiancko, who joins the quartet as a guest performer for his piece, Vox Petra.

The Argus Quartet says, “The language we use to describe sound is rich with metaphor: both noise and silence can be deafening, we speak of both ‘brain chatter’ and a ‘quiet mind,’ noise can be ‘white’ or ‘static.’ It’s been said that ‘silence is the sharper sword.’ To humans, noise and silence can both empower and oppress us – from the cheering of a crowd to something left unsaid by a loved one, from chirping birds to an incessant alarm. John Cage – whose 4’33’’ famously explores the power of silence – aimed in his String Quartet in Four Parts to write a work that praised silence without actually using it. He described the piece ‘like the opening of another door; the possibilities implied are unlimited.’ This program explores the endless possibilities from silence to sound, emptiness to saturation, a drop in the ocean to the ocean itself.”

Program Information
noise/SILENCE Featuring the Argus Quartet (Digital World Premiere)
Presented by Five Boroughs Music Festival and The Noguchi Museum
Sunday, April 25, 2021 at 7:30pm ET
 Free on the 5BMF YouTube channel
Learn More: 

Rolf Wallin (b. 1957) – ”Momentum” and “Á Propos” from Curiosity Cabinet 

John Cage (1912-1992) – String Quartet in Four Parts
    I. Quietly Flowing Along
    II. Slowly Rocking
    III. Nearly Stationary
    IV. Quodlibet

Dorothy Rudd Moore (b. 1940) – Modes for String Quartet  

Paul Wiancko (b. 1983) – Vox Petra

Rolf Wallin (b. 1957) – ”Barcarole 2” and “¡Arriba!” from Curiosity Cabinet

Videography and Editing: Amy Zhang, Xuan Films
Sound Engineering: Peter Karl
Producers: Five Boroughs Music Festival, The Noguchi Museum, The Argus Quartet

About The Argus Quartet
The Argus Quartet 
is dedicated to encouraging the joys of human connection, community, and discovery by bringing a wide-ranging repertoire to life through bold and meaningful programming and a vibrant commitment to collaboration and education. Praised for playing with “supreme melodic control and total authority” and “decided dramatic impact” (Calgary Herald), the Quartet has quickly emerged as one of today’s most dynamic and versatile ensembles, winning First Prize at both the 2017 M-Prize Chamber Arts Competition and the 2017 Concert Artists Guild Victor Elmaleh Competition. 

Since then, increasingly busy concert seasons have taken Argus to some of the country’s most prestigious venues and festivals, including Carnegie’s Weill and Zankel Halls, Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall, Chamber Music Society of Detroit, the Ravinia Festival, the Albany Symphony’s American Music Festival, and Music Academy of the West. Highlights of the 2019-20 season included a debut performance for Lincoln Center’s Great Performers series, along with a return engagement in New York for the Schneider Concerts at the New School.

Argus has worked with many of today’s leading musical voices, including Martin Bresnick, Chris Cerrone, Ted Hearne, Garth Knox, Andrew Norman, Christopher Theofanidis, and Augusta Read Thomas. Recent commissions include new quartets by Katherine Balch, Donald Crockett, GRAMMY nominee Eric Guinivan, Hermitage Prize winner Thomas Kotcheff, and Guggenheim Fellowship recipient Juri Seo. Argus’s recording of Seo’s works for string quartet was released in May 2019 on Innova Recordings. The Quartet has received grants from the Koussevitsky Foundation, Chamber Music America, and the Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts in support of their commissioning efforts.

From 2015-17, the Quartet served as the Fellowship Quartet in Residence at the Yale School of Music under the guidance of the Brentano Quartet, and from 2017-19 held the position of Graduate Resident String Quartet at the Juilliard School, where they worked closely with the Juilliard String Quartet. They have also held residencies at New Music on the Point, working with the JACK Quartet, and at the Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts as the Ernst Stiefel Quartet in Residence.

Education and outreach are an important part of the Argus Quartet’s mission. The Quartet has worked with students through residencies and masterclasses at Yale and Princeton, James Madison University, Rockport Music, the Milken School, the Young Musicians Foundation, California State University Long Beach, and Los Angeles City College.

Based in New York City, the Quartet was founded in Los Angeles in 2013, where its members shared many meals at their favorite taco truck on Argus Drive. Learn more at

About Five Boroughs Music Festival (5BMF)
Since 2007, Five Boroughs Music Festival (5BMF) has brought virtuosic chamber music performances of the highest caliber to every borough of NYC, cultivating new audiences for the genre and encouraging music lovers to look beyond Manhattan for outstanding performances. Lauded as “imaginative” by The New York Times, “enterprising” by The New Yorker, and “vital” by WQXR’s Operavore blog, 5BMF’s commitment to musical outreach and diverse programming has distinguished it as a standout presence in the New York City arts community from its earliest days.

5BMF’s artist roster of over 250 individual performers and ensembles is comprised of talented emerging artists and distinguished musicians alike, representing an incredibly diverse range of musical genres and styles. Its venues are just as eclectic, and have included performing arts spaces, cultural centers, and historic New York City landmarks such as Federal Hall, Pregones Theater, Flushing Town Hall, King Manor Museum, Brooklyn Historical Society, the Alice Austen House, and the Staten Island Museum, to name merely a few.

As champions of new music, 5BMF has commissioned over 50 composers and presented world premieres of their works all across New York City, most notably the two borough-wide tours of its Five Borough Songbook Volumes I and II. 5BMF’s outreach initiatives continue to expand every year, and have included program-related interactive lectures and discussions, public masterclasses with world renowned performing artists, and free public programming. Learn more at

About The Noguchi Museum
Founded in 1985 by Japanese American sculptor Isamu Noguchi (1904–1988), The Noguchi Museum was the first museum in America to be established, designed, and installed by a living artist to show their own work. Located in Long Island City, Queens, New York, the Museum features open air and indoor galleries in a repurposed 1920s industrial building and an internationally renowned outdoor sculpture garden.

In addition to maintaining Isamu Noguchi’s archive and catalogue raisonné, the Museum exhibits a comprehensive selection of sculpture, models for public projects and gardens, dance sets, and his Akari light sculptures. Thematic installations drawn from the permanent collection, together with special exhibitions related to Noguchi and the milieu in which he worked, offer a contextualized view of Noguchi’s art and illuminate his enduring influence. The Museum coordinates loans and exhibitions of Noguchi’s works worldwide; distributes his Akari light sculptures and other designs; and collaborates with contemporary practitioners across disciplines (visual artists, designers, musicians, dancers, poets, and more) to develop programming. In the spirit of Isamu Noguchi’s artistic vision, education programs and community partnerships at The Noguchi Museum encourage exploration and discovery while honoring diversity, affirming the value of each individual’s unique interpretations.

The Noguchi Museum is located at 9-01 33rd Road (at Vernon Boulevard), Long Island City, New York. Open Wednesdays–Sundays, 11 am–6 pm, by timed reservation: 

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Photo at the top of the release © The Noguchi Museum / Artists Rights Society



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