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Shriver Hall Concert Series Announces 2021-2022 Season Full of Debuts

July 22, 2021 | By Katy Salomon
Account Director, Morahan Arts and Media

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


Featuring the Miró Quartet in a World Premiere by Caroline Shaw, Pianist Paul Lewis (Baltimore Recital Debut), Danish String Quartet (Baltimore Debut), Junction Trio (Baltimore Debut), Mezzo-Soprano Sasha Cooke (Baltimore Recital Debut), Sheku and Isata Kanneh-Mason, the Pacifica Quartet with Soprano Karen Slack (Baltimore Debut), and Harpsichordist Mahan Esfahani (Baltimore Debut)

In-Person Season Offers Livestream Option to all Ticket Holders

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“Baltimore’s finest importer of classical music talent” – The Baltimore Sun

Baltimore, Maryland (July 22, 2021) —  Shriver Hall Concert Series (SHCS) — Baltimore’s premier presenter of chamber music ensembles and solo recitalists — announces its 2021-2022 season, a return to in-person live programming but with the option for all ticket holders to watch live from home. The season opens with the Miró Quartet on November 14 in works by Mozart and Beethoven and the world premiere of a new work by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Caroline Shaw, followed by the Baltimore recital debut of pianist Paul Lewis on December 5 and the Baltimore debuts of the dazzling Grammy-nominated Danish String Quartet on January 23 and the newly-formed Junction Trio – comprised of visionary artists violinist Stefan Jackiw, pianist Conrad Tao, and cellist Jay Campbell – on February 13. On March 6, SHCS presents Grammy Award-winning mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke’s Baltimore recital debut in the East Coast premiere of her evening-length project exploring experiences and themes of America today, How Do I Find You, and on May 1, cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason and pianist Isata Kanneh-Mason return to Baltimore following their sensational 2019 Baltimore debut on the SHCS Discovery Series. The Pacifica Quartet and soprano Karen Slack join forces to perform a new work by Baltimore composer James Lee III on May 15 and the season closes with the Baltimore debut of Irani-American harpsichordist Mahan Esfahani on June 12. Details of SHCS’s free Discovery Series and Spring Lecture Series will be announced later this summer.

On Sunday, November 14, 2021 at 5:30pm, the Miró Quartet returns to Baltimore for the world premiere of a new work by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Caroline ShawMicrofictions [Vol. 1], co-commissioned by SHCS, along with Mozart’s buoyant “Hunt” Quartet in B-flat Major and Beethoven’s tumultuous and radiant String Quartet in A minor Op. 132. Shaw says, “Microfictions [Vol. 1] could be considered a set of six short musical stories, in the tradition of imagist poetry and surrealist painting, inspired in part by the work of Joan Miró and the short science fiction of T.R. Darling.”

SHCS presents the highly-anticipated Baltimore recital debut of British pianist Paul Lewis on Sunday, December 5, 2021 at 5:30pm. His program includes selections from Mendelssohn’s Songs without Words; Mozart’s Sonata in A Major, K. 331; Scriabin’s Five Preludes, Op. 74 ; and Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition. Of Lewis’s playing, Gramophone Magazine writes “Faced with such excellence, a mere critic can only abandon paper and pencil and listen to this heroic but deeply moving artist with awe and amazement.”

On Sunday, January 23, 2022 at 5:30pm, the dazzling, Grammy-nominated Danish String Quartet makes its Baltimore debut in a performance of Britten’s extroverted Three Divertimenti; a uniquely curated suite of dances by Charpentier, John Adams, and Blumenfeld titled An Alleged Suite; and Schubert’s thrilling String Quartet in D minor, D. 810, “Death and the Maiden.” The Danish String Quartet recently released the third album in their Prism series, including Beethoven, Bartók, and Bach.

The newly-formed Junction Trio – comprised of violinist Stefan Jackiw, pianist Conrad Tao, and cellist Jay Campbell – makes its Baltimore debut on Sunday, February 13, 2022 at 5:30pm. Hailed for its “bracing technique and jaw-dropping precision… a sense of unity, especially in dynamics and rhythmic thrust” (Aspen Times), the group will perform a program of Christopher Trapani’s Passing Through, Staying Put; Ravel’s Piano Trio; and Brahms’ Piano Trio in B Major, Op. 8.

SHCS presents the East Coast premiere of Grammy Award-winning mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke’s recital-length project How Do I Find You with pianist Kirill Kuzmin on Sunday, March 6, 2022 at 5:30pm. Curated during the pandemic, How Do I Find You explores experiences and themes of America today, including California wildfires, school shootings, working from home, race, nature, and resilience through works by Timo Andres, Lembit Beecher, Matt Boehler, Christopher Cerrone, John Glover, Gabriel Kahane, Jimmy López, Andrew Marshall, Missy Mazzoli, Nico Muhly, Rene Orth, Frances Pollack, Hilary Purrington, Huang Ruo, Kamala Sankaram, Caroline Shaw, and Joel Thompson. In addition to recording all 17 songs, which will be released on Pentatone, Cook will perform the world premiere of the cycle in January 2022 in San Francisco.

The sibling duo of cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason and pianist Isata Kanneh-Mason return to Baltimore on Sunday, May 1, 2022 at 5:30pm following their sensational 2019 Baltimore debut on the SHCS Discovery Series. 22-year-old Sheku, BBC Young Musician of the Year in 2016, and his older sister Isata, who topped UK classical charts with her solo album Romance, perform a recital of timeless sonatas including Beethoven’s Cello Sonata in C Major, Op. 102, No. 1; Shostakovich’s Cello Sonata in D minor, Op. 40; Bridge’s Cello Sonata in D minor; and Britten’s Cello Sonata in C Major, Op. 65. Of Isata’s recently released Decca Classics Album, SummertimeGramophone Magazine wrote, “It’s not just that Isata Kanneh-Mason is a born musician with a virtuoso technique. It is her ability to engage your emotions from first note to last – and to think outside the box."

The two-time Grammy Award-winning Pacifica Quartet and “feisty, rich-voiced” (The New York Times) soprano Karen Slack perform the Baltimore premiere of a new SHCS co-commission by Baltimore composer James Lee III on Sunday, May 15, 2022 at 5:30pm. The program also includes Prokofiev’s String Quartet in F Major, Op. 92 and Beethoven’s String Quartet in C Major, Op. 59, No. 3, “Razumovsky.” During the pandemic, Slack launched her hugely popular digital talk show, KikiKonversations, and released a social justice film #SayTheirNames — Women of the Movement.

The season closes with a recital by superstar Irani-American harpsichordist Mahan Esfahani on Sunday, June 12, 2022 at 5:30pm. Esfahani performs a recital full of extraordinary color and vitality including Luc Ferrari’s Programme commun for Harpsichord and Tape, Louis Andriessen’s Overture to Orpheus, and works by Bach, Pachelbel, and Scarlatti.

Concert Information

Miró Quartet
Sunday, November 14, 2021 at 5:30pm
Shriver Hall | 3400 N. Charles Street | Baltimore, MD 21218
: $44 for seated ticket or home livestream.

MOZART: String Quartet in B-flat Major, K. 458, “Hunt”
CAROLINE SHAW: Microfictions [Vol. I] (World Premiere, SHCS co-commission)
BEETHOVEN: String Quartet in A minor, Op. 132

Paul Lewis, piano (Baltimore Recital Debut)
Sunday, December 5, 2021 at 5:30pm
Shriver Hall | 3400 N. Charles Street | Baltimore, MD 21218
: $44 for seated ticket or home livestream.

MENDELSSOHN: Selections from Songs without Words
MOZART: Sonata in A Major, K. 331
SCRIABIN: Five Preludes, Op. 74
MUSSORGSKY: Pictures at an Exhibition

Danish String Quartet (Baltimore Debut)
Sunday, January 23, 2022 at 5:30pm
Shriver Hall | 3400 N. Charles Street | Baltimore, MD 21218
: $44 for seated ticket or home livestream.

BRITTEN: Three Divertimenti
“An Alleged Suite”
     Prelude - CHARPENTIER: Prelude
     Allemande - JOHN ADAMS: Pavane: She’s so fine
     Courante - Trad. Polska
     Sarabande - BLUMENFELD: Sarabande
     Gavotte - JOHN ADAMS: Stubble Crotchet
     Gigue 1 - CHARPENTIER: Gigue française
     Gigue 2 - JOHN ADAMS: Toot Nipple
SCHUBERT: String Quartet in D minor, D. 810, "Death and the Maiden"

Junction Trio (Baltimore Debut)
Sunday, February 13, 2022 at 5:30pm
Shriver Hall | 3400 N. Charles Street | Baltimore, MD 21218
: $44 for seated ticket or home livestream.

CHRISTOPHER TRAPANI: Passing Through, Staying Put
RAVEL: Piano Trio
BRAHMS: Piano Trio in B Major, Op. 8

Sasha Cooke, mezzo-soprano (Baltimore Recital Debut)
Kirill Kuzmin, piano
Sunday, March 6, 2022 at 5:30pm
Shriver Hall | 3400 N. Charles Street | Baltimore, MD 21218
: $44 for seated ticket or home livestream.

How Do I Find You
TIMO ANDRES (LIBRETTO BY LOLA RIDGE): Altitude [East Coast Premiere]
LEMBIT BEECHER (LIBRETTO BY LIZA BALKAN): After the Fires [East Coast Premiere]
MATT BOEHLER (LIBRETTO BY TODD BOSS): Risk Not One [East Coast Premiere]
CHRISTOPHER CERRONE (LIBRETTO BY JOHN K SAMSON): Everything Will Be Ok [East Coast Premiere]
GABRIEL KAHANE (LIBRETTO BY GABRIEL KAHANE): The Hazelnut Tree [East Coast Premiere]
JIMMY LÓPEZ (LIBRETTO BY MARK CAMPBELL): Where Once We Sang [East Coast Premiere]
ANDREW MARSHALL (LIBRETTO BY TODD BOSS): A Bad Case of Kids [East Coast Premiere]
MISSY MAZZOLI (LIBRETTO BY ROYCE VAVREK): Self-Portrait with Disheveled Hair [East Coast Premiere]
NICO MUHLY (LIBRETTO BY THOMAS TRAHERNE): Inward Things [East Coast Premiere]
RENE ORTH (LIBRETTO BY COLLEEN MURPHY): Dear Colleagues [East Coast Premiere]
FRANCES POLLACK (LIBRETTO BY EMILY ROLLER): Masks Used to be Fun [East Coast Premiere]
HUANG RUO (LIBRETTO BY DAVID HENRY HWANG): The Work of Angels [East Coast Premiere]
JOEL THOMPSON (LIBRETTO BY GENE SCHEER): Still Waiting [East Coast Premiere]

Sheku Kanneh-Mason, cello
Isata Kanneh-Mason, piano
Sunday, May 1, 2022 at 5:30pm
Shriver Hall | 3400 N. Charles Street | Baltimore, MD 21218
: $44 for seated ticket or home livestream.

BEETHOVEN: Cello Sonata in C Major, Op. 102, No. 1
SHOSTAKOVICH: Cello Sonata in D minor, Op. 40
BRIDGE: Cello Sonata in D minor
BRITTEN: Cello Sonata in C Major, Op. 65

Pacifica Quartet
Karen Slack, soprano (Baltimore Debut)
Sunday, May 15, 2022 at 5:30pm
Shriver Hall | 3400 N. Charles Street | Baltimore, MD 21218
: $44 for seated ticket or home livestream.

PROKOFIEV: String Quartet in F Major, Op. 92
JAMES LEE III: New Work for string quartet and soprano (Baltimore premiere, SHCS co-commission)
BEETHOVEN: String Quartet in C Major, Op. 59, No. 3, “Razumovsky”

Mahan Esfahani, harpsichord (Baltimore Debut)
Sunday, June 12, 2022 at 5:30pm
Shriver Hall | 3400 N. Charles Street | Baltimore, MD 21218
: $44 for seated ticket or home livestream.

FERRARI: Programme commun for Harpsichord and Tape
ANDRIESSEN: Overture to Orpheus

About Miró Quartet
The Miró Quartet is one of America’s most celebrated string quartets, having performed throughout the world on the most prestigious concert stages. 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 their 2021-22 season, the Miro´ Quartet continues to explore a diverse way of performing concerts consisting of pre-recorded virtual concerts, live-streams, and in-person socially distanced concerts. They are regularly performing newly commissioned pieces along with works of Dvor?a´k and Schubert. The Quartet will premiere Microfictions by Caroline Shaw, which was commissioned by Premiere Performances of Hong Kong, Carnegie Hall, La Jolla Music Society, Shriver Hall Concert Series, and Chamber Music Houston.

The Miró celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2019 by performing a wide range of repertoire that paid homage to the legacy of the string quartet and also looked to the future of chamber music and string quartet playing in the U.S. In honor of the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth, the Quartet concluded its recording cycle of Beethoven’s complete string quartets, with a box set released on Pentatone and performed the composer’s complete string quartets at Chamber Music Northwest. The Miró has also continued its Archive Project, honoring the American string quartet tradition by recreating historic programs by the Flonzaley, Kneisel, and Kolisch Quartets, with performances at Carnegie’s Weill Hall and the Library of Congress in Washington, DC, and in other cities. The Miró also premiered a new work, written for them, by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Kevin Puts at Orcas Island Chamber Music Festival, Chamber Music Detroit, and Chamber Music Tulsa.

Since 2003, the Miró has served as faculty string quartet-in-residence at the Butler School of Music at the University of Texas, Austin. In 2005, the Quartet became the first ensemble ever to be awarded an Avery Fisher Career Grant. For more information, visit

About Paul Lewis
Paul Lewis is one of the foremost interpreters of the Central European piano repertoire, his performances and recordings of Beethoven and Schubert receiving universal critical acclaim. He was awarded CBE for his services to music, and the sincerity and depth of his musical approach have won him fans around the world. This global popularity is reflected in the world-class orchestras with whom he works, including the Berlin Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony, London Symphony, Philharmonia, Bavarian Radio Symphony, NHK Symphony, New York Philharmonic, LA Philharmonic, Royal Concertgebouw and Leipzig Gewandhaus. His close relationship with the Boston Symphony Orchestra led to his selection as 2020 Koussevitzky Artist at Tanglewood.

Lewis was central to global celebrations of Beethoven’s 250th anniversary year and took part in the BBC’s three-part documentary Being Beethoven. He was due to perform concerto cycles at Tanglewood, Tiroler Festspiele Erl, Palau de la Música Catalana and Palermo’s Teatro Massimo and has performed the cycle all over the world, including with the Melbourne Symphony, São Paulo State Symphony and Royal Flemish Philharmonic, and was the first pianist to play the complete cycle at the BBC Proms in 2010.

Beyond many award-winning Beethoven recordings, his discography with Harmonia Mundi also demonstrates his expertise in Romantic repertoire such as Schumann, Mussorgsky, Brahms and Liszt. He has played at Wigmore Hall more than 100 times, and was one of the artists selected to play their Lunchtime Series at the start of the Coronavirus crisis. He works closely with tenor Mark Padmore in lied recitals around the world – they have recorded three Schubert song cycles together.

Lewis is co-Artistic Director of Midsummer Music in Buckinghamshire, UK and a passionate advocate for music education. He studied with Joan Havill at Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London before going on to study privately with Alfred Brendel. In 2021, Paul Lewis became an Irish citizen. Learn more at

About Danish String Quartet
Among today’s many exceptional chamber music groups, the GRAMMY® nominated Danish String Quartet continuously asserts its preeminence. The Quartet’s playing reflects impeccable musicianship, sophisticated artistry, exquisite clarity of ensemble, and, above all, an expressivity inextricably bound to the music. The recipient of many awards and prestigious appointments, including Musical America’s 2020 Ensemble of the Year and the Borletti-Buitoni Trust, the Danish String Quartet was named in 2013 as BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artists and appointed to the The Bowers Program (formerly CMS Two).

In 2021-2022, the Danish String Quartet introduce DOPPELGÄNGER, an ambitious 4-year international commissioning project. DOPPELGÄNGER pairs world premieres from four renowned composers—Bent Sørensen, Lotta Wennäkoski, Anna Thorvaldsdottir, and Thomas Adès—with four major works from the masterful chamber music repertoire of Schubert. The first commission, composed by Bent Sørensen and inspired by Schubert’s Quartet in G Major (D.887), is scheduled to premiere in 2021.

In addition to performances of DOPPELGÄNGER, the Danish String Quartet gives over 20 performances throughout North America in the 2021-2022 season. Highlights include debuts at the University of Georgia, Virginia Tech’s Moss Arts Center, Shriver Hall, and Virginia Arts Festival, return trips to Boston’s Celebrity Series, Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, Ensemble Music Society of Indianapolis, Chamber Music Cincinnati, and University of Washington’s Meany Hall, and a tour of Florida. European highlights include tours of Denmark, France, Germany, and Amsterdam.

Violinists Frederik Øland and Rune Tonsgaard Sørenson and violist Asbjørn Nørgaard met as children at a music summer camp where they played soccer and made music together. In 2008, the three Danes were joined by Norwegian cellist Fredrik Schøyen Sjölin. Their latest album, Prism III (ECM)—featuring Beethoven’s String Quartet No. 13, Op. 131, Bartók’s String Quartet No. 1, and Bach’s Fugue in C-sharp minor, BWV 849 from The Well-Tempered Clavier—was released in March 2021. Learn more at

About Junction Trio
Three visionary next-generation artists combine internationally recognized talents in the eclectic new ensemble, Junction Trio. The Trio has performed at Washington Performing Arts, Portland Ovations, Rockport Music, Chautauqua Institution, Royal Conservatory in Toronto, and the Aspen Music Festival.

This season, the Junction Trio gives live and virtual performances presented by Caramoor, Harvard Musical Association, Corpus Christi, Cleveland, and Philadelphia Chamber Music Societies, Syracuse Friends of Chamber Music, and Emory University. Highlights of the 2019- 2020 season included debuts at the Orange County Philharmonic Society and BIG ARTS Sanibel.

Admired for combining poetic interpretation with impeccable technique, violinist Stefan Jackiw joins cellist Jay Campbell and pianist and composer Conrad Tao, whom The New York Times has called a musician of “probing intellect and open-hearted vision.” Campbell, too, has been praised by The New York Times as “electrifying,” approaching old and new works with the same curiosity and emotional commitment. Learn more at

About Sasha Cooke
Two-time Grammy Award-winning mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke has been called a “luminous standout” (The New York Times) and “equal parts poise, radiance and elegant directness” (Opera News). Ms. Cooke is sought after by the world’s leading orchestras, opera companies, and chamber music ensembles for her versatile repertoire and commitment to new music.

In the 2021-2022 season, Ms. Cooke returns to the Metropolitan Opera for her role debut as Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro, under the baton of Yannick Nézet-Séguin. On the concert stage, she joins the Boston Symphony Orchestra for performances of Janácek’s Glagolitic Mass, conducted by Jakub Hruša, and then again as Margret in Wozzeck, both in Boston and on tour at Carnegie Hall led by Andris Nelsons. Other symphonic highlights include Michael Tilson Thomas’ Meditations on Rilke with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by the composer, as well as Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 Resurrection with the Oregon Symphony. Finally, she gives a solo recital at the Tucson Desert Song Festival where she premieres a new work by Jennifer Higdon.

This season also marks the release of Ms. Cooke’s new CD, entitled How Do I Find You, on the Pentatone label. The recording, featuring songs by Caroline Shaw, Nico Muhly, Missy Mazzoli, and Jimmy Lopez, serves as a tribute to both the struggles and hopes of artists that have been wrought by the pandemic. Ms. Cooke performs the world premiere on January 30th, 2022, as part of the San Francisco Symphony’s Great Performers Series, before giving subsequent recitals at the Shriver Hall Concert Series and elsewhere.

Ms. Cooke has sung at the Metropolitan Opera, English National Opera, Opéra National de Bordeaux, and Gran Teatre del Liceu, among others, and with more than 70 symphony orchestras worldwide under leading conductors including Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Gustavo Dudamel, Franz Welser-Möst, and Bernard Haitink. Recent recordings can be found on labels including Hyperion, BIS, Chandos, and more. She studied at Rice University, The Juilliard School, and the Metropolitan Opera’s Lindemann Young Artist Development Program. Learn more at

About Sheku and Isata Kanneh-Mason
Sheku Kanneh-Mason is already in great demand from major orchestras and concert halls worldwide. He became a household name in 2018 after performing at the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex at Windsor Castle, watched by nearly two billion people globally. In 2016, Sheku was the first Black musician to win the BBC Young Musician competition. He has released two chart-topping albums on Decca Classics, including Elgar (2020) which reached No. 8 on the UK Official Album Chart, making him the first cellist in history to reach the UK Top 10. Since his debut in 2017, Sheku has performed every summer at the BBC Proms.

Sheku has made debuts with top-tier orchestras across the globe, with future highlights including performances with the Cleveland Orchestra, Orchestre de Paris, Barcelona Symphony, New York Philharmonic, Czech Philharmonic, and London Philharmonic, among many others. In recital, Sheku has performed at illustrious venues and festivals around the world, including Wigmore Hall London, Edinburgh, and Aldeburgh Festivals, Zurich Tonhalle, Lucerne Festival, Verbier Festival, Théâtre des Champs Elysées Paris, and Carnegie Hall. Current and future seasons include appearances at the Barbican Hall London, Berliner Philharmonie, Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Suntory Hall Tokyo, and tours of North America, Italy, South Korea and China.

Sheku continues his studies with Hannah Roberts at the Royal Academy of Music in London as a Bicentenary Fellow. He began learning the cello at the age of six with Sarah Huson-Whyte and then Ben Davies at the Junior Department of the Royal Academy of Music. He was appointed a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2020 New Year’s Honours List. Learn more at

Pianist Isata Kanneh-Mason is the recipient of the 2021 Leonard Bernstein Award, a 2020 Opus Klassik award for best young artist and, as a member of the Kanneh-Mason family, the 2021 best classical artist at the Global Awards. Her debut album on Decca Classics, Romance – the Piano Music of Clara Schumann, drew popular and critical acclaim, entering the UK classical charts at No. 1 when it was released in July 2019. This was followed in July 2021 by Summertime, a journey through the varied piano repertoire of 20th-century America featuring Samuel Barber’s Piano Sonata and a world premiere recording of Samuel Coleridge-Taylor’s Impromptu in B minor.

Since studying with Hamish Milne and Carole Presland at London’s Royal Academy of Music, graduating in 2020 with a Master of Arts in Performance and the Diploma of the Royal Academy of Music, Isata has embarked on a successful and increasingly busy concert career as a solo artist, with concerto appearances, solo recitals and chamber concerts throughout the UK and abroad. In the 21/22 season, Isata will continue as Young Artist in Residence with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and be one of the European Concert Hall Organisation’s Rising Stars. Highlights of the next season also include the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Royal Philharmonic, the Rheingau Festival, Paris Mozart Orchestra, Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Dallas Symphony, Baltimore Symphony, a solo recital tour of North America, and many more. Learn more at

About Pacifica Quartet
Recognized for its virtuosity, exuberant performance style, and often-daring repertory choices, the Pacifica Quartet has achieved international recognition over the past twenty-six years as one of the finest chamber ensembles performing today. Formed in 1994, the Quartet quickly won chamber music’s top competitions, including the 1998 Naumburg Chamber Music Award. They have been honored with Chamber Music America’s Cleveland Quartet Award, an appointment to Lincoln Center’s The Bowers Program (formerly CMS Two), a prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant, and multiple Grammy Awards for Best Chamber Music Performance with their most recent being in 2021 for their album Contemporary Voices.

The Pacifica Quartet has proven itself the preeminent interpreter of string quartet cycles, performing them often over the course of just a few days. They have given highly acclaimed performances of the Carter cycle, the Mendelssohn cycle, the Beethoven cycle, and the Shostakovich cycle. The Quartet has been widely praised for these cycles, with critics calling the concerts “brilliant,” “astonishing,” “gripping,” and “breathtaking.”  An ardent advocate of contemporary music, the Pacifica Quartet commissions and performs many new works including those by Keeril Makan, Julia Wolfe, and Shulamit Ran, the latter in partnership with the Music Accord consortium, London’s Wigmore Hall, and Tokyo’s Suntory Hall. The work – entitled Glitter, Doom, Shards, Memory – had its New York debut as part of the Chamber Music Society at Lincoln Center series. The Quartet also regularly collaborates with some of the world’s most prestigious artists including clarinetist Anthony McGill, Menahem Pressler, and March-André Hamelin.

The members of the Pacifica Quartet live in Bloomington, IN, where they have served as quartet-in-residence and full-time faculty members at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music since March of 2012. In 2017, the Pacifica Quartet was appointed to lead the Center for Advanced Quartet Studies at the Aspen Music Festival and School. For more information, visit

About Karen Slack
Hailed for possessing a voice of extraordinary beauty, a seamless legato and great dramatic depth, American soprano Karen Slack has appeared with the Metropolitan Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Washington National Opera and San Francisco Opera. In recent seasons she has appeared as Alice Ford in Falstaff, Leonora in Il trovatore and Tosca with Arizona Opera, as Ai¨da at Austin Opera, Emelda Griffith in Champion with New Orleans Opera, Donna Anna in Don Giovanni with Nashville Opera, Violetta in La Traviata with Sacramento Opera and Sister Rose in Dead Man Walking with both Minnesota Opera and Vancouver Opera and her Scottish Opera debut as Anna in Puccini’s Le villi. Additionally, Ms. Slack portrayed a featured role as the Opera Diva in Tyler Perry’s movie and soundtrack “For Colored Girls.” Ms. Slack is an Artistic Advisor for Portland Opera, Co-Director for the 2020-21 Opera Program at the Banff Centre for the Performing Arts, and Co-Chair of the Women's Opera Network with Opera America.

Ms. Slack’s 2019-2020 season included a return to The Metropolitan Opera as Serena in Porgy and Bess, a recital with Opera Philadelphia, guest soloist for Madison Opera’s virtual Opera in the Park, and a series of recitals throughout the US including the Vilar Center for the Performing Arts in Vail, Colorado with pianist Joe Illick. This season sees her in digital performances with Opera Philadelphia, Houston Grand Opera, Madison Opera, and Minnesota Opera. Additionally, she stars in Driving While Black with UrbanArias. In response to the rash of cancellations due to COVID-19, Ms. Slack launched a digital talk show, KikiKonversations, which has garnered critical acclaim and a large online following. Learn more at

About Mahan Esfahani
Mahan Esfahani has made it his life's mission to rehabilitate the harpsichord in the mainstream of concert instruments, and to that end his creative programming and work in commissioning new works have drawn the attention of critics and audiences across Europe, Asia, and North America. He was the first and only harpsichordist to be a BBC New Generation Artist (2008-2010), a Borletti-Buitoni prize winner (2009), and a nominee for Gramophone's Artist of the Year (2014, 2015, and 2017).

His work for the harpsichord has resulted in recitals in most of the major series and concert halls, amongst them London's Wigmore Hall, Carnegie Hall, Sydney Opera House, Melbourne Recital Centre, Berlin Konzerthaus, Zurich Tonhalle, Wiener Konzerthaus, Cologne Philharmonie, Edinburgh International Festival, and the Leipzig Bach Festival, and concerto appearances with the Chicago Symphony, Ensemble Modern, BBC Symphony, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Seattle Symphony, Melbourne Symphony, Auckland Philharmonia, Czech Radio Symphony, Orquesta de Navarra, Malta Philharmonic, Montreal’s Les Violons du Roy, Hamburg Symphony, Munich Chamber Orchestra, Britten Sinfonia, the Royal Northern Sinfonia, and Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, with whom he was an artistic partner for 2016-2018.

His discography includes recordings for Hyperion and Deutsche Grammophon – garnering one Gramophone award, two BBC Music Magazine Awards, a Diapason d’Or and ‘Choc de Classica’ in France, and an ICMA.

Esfahani studied musicology and history at Stanford University, he studied harpsichord privately in Boston with Peter Watchorn before completing his formation under the celebrated Czech harpsichordist Zuzana RuĹžicková.  He can be frequently heard as a commentator on BBC Radio 3 and Radio 4 and as a host for such programs as Record Review, Building a Library, and Sunday Feature where he is currently at work on his fourth radio documentary. Born in Tehran in 1984 and raised Potomac, Maryland, he now lives in Prague. Learn more at

About Shriver Hall Concert Series
For more than 50 years, Shriver Hall Concert Series (SHCS) has been “Baltimore’s finest importer of classical music talent” (The Baltimore Sun) and the area’s premier presenter of chamber music ensembles and solo recitalists with a mission to craft performances and educational programs at the highest level of excellence. A 5-time recipient of Baltimore Magazine’s distinction “Best Classical Music” in its annual “Best of Baltimore” issue, the coveted subscription series features many of the world’s most renowned soloists and ensembles, presented in The Johns Hopkins University’s Shriver Hall.

Founded in 1966 by Dr. Ernest Bueding, a pharmacologist at The Johns Hopkins University, and a group of similarly dedicated music enthusiasts, SHCS set out to make an important contribution to the vitality of an already vibrant city. When flutist Jean-Pierre Rampal walked onto the stage of Shriver Hall for the first concert, more than 1,100 people witnessed the launch of what is now recognized as a remarkable success story: Shriver Hall Concert Series. In the succeeding years SHCS has presented hundreds of acclaimed and emerging international artists in classical chamber music and recitals and a legacy of important debuts and premieres. In addition, SHCS collaborates with local schools and subsidizes hundreds of student tickets each season.

The list of artists presented by SHCS is remarkable—Radu Lupu, Murray Perahia, Ewa Podlés, Maurizio Pollini, Jacqueline du Pré, Mstislav Rostropovich, Jordi Savall, András Schiff, Rudolf Serkin, Janos Starker, Daniil Trifonov, Lynn Harrell, Emmanuel Ax, Alban Berg Quartet, Guarneri Quartet, Kronos Quartet, Cleveland Quartet, and Quartetto Italiano, among many others. SHCS also has a history of championing important musicians early in their careers, including Richard Goode, Hilary Hahn, Hélène Grimaud, Dawn Upshaw, Lang Lang, and the Emerson String Quartet. Commissioned composers include Timo Andres, Sebastian Currier, Jonathan Leshnoff, James Lee III, Hannah Lash, and Nina C. Young.

Designed specifically for the community, SHCS offers the Discovery Series, a series of free concerts presented in venues throughout the region focused on artists emerging on the national and international scene. Artists featured include Narek Hakhnazaryan, Colin Currie, Xavier Foley, and the Dover Quartet. SHCS also offers the annual Spring Lecture Series, a series of free talks focused on annual topics related to the intersection of music and society, and a variety of student programs.

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Image Credits (L-R): Miró Quartet by Jeff Wilson; Paul Lewis by Kaupo Kikkas; Danish Quartet by Caroline Bittencourt; Junction Trio by Shervin Lainez; Sasha Cooke by Stephanie Girard; Sheku and Isata Kanneh-Mason by Jake Turney; Pacifica Quartet by Lisa-Marie Mazzucco; Karen Slack by Kia Caldwell; Mahan Esfahani by Kaja Smith.




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