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Press Releases

The Grammy® Award-Winning Parker Quartet marks its 20th anniversary with two big announcements: Harvard University Announces the Parker Quartet’s Prom

September 22, 2022 | By Lauren Fischer
Junior Publicist

Boston, MA – September 22, 2022 – The Boston-based, GRAMMY® award-winning Parker Quartet celebrates its 20th Anniversary with The Beethoven Project, performing the complete set of Beethoven’s sixteen string quartets throughout their 2022-23 season. The Parker Quartet performs the Beethoven in two cycles in March 2023, first as part of the Slee Series at the University of Buffalo and the second at the University of South Carolina, where they hold the position of Visiting Quartet-in-Residence. In addition to the performances of the cycle, the Project will focus on three additional key components:

 

Beethoven: Inspired

Beethoven: In the Community

Beethoven: Illuminated

 

The Parker Quartet performs its first Beethoven cycle as part of the Slee Series at the University of Buffalo in New York on March 6-12, 2023. Benefactor Mr. Frederick Slee endowed the series to present a full Beethoven cycle each year, beginning with the Budapest Quartet in 1955. This marks the Parker Quartet’s second appearance with the Slee Series, having first performed half of the cycle in 2014.

 

The Quartet performs the second cycle two weeks later in Columbia, SC, on March 23-30, 2023. The Parker Quartet’s violist Jessica Bodner says, “It is not only our 20th Anniversary as a quartet, but our 10th Anniversary as Visiting Quartet-in-Residence at the University of South Carolina. Robert Jesselson, who is the former cello professor and the person responsible for starting our residency, has been asking us to do a Beethoven cycle in South Carolina for the last 10 years, so it is our absolute pleasure to finally be able to grant this wish.”

 

Beethoven: Inspired

The Parker Quartet is commissioning six composers to write encores for each of the Beethoven cycle concerts to be premiered in Buffalo, NY and Columbia, SC, with the stated goal of “bringing the fresh and diverse voices of today to these Beethoven programs and to continue the lineage of creation that Beethoven himself was so much a part of.” Composers will be announced later in fall of 2022.

 

Beethoven: In the Community

At home in Boston, the ensemble is celebrating Beethoven’s music by presenting each quartet in venues beyond the concert hall throughout the city, aiming to reach audiences who may not usually have access to live chamber music. This will include visiting homeless shelters, youth programs, hospitals, and libraries, and reaching people with hearing impairments, visual impairments, at-risk youth, formerly incarcerated people, and community members from a variety of backgrounds. Bodner says, “Beethoven’s quartets explore so many dimensions of our shared humanity, and we look forward to sharing that essence with our neighbors.”

 

Beethoven: Illuminated

Beginning in November 2022, the ensemble will release videos spotlighting each Beethoven quartet every week, which will serve to create a free video library and reference center on their YouTube channel (ParkerQuartet).

 

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This season, The Parker Quartet is also pleased to have accepted a promotion from Harvard University to the position of Professors of the Practice as part of their Blodgett Residency. The quartet is the first full-time Blodgett Quartet-in-Residence since the residency’s inception in 1985, and the first to join the senior faculty as Professors of the Practice. The Parker Quartet is a vital part of the Music Department at Harvard University, presenting a four-concert series every season, teaching Chamber Music Performance, working with the composition faculty and students, and collaborating with other faculty throughout the university, among other activities.

 

 

September 30, 2022 - 8:00 PM  

Blodgett Chamber Music Series, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA

 

October 2, 2022 - 4:00 PM        

Howland Chamber Music Circle, Beacon, NY

 

October 6, 2022 - 7:30 PM        

University of South Carolina Recital, U of SC School of Music, Columbia, SC

 

October 9, 2022 - 5:30 PM        

University of South Carolina Recital, Daniel Sweaney, viola & Claire Bryant, cello

Darla Moore School of Business Johnson Performance Hall, Columbia, SC

 

November 4, 2022 - 7:30 PM    

Newport Classical, Newport, RI

 

November 6, 2022 - 3:00 PM    

Blodgett Chamber Music Series, Marcus Thompson, viola & Raman Ramakrishnan, cello, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA

 

November 17, 2022                 

Masterclass at San Francisco Conservatory of Music, San Francisco, CA

 

November 18, 2022 - 7:30 PM   

Santa Rosa Junior College Chamber Series, Santa Rosa, CA

 

November 20, 2022 - 2:00 PM  

UCLA - Clark Library, Los Angeles, CA

 

November 21, 2022 - 7:30 PM   

Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Santa Barbara, CA

 

January 21, 2023                      

Nehalem, OR

 

January 22, 2023                      

Neskowin Chamber Music, Neskowin, OR

 

January 27, 2023                      

St. John’s College Concert Series, Annapolis, MD

 

January 28, 2023                      

Washington Adventist University, Takoma Park, MD

 

February 12, 2023 - 3:00 PM     

Blodgett Chamber Music Series, Harvard University, Cambridge MA

 

February 18, 2023 - 7:30 PM     

Peoples’ Symphony Concert, New York, NY

 

March 6-12, 2023                     

Slee Series Beethoven Cycle, Buffalo, NY

 

March 23-30, 2023                   

University of South Carolina Beethoven Cycle, Columbia, SC

 

April 14, 2023 - 8:00 PM                       

Blodgett Chamber Music Series, Orli Shaham, piano, Harvard University, Cambridge MA

 

April 23, 2023                         

Music for Food, Boston, MA

 

May 1, 2023                             

First Mondays, New England Conservatory, Boston, MA

 

May 28, 2023                           

Ankara, Türkiye

 

About the Artists

Daniel Chong, violin | Ken Hamao, violin | Jessica Bodner, viola | Kee-Hyun Kim, cello

Internationally recognized for their “fearless, yet probingly beautiful” (The Strad) performances, the Grammy Award-winning Parker Quartet has rapidly distinguished itself as one of the preeminent ensembles of its generation, dedicated purely to the sound and depth of their music. Inspired performances and exceptional musicianship are hallmarks of the Quartet, having appeared at the world’s most illustrious venues since its founding in 2002.

Recent seasons included performances around the United States and Europe, including Wigmore Hall, Konzerthaus Berlin, Music Toronto, Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, Strathmore, San Antonio Chamber Music Society, University of Chicago, the Schubert Club, and Kansas City’s Friends of Chamber Music.

This season the Quartet marks their 20th anniversary with The Beethoven Project, a multi-faceted initiative which includes performances of the complete cycle of Beethoven’s string quartets; the commissioning of six composers to write encores inspired by Beethoven’s quartets; the creation of a new video library spotlighting each Beethoven quartet; and bringing Beethoven’s music to non-traditional venues around the Quartet’s home base of Boston, including homeless shelters and youth programs. 

The Quartet is committed to working with composers of today — recent commissions include works by Augusta Read Thomas, Felipe Lara, Jaehyuck Choi, and Zosha di Castri. Celebrating the process of creation, the Quartet recorded three new commissions by Kate Soper, Oscar Bettison, and Vijay Iyer as part of Miller Theatre’s Mission: Commission podcast.

Additionally, the Quartet regularly collaborates with a diverse range of artists, including pianists Menahem Pressler, Orion Weiss, Shai Wosner, Billy Childs, and Vijay Iyer; members of the Silk Road Ensemble; clarinetist and composer Jörg Widmann; clarinetists Anthony McGill and Charles Neidich; flutist Claire Chase; and violist Kim Kashkashian, featured on their recent Dvorák recording. The Quartet also continues to be a strong supporter of Kashkashian’s project Music for Food, participating in concerts throughout the United States for the benefit of various food banks and shelters.

Recording projects continue to be an important facet of the Quartet’s artistic output. Described by Gramophone Magazine as a “string quartet defined by virtuosity so agile that it’s indistinguishable from the process of emotional expression,” their newest release for ECM Records features Dvorák's Viola Quintet as well as György Kurtág's Six Moments Musicaux and Officium breve in memoriam. The Strad also declared the album as “nothing short of astonishing.” Under the auspices of the Monte Carlo Festival Printemps des Arts, they recorded a disc of three Beethoven quartets, of which Diapason “admired the group’s fearlessness, exceptional control, and attention to detail.” The Quartet can also be heard playing Mendelssohn on Nimbus Records, Bartók on Zig-Zag Territoires, and the complete Ligeti Quartets on Naxos, for which they won a Grammy Award for Best Chamber Music Performance.

The members of the Parker Quartet serve as Professors of the Practice and Blodgett Artists-in-Residence at Harvard University’s Department of Music. The Quartet also holds a visiting residency at the University of South Carolina and spends its summers on faculty at the Banff Centre’s Evolution: Quartet program.

Founded and currently based in Boston, the Parker Quartet’s numerous honors include winning the Concert Artists Guild Competition, the Grand Prix and Mozart Prize at France’s Bordeaux International String Quartet Competition, and Chamber Music America’s prestigious Cleveland Quartet Award.

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