Los Angeles Music Preview: THE CALDER QUARTET (In Residence at The Broad Stage in Santa Monica)

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by Tony Frankel on March 17, 2017

in Music


Finally, chamber music is enjoying a Renaissance of sorts in Los Angeles. Outfits such as The Music Guild and Da Camera Society have been presenting intimate music by quality musicians for decades, but now the movement to hear salon music in more intimate venues has blossomed. Here’s one that I would definitely put on your list: Beginning this Sunday March 19, 2017, L.A.’s own Calder Quartet will perform the first of a series of concerts at The Broad Stage in Santa Monica, where the members are Artists-in-Residence.

Each concert will have one of Beethoven’s early string quartets (Op.18, No. 1, 2 & 5), and one of the monumental Op. 59 Quartets (No. 1-3), three works of epic scope originally written for Count Razumovsky, the Russian Ambassador to Vienna. The latter were a revolution in quartet writing. Published in 1808, these quartets are considered to make up a portion of Beethoven’s “middle period,” which is defined by his increasing use of Romantic musical gestures and ideas. The use of these new ideas and his changing attitude towards composition led to Beethoven changing his composition style and his intended audience. To hear these works in the same concert is to not only be entertained but understand Beethoven’s evolution and legacy.

I’ve seen Calder all over town, most recently at the Colburn School, and they are always exquisite and passionate in their work, whether exploring the profound beauty of Beethoven’s String Quartets or championing contemporary works. They have discovered, commissioned, recorded and mentored some of today’s best emerging composers (over 25 commissioned works to date). The new works for this series, all inspired by the Op. 59 quartets, were commissioned by Calder.

This Avery Fisher Career Grant-winning quartet of Colburn alumni make a triumphant return to The Broad Stage after performing on prestigious stages around the world. The Calder Quartet was founded in 1998 at the Thornton School of Music at the University of Southern California. The members are Benjamin Jacobson (violin), Andrew Bulbrook (violin), Jonathan Moerschel (Viola) and Eric Byers (cello).

March 19 Program:
Beethoven: String Quartet No. 1, Op. 18 No. 1
Cerrone: Ponte Musmeci (world premiere commission)
Beethoven: String Quartet No. 7, Op. 59 No. 1

Apr 9 Program:
Beethoven: String Quartet No. 2, Op. 18/2
McIntosh: Commission
Beethoven: String Quartet No. 8, Op. 59/2

May 14 Program:
Beethoven: String Quartet No. 5, Op. 18/5
Hearne: Commission
Beethoven: String Quartet No. 9, Op. 59/3

photo by Autumn de Wilde

The Calder Quartet
The Eli & Edythe Broad Stage
1310 11th St. in Santa Monica
Sunday, March 19, 2017 at 4
Sunday, April 9, 2017 at 4
Sunday, May 14, 2017 at 4
for tickets, call 310.434.3200 or visit The Broad Stage

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