Montreal Chamber Music Festival presents

Premiers Prix

Featuring the winner of the Banff International String Quartet Competition: the Isidore String Quartet.

Fresh from their 1st Prize win at the 2022 Banff International String Quartet Competition, the Isidore String Quartet performs music that garnered them international recognition. In addition to their grand prize, they won the Haydn Prize and the prize for the best performance of the commissioned composition. For this exceptional concert, they will be collaborating with 2023 Juno Award winner, Canadian and virtuoso pianist Phillip Chiu.

Isidore String Quartet

The New York City-based Isidore String Quartet was formed in 2019 with a vision to revisit, rediscover, and reinvigorate the repertory. The quartet is heavily influenced by the Juilliard String Quartet and the idea of ‘approaching the established as if it were new, and the new as if it were firmly established.’

The members of the quartet are violinists Adrian Steele and Phoenix Avalon, violist Devin Moore, and cellist Joshua McClendon. The four began as an ensemble at the Juilliard School, and following a break during the global pandemic reconvened at the Kneisel Hall Chamber Music Festival in the summer of 2021 under the tutelage of Joel Krosnick. In addition to Mr. Krosnick, the ISQ has coached with Joseph Lin, Astrid Schween, Laurie Smukler, Joseph Kalichstein, Roger Tapping, Timothy Eddy, Donald Weilerstein, Atar Arad, Bob McDonald, Christoph Richter, Miriam Fried, and Paul Biss, while performing in venues such as Alice Tully Hall, the Kennedy Center, and the Ravinia Festival.

Their Banff triumph brings extensive tours of North America and Europe, a two-year appointment as the Peak Fellowship Ensemble-in-Residence at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, performances at Haydn Hall in Eisenstadt and the Lucerne Festival, plus a two-week residency at Banff Centre including a professionally produced recording, along with extensive ongoing coaching, career guidance, and mentorship.

The Isidore Quartet’s 2022-2023 season features debut appearances in Pittsburgh, PA; Durham, NC; Burlington, VT; Kalamazoo, MI; Evanston, IL; San Antonio, TX; Laguna Beach, CA (with pianist Jeremy Denk and violinist Stefan Jackiw); and Seattle, WA (with violinist James Ehnes). The quartet will return to Washington’s Kennedy Center as part of the Fortas Chamber Music Concert Series, and will also perform for Schneider Concerts at the Mannes School of Music. In Europe they will perform at Esterhazy Palace in Austria, and will spend time at the Britten Pears Arts Institute.

The name Isidore recognizes the ensemble’s musical connection to the Juilliard Quartet: one of that group’s early members was legendary violinist Isidore Cohen. Additionally, it acknowledges a shared affection for a certain libation – legend has it a Greek monk named Isidore concocted the first genuine vodka recipe for the Grand Duchy of Moscow!

Phillip Chiu, piano

More than a summation of technical and musical abilities, pianist Philip Chiu has become one of Canada’s leading musicians through his infectious love of music and his passion for communication and collaboration. Lauded for the brilliance, colour and sensitivity of his playing, he is particularly noted for his ability to connect with audiences on and off-stage.

“… a pianist-painter who turns every musical idea into a beautiful array of colors.” – La Presse

Joseph Haydn (1732-1809)
String Quartet in C Major, Op. 20 No. 2
    Minuetto. Allegretto
    Fuga a quattro soggetti

Dinuk Wijeratne (1978- )
The Disappearance of Lisa Gherardini* (a Quebec Premiere)

César Franck (1822-1890)
Piano Quintet in F Minor, FWV 7
    Molto moderato quasi lento
    Lento con molto sentiment
    Allegro non troppo ma con fuoco

Bourgie Hall
Saturday, June 17, 2023 at 7:30pm
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