The Escher String Quartet has received acclaim for its individual sound and unique cohesiveness. The quartet has performed at prestigious venues and festivals across the United States and abroad, including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, 92nd Street Y, Symphony Space, Boston’s Gardner Museum, The Louvre in Paris, Dallas Chamber Music Society, Kennedy Center, New Orleans Friends of Music, Orange County Performing Arts Center, and the National Arts Centre in Ottawa, as well as at the Ravinia, Santa Fe Chamber Music, Gold Coast and Caramoor Festivals, Music@Menlo, and La Jolla SummerFest. The quartet recently served its third season as resident ensemble of Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s “CMS Two” program and has collaborated with Andrés Diaz, Lawrence Dutton, Kurt Elling, Leon Fleisher, Lynn Harrell, Wu Han, Jeffrey Kahane, Joseph Kalichstein, Pepe Romero, Luke Temple, David Shifrin, and Pinchas Zukerman. Within months of its inception in 2005, the Escher was invited by both Pinchas Zukerman and Itzhak Perlman to be quartet-in-residence at each artist’s summer festival.
The 2010-2011 season features appearances at the World Science Festival in New York and with the Little Orchestra Society in Carnegie Hall’s Zankel Auditorium. The Escher will perform several concerts with guest artists, notably Des Moines Arts Center with David Shifrin (clarinet) and Newtown Friends of Music with Jason Vieaux (guitar). Additional North American engagements will be Shriver Hall in Baltimore, Haverford College in PA, Concerts at the Point in Westport Point, MA, and chamber music series in Chicago, Cincinnati, Ottawa, Austin, Hudson Valley, Wooster, Yellow Springs, and Williamsburg. International engagements take the Escher to the West Cork Festival in Ireland, Festival of San Miguel de Allende in Mexico, and the Louvre Museum in Paris, with an extensive tour of China. This season, the quartet has been appointed as one of the BBC’s “New Generation Artists,” and as part of the program will record works by Beethoven, Haydn, Janacek, and Dvorak for Radio 3.
In Spring 2011, the Escher String Quartet will begin recording the complete Zemlinsky quartets for Naxos, supported by the Zemlinsky Foundation, with plans to record the complete Mendelssohn quartets for BIS. Their most recent recording for Bridge Records is Stony Brook Soundings, Vol. 1, featuring the quartet in the premiere recordings of five new works. Previous albums include 2008’s Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and 2007’s Bridging the Ages from Music@Menlo, featuring works by Boccherini, Mendelssohn, and Bottesini. Also recorded for Music@Menlo are works by Stravinsky, Purcell, Haydn, Shostakovitch, Gruenberg, and Hugo Wolf.
The Escher String Quartet has served as the Ernst Stiefel String Quartet-in-Residence in Caramoor and from 2007 to 2009 joined the faculty of Stony Brook University as Visiting Artist-in-Residence in a unique relationship with the world-renowned Emerson String Quartet. The ensemble takes its name from Dutch graphic artist M.C. Escher and draws inspiration from the artist’s method of interplay between individual components working together to form a whole.
With performances in the US, France, Italy, Belgium, Denmark, Scotland, and the United Arab Emirates, bass-baritone Andrew Nolen has performed for the Edinburgh Festival, Santa Fe Opera, Opera Theater of St. Louis, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, American Symphony Orchestra, The Wooster Group, Festival Lyrique-en-Mer, Waverly Consort, Gotham Chamber Opera, Juilliard Opera Center, Seattle Opera Young Artists Program, Aspen Music Festival and the Music Academy of the West. He also appears as bass soloist in Naxos of America’s box set of Haydn’s complete masses with Jane Glover and the Rebel Orchestra.
As a member of the Emerson Quartet, violinist Eugene Drucker plays close to 100 concerts annually throughout North America and Europe, and is the recipient of nine Grammy Awards, including two for Best Classical Album. As a solo artist, Mr. Drucker has recorded the complete sonatas and partitas of Bach, as well as all the sonatas and duos of Bartók. Since 2002 he has been on the faculty of Stony Brook University, where four of the Shakespeare settings offered this evening were first performed in 2008. They were later recorded by tonight’s artists as part of Stony Brook Soundings, a 2-disc Bridge release of music premiered at the university. Mr. Drucker’s novel, The Savior, was published by Simon & Schuster in 2007.