Praised by the Philadelphia Inquirer as being “in full possession of that most elusive of string quartet qualities: the balance between charisma of the individual and cohesion of the collective,” the Aizuri Quartet is a top prizewinner in the 2015 Wigmore Hall International String Quartet Competition in London. Through its engaging and thought-provoking programs, the Aizuri Quartet has garnered critical acclaim for its explosive combination of depth, refinement and vigor.
Currently the String Quartet-in-Residence at the Curtis Institute of Music, the Aizuri Quartet appears in Curtis on Tour performances throughout Europe, the United States and Latin America. Highlights of the 2015-2016 season include debut recitals at the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, Schneider Concerts in New York City, Wolf Trap, and multiple appearances as the Ernst Stiefel String Quartet-in-Residence at the Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts. The Quartet will premiere works by composers Caroline Shaw, Paul Wiancko, Yevgeniy Sharlat and Rene Orth, in addition to collaborating with pianists Jonathan Biss and Ignat Solzhenitsyn, and clarinetist Michael Rusinek.
The Aizuri Quartet is passionate about creating diverse points of entry for audiences into the string quartet repertoire. As its 2015 resident ensemble, the Quartet works closely with Philadelphia’s Barnes Foundation to develop programs and commission new works that forge connections between music and visual art. The Quartet is featured throughout the Curtis-Coursera online course “The World of the String Quartet,” hosted by Arnold Steinhardt and reaching thousands of students from over a hundred countries. Additionally, the Quartet has performed in an eclectic array of venues throughout Philadelphia, including the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, World Café Live, and on WRTI’s musician-hosted radio special “Philadelphia Music Makers.”
Highlights of previous seasons include performances in Bremen, Dresden, Paris and Salzburg, at Boston’s Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and New York City’s Morgan Library and Museum with cellist Peter Wiley, and throughout Chile, Costa Rica and Mexico with violist Roberto Díaz. The Quartet has enjoyed collaborations with eighth blackbird, the Aeolus String Quartet, poet Denice Frohman, composers Lembit Beecher and Andrew Lipke, and was the resident ensemble of the 2014 Ravinia Festival’s Steans Music Institute.
Formed in 2012 and comprising graduates of the Juilliard School and Curtis Institute of Music, the Aizuri Quartet draws its name from “aizuri-e,” a style of predominantly blue Japanese woodblock printing that is noted for its vibrancy and incredible detail. Members of the Quartet have appeared worldwide with a diverse range of ensembles including Musicians from Marlboro, Musicians from Ravinia’s Steans Music Institute, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, A Far Cry, The Knights, IRIS Orchestra, the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, Opera Philadelphia, and counter) induction.