Escher Quartet

Chamber Ensemble

"…a level of individual technical precision and a collective musical purpose that is endlessly compelling…Sheer brilliance"

The Strad

"In tone, the ensemble is gutsy, with plenty of edge and a brilliant precision of attack. Each player emerges with great character in solo lines, but what this quartet handles particularly well is texture, with individual voices standing out, yet also merging seamlessly."

The Guardian

"...eloquent, full-blooded playing...The four players offer a beautiful blend of individuality and accord"

BBC Music Magazine

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The Escher String Quartet has received acclaim for its profound musical insight and rare tonal beauty. A former BBC New Generation Artist and recipient of the Avery Fisher Career Grant, the quartet has performed at the BBC Proms at Cadogan Hall and is a regular guest at Wigmore Hall. In its hometown of New York, the ensemble serves as season artists of the Chamber Music Society of the Lincoln Center.

The 2023-2024 season finds the Escher Quartet embarking on a major project of performances of the complete cycle of quartets by Bela Bartok, culminating in a single concert performance of all six at the Chamber Music Society of the Lincoln Center. Beyond Bartok, the Eschers will return to many of the illustrious music centers and organizations in America, such as the Kennedy Center, Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, Phoenix Chamber Music Society, Duke University, Coleman Chamber Music Association, and Savannah Music Festival, among others.

The Escher Quartet has made a distinctive impression throughout Europe, with recent debuts including the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Berlin Konzerthaus, London’s Kings Place, Slovenian Philharmonic Hall, Les Grands Interprètes Geneva, Tel Aviv Museum of Art, and Auditorium du Louvre. The group has appeared at festivals such as the Heidelberg Spring Festival, Budapest’s Franz Liszt Academy, Dublin’s Great Music in Irish Houses, the Risør Chamber Music Festival in Norway, the Hong Kong International Chamber Music Festival, and the Perth International Arts Festival in Australia. Alongside its growing European profile, the Escher Quartet continues to flourish in its home country, performing at the Aspen Music Festival, Bravo! Vail, Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, Bowdoin Music Festival, Toronto Summer Music, Chamber Music San Francisco, Music@Menlo, and the Ravinia and Caramoor festivals.

The 2022-2023 season saw the release of two albums; string quartets by Pierre Jalbert and the Escher’s studio recording of the complete Janacek quartets and Pavel Haas quartet no. 2 with multi award winning percussionist Colin Currie on BIS.

Recordings of the complete Mendelssohn quartets and beloved romantic quartets of Dvorak, Borodin and Tchaikovsky were released on BIS in 2015-18 and received with the highest critical acclaim, with comments such as “...eloquent, full-blooded playing... The four players offer a beautiful blend of individuality and accord” (BBC Music Magazine). In 2019, DANCE, an album of quintets with Grammy award winning guitarist Jason Vieaux, was enthusiastically received. In 2021, the Escher’s recording of the complete quartets of Charles Ives and Samuel Barber was met with equal excitement, including “A fascinating snapshot of American quartets, with a recording that is brilliantly detailed, this is a first-rate release all around” (The Strad Magazine). The quartet has also recorded the complete Zemlinsky String Quartets in two volumes, released on Naxos in 2013 and 2014.

Beyond the concert hall, the Escher Quartet is proud to announce the creation of a new non-profit classical music organization, ESQYRE (Escher String Quartet Youth Residency Education); ESQYRE’s mission is to provide a comprehensive educational programme through music performance and instruction for people of all ages. In addition to their non-profit work, the quartet has also held faculty positions at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX and the University of Akron, OH.

Within months of its inception in 2005, the ensemble came to the attention of key musical figures worldwide. Championed by the Emerson Quartet, the Escher Quartet was invited by both Pinchas Zukerman and Itzhak Perlman to be Quartet in Residence at each artist's summer festival: the Young Artists Program at Canada’s National Arts Centre; and the Perlman Chamber Music Program on Shelter Island, NY.

The Escher Quartet takes its name from the Dutch graphic artist M.C. Escher, inspired by Escher’s method of interplay between individual components working together to form a whole.

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