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October 2014
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Shostakovich as a “Calling Card”


Monday at 8:00 pm
Wednesday at 12:15 pm

The pairing of performers and compatriot composers is such a satisfying notion (like having a French meal at l’Ecole Le Cordon Bleu Paris) that in a field crowded with artists trying to carve an identity, it happens a lot. It almost seems cliché for a Russian quartet to focus on Shostakovich – except so many reviewers are saying the Atrium Quartet’s performances of Shostakovich really are special.

The members of the Atrium Quartet were all born in the late 1970s, 3-4 years after the composer died. They got together in 2000 in St. Petersburg while studying at the St. Petersburg Conservatory and won the London International String Quartet Competition in 2003. As part of the prize, they recorded the Shostakovich String Quartet No.5  for EMI, a piece that Gramophone magazine calls their “calling card,” saying, “This is undoubtedly the finest recording of the Fifth Quartet to have appeared during recent years…”

James M. Keller, author of Chamber Music: A Listener’s Guide and program annotator for the New York Philharmonic called them “captivating storytellers.”

Atrium2At the 2013 Reykjavik Arts Festival, the Atrium Quartet played all 15 of Shostakovich’s quartets in a single day, a twelve hour event. They are performing the entire set over this season as well.

On Monday, October 20, The Atrium Quartet, now based in Berlin, will play Shostakovich, Mendelssohn and Beethoven on Live from WFMT, hosted by Kerry Frumkin at 8:oo pm.

On Wednesday, October 22, they will perform on the lunchtime series, The Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concerts, which starts at 12:15 pm and is hosted by Carl Grapentine.

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