When one of the nation’s preeminent string quartets, the Guarneri, announced its retirement earlier this year, New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art appointed the Pacifica Quartet as the Guarneri’s successor as quartet-in-residence.
That was a signal to music lovers everywhere that the torch has been passed and a new luminary has appeared on the American musical scene.
Happily, you don’t have to go to New York to hear the Pacifica’s unmistakable brand of musical mastery. Music in the Park Series will present the Pacifica in a special two-concert, all-Beethoven performance on Saturday, Jan. 30, and Sunday, Jan. 31. Both performances are at 4 p.m. at St. Anthony Park United Church of Christ, 2129 Commonwealth Ave. (at Chelmsford), with a pre-concert discussion at 3 p.m.
On Saturday, the Pacifica will perform Quartet in F Major, Op. 18, No.1; and Quartet in B-flat Major, Op. 130 (“Liebquartett”) with the Grosse Fugue, Op. 133.
On Sunday, they’ll play the Quartet in D Major, Op. 18, No. 3; Quartet in F Major, Op. 135; and Quartet in C Major, Op. 59, No. 3 (“Razumovsky”).
Making its fourth appearance with Music in the Park, the Pacifica – Simin Ganatra and Sibbi Bernhardsson, violins; Masumi Per Rostad, viola; and Brandon Vamos, cello – is returning for the second part of its ambitious three-year project to perform the complete Beethoven string quartet cycle.
There is hardly a musical award that the dynamic young group hasn’t captured. In addition to earning the Naumburg Chamber Music Award, the Cleveland Quartet Award from Chamber Music America and the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant, the Pacifica was named 2009 Ensemble of the Year by Musical America. It also won the 2009 Grammy Award for Best Chamber Music Performance.
The Pacifica’s appearance is supported by the Performing Arts Fund, a program of Arts Midwest. Tickets are $25 for one performance, $45 for both and $15 for students. Order tickets at 645-5699 or musicintheparkseries.org.