Music presents: The JACK Quartet and the Spektral Quartet

This is an Archive of a Past Event

The JACK Quartet and the Spektral Quartet perform new works written by Stanford graduate composers for string octet – some with electronics and / or video.

Featured composers:

  • Constantin Basica
  • Eoin Callery
  • Jessie Marino
  • Iván Naranjo
  • Charlie Sdraulig
  • Nick Virzi

JACK Quartet has been deemed "superheroes of the new music world" (Boston Globe) The JACK Quartet is "the go-to quartet for contemporary music, tying impeccable musicianship to intellectual ferocity and a take-no-prisoners sense of commitment." (Washington Post) "They are a musical vehicle of choice to the next great composers who walk among us" (Toronto Star). The recipient of Lincoln Center's Martin E. Segal Award, New Music USA's Trailblazer Award, and the CMA/ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming, JACK has performed to critical acclaim at Carnegie Hall (USA), Wigmore Hall (United Kingdom), Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ (Netherlands), IRCAM (France), Kölner Philharmonie (Germany), the Lucerne Festival (Switzerland), La Biennale di Venezia (Italy), Suntory Hall (Japan), Bali Arts Festival (Indonesia), Festival Internacional Cervatino (Mexico), and Teatro Colón (Argentina). The members of the quartet met while attending the Eastman School of Music and studied closely with the Arditti Quartet, Kronos Quartet, Muir String Quartet, and members of the Ensemble Intercontemporain under the direction of Pierre Boulez at the Lucerne Festival Academy.

Comprising violinists Christopher Otto and Ari Streisfeld, violist John Pickford Richards, and cellist Kevin McFarland, JACK is focused on new work, leading them to collaborate with composers John Luther Adams, Chaya Czernowin, Simon Steen-Andersen, Caroline Shaw, Helmut Lachenmann, Steve Reich, Matthias Pintscher, and John Zorn, and premiere works by Derek Bermel, Cenk Ergün, Roger Reynolds, Toby Twining, and Georg Friedrich Haas. JACK operates as a nonprofit organization dedicated to the performance, commissioning, and spread of new string quartet music. The quartet makes regular visits to schools including Columbia University, Harvard University, New York University, Princeton University, Stanford University, and the University of Washington. 

The Spektral Quartet is regarded for its forward-thinking endeavors including the Mobile Miniatures project, which rallied more than 40 composers from across the U.S. including David Lang, Augusta Read Thomas, Nico Muhly, and Shulamit Ran to write ringtone-length pieces for download to mobile devices. Keen on frequently treading outside the lines of classical music, Spektral Quartet partnered with avant-pop artist Julia Holter in the 2014-15 season and continues its ongoing collaboration with Julien Labro. The Spektral Quartet’s 2015-16 season is studded with new works from Hans Thomalla, Mikel Kuehn, Ryan Ingebritsen, Tomas Gueglio Saccone, and Anthony Cheung, as well as cornerstones of the string quartet repertoire by Beethoven, Schubert, Prokofiev, Mendelssohn, and Bartók. Season highlights on the road include a residency with the JACK Quartet at Stanford University, a teaching residency at the New World Symphony, and an appearance with flutist Claire Chase on the University of Maryland's Common Tone series. The Spektral Quartet proudly serves as ensemble-in-residence at the University of Chicago's Department of Music.