An unparalleled force in new music today, JACK Quartet is a robust ensemble that can turn their hands to any repertoire. They have distinguished themselves as the international gold standard in quartet playing. JACK Quartet performs the first stage of composer Roger Reynolds’s FLIGHT, a major new multimedia project.
Roger Reynolds (b. 1934)
*FLIGHT, in its initial stage, is a collaboration with JACK Quartet, videographer Ross Karre, and computer musician Paul Hembree.
About the Artists
The award-winning JACK Quartet is one of the most exciting ensembles performing in classical music today. Founded at the Eastman School of Music and drawing on the letters of their first names (John, Ari, Chris, and Kevin), JACK focuses almost solely on new and recent works. They are widely acclaimed for their astounding technique, fearless performances, fresh and dynamic programming and the ability to bring clarity and musicality to the most complex of works. With performances at concert halls and educational institutions around the globe, they bring equal care to works by established, emerging and student composers alike.
JACK’s programming covers the entire spectrum of contemporary music: neo-romanticism, electronic, world, experimental, avant garde and more. They balance their concerts with world premieres, recent new works and seminal pieces of the modern canon such as Cage, Ligeti, Nancarrow and Xenakis.
Composer Helmuth Lachenmann was an early champion for JACK and with a performance of his String Quartet no. 3 (“Grido”) he invited them to the Lucerne Festival Academy in 2005 where they worked with Pierre Boulez and the Ensemble Intercontemporain leading to later studies with the Kronos Quartet, and with mentors the Arditti String Quartet.
Highlights of the 2013/14 season include an extensive tour of Denmark, Haas String Quartet No. 3 at Lincoln Center’s White Light Festival and the Elbe Philharmonie in Hamburg, a South American debut at the Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires, a return to London’s Wigmore Hall, and piano quintets of Ades and Carter at the Library of Congress with pianist Ursula Oppens. Residencies will include Cleveland State University, the University of Iowa, the University of Washington, Dickenson College, Stanford University’s Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics, and New York City’s The Stone. They will perform the complete String Quartets of Lachenmann at New York City’s Morgan Library to coincide with their CD release on Mode Records.
During the summer of 2013 JACK appeared at the Lincoln Center Festival in a program celebrating John Zorn’s sixtieth birthday, made their debut at Tanglewood in the Festival of Contemporary Music (Lachenmann’s “Grido”), joined the Ottawa Chamber Music Festival, and made their Australian debut at Sydney’s Carriage Works. They were the Lucerne Festival’s 2013 Quartet-in-Residence which culminated in a world premiere performance of Rădulescu’s String Quartet No. 4 for nine string quartets with students from the Lucerne Festival Academy.
Their discography includes an acclaimed disc of Xenakis, Cage, Ligeti and Pitscher on the Wigmore Hall Live label and the complete string quartets of Xenakis on Mode.
The JACK Quartet was the recipient of the 2014 Martin E. Segal Award from Lincoln Center and the 2013 Trailblazer Award from NewMusicUSA and operates as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization called JACK Music Inc. Under the artistic direction of the quartet, the organization’s mission is to present, promote, and educate the public community about new music as well as expand and enhance the depth of the string quartet repertoire by collaborating with composers on the interpretation of existing works and the commissioning of new works. In addition to many individual donations they have received grants from The Mandel Foundation, Aaron Copland Fund for Music, Chamber Music America, New Music USA, Meet the Composer’s Cary New Music Performance Fund, and the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation.
Watch and Listen
JACK Quartet perfom an excerpt from Tetora by Iannis Xenakis.