Calder Quartet Launches the Artist Recital Series September 30

September 4, 2014

By Erich Burnett

The Calder Quartet
Photo credit: Autumn de Wilde

The Calder Quartet has forged an outrageously successful career around the notion that virtually any venue and any artist can make a perfectly suitable musical pairing. And so the 16-year-old ensemble has earned worldwide acclaim in performances everywhere from Carnegie Hall to rock clubs, and alongside luminaries as varied as composer Christopher Rouse ’71 and New York rockers Vampire Weekend.

On Tuesday, September 30, the quartet will perform in a surprisingly unsurprising setting: historic Finney Chapel, as the first performers of Oberlin’s 2014-15 Artist Recital Series. The concert also marks the initial visit of the Calder Quartet’s two-year residency at the Oberlin Conservatory.

And your chance to share in the magic is here: Full and partial season tickets for the Artist Recital Series are available now, with individual tickets for the Calder Quartet and all other dates on the series on sale beginning Monday, September 15.

Called “one of America’s great string quartets” by the Los Angeles Times, the Calder Quartet has earned accolades for its work across the musical spectrum, among them a Grammy nomination for its Harmonia Mundi release of works by Messiaen and Saariaho, a 2013 Emmy Award for its performance of the title theme for the Starz TV drama Da Vinci’s Demons, and the 2014 Avery Fisher Career Grant.

The quartet’s Oberlin performance will feature characterful depictions of land and water in the seven-movement work Arcadiana by Thomas Adès, included in the Calder's 2008 debut recording; Leoš Janáček’s String Quartet No. 2—dubbed by the composer “Intimate Letters,” in reference to the forbidden romance that inspired the work; and “Death and the Maiden” by Franz Schubert, a pillar of the 19th-century chamber repertoire, written in 1824 as the celebrated yet destitute composer was emerging from the extended illness that nearly killed him.

Visit the quartet’s website for remarkable performance clips—including the elegiac O Albion movement from Arcadiana.

An Oberlin tradition since 1878, the Artist Recital Series welcomes a wide range of incomparable talent in its 136th season. The Calder Quartet’s performance will be followed by pianist Garrick Ohlsson on February 10, St. Lawrence Quartet on February 20, Bang on a Can All-Stars on February 28, bass-baritone John Relyea and pianist Warren Jones on April 2, violinist Jennifer Koh ’97 on April 12, and the Cleveland Orchestra, conducted by Susanna Mälkki and featuring pianist Jeremy Denk ’90, on April 24.

For tickets or more information about all of Oberlin’s arts offerings, call 800-371-0178 or visit

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