They’re baaaaack! (But it’s not a scary thing - it’s a good thing!)
The Parker Quartet - a foursome of extremely talented string players - were featured as The Discovery Series Debut Artists in 2006. Selecting the Debut Artist for the series is one of the most difficult and most exciting programming prospects. You see, there are jillions of talented young musicians who make their professional debuts each year. We comb through legions of worthy, talented, hard-working artists and ensembles to try to find someone that we want to support. Trying to suss out which groups and artists are both prodigiously talented and will also have career momentum is more than a little like gazing into a crystal ball. In this particular case, however, the vision in that crystal ball became a reality. The Parker was awarded a GRAMMY in 2011 for their recording of Ligeti’s String Quartets!
I have a Google Alert set up to notify me when someone writes about the Parker. Imagine my delight when the headline that popped up for a recent concert review read “Yes, the Parker Quartet really is that good.” It’s something that we've known for years, but the secret is, most happily, out!
Now, for those of you who were hoping to hear some of the repertoire from their GRAMMY-winning album, I’m sorry to disappoint. Here’s the rub: we've already heard Ligeti on The Discovery Series this season. (And while I’m a fan, we do have a radio series, Center Stage from Wolf Trap, to populate... so no repertoire repeats are allowed!) In light of that, the Parker will be taking a different tack with their evening, featuring works of Mozart, Dvořák, and Britten. I’m especially looking forward to the Britten, as it’ll be the first time the work has been performed at The Barns!
You can learn a little bit more about the quartet in this interview. I love how cellist Kee-Hyun Kim likens time in the practice room to running - the inherent discipline in each is something that resonates quite strongly for me. You can bet that I’ll be asking him a question about it during the audience Q&A at intermission tonight! You’ll also be able to pick up a CD of their award-winning performance - chances are they’ll sign it for you, too!
The Parker String Quartet performs at The Barns tonight, Friday, March 1, 2013 at 8 pm.