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Lafayette & Saguenay String Quartets
Sunday, March 25, 2:00 pm
The Lafayette String Quartet – Ann Elliott-Goldschmid, Sharon Stanis, Joanna Hood, and Pamela Highbaugh Aloni – is the only all-female ensemble in the world to comprise the four original members after twenty-five years – a distinct rarity, regardless of gender and regardless of profession. Recently awarded the Craidarroch Research Award at the University of Victoria for Artistic Excellence and named honorary doctors of Law at the University Canada West, the Lafayette String Quartet has established itself as one of the preeminent quartets in North America today.
They are known for their powerful interpretations of standard literature (they are particularly known for their riveting performances of the Beethoven Cycle), but they also relish exploring and explaining the messages and insights in contemporary works, many of which have been written for them.
The Saguenay (formerly Alcan) Quartet — violinists Laura Andriani and Nathalie Camus, violist Luc Beauchemin, and cellist David Ellis — has developed a reputation for excellence throughout Canada and internationally since its formation over twenty years ago. The quartets originality, contagious enthusiasm, unique sonority, and remarkable cohesion have all contributed to its long term success. Critics agree that, both on stage and in the recording studio, the Saguenay Quartet possesses the qualities that characterize the best ensembles of its kind: a recognizable personality, a homogeneous sound, and elegant style.
The ensemble’s list of accomplishments is impressive: close to 1000 concerts; over 100 live radio broadcasts (Radio Canada, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, National Public Radio in the USA, and Radio France); numerous television appearances; tours throughout North America, Europe, Asia; and a number of commissioned pieces and first performances.
String Octet in F major – Niels W. Gade (1817 – 1890)
String Octet in G minor “The Letter” – Airat Ichmouratov (1973 – ): Mr. Ichmouratov’s octet is inspired by Stefan Zweig’s novella “Letter from an Unknown Woman.” The composition was commissioned by the Saguenay Quartet and received its world premiere in British Columbia in January 2018.
String Octet in E flat major – Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847)