ARCA Presents: Alexander String Quartet - Coming to Foxburg


Left to Right: Frederick Lifsitz, violin; David Samuel, viola; Zakarias Grafilo, violin;Sandy Wilson, cello

Photo credit: Terry Lorant

ASQ Returns to Foxburg

“Dream-come-true performances from the excellent Alexander String Quartet. As they did during the Haydn Quartet that opened the concert, the players impressed with their sure ensemble, lyricism, accurate pitch, handsome sound and technical fluidity.” THE BOSTON GLOBE. That quote is one of many reviews for this outstanding group, having just celebrated their 40th anniversary. ARCA is pleased to announce that they will return to Lincoln Hall on Sunday, March 27 at 2:00 PM. Tickets are Adults $25, ARCA Members $20 and Students $5. Call to reserve: 724-659-3153 or buy online at www.alleghenyriverstone.org. Allegheny RiverStone Center continues to honor its commitment to presenting artists of the highest caliber.

The Alexander String Quartet has performed in the major music capitals of five continents, securing its standing among the world’s premier ensembles. Widely admired for its interpretations of Beethoven, Mozart, and Shostakovich, the quartet’s recordings have won international critical acclaim. Join us and be inspired by these consummate artists who critics have said ”seemed not so much to be playing the music as breathing it.”

The quartet has also established itself as an advocate of new music through over 25 commissions from such composers as Jake Heggie, Cindy Cox, Augusta Read Thomas, Robert Greenberg, Martin Bresnick, Cesar Cano, and Pulitzer Prize-winner Wayne Peterson. They are a major artistic presence in their home base of San Francisco, serving since 1989 as Ensemble in Residence of San Francisco Performances and Directors of the Morrison Chamber Music Center in the College of Liberal and Creative Arts at San Francisco State University.

Their annual calendar of concerts includes engagements at major halls throughout North America and Europe.  The quartet has appeared at Lincoln Center, the 92nd Street Y, and the Metropolitan Museum in New York City; Jordan Hall in Boston; the Library of Congress and Dumbarton Oaks in Washington; and chamber music societies and universities across the North American continent.  Recent overseas tours have brought them to the U.K., the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, Italy, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Switzerland, France, Greece, the Republic of Georgia, Argentina, Panamá, and the Philippines.

The Quartet added considerably to its distinguished and wide-ranging discography over the past decade, now recording exclusively for the Foghorn Classics label. There were three major releases in the 2013-2014 season: The combined string quartet cycles of Bartók and Kodály (If ever an album had “Grammy nominee” written on its front cover, this is it.” –Audiophile Audition); the string quintets and sextets of Brahms (“a uniquely detailed, transparent warmth” –Strings Magazine); and the Schumann and Brahms piano quintets (“passionate, soulful readings of two pinnacles of the chamber repertory” –The New York Times).  Their recording of the music of Gershwin and Kern was released in the summer of 2012, following the spring 2012 recording of the Brahms clarinet quintet and a new quintet from César Cano, as well as a disc in collaboration with the San Francisco Choral Artists.

The Alexander’s 2009 release of the complete Beethoven cycle was described by Music Web International as ”uncompromising in power, intensity and spiritual depth,” while Strings Magazine described the set as “a landmark journey through the greatest of all quartet cycles.”  The Foghorn Classics label released a three-CD set (Homage) of the Mozart quartets dedicated to Haydn in 2004.  Foghorn released a six-CD album (Fragments) of the complete Shostakovich quartets in 2006 and 2007.

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