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Sundays @ Four

OCTOBER 10, 2021

Alexander String Quartet

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Health and Safety Precautions

All guests must wear masks and present proof of vaccination upon entry. This event is subject to change to comply with all public health guidelines, and may be presented online as a live stream.

The health and safety of our artists, audiences, staff, and community are our top priority. Crowden adheres to all CDC guidelines and local policies, and continues to closely monitor information from public health officials. Please be aware that these safety protocol may change, and that Crowden will communicate additional details if necessary. Please contact us with any additional questions.

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    Who

    Zakarias Grafilo, violin
    Frederick Lifsitz, violin
    David Samuel, viola
    Sandy Wilson, cello

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    What

    Internationally acclaimed and locally beloved, the Alexander String Quartet stands among the world's premier ensembles. We are extremely excited to welcome these very special friends and frequent mentors back to Crowden's Sundays @ Four series. This concert is not-to-be missed!

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    When

    October 10, 2021 @ 4pm

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    Program

    • Haydn String Quartet in C Major, Op. 54, No. 2
    • Shostakovich String Quartet No. 7 in F-sharp minor, Op. 108
    • Schubert String Quintet in D Major, D. 956 (with special guest cellist Eugene Sor)

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    Ticket Info

    $25 general admission, $20 seniors/students 18+, and, as always at Crowden, free for children under 18. Reserve your tickets here.

    Seating is limited-capacity to ensure the health and safety of all artists and patrons.

    All guests must wear masks while on Crowden's campus.

    All guests must present either proof of vaccination or negative COVID test (within 1 week of concert) for entry.

    Please note this event is subject to change to comply with all public health guidelines, and may be presented online as a live stream.

The Alexander String Quartet has performed in the major music capitals of five continents, securing its standing among the world’s premier ensembles, and a major artistic presence in its home base of San Francisco, serving since 1989 as Ensemble in Residence of San Francisco Performances and Directors of The Morrison Chamber Music Center Instructional Program at San Francisco State University. Widely admired for its interpretations of Beethoven, Mozart, and Shostakovich, the quartet’s recordings have won international critical acclaim. They have established themselves as important advocates of new music commissioning dozens of new works from composers including Jake Heggie, Cindy Cox, Augusta Read Thomas, Robert Greenberg, Cesar Cano, Tarik O’Regan, Paul Siskind, and Pulitzer Prize-winner Wayne Peterson. Samuel Carl Adams’ new “Quintet with Pillars” was premiered and has been widely performed across the U.S. by the Alexander with pianist Joyce Yang, and will be introduced to European audiences in the 2020-2021 season.

The Alexander String Quartet’s annual calendar includes engagements at major halls throughout North America and Europe. They have appeared at Lincoln Center, the 92nd Street Y, and the Metropolitan Museum; Jordan Hall; the Library of Congress; and chamber music societies and universities across the North American continent including Yale, Princeton, Stanford, Lewis and Clark, Pomona, UCLA, the Krannert Center, Purdue and many more. Recent overseas tours include the U.K., the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, Italy, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Switzerland, France, Greece, the Republic of Georgia, Argentina, Panamá, and the Philippines. Their visit to Poland’s Beethoven Easter Festival is beautifully captured in the 2017 award-winning documentary, Con Moto: The Alexander String Quartet.

Distinguished musicians with whom the Alexander String Quartet has collaborated include pianists Joyce Yang, Roger Woodward, Menachem Pressler, Marc-André Hamelin, and Jeremy Menuhin; clarinetists Joan Enric Lluna, Richard Stoltzman, and Eli Eban; soprano Elly Ameling; mezzo-sopranos Joyce DiDonato and Kindra Scharich; violinist Midori; violist Toby Appel; cellists Lynn Harrell, Sadao Harada, and David Requiro; and jazz greats Branford Marsalis, David Sanchez, and Andrew Speight. The quartet has worked with many composers including Aaron Copland, George Crumb, and Elliott Carter, and enjoys a close relationship with composer-lecturer Robert Greenberg, performing numerous lecture-concerts with him annually.

Recording for the FoghornClassics label, their release in 2019 of the Late Quartets of Mozart, has received critical acclaim. (“Exceptionally beautiful performances of some extraordinarily beautiful music.” –Fanfare), as did their 2018 release of Mozart’s Piano Quartets with Joyce Yang. (“These are by far, hands down and feet up, the most amazing performances of Mozart’s two piano quartets that have ever graced these ears” –Fanfare.) Other major releases have included 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 with Toby Appel and David Requiro (“a uniquely detailed, transparent warmth” –Strings Magazine); the Schumann and Brahms piano quintets with Joyce Yang (“passionate, soulful readings of two pinnacles of the chamber repertory” –The New York Times); and the Beethoven cycle (“A landmark journey through the greatest of all quartet cycles” –Strings Magazine). Their catalog also includes the Shostakovich cycle, Mozart’s Ten Famous Quartets, and the Mahler Song Cycles in new transcriptions by Zakarias Grafilo.

The Alexander String Quartet formed in New York City in 1981, capturing international attention as the first American quartet to win the London (now Wigmore) International String Quartet Competition in 1985. The quartet has received honorary degrees from Allegheny College and Saint Lawrence University, and Presidential medals from Baruch College (CUNY). The Alexander plays on a matched set of instruments made in San Francisco by Francis Kuttner, known as the Ellen M. Egger quartet.

Other Sundays@Four Concerts

Delphi Trio

December 12, 2021

Chamber Music Society of San Francisco

January 30, 2022

Vitamin Em

May 1, 2022

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