The Grammy-nominated AIZURI QUARTET make their 5BMF debut this season with an electrifying program of works by Gabriella Smith, Arnold Schoenberg, Komitas Vardapet and Evan Premo, whose String Quartet No. 1 “Deeply Known” was written for the ensemble. Special guest soprano Mary Bonhag joins the Quartet for Schoenberg’s String Quartet No. 2.
Praised by The Washington Post for “captivating” performances that draw from its notable “meld of intellect, technique and emotions,” the Aizuri Quartet was awarded the Grand Prize at the 2018 M-Prize Chamber Arts Competition, along with top prizes at the 2017 Osaka International Chamber Music Competition in Japan, and the 2015 Wigmore Hall International String Quartet Competition in London. Its debut album Blueprinting, featuring new works written for the Aizuri Quartet by five American composers, was released by New Amsterdam Records and nominated for a 2019 GRAMMY Award.
Through its engaging and thought-provoking programs, branded by The New York Times as “genuinely exciting” and “imaginative,” the Quartet has garnered critical acclaim for bringing “a technical bravado and emotional power” to bold new commissions, and for its “flawless” (San Diego Union-Tribune) performances of the great masterpieces of the past. Based in New York City, the Aizuri Quartet was the 2017-2018 MetLiveArts String Quartet-in-Residence at the Metropolitan Museum of Art; the 2015-2016 Ernst Stiefel String Quartet-in-Residence at the Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts; and String Quartet-in-Residence at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia from 2014-2016. Formed in 2012, Aizuri Quartet has performed extensively throughout North America, as well as in Europe, Japan, Mexico, Chile, Costa Rica, and Abu Dhabi, and has commissioned and premiered new works by Pulitzer Prize-winner Caroline Shaw, Lembit Beecher, Paul Wiancko, Yevgeniy Sharlat, Gabriella Smith, Rene Orth, and Alyssa Weinberg.
ARIANA KIM › violin
MIHO SAEGUSA › violin
AYANE KOZASA › viola
KAREN OUZOUNIAN › cello
MARY BONHAG › soprano
GABRIELLA SMITH › “Carrot Revolution”
EVAN PREMO › “Deeply Known”
KOMITAS VARDAPET › Five Armenian folksongs
ARNOLD SCHOENBERG › String Quartet No. 2