Quartets in Residence
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EMANIO STRING QUARTET
The Emanio String Quartet was formed at Stony Brook University in the fall of 2014. Their primarily coaches include Eugene Drucker, Paul Watkins, Lawrence Dutton, and David Finckel, and they were selected for the inaugural season of Philip Setzer’s String Quartet Intensive Program this past year.
Recently, the quartet held a chamber music residency at the Banff Centre in Alberta, Canada where they studied with HsinYun Huang, Richard Lester, Barry Shiffman, and Mark Steinberg. Prior to Stony Brook, members earned degrees from CIM, Columbia University, the Juilliard School, and Yale University.
Friction Quartet, whose performances have been called “terribly beautiful” (San Francisco Classical Voice), “stunningly passionate” (Calgary Herald) and “chillingly effective” (San Francisco Examiner), exists to expand the string quartet repertoire and audience for adventurous contemporary music through commissioning composers and performing in underserved schools and communities.
Joshua Kosman (San Francisco Chronicle) declared that Friction Quartet is “an artist who should be discovered” and described their performance as “highoctane music making … a fine blend of rhythmic ferocity and tonal flair.”
Recently they gave their Carnegie Hall debut as part of the Kronos Quartet Workshop. They also opened for Kronos Quartet at Z Space as part of Kronos’s “Under 30′′ series. Friction will participate in the Shouse Institute at the Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival this June where they will give their Detroit debut and appear with Paul Watkins of the Emerson Quartet.
Since forming in 2011, Friction has given 70 world premiere performances and commissioned 32 works for string quartet. Friction received a Chamber Music America grant to commission a piano quintet from Andy Akiho and they will debut the work with Jenny Q Chai in November. They also received a grant from San Francisco Friends of Chamber Music to commission a new work from Mark Winges.
John Adams shared Friction’s video of the second movement of his String Quartet no. 1 on his homepage and called it “spectacular.” Second Inversion, the producer of the Adams video, chose Friction’s video as their #2 video of the year out of 44 that they produced. Their recording of David Conte’s second string quartet was just released on Albany Records. They will appear on Pinna Records’ Fall 2016 release performing The First and the Last by Danny Clay with Mobius Trio.
Friction is the first Ensemble In Residence at the Center for New Music in San Francisco. They are also Artist In Residence at San Francisco Friends of Chamber Music and Napa Valley Performing Arts Center. Friction was selected as one of eleven artists featured in the SF Bay Guardian’s 2014 On the Rise issue.
While Friction has garnered international attention as commissioners and interpreters of new music, they are also devoted to performing masterworks of the string quartet repertoire at the highest level. They were quarter finalists in the 2015 Fischoff Competition and placed second at the 2015 Frances Walton Competition. They received the 2012 Berkeley Piano Club Award. Friction has participated in the St. Lawrence String Quartet Seminar, the Banff Chamber Music Residency, and the Deer Valley Music Festival.
Friction Quartet loves to collaborate with artists of all disciplines. Their premiere of GarrettMoulton’s “A Show of Hands,” described by the SF Chronicle as “the greatest dance bargain offered in this town since the San Francisco Ballet performed in Stern Grove last summer,” took place in October 2013. The piece features Dan Becker’s original score for string quartet, commissioned by New Music USA, and six dancers that interact with the string quartet by gesturing, lifting, and lowering the musicians.
Friction Quartet is dedicated to building new audiences for contemporary music. In collaboration with Meridian Hill Pictures, they appeared in a short documentary, titled Friction, that profiles their educational outreach in Washington DC’s Mundo Verde Public Charter School. In collaboration with composer Danny Clay, Friction realized a graphic score that Danny created using drawings that a third grade class made after listening to Beethoven’s Grosse Fuge.
Friction works with an afterschool program called “Little Opera” that guides elementary school students through the process of creating an opera. They workshop graphic scores that the students create and present excerpts of old and new string quartets. Friction Quartet takes risks to enlarge the audience’s understanding of what a string quartet can be, through arrangements of pop music, the use of digital sound processing, percussion, amplification, movement, and by combining music with other media such as dance and film. But they never lose sight of the quartet’s essence—the endlessly nuanced interaction of four analog voices, even when those voices are used to channel real and produce faux digital sounds.
Link to performance: http://www.frictionquartet.com/media/