The highly acclaimed Escher Quartet, the second of two top-tier string quartets hosted this season by Columbia’s Candlelight Concert Society, draws its name from the 20th-century Dutch artist M.C. Escher. Inspired by Escher’s ability to form a cohesive and conceptual whole from individual components, the quartet seems to have chosen aptly, as it has been described by the Palm Beach Daily News as “mov(ing) with the spontaneity of a single soloist.”
Begun in Britain and based in New York, the Escher Quartet has wasted no time in “muscl(ing) its way into the top ranks of professional quartets.” (The Calgary Herald) Honored with a BBC New Generation Artist designation when they arrived on the scene with a flourish in 2005, the Escher is also one of the few chamber ensembles to have been awarded an Avery Fisher Career Grant. Its distinguished discography has earned rave reviews, including a nomination for BBC Music Magazine’s Recording of the Year and a listing in The Guardian’s Top Ten CDs of 2016.
The UK’s Telegraph has praised the Escher as “one of those technically assured and stylistically nimble young groups that seem able to handle anything.” For its performance at the Horowitz Center’s Smith Theatre, scheduled for Saturday, May 11, at 7 pm, it will present a program of much-loved works by composers with links to the Czech heartland – an inspirational and inexhaustible source of musicians and masterworks.
The concert opens with string quartets by Mozart, who spent happy and creative days in Prague, where discerning Czech audiences appreciated him to a greater extent than did the Viennese, and by Erich Korngold, born in Brno. Korngold is perhaps best known for his lush and melodic film scores, but he can also lay claim to an impressive body of chamber compositions. The Bohemian master himself, Antonin Dvorak, takes center stage after intermission. For his peerless Piano Quintet in A Major, Op. 81, Escher pairs with Howard County’s own Christopher Shih, a distinguished physician and winner of multiple amateur piano competitions, whose playing has been described as of “more-than-professional caliber.” (The Inquirer [Philadelphia])
With its artistry, energy, and a program of much-loved masterworks, Escher seems likely to close Candlelight’s 46th season in an exciting and emphatic manner.
After the concert, please join the artists for a reception in the Horowitz Center Lobby featuring a performance by the Peabody Pre-College Violin Program.
Tickets can be purchased on-line at www.candlelightconcerts.org or by calling the box office at 410-997-2324; Adults $35, Students $12. Candlelight proudly continues its “One Buy One” program, whereby each paying adult may receive a complimentary ticket for one child (ages 9-17). Group tickets (minimum 10) are available one week in advance for $25 each. The concert will be held in Smith Theatre on the campus of Howard Community College.
Candlelight Concert Society presents world-class chamber music by today’s leading artists to the Howard County community and beyond. Experience the magic of transformative, live chamber music in a comfortable setting without the commute or parking fees. Founded in Columbia by local music lovers in 1972, Candlelight’s mission extends to its CandleKids series to spark children’s interest in the performing arts and to its Educational Outreach programs to build future audiences through performances, lectures, workshops and master classes. In addition, Candlelight offers Community Outreach performances for Howard County residents unable to attend a formal concert setting. For more information, visit www.candlelightconcerts.org.