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Formalist Quartet

About this Artist

Currently in its ninth season, the FORMALIST QUARTET is an ensemble dedicated to the performance of adventurous repertoire focusing on contemporary pieces and world premieres, as well as exploring a diverse spectrum of early music and the standard repertoire. Heralded as “superb,” “ferocious,” and “fabulous” by Mark Swed in the Los Angeles Times, the Formalist Quartet has established itself as one of the most innovative new music ensembles on the West Coast.

The quartet was born on the 100th birthday of Dmitri Shostakovich (September 25th, 2006), and since then has been playing frequently across the United States and Europe in concert halls, festivals, art galleries, cafes, and homes, including the Reykjavic Arts Festival, the Universität der Künste (Berlin), BKA Theater (Berlin), Bludenzer Tage Zeitgemasse Musik (Austria), Basilica di Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari (Venice, Italy), and numerous appearances at Walt Disney Concert Hall's REDCAT and Monday Evening Concerts. The quartet has held residencies at the Oberlin Conservatory, Princeton University, UC San Diego, UC Santa Barbara, Stanford University, University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee, University of Maryland, Baltimore County, San Diego New Music, and the Villa Aurora in Pacific Palisades. Most recently, they were named by “The Harry and Alice Eiler Foundation, Inc.” as the performing ensemble for the Julius F. Jezek Prize, 2015.

The quartet has premiered countless works, and has collaborated closely with composers such as Christian Wolff, Johann Johannson, David T. Little, Lewis Nielson, and Wolfgang von Schweinitz. Their recordings include Harold Budd’s string quartet album Bandits of Stature, the epic 100 Cadences of Arthur Jarvinen, Kristian Ireland’s clearing, and music for several small films and pop records. Upcoming releases include the complete string quartets of Christian Wolff, quartets by David Arbury, and an album of works composed by members of the quartet.  “Clearly invested in the material,” said A Closer Listen on their recordings of Nicholas Deyoe’s two string quartets, the Formalist Quartet has “risked emotional drain in order to infuse it with blood and fire”.

Formalist QuartetAndrew Tholl, violinMark Menzies, violin/violaAndrew McIntosh, violin/violaAshley Walters, cello