The Esterhazy Quartet
Eva Szekely, violin Susan Jensen, violin
Leslie Perna, viola Darry Dolezal, cello
Throughout its distinguished career the Esterhazy Quartet has delighted audiences on three continents, performing at venues such as the Haydn Festspiele in Austria, the Banff Centre for the Arts in Canada and the Beethoven Society in Santiago de Chile. Critics have praised the Esterhazy Quartet for its intelligence, refinement, and warmth of sound, described as a “velvety palette of tonal colors” (La Nacion, Buenos Aires).
Taking its name from Prince Nikolaus Esterhazy, the patron of composer Joseph Haydn (considered the “father” of the string quartet), the Esterhazy Quartet maintains an active touring schedule, and can frequently be heard performing live on National Public Radio, including most recently an appearance on WGBH Boston’s Classical Performances.
Formed in 1968 as the resident quartet of the University of Missouri, the Esterhazy Quartet is widely recognized for its commitment to performing and promoting the music of our time, especially modern music of the Americas. The Esterhazy Quartet maintains one of the largest collections of Latin American string quartets in the United States, and is responsible for the commission, world premiere and recording of several new American string quartets.
The Esterhazy Quartet recently completed two important recording projects, both due to be released later in 2012. One features the 9th Quartet of Samuel Adler, written for the Esterhazy Quartet in honor of their 40th anniversary in 2008. The album will also include Adler’s 8th Quartet and his Piano Quintet, recorded with pianist Jerome Lowenthal. The other recording marks the culmination of a remarkable, decades-long partnership with composer James Willey during which the Quartet has rehearsed, performed, and now recorded all eight of the composer’s works in this genre. This final disc, recorded for Albany Records, includes Willey’s String Quartets Nos. 3, 7 and 8, along with the separately downloadable recording of his newly revised Quartet No. 2. The previously recorded quartets by Willey are available on the CRI label through New World Records.
In addition to collaborating with contemporary composers, the Esterhazy Quartet actively promotes the advancement of the string quartet art form through master classes, coachings, seminars and workshops for young performers and composers, including an annual residency for composers at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, and a yearly summer chamber music seminar held at the University of Missouri.