Calidore String Quartet
Chamber Music & Orchestras
Jeffrey Myers, violin
Ryan Meehan, violin
Jeremy Berry, viola
Estelle Choi, cello
The Calidore String Quartet is recognized as one of the world’s foremost interpreters of a vast chamber music repertory, from the cycles of quartets by Beethoven and Mendelssohn to works of celebrated contemporary voices like György Kurtág, Jörg Widmann, and Caroline Shaw. For more than a decade, the Calidore has enjoyed performances and residencies in the world’s major venues and festivals, released multiple critically acclaimed recordings, and won numerous awards. The Los Angeles Times described the musicians as “astonishing,” their playing “shockingly deep,” approaching “the kind of sublimity other quartets spend a lifetime searching.” The New York Times noted the Quartet’s “deep reserves of virtuosity and irrepressible dramatic instinct,” and the Washington Post wrote that “four more individual musicians are unimaginable, yet these speak, breathe, think and feel as one”.
The New York City based Calidore String Quartet has appeared in venues throughout North America, Europe, and Asia including Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, Kennedy Center, London’s Wigmore Hall, Berlin’s Konzerthaus, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, Brussels’ BOZAR, Cologne Philharmonie, Seoul’s Kumho Arts Hall, and at major festivals such as the BBC Proms, Verbier, Ravinia, Mostly Mozart, Music@Menlo, Rheingau, East Neuk, and Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. Always seeking new commissioning opportunities, the Quartet has given world premieres of works by Caroline Shaw, Anna Clyne, Han Lash, Huw Watkins and Mark-Anthony Turnage and collaborated with artists such as Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Marc-André Hamelin, Joshua Bell, Emerson String Quartet, Jeffrey Kahane, David Shifrin, Inon Barnatan, Lawrence Power, Sharon Isbin, David Finckel and Wu Han.
Highlights of the 23-24 season include return appearances at the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and People’s Symphony in New York as well as concerts in Seattle, Palm Beach, Ottawa, Toronto, Kalamazoo and a European tour of United Kingdom, Estonia and Germany. The Calidore team up with pianist and composer Gabriela Montero for a world premiere of her new piano quintet at the Gilmore Piano Festival (MI) and also enjoy collaborations with the violist Matthew Lipman and harpist Bridget Kibbey, with whom they will premiere a new work by Sebastian Currier. Last season, the Calidore joined the Emerson String Quartet on their farewell tour in the Mendelssohn Octet and collaborated with clarinetist Anthony McGill and bassist Xavier Foley. The Quartet members also performed at Carnegie Hall alongside Anne-Sophie Mutter in a memorial concert honoring André Previn, featuring his compositions.Read more
In their most ambitious recording project to date, the Calidore is set to release the complete Beethoven’s String Quartets for Signum Records in the 24/25 season. Volume I, containing the late quartets, was released in 2023 to great critical acclaim. BBC Music Magazine said the Calidore’s performances “penetrate right to the heart of the music” and “can stand comparison with the best.” Their previous recordings on Signum include titles Babel with music by Schumann, Shaw and Shostakovich, and Resilience with works by Prokofiev, Janáček, Golijov and Mendelssohn.
The Calidore String Quartet was founded at the Colburn School in Los Angeles in 2010. Within two years, the quartet won grand prizes in virtually all the major US chamber music competitions, including the Fischoff, Coleman, Chesapeake, and Yellow Springs competitions, and it captured top prizes at the 2012 ARD International Music Competition in Munich and the International Chamber Music Competition Hamburg. The Quartet first made international headlines as the winner of the $100,000 Grand Prize of the 2016 M-Prize International Chamber Music Competition and it was the first and only North American ensemble to win the Borletti-Buitoni Trust Fellowship. The Calidore was also named a BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artist and in 2018, it was awarded the Avery Fisher Career Grant, having won the Lincoln Center Emerging Artist Award a year prior. The Calidore is currently in residence with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center in New York.
In 2021 the Calidore members joined the faculty of the University of Delaware School of Music and serve as artistic directors of the newly established Graduate String Quartet Fellowship Residency and the University of Delaware Chamber Music Series. Prior to taking this position, they served as artist-in-residence at the University of Toronto, University of Michigan and Stony Brook University. Now dedicated teachers and passionate supporters of music education themselves, the Calidore is grateful to have been mentored by the Emerson Quartet, Quatuor Ébène, Andre Roy, Arnold Steinhardt, David Finckel, Günter Pichler, Guillaume Sutre, Paul Coletti, and Ronald Leonard.
The Calidore String Quartet play the following instruments:
Jeffrey Myers plays a violin by Francesco Rugeri c.1680, owned by a private benefactor on loan through the Leonhard Fellowship and plays a bow by Francois Tourte.
Ryan Meehan plays a violin by Vincenzo Panormo c.1775 and a bow by Joseph Henry.
Jeremy Berry plays a viola by Giovanni Battista Ceruti c.1811, owned by a private benefactor and a 1903 Umberto Muschietti viola and plays a bow by Pierre Simon.
Estelle Choi plays a cello by Charles Jacquot c.1830
The Calidore String Quartet will perform at the Ravinia Festival this week on Thursday, June 29 at 7:30pm. They return after their debut appearance at the Festival, in which they joined the Emerson Quartet in a performance of the Mendelssohn Octet. Their program this...
On February 3 2023, Signum Classics will release BEETHOVEN: The Late Quartets, the Calidore String Quartet’s third album and most ambitious project to date on the label following their acclaimed albums BABEL (2020) and Resilience (2018). The three-disc set marks the...
Calidore String Quartet begin their European tour this weekend at the Beethoven Integrale Strijkkwartetten Festival in Antwerp, Belgium on Saturday (14 May). The programme features Beethoven's String Quartet in C minor, Op. 18, No. 4, String Quartet in E Flat Major,...
“a major new presence on the chamber music scene.”
“The Calidore String Quartet, since their remarkable Kennedy Center debut in 2018, has laid down a track record of sterling performances […] This performance showcased their exceptional ensemble cohesion, a careful melding of sound that avoids all harshness […] The group left no detail uncared for, including the careful styling of their mysterious unison tone when all four instruments came together.”
“The New York- based Calidore Quartet gives meticulously detailed performances of Beethoven’s late string quartets, with playing of quite remarkable technical accomplishment. I’m not sure, for instance, that I’ve ever heard the tremendously challenging Op. 133 Fugue (the original finale of the Quartet Op. 130) done with greater precision and clarity, and it makes for quite an overwhelming experience. Elsewhere in these life-affirming works, the Calidore players penetrate right to the heart of the music, giving warm and intensely lyrical accounts in particular of the variation slow movements that form the expressive heart of nearly all the quartets, and of the famous ‘Cavatina’ from Op. 130 which reportedly reduced Beethoven himself to tears […] The players have clearly thought long and hard about these masterpieces of the string quartet repertoire, and they have produced performances that can stand comparison with the best.”
“Calidore Quartet, a chamber group of the highest quality displaying technical precision, global sound and the individual refinement of each musician. (…) They literally took the audience’s breath away thanks to the impeccable playing of Myers and Meehan’s admirable violins, Berry’s intense viola, and Choi’s unreserved dedication to cello.”
“Taken together, [Babel] s one of the year’s best albums. When live musical performances return in a few month, the CSQ shouldn’t be missed. Until then, at least we have this superb release.”
Jonathan Blumhofer, The Arts Fuse
“This quartet, formed by students at Colburn nine years ago and now taking the world by storm, is astonishing. Its performances of two of late Beethoven quartets Wednesday, some of the most utterly profound chamber music in existence, were shockingly deep. I’ve never heard a quartet so young get so inside this ultimately inscrutable music… The essence of the Calidore is just how centered it is. It does not give the impression of risk-taking but risk-absorbing… the Calidore approached the kind of sublimity other quartets spend a lifetime seeking.”
Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times
“The Quartets sound is warm and vibrant, and their hand-in-glove ensemble playing leaves plenty of room for individuality. Most important, every note is filled with character… The Calidore brought every playful and profound moment of “Essays” to life. I’ve never experienced a new piece of music (this was only its third public performance since the Calidore premiered it last summer in London) that kept a room full of people on the edge of their seats, rapt throughout. But this one did.”
“…the Calidore players are the epitome of confidence and finesse…The players are as touching in the tender lines of the second movement [Mendelssohn String Quartet No 2 op 13] as they are expressive and urgent in its fugal phrases…”
“The Quartet exudes confidence and care: their attention to detail is untiring, but never mannered or extreme. They produce a warm sound, in which the four voices are beautifully blended….. elegance, authority and charisma in equal measure.”
– Seen and Heard International
“The deep sense of communicative rapport these young musicians exude bodes well for future projects…we look forward to hearing whatever comes next.”
– Gramophone “One to Watch”
“Everything here has a clarity and an underlying rhythmic energy… These lively, intelligent performances of an attractive and thought-provoking programme offer compelling proof.”
– Richard Bratby, Gramophone
“…hearing Fifth String Quartet [Bartók] in a pointedly fierce account by the Calidore String Quartet, came as a welcome reminder of how deftly he folded those folk sources into the quartet tradition of Haydn, Beethoven and Brahms.The breathless figuration and jabbing dissonances of the first movement pointed in both directions at once, as did the buoyant, asymmetric dance rhythms of the central scherzo…The ensemble pointed up all these contrasts with playing that was vigorous, sharp-edged and tender.
– Joshua Kosman, San Francisco Chronicle
“The Calidore String Quartet is as good as one can get. The musicians’ quality of performance, interaction, self-listening and response could not be faulted. The attention and nuancing they accorded Shaw’s work was at a Beethovenian level of intensity and inspiration.”
– Ateş Orga, Classical Source
“…the Calidores lived every moment of these remarkable and original pieces, making a human conversation out of the first and third, hinting at the metaphysical in “Echo”….the Calidors made sure that the lifting of the slow movement’s [Schumann Piano Quintet] austere solemnity, winging clear of the funeral cortege, stayed ethereal. It was so good to hear it…”
– David, Nice, The Arts Desk
“From start to finish, violinists Jeffrey Myers and Ryan Meehan, violist Jeremy Berry, and cellist Estelle Choi proved themselves worthy of every accolade that has been bestowed upon them…. First violinist Jeffrey Myers’ performance…was mesmerizing. Estelle Choi’s cello lines in the “Valse: Allegro” were downright spooky. Violist Jeremy Berry dramatically introduced the concluding “Theme and Variations: Adagio.” Combined with the spot-on playing by second violinist Ryan Meehan, the young ensemble “owned” Shostakovich’s quartet.”
– Mike Telin, Cleveland Classical
“In Mendelssohn’s early Op12 Quartet, and in the final, tormented Op80, they unleashed a sunburst of emotions, from the capricious delicacy of the Op12 Cazonetta to the whirlwind apotheosis and subsiding calm of the later work. This is an ensemble as capable of whipping up storms as enchanting us with breathless moments of utter magic.”
– Ken Walton, The Scotsman
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