Calidore String Quartet
Chamber Music & Orchestras
The Calidore String Quartet
Jeffrey Myers, violin
Ryan Meehan, violin
Jeremy Berry, viola
Estelle Choi, cello
The Calidore String Quartet has been praised by the New York Times for its “deep reserves of virtuosity and irrepressible dramatic instinct.” The Los Angeles Times described the quartet as “astonishing,” their playing “shockingly deep,” approaching “the kind of sublimity other quartets spend a lifetime searching” and praised its balance of “intellect and expression.” The Washington Post has said that “Four more individual musicians are unimaginable, yet these speak, breathe, think and feel as one.”
Recipient of a 2018 Avery Fisher Career Grant and a 2017 Lincoln Center Emerging Artist Award, the Calidore String Quartet first made international headlines as winner of the $100,000 Grand Prize of the 2016 M-Prize International Chamber Music Competition. The quartet was the first North American ensemble to win the Borletti-Buitoni Trust Fellowship, was a BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artist, and is currently in residence with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s Bowers Program.
During the 20/21 season heavily affected by the pandemic, the Calidore have continued to reach out to online audiences performing in empty concert halls or from their home studio including the opening concert of the newly created series by the Chamber Music Society in New York, a rare outdoor performance on the Lincoln Center Plaza and streamed concerts from the Caramoor Festival and the Music@Menlo Festival. In 2021, the Calidore will premiere a new string quartet by Hannah Lash commissioned by the Segerstrom Center for the Arts, the Amsterdam Concertgebouw and Baltimore’s Shriver Hall. In February 2021 the Calidore begin their recording of the complete Beethoven String Quartet cycle for Signum Records.Read more
In the 2019‒20 season, the Calidore String Quartet celebrated both its tenth anniversary and the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth by presenting cycles of his string quartets at the Colburn School in Los Angeles, and the Universities of Buffalo, Toronto, and Delaware. Additionally, the Calidore premiered a new work by composer Anna Clyne inspired by Beethoven’s Grosse Fuge and commissioned by Music Accord in performances at Lincoln Center, Princeton University, Penn State University, Caramoor, San Francisco Performances, and Boston’s Celebrity Series. In Europe, the Calidore performed in series in the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Denmark, Poland, Spain, and Switzerland.
Highlights of recent seasons have included performances in major venues throughout North America, Europe, and Asia such as Carnegie Hall, Wigmore Hall, Kennedy Center, Berlin Konzerthaus, Brussels BOZAR, Cologne Philharmonie, Seoul’s Kumho Arts Hall, and at significant festivals including the BBC Proms, Verbier, Ravinia, Mostly Mozart, Music@Menlo, Rheingau, East Neuk, and Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.
The Calidore String Quartet’s second Signum album, entitled BABEL, was released in October 2020 and features works by Schumann, Shostakovich and Caroline Shaw. The Strad praised it as “breathtaking…a universally impressive disc”. The quartet’s other recordings include 2018’s Resilience including “lively, intelligent performances of an attractive and thought-provoking program” (Gramophone) of quartets by Mendelssohn, Prokofiev, Janácek, and Golijov; quartets by Tchaikovsky and Mendelssohn recorded at the 2016 Music@Menlo festival; their debut album of quartets by Mendelssohn and Haydn, and an album of music commemorating the World War I centennial.
The Calidore’s members were Young Artists in Residence on American Public Media’s Performance Today, and their performances have been broadcast on NPR, the BBC, the CBC, SiriusXM Satellite Radio, Korean Broadcasting System, Bayerischer Rundfunk (Munich), Norddeutscher Rundfunk (Hamburg), and were aired on German national television as part of a documentary produced by ARD public broadcasting.
The Calidore has given world premieres of works by Caroline Shaw, Hannah Lash, Mark-Anthony Turnage, and Benjamin Dean Taylor. Its collaborations with esteemed artists and ensembles include Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Marc-André Hamelin, Joshua Bell, David Shifrin, Inon Barnatan, Lawrence Power, Sharon Isbin, David Finckel and Wu Han among others. The Calidore has collaborated and studied closely with the Emerson Quartet and Quatuor Ébène, and has also studied with Andre Roy, Arnold Steinhardt, Günter Pichler, Guillaume Sutre, Paul Coletti, and Ronald Leonard, among others.
As a passionate supporter of music education, the Calidore String Quartet is committed to mentoring and educating young musicians, students, and audiences. The Calidore serves as quartet in residence at the University of Delaware and the University of Toronto. It has conducted residencies at Stanford, the University of Michigan, the Colburn School and Stony Brook University.
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. An amalgamation of “California” and “doré” (French for “golden”), the ensemble’s name represents its reverence for the diversity of culture and the strong support it received from its original home: Los Angeles, California, the “golden state.”
The acclaimed Calidore String Quartet’s new album Babel is available in stores and online now on Signum Records. The album features Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Caroline Shaw’s Three Essays, which were written for the ensemble and premiered at the 2018 BBC Proms;...
Calidore Quartet’s New Single from Shostakovich: String Quartet No. 9 Out Now; New Album Babel Available 23 October
The Calidore String Quartet have released the first single from their forthcoming album, Babel, featuring their recording of Shostakovich’s String Quartet No. 9 in E-Flat Major, Op. 117: Allegro. Babel, featuring quartets by Robert Schumann, Shostakovich...
The Calidore String Quartet will perform the world premiere of Anna Clyne’s Breathing Statues as part of a program entitled “The Great Fugues” at Princeton University on February 20, 2020. Clyne’s work is inspired in part by Rainer Maria Rilke’s poem On Music, as well...
“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.”
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.
“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