The Cassatt String Quartet will perform with guitarist Elliot Fisk at the Boston GuitarFest Gala Concert

The acclaimed Cassatt String Quartet will join Boston GuitarFest Co-Founder and Artistic Director, American classical guitarist Elliot Fisk for a live gala concert from the 17th Annual Boston GuitarFest. The event, which will also be streamed, will take place at Jordan Hall at the New England Conservatory (30 Gainsborough St, Boston, MA 02115) in Boston Massachusetts on Saturday, June 25, 2022 at 8:00 p.m. EDT.

Entitled “Toward the Light,” the concert will feature a world premiere of Daniel Strong Godfrey’s guitar quintet and string quartet, as well as works by Turina, Granados and Boccherini. An open dress rehearsal with the Cassatts and Mr. Fisk will also take place at Jordan Hall Fisk at 5:00 p.m. EDT. The Cassatt String Quartet will appear in the line-up of first violinist Muneko Otani, second violinist Jennifer Leshnower, violist Ah Ling Neu and cellist Gwen Krosnick. The full program follows:

Joaquín Turina La Oración del Torero (for string quartet)

Enrique Granados Danza Española #5 “Andaluza”**

Enrique Granados Danza Española #10 “Sad Danza”**

Isaac Albéniz Torre Bermeja**

Ernesto Halffter Habanera **

Isaac Albéniz Seville**

Luigi Boccherini Quintet for Guitar in D, G 448

I. Pastoral

II. Allegro Maestoso

III. Serious Assai

IV. fandango

Intermission

Daniel S. Godfrey Toward Light: Quintet for guitar and string quartet*

II. Twilight: Prayer

III. Midnight: Dance

IV. Before Dawn: Cadence

V. Dawn: Running towards the light

*World Premiere

** Lead guitar, trans. For guitar by E.Fisk

General admission of $40 for the gala concert can be purchased on the event website: https://bostonguitarfest.org/product/concert-tickets-toward-the-light-gala-concert/. All audience members must send either 1) proof of vaccination (three shots/boosted) or 2) negative test result (antigen within 24 hours or PCR within 72 hours) in advance. For more information, visit the Boston Guitar Fest website: https://bostonguitarfest.org/and the Cassatt String Quartet website: http://www.cassattquartet.com/.

Guitarist Eliot Fisk is known worldwide as a charismatic performer famous for his adventurous and virtuoso repertoire.

Having performed as a soloist with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Houston Symphony, Rochester Symphony, Orchestra of St. Lukes, Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra, Pro Arte Orchestra, American Composers Orchestra, Boston Modern Orchestra Project (BMOP ) and many others, he returns regularly to major concert series such as Stanford Lively Arts, Spivey Hall (Atlanta), Duke University Performances, Newman Center for the Performing Arts in Denver; Lincoln Center, The Metropolitan Museum of Art and 92nd Street Y in New York, Da Camera Society in Houston, Da Camera Society in Los Angeles, San Francisco Chamber Music; Segovia Series at Pick-Staiger Hall at Northwestern University; Jordan Hall, Boston; Orange County Center for the Performing Arts; Brahms, Mozart and Schubert Saal (Vienna); Mozarteum Grosser Saal (Salzburg); Wigmore Hall and Queen Elizabeth Hall (London) and in many guitar festivals such as those in Cordoba, Spain; Belgrade, Serbia; and Iserlohn, Bad Aibling and Hersbrueck, Germany.

He has collaborated with many chamber music colleagues including flautist Paula Robison; clarinetist, Richard Stoltzman; cellist Yehuda Hanani; the violinists Ruggiero Ricci, Gidon Kremer and Joshua Bell, the string quartets Shanghai, Juilliard, Miro, Borromeo and Arditti.

The classical guitar repertoire has been transformed by Fisk’s countless transcriptions (including works by Bach, Scarlatti, Haydn, Mozart, Paganini, Schubert, Mendelssohn, Granados, Albeniz and many more). In addition, many new works have been dedicated to him by composers as varied as Leonardo Balada, Robert Beaser, Luciano Berio, Ralf Gawlick, Nicholas Maw, George Rochberg, Daniel Bernard Roumain and Kurt Schwertsik.

Eliot Fisk is the founder and artistic director of Boston GuitarFest (www.bostonguitarfest.org) an annual interdisciplinary event co-sponsored by the New England Conservatory and Northeastern University and now entering its 13th consecutive year. In 2017, he established and served as artistic director of the first ever hugely successful Salzburg Guitar Festival at the Universität Mozarteum Salzburg.

Hailed for their “powerful rapport and relentless commitment” (Jay Harvey Upstage, 2021), the New York-based Cassatt String Quartet have performed around the world, with appearances at Alice Tully Hall and the Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall; Tanglewood Music Center; the Kennedy Center; Champs-Élysées Theater; National Center of the Arts; Maeda Room; and Beijing Central Conservatory. At the Library of Congress, the Cassatts performed on the Library’s matching quartet of Stradivarius instruments.

CassatUpcoming projects include early performances and recordings of works by Daniel S. Godfrey, Dylan Schneider, Gerald Cohen and Shirish Korde; collaborations with Ursula Oppens, Eliot Fisk, Oskar Espina Ruíz, Colin Williams and Narek Arutyunian; their annual residencies in Texas and Maine; local concerts in the New York area; and appearances at Music Mountain, Treetops Chamber Music Society, Maverick Concerts and Jordan Hall.

Alex Ross named the work of the Cassatt Quartet three times in his roundup of New Yorker Magazine’s “Top 10 Classic Recordings”. The band’s prolific discography of over forty recordings includes new quartets by Steven Stucky, Daniel S. Godfrey, Sebastian Currier and Samuel Adler. They have recorded for the Koch, Naxos, New World, Point, CRI, Tzadik and Albany labels.

The quartet has been featured on NPR’s “Performance Today”, WGBH Boston, New York’s WQXR and WNYC, Canadian Radio CBC and Radio France. They have appeared in numerous virtual concert series and performances on online platforms.

Formed in 1985 with the encouragement of the Juilliard Quartet, the Cassatt String Quartet was the first participant in Juilliard’s Graduate String Quartet Residency. They have received major awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, USAArtists International, Chamber Music America, CMA/ASCAP, Banff International String Quartet Competition, Fischoff and Coleman Chamber Music Association, Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust, from Meet the Composer and the music foundations Amphion, Copland, Fromm and Alice M. Ditson. Since 1995, the ensemble has been on the New York State Council on the Arts list of performing artists.

The CSQ has performed nationally and internationally to critical acclaim. The New York Times praised their “bold, deep retelling” of Shostakovich’s String Quartet No. 8 (Anthony Tommasini, 2015). Concerto Net wrote: “Wherever one encounters the Cassatt Quartet…one is amazed at both their prowess and their unfailing inspiration” (2018). SoundWordSight praised their “wonderful performance, with beautifully integrated sound” (Jeffrey James, 2017); and Jay Harvey said that “the enthusiastic reception of their performance by large audiences was both predictable and well-deserved” (Jay Harvey Upstage, 2021).

The Cassatt Quartet is deeply committed to the training of young musicians and has given courses for composers and performers at the American Academy in Rome; the Toho school in Tokyo; the Bowdoin International Music Festival; Columbia, Cornell, Princeton and Syracuse Universities; and the University of Pennsylvania. Since 1995, the CSQ has been in residence at the Seal Bay Festival of Contemporary American Chamber Music in Maine; and, since 2005, at Cassatt in the Basin!, an annual educational residency in Odessa, Texas.

The Cassatt Quartet is recognized for its genius in contemporary and traditional repertoire and has collaborated with members of the Tokyo, Cleveland and Vermeer Quartets. pianists Ursula Oppens and Marc-André Hamelin; clarinetist David Shifrin, flautist Ransom Wilson, jazz pianist Fred Hersch and didgeridoo player Simon 7; the Trisha Brown Dance Company; and composers Louis Andriessen, Kaija Saariaho, Joan Tower, John Corigliano, Tania León, Shulamit Ran and Augusta Read Thomas.

Named in honor of impressionist painter Mary Cassatt, the quartet is made up of violinists Muneko Otani and Jennifer Leshnower; cellist Gwen Krosnick and violist Rosemary Nelis. Ah Ling Neu will serve as violist for this concert.

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