WFIU’s Artists of the Month for June is the Penderecki String Quartet.
Per the request of Krzysztof Penderecki, the Penderecki String Quartet was founded in 1986 to be a champion of contemporary music. Since then it has performed a wide range of repertoire from Bach to Brahms, Bartók to Ligeti, Frank Zappa to John Oswald. It has also premiered over 100 new works from numerous composers including Brian Cherney, Linda C. Smith, Randolph Peters, Harry Freedman, Glenn Buhr, Alice Ho, Peter Hatch, Omar Daniel and Gilles Tremblay with assistance from the Canada Council, the Laidlaw Foundation, the CBC, the Ontario Arts Council, and the Hong Kong Arts Development Council.
Its current members include Jeremy Bell, violin, Jacob Braun, cello, Jerzy Kaplanek, violin, and Christine Vlajk, viola and they hail from Poland, Canada, and the United States. They have performed in concert halls all over the world including New York (Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall), Madrid, Amsterdam (Concertgebouw), Prague, St. Petersburg, Rome, Belgrade, Zagreb, Paris, Los Angeles, Atlanta, and Indiana University. The quartet’s current home is Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo Ontario as the Quartet-in-Residence. They have performed in multiple venues across Canada and have guided the Laurier University String Program to be one of the most prestigious in Canada.
The Toronto Globe and Mail has acclaimed the quartet for their “remarkable range of technical excellence and emotional sweep” and Fanfare Magazine calls them “an ensemble of formidable power and keen musical sensitivity.” They have made over 25 recordings for CBC, CMC, Centaur, EMI, United, and Artifact labels among others. When they’re not touring or performing, they devote themselves to teaching at Laurier University where they hold a yearly Quartetfest. This intensive Spring-term seminar invites guest faculty from the Tokyo Quartet, the Ying Quartet, and the Colorado Quartet to share their experience and knowledge with students.
WFIU will feature music performed by the Penderecki String Quartet throughout the month of June.