Campus News

Pacifica String Quartet to perform Beethoven cycle over a weekend

The Pacifica String Quartet, which will perform at UB Feb. 15-18, is well known for its performances of the complete string quartet cycles of a number of composers. Photo: Saverio Truglia

UBNOW STAFF

Published February 1, 2018

Fans of UB’s annual Slee Beethoven String Quartet Cycle are in for a treat this year.

The Pacifica String Quartet, which has demonstrated a passion and commitment for performing complete string quartet cycles by a number of composers, will present Beethoven’s cycle in Buffalo over a four-day weekend in February.

The performances of UB’s renowned Slee Beethoven cycle will take place according to the following schedule:

Concert I: Feb. 15, 7:30 p.m.

Beethoven: Quartet in E-Flat major, Op. 127
Beethoven: Quartet in F major, Op. 18, No. 1
Beethoven: Quartet in C major, Op. 59, No. 3, “Razumovsky”

Concert II: Feb. 16, 7:30 p.m.

Beethoven: Quartet in E-flat major, Op. 74, “Harp
Beethoven: Quartet in G major, Op. 18, No. 2
Beethoven: Quartet in C-sharp minor, Op. 131

Concert III: Feb. 17, 3 p.m.

Beethoven: Quartet in D major, Op. 18, No. 3
Beethoven: Grosse Fuga, Op. 133
Beethoven: Quartet in F major, Op. 59, No. 1, “Razumovsky”

Concert IV: Feb. 17, 7:30 p.m.

Beethoven: Quartet in F minor, Op. 95, “Serioso”
Beethoven: Quartet in B-flat major, Op. 18, No. 6
Beethoven: Quartet in A minor, Op. 132

Concert V: Feb. 18, 3 p.m.

Beethoven: Quartet in A major, Op. 18, No. 5
Beethoven: Quartet in B-flat major, Op. 130, with Finale

Concert VI: Feb. 18, 7:30 p.m.

Beethoven: Quartet in C minor, Op. 18, No. 4
Beethoven: Quartet in F major, Op. 135
Beethoven: Quartet in E minor, Op. 59, No. 2, “Razumovsky”

All concerts will be held in Lippes Concert Hall in Slee Hall, North Campus. A reception with the artists will follow the final performance of the cycle in the Slee lobby.

The Pacifica String Quartet has performed the immersive Beethoven cycle at other prestigious venues, including the Ravinia Festival and Tokyo’s Suntory Hall, says Philip Rehard, concert manager for the Department of Music. Although the complete cycle was presented during consecutive evenings when it was established at UB during the 1950s by the estate of Frederick and Alice Slee, Rehard says it has not been scheduled in such an intensive manner during his 25-year tenure at the university.

UB is almost certainly the only place in the country — or the world, Rehard says — that presents the Beethoven string quartet cycle annually. UB’s presentation is also unique in that ensembles appearing in the series cannot dictate the order in which they present the individual quartets: The Slees’ bequest stipulates the order in which the quartets are to be performed.

Rehard says the Pacifica has performed other concerts in UB’s Beethoven cycle over the years, but has been in high demand in recent years. “UB is very fortunate to have them back,” he says, adding that UB’s reputation and the high quality of Lippes Concert Hall helps to bring in such acclaimed musicians as the Pacifica and the Dover Quartet, which performed last year’s cycle.

The Pacifica String Quartet — Simin Ganatra, violin; Austin Hartman, violin; Guy Ben-Ziony, viola; and Brandon Vamos, cello — has made a name for itself with its performances of string quartet cycles.

It has given highly acclaimed performances of the complete Carter cycle in San Francisco, New York, Chicago and Houston; the Mendelssohn cycle in Napa, Australia, New York and Pittsburgh; and the Beethoven cycle in New York, Denver, St. Paul, Chicago, Napa and Tokyo — in an unprecedented presentation of five concerts in three days at Suntory Hall — as well as the monumental Shostakovich cycle in Chicago, New York, Montreal and at London’s Wigmore Hall.

The ensemble has been widely praised for these cycles, with critics calling the concerts “brilliant,” “astonishing,” “gripping” and “breathtaking.”

The group is the quartet-in-residence at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music.

Tickets for all six UB concerts are available through a variety of outlets at the following pricing structure:

UB faculty, staff, alumni, seniors and non-UB students

$10 plus $2 fee online at www.ticketfly.com

$10 plus $4 fee by phone at 877-987-6487 (Ticketfly)

$14 in person at the Center for the Arts (noon to 6 p.m., Tuesday through Friday)

$17 in person at the door (one hour before concert time)

General public

$15 plus $2 fee online at www.ticketfly.com

$15 plus $4 fee by phone at 877-987-6487 (Ticketfly)

$19 in person at the Center for the Arts (noon to 6 p.m., Tuesday through Friday)

$22 in person at the door (one hour before concert time)

 

UB students are admitted free with ID.

For a complete listing of all concerts being presented by the Department of Music, visit the department’s website.