Fall 2015 marks the middle of the Calidore String quartet’s residency at Stony Brook. The quartet was selected by the Emerson String Quartet, to both join them as members of faculty, and to be mentored by them for the academic years 2014-15 and 2015-16. The Calidore Quartet is the most recent promising young quartet to earn this honor, and follow in the path of the St. Lawrence, Artemis, Avalon, Calder, Pacifica, Ying, Borealis, and Escher Quartets, all of whom have been mentored by the Emerson Quartet. The new residency and the Calidore’s accomplishments were the subject of a feature article in the May issue of Strings magazine—fellow Emerson mentees the Calder Quartet were the cover story of the same issue.
Jeffrey Meyers, Ryan Meehan (violins), Jeremy Berry (viola), and Estelle Choi (cello) came together to form the Calidore quartet in 2010 while students at the esteemed Colburn Conservatory of Music in Los Angeles. Since then they have established themselves as one of the world’s most illustrious young quartets, winning grand prizes in practically every American chamber music competition, including Fischoff, Coleman, Chesapeake, and Yellow Springs, and capturing top prizes internationally at the Munich International String Quartet Competition and the Hamburg International Chamber Music Competition.
The young quartet is quickly making their mark, having made their debuts at prestigious summer festivals including Verbier, Ravinia, Banff, this year serving as Quartet-in-Residence at the Bellingham Festival of Music, and the Innsbrook Institute Summer Music Academy and Festival. They have appeared in chamber music series at Lincoln Center, Wigmore Hall, Seoul’s Kumho Arts Hall, the Flagler Museum, Shriver Hall, the Phillips Collection, Schneider Concert Series, and the National Arts Center (Ottawa). They have collaborated with many of today’s leading artists, including Menahem Pressler, Joshua Bell, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Paul Coletti, and Quatuor Ebene, among others.
Their two years at Stony Brook will see the Calidore through a number of firsts. Their first commercial album was released in February 2015, and they will make their Carnegie Hall debut on May 10th, 2016. Their debut album features Mendelssohn’s String Quartet No. 2 in A minor, Op. 13 (one of the first pieces they read together as a quartet), and Haydn’s String Quartet in C major, Op. 76, No. 3, “Emperor.” They are releasing a second album this year, on Editions Hortus, commemorating the World War One centennial. Their Carnegie Hall debut is sponsored by Stony Brook.
Besides performance opportunities, the residency at Stony Brook includes education commitments. The Calidore quartet are committed to education and have conducted numerous pre-concert talks, post-concert Q&A’s, classroom visits, public school assemblies, traditional master classes and multi-day community residencies. At Stony Brook they will take part in outreach programs in Long Island schools funded by the Staller Educational Outreach Endowment and the Barbara N. Wien Endowment for Arts & Education, and coach undergraduate chamber ensembles on campus. Their commitment to education continues into the concert hall—their first lesson with the Emersons was on programming, and has resulted in programming that aims to enlighten audiences in a traditional concert setting. One example is their “French Quartets Through Time,” with works by Hyacinthe Jadin, Dutilleux, and Debussy.
The Department of Music is excited to be working with the Calidore quartet, and they are proud to be here. As Meehan said of Perry Goldstein and the department in the Strings article “His fantastic and progressive vision for the music department is putting Stony Brook University on the map as a powerhouse music school, and the Calidore String Quartet is proud to be a part of it!”