The Lydian String Quartet
Since its formation in 1980, the Lydian String Quartet has inspired critical acclaim worldwide. The Quartet's special flair and interpretive mastery of standard and contemporary repertoire has won the ensemble prizes at international competitions in Canada, France, England and in New York (the prestigious Naumburg Award for Chamber Music). The Lydians give compelling and vividly dramatic performances of the quartet literature, based on an exploration and deep understanding of the composer's expression and craft. The Lydians bring to life music spanning two and a half centuries through concerts, recordings, workshops, lectures and master classes. Their programming of old and new, formal and informal, strives to build new audiences for the spiritually refreshing world of chamber music.
The Lydian String Quartet has performed extensively throughout the United States at venues such as Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center and the Library of Congress, Jordan Hall and Weill Recital Hall in New York. Abroad the Quartet has made appearances in France, England, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Russia, and Armenia. During the summer months the Quartet has been heard at such festivals as the Norfolk Festival (CT) and Music From Salem (NY).
In 2007 the LSQ launched their multi-year project "Around the World in a String Quartet," a new concert series that explores string quartet music in global settings within and beyond the European tradition. From 2001 to 2006, the LSQ's five-year project "Vienna and the String Quartet" surveyed the heart of the string quartet repertory. Juxtaposing new and old Vienna on each program, the Lydians featured music of Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Brahms, Wolf, Kreisler, Schoenberg, Webern, and Berg, along with contemporary composers responding to this tradition such as Harbison, Martino, and Persichetti. The 2000-2001 season was dedicated to works which celebrated Jewish culture, including such composers as Bloch, Boykan, Wyner, Shostakovich, Golijov and Leo Ornstein.
Essential to the spirit of the Lydians is the commissioning and recording of new works. Their five-year "American Originals" Project, from 1995-2000, featured the rich repertoire of the 20th-Century American string quartet. During that time they performed or recorded over sixty works by American composers, often accompanying their concerts with workshops, lectures and discussions.
Winners of a Chamber Music America/ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming, the Quartet has also received grants from the Meet the Composer/Rockefeller Foundation/AT&T Jazz Program in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts, and numerous awards from the Aaron Copland Fund for Music.
The Lydian Quartet has recorded twenty CDs of music from Schubert and Brahms through Hyla, Boykan, Ornstein, Wyner and Harbison. Their recording of John Harbison's String Quartet No. 3 and "The Rewaking" was chosen by both the New York Times and the Boston Globe as one of the best recordings of 2001. Their latest recording of the complete string quartets of Vincent Persichetti was the recipient of a Copland Fund grant and was released by Centaur in 2006.