Aizuri at the Met

 

The Aizuri Quartet is honored to have been the 2017-18 Quartet-in-Residence at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Throughout the course of our residency, we curated five concerts based on themes that we hold dear to our hearts. Relive some of our favorite moments below.

 
 

Concert I Music & Mayhem

Discover darkness through an exploration into the music of three entirely distinct composers, writing in times of mayhem.  We begin with Sofia Gubaidulina’s fourth string quartet which explores a uniquely haunting sound world through the use of tiny rubber mallets and multi-track tape during the fall of the Soviet regime.  Steve Reich’s Different Trains takes on a multi-media approach to combining an amplified string quartet with pre-recorded tape as a tribute to the atrocities of World War II.  We close with Beethoven’s Harp quartet, written as Napoleon arrived at the gates of Vienna in 1809.  Over the course of nearly two centuries, we examine the human experience in times of political, geographical, and social mayhem. Check out our bonus Spotify playlist for more hand-picked, mayhem-inspired music! 
Performed on October 21, 2017.


Concert II Music & Isolation

The Aizuri Quartet curated their second show titled "Music & Isolation," featuring works by Conlon Nancarrow, Joseph Haydn, Hildegard von Bingen, Carlo Gesualdo, and Beethoven -- works that were written in various forms of isolation. Performed on December 1, 2017.


Concert III Japan Across the World

The third installment of Aizuri Quartet's Met Residency explored three composers of Japanese descent, their voices molded by their different environments. Joined by shakuhachi performer Kojiro Umezaki, the program included works by Kojiro himself, Akira Nishimura, and Paul Wiancko. Performed on February 23, 2018.


Concert IV Seven Last Words

The Aizuri Quartet joined forces with spoken word artist and poet extraordinaire Denice Frohman for an afternoon reimagining Haydn's "Seven Last Words of Christ on the Cross." Denice created new poetry that she recited between movements to put a fresh new spin on this historical work. Check out our bonus Spotify playlist for more hand-picked pieces that compliment the Seven Last Words. Performed on March 31, 2018. 

 
I gifted you metal, your country built guns

I refilled the ocean, you invented thirst

I offered you dirt, & you drew a line

you drew a line

you drew a line
— Denice Frohman
 

Photos by Paula Lobo/ Copyright (c) 2018 The Metropolitan Museum of Art


Concert V Music & Migration

The final MetLiveArts show featured the Aizuri Quartet with clarinetist Kinan Azmeh from the Silkroad Ensemble for an evening of deeply felt musical reflections on the theme of migration. The program included 5 world premieres by composers Michi WianckoCan BilirWang LuPauchi Sasaki, and Kinan himself. The quartet will also perform Lembit Beecher’s “These Memories May True,” and Armenian Folk Songs by Komitas Vartapet. Performed on June 1, 2018

 Composers and musicians of the Music & Migration show with pre concert talk moderator Helga Davis

Composers and musicians of the Music & Migration show with pre concert talk moderator Helga Davis