The Grammy Award-winning Pacifica Quartet presents a stirring program that includes Shostakovich’s String Quartet No. 7 in a performance hosted by the Houston Friends of Chamber Music. The quartet, made up of Simin Ganatra and Sibbi Bernhardsson on violin, Masumi Per Rostad on viola and Brandon Vamos on cello, is well known for its passionate performances of the work. In fact, The Boston Globe called one of the group’s previous performances of the piece a “wedding of youthful electricity and interpretive insight.” Shostakovich wrote String Quartet No. 7 as a memorial to his wife, Nina, who died unexpectedly in 1954, and elements of sorrow, anger and longing are all clearly present. The program will also include Haydn’s Quartet in B-flat Major, Op. 76, No. 4 Sunrise, and Brahms’s Quartet in C Minor, Op. 51, No. 1.
Founded in 1994, the quartet has cemented a sterling reputation over the past two decades and is known especially for its adventuresome choices in repertoire. Based in Bloomington, Indiana, the group won the Naumberg Chamber Award and an Avery Fisher Career Grant (only the second chamber music group ever to do so). In 2009, the same year the group won the Grammy for Best Chamber Music Performance, the quartet was named Ensemble of the Year by Musical America.