Chamber Music Perfection
The Calidore String Quartet Returned to Easton
The renowned Calidore String Quartet – gold prize winner at the 2012 International Chamber Music Competition – returned to Easton for an exciting concert at the intimate, acoustically outstanding Ebenezer Theater on Saturday evening, October 22.
The Calidore’s ambitious program of string quartets by Ludwig Van Beethoven, Dimitri Shostakovich and Bedřich Smetana showcased the range and depth of musicianship of these artists. From the sunlit colors of Beethoven’s early Quartet Number 6 and the poignant, glowing, dance and folk-inspired melodies of Smetana’s heartfelt Quartet No.1, “From My Life” to the powerful and haunting emotional depths of Shostakovich’s Quartet No. 8, this was a memorable evening.
Now based in New York City, the Calidore String Quartet – Jeffrey Myers and Ryan Meehan, violins; Jeremy Berry, viola; and Estelle Choi, cello – first came together in 2010 at the Colburn School in Los Angeles. In the short span of just over a decade, the Quartet’s performances have consistently garnered praise and respect. A New York Times review cited the Quartet’s “deep reserves of virtuosity and irrepressible dramatic instinct.” The Los Angeles Times described the Quartet as “astonishing,” their playing “shockingly deep,” approaching “the kind of sublimity other quartets spend a lifetime searching for,” and praised its balance of “intellect and expression.” A Washington Post review stated that “Four more individual musicians are unimaginable, yet these speak, breathe, think and feel as one.”
In addition to the Chesapeake Chamber Music Competition, the Calidore String Quartet has won grand prizes in virtually all major US and international chamber music competitions, including the 2012 ARD Munich String Quartet Competition and the 2016 M-Prize International Chamber Music Competition at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, which awarded the Quartet the $100,000 Grand Prize. In 2018, the Quartet received the highly prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant.
The Quartet’s members are passionate supporters of music education, especially the mentoring and educating of young musicians, students, and audiences. In 2021, the Quartet joined the faculty of the University of Delaware School of Music, serving as directors of the Graduate String Quartet Residency program. There the Quartet selected the emerging Abeo Quartet as the inaugural two-year Graduate String Quartet Assistantship recipient. Chesapeake Music will sponsor the Abeo Quartet – the silver prize winner at the 2022 International Chesapeake Chamber Music Competition – in a concert on October 7, 2023.