Hybrid Vigor Music

 

 

Hybrid Vigor Music ~ Story of The Quartet Project

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Beginnings

The Quartet Project was born from necessity. As composer Geoffrey Hudson

recounts, “I was standing in front of a wall of bookshelves filled to overflowing with

string chamber music, looking for music for the young string quartet I would be

coaching that week. The romantics (Schubert, Dvorak, Mendelssohn…) were too

difficult and too long to learn in a week; twentieth century giants like Bartók and

Shostakovich were similarly out of reach; and I knew that turning to the old

classical standbys would be met with heavy sighs from the kids (‘Haydn…

again?’).

My search for new repertoire was fruitless, as similar searches had been in the

past. And finally, that day, those repeated failures sparked an idea: I would devote

the next two years to composing a collection of progressive pieces for quartet.

And now—eight years later—The Quartet Project is here in your hands.”

Workshops

From the outset, workshop testing of the music was central to

the vision of The Quartet Project. Merely claiming that pieces

are suitable for beginners would not be enough. We wanted to be

sure that they actually were.

To that end, we developed The Quartet Project in conjunction

with leading chamber music organizations from across the

United States, including: Community MusicWorks (Providence,

RI), Drake University Community School of Music (Des Moines,

IA), the Greater Grand Forks Symphony Orchestra—now called

Northern Valley Youth Orchestras (Grand Forks, ND), Indian Hill

Music (Littleton, MA), the MacPhail Center for Music

(Minneapolis, MN), and the Third Street Music School

Settlement (New York, NY).

Between 2008 and 2010, these partner organizations hosted workshops in which student string quartets rehearsed music from The

Quartet Project with their faculty coaches. Each rehearsal process concluded with a mini-residency, in which the quartets worked

directly with composer Geoffrey Hudson. He collected feedback from students and teachers and used it to revise and refine The

Quartet Project. We are deeply grateful to our workshop partners, who had the courage and insight to embrace The Quartet Project

when it was a half-formed idea.

On-line Master Classes and Recording

Along the way, we expanded the project to include a

series of on-line master classes in which leading

professional quartets guided amateurs of all ages in

performances of music from The Quartet Project.

Between date and date, we organized nine rounds of The

Quartet Project Challenge hosted by eight wonderful

quartets: Chiara, Brooklyn RiderMiró, Parker, Lark,

Jupiter, Apple Hill, and Artaria. All told, 86 quartets took

part, with participants from six countries ranging in age

from 6 to 95. You can re-visit The Quartet Project

Challenge here.

Out of those master classes came an audio CD, 38

Selections: A Quartet Project Sampler featuring world

premiere recordings by the eight quartets listed above

and the Borromeo Quartet. Read more about the CD.

About the supporters

The Quartet Project exists thanks to the vision and generosity of many people. A three-year grant from the Davoli-McDonagh

Charitable Foundation was essential to getting the project off the ground, an ongoing sponsorship from the Viennese string-maker

Thomastik-Infeld enabled us to launch the on-line master class, and generous grants from the International Music and Art

Foundation and New Music USA made the recording possible.

We are also indebted to more than 200 individual donors who banded together to support the creation of The Quartet Project. A

patron need not be a single individual of great wealth. When we pool our ideas and resources, our collective strength can work

wonders!

 
 

Quartet Project Home

About the Music   

About the CD

Download and listen to sample pieces

The Story of the Quartet Project

About Geoffrey Hudson  

 
 

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Listen to North Carolina's Emerald Quartet play "Swagger" from Volume 3.

 

Quartet Project workshop at Indian Hill Music.