Applauded by The Washington Post as “a perfect encapsulation of today’s trends in chamber music,” and by The New Yorker as “independent-minded,” PUBLIQuartet’s creative programming lends a fresh perspective to the Classical music scene. Dedicated to presenting new works for string quartet, PUBLIQuartet was selected as Concert Artists Guild’s New Music/New Places Ensemble at the 2013 CAG Competition, and then garnered Chamber Music America’s 2015 ASCAP Adventurous Programming Award for outstanding and innovative approaches to contemporary classical, jazz, and world chamber music. PQ’s genre-bending programs span the classical canon and also feature open-form improvisations that expand the techniques and aesthetic of the traditional string quartet.
These distinctive qualities led New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art to name PUBLIQuartet as 2016-17 MetLiveArts Ensemble-in-Residence, featuring a series of concerts in various spaces at the Met, including the Cloisters, Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium, and the Met’s new Breuer space. The unique programs created by PQ for each performance included such collaborators as Andy Akiho, Ian Rosenbaum, Nadia Sirota, Helga Davis, and James Carter. Those successes for MetLiveArts have led to a busy 2017-18 touring season across the US, featuring their DC debut on the Washington Performing Arts series and a special performance of John Corigliano’s epic String Quartet at Wolf Trap, celebrating the composer’s 80th birthday.
Recent career highlights include PQ’s Lincoln Center debut on the Great Performers series, and a sold-out Carnegie Hall debut at Weill Recital Hall, along with a wide variety of venues/festivals including BAM Café, Le Poisson Rouge and Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola in NYC, Detroit Jazz Festival. and a special appearance with Grammy-winning pianist/composer Billy Childs at the Newport Jazz Festival. In 2016, PUBLIQuartet was selected by The Late Show with Stephen Colbert to perform a 90-minute improvised “soundtrack” to the final Presidential Debate, streamed live on the Late Show’s Facebook page, which has over one million views.
PUBLIQuartet’s commitment to support emerging composers inspired their innovative program, PUBLIQ Access, designed in 2014 to promote emerging composers and to present a wide variety of under-represented music for string quartet–from classical, jazz and electronic, to non-notated, world and improvised music. In addition to annual PUBLIQ Access showcase concerts at NYC’s DiMenna Center for Classical Music and at Boston’s First Church, the group features at least one PQ Access composition on every concert program. The best of these works are included on PUBLIQuartet’s new self-titled debut album, which was released in fall-2015 on CAG Records, and they will premiere three brand new works during the 2017-18 season, written for PQ by Jessica Meyer, Steven Snowden and Xian Wang.
Other current projects include the original program MIND|THE|GAP, described by The Strad as “ingenious hybrids…bridging the divide between diverse musical genres through group improvisation,” which PQ developed in 2011 to generate interest in new music while also engaging traditional classical music audiences. The quartet also collaborates with the NYC-based hip-hop poetry trio, The Mighty Third Rail in a program entitled Changing Night–a contemporary take on the Garden of Eden tale inspired by the music of György Ligeti. This project was showcased in 2015 at LaMama Experimental theatre as part of Public Theatre’s “Under the Radar Festival,” and was presented subsequently in 2016 at the Detroit Institute of Arts.
PUBLIQuartet is sought after for its creative and energetic educational workshops. The quartet’s mission to enrich and inspire students of diverse backgrounds has led PQ to hold residencies with American Composers Orchestra and Deer Valley Music Festival’s “Emerging Quartets and Composers” program, among others.
Founded in 2010, PUBLIQuartet has been presented by The American Composers Orchestra, Virginia Arts Festival, Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival and The Chautauqua Institution. PQ has collaborated with members of the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), JACK Quartet, jazz tuba legend Bob Stewart, and innovative jazz clarinetist/composer Don Byron. Mentors include members of the Muir, Juilliard, Orion, Mendelssohn, Tokyo, American, and Brentano String Quartets and composers Joan Tower and Butch Morris. They have participated in residencies at the Juilliard String Quartet Institute, Robert Mann String Quartet Institute, the Shouse Institute (GLMF), and the Banff Centre.