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Feb. 26: Telegraph Quartet Presented by Stanford Live Performing Music of Grażyna Bacewicz, John Har

Performing Music of Grażyna Bacewicz, John Harbison, and Beethoven

Photo by Lisa Marie Mazzucco available in high resolution at

Sunday, February 26, 2023 at 2:30pm Bing Concert Hall 327 Lasuen St. | Stanford, CA

Tickets and more information:

"precise tuning, textural variety and impassioned communication" – The Strad

Telegraph Quartet:

Stanford, CA – On Sunday, February 26, 2023 at 2:30pm, the Telegraph Quartet (Eric Chin and Joseph Maile, violins; Pei-Ling Lin, viola; Jeremiah Shaw, cello) will be presented by Stanford Live in their first performance back at Bing Concert Hall (327 Lasuen Street) since the pandemic began. Their program, “Return to Life,” features String Quartet No. 4 by Grażyna Bacewicz, String Quartet No. 6 by John Harbison, and String Quartet No. 15 in A minor, Op. 132 by Beethoven. All of these works contemplate the preciousness of life, and the theme of returning to life after periods of illness or turmoil – a sentiment that has gained even more meaning in the face of the world’s experience with the pandemic in recent years.

Grażyna Bacewicz composed her fourth quartet several years after the end of World War II, during which time she lived through the Nazi occupation of Warsaw. The work opens with a kind of sorrow-tinged hope that builds to a joyous, Tchaikovsky-esque third movement. John Harbison’s String Quartet No. 6 begins with the first violin offstage, gradually returning throughout the first movement to rejoin the quartet, at times persuading, antagonizing, or pleading with the other three members of the quartet throughout the piece in its attempt to enter back into their society. Harbison was inspired in part by the concept of returning to one's usual routines and community after a period of sickness or absence, a feeling made all the more universal by the pandemic. Beethoven's autobiographical masterpiece, Op. 132, completes the program, featuring the transcendent third movement, the “Heiliger Dankgesang” or “Song of Thanksgiving,” which he wrote in thanks for his return to life after a serious illness of his own.

The Telegraph Quartet appreciates with equal enthusiasm, standard chamber music repertoire, as well as contemporary, non-standard works. The San Francisco-based group formed in 2013 and is celebrating their tenth season together.

Telegraph Quartet says this of their program and their feelings leading up to their return to the Bing Concert Hall Stage.

“We are deeply honored to be able to return to Bing Concert Hall this year through the support of our dear colleagues and past mentors, the St. Lawrence String Quartet, as part of their John Lad prize. It is a special space that we are blessed to have briefly shared with them, particularly our last performance there with the inimitable Geoff Nuttall, whose insatiable presence is truly and sorely missed. Our program represents the artist’s discovery of that unique joy that can only be found in the face of true tribulation.”

More about the Telegraph Quartet: Described by the San Francisco Chronicle as “…an incredibly valuable addition to the cultural landscape” and “powerfully adept… with a combination of brilliance and subtlety,” the Telegraph Quartet was awarded the prestigious 2016 Walter W. Naumburg Chamber Music Award and the Grand Prize at the 2014 Fischoff Chamber Music Competition. The Quartet has performed in concert halls, music festivals, and academic institutions across the United States and abroad, including New York City’s Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center, San Francisco’s Herbst Theatre, the San Francisco Conservatory of Music’s Chamber Masters Series, and at festivals including the Chautauqua Institute, Kneisel Hall Chamber Music Festival, and the Emilia Romagna Festival. The Quartet is currently on the chamber music faculty at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music as the Quartet-in-Residence.

Notable collaborations include projects with pianists Leon Fleisher and Simone Dinnerstein; cellists Norman Fischer and Bonnie Hampton; violinist Ian Swensen; composer-vocalist Theo Bleckmann; and the Henschel Quartett. A fervent champion of 20th- and 21st-century repertoire, the Telegraph Quartet has premiered works by John Harbison, Robert Sirota, and Richard Festinger.

In 2018 the Quartet released its debut album, Into the Light, featuring works by Anton Webern, Benjamin Britten, and Leon Kirchner on the Centaur label. The San Francisco Chronicle praised the album, saying, "Just five years after forming, the Bay Area’s Telegraph Quartet has established itself as an ensemble of serious depth and versatility, and the group’s terrific debut recording only serves to reinforce that judgment." AllMusic acclaimed, “An impressive beginning for an adventurous group, this 2018 release puts the Telegraph Quartet on the map.” In spring 2023, the Telegraph Quartet will release its next album on Azica Records, featuring Ravel’s renowned quartet and Schoenberg’s first quartet.

Beyond the concert stage, the Telegraph Quartet seeks to spread its music through education and audience engagement. The Quartet has given master classes at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music Collegiate and Pre-College Divisions, through the Morrison Artist Series at San Francisco State University, and abroad at the Taipei National University of the Arts, National Taiwan Normal University, and in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. Telegraph has also served as artists-in-residence at the Interlochen Adult Chamber Music Camp, SoCal Chamber Music Workshop, and Crowden Music Center Chamber Music Workshop. In November 2020, the Telegraph Quartet launched ChamberFEAST!, a chamber music workshop in Taiwan. In fall 2020, Telegraph launched an online video project called TeleLab, in which the ensemble collectively breaks down the components of a movement from various works for quartet.

Highlights of Telegraph Quartet’s 2022-23 season include performances presented by Stanford Live, The Argyros, Emerald City Music, UCLA's Chamber Music at the Clark, Chicago Chamber Music Society, Carmel Music Society, South Mountain Concerts, and many others, as well as a residency at the University of Idaho as part of the Auditorium Chamber Music Series. Telegraph will also perform residency concerts at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. For more information, visit www.telegraph

About Stanford Live: Stanford Live presents a wide range of the finest performances from around the world fostering a vibrant learning community and providing distinctive experiences through the performing arts. With its home at Bing Concert Hall and Frost Amphitheater, Stanford Live is simultaneously a public square, a sanctuary, and a lab, drawing on the breadth and depth of Stanford University to connect performance to the significant issues, ideas, and discoveries of our time. Stanford Live includes a wealth of collaborators and partners, including Stanford academic departments and individual faculty members, Stanford students, off-campus arts institutions, and community organizations. Crucially, Stanford Live supports the university’s focus on placing the arts at the heart of a Stanford education.

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