Calder Quartet returning to Music Festival this year

The Calder Quartet returns to the Grand Canyon Music Festival this Friday and Saturday. Performances are at the Shrine of the Ages starting at 7:30 both nights. Below, a detail from the 2007 Music Festival poster created and donated by Phoenix artist Ed Mell. Posters are available for $15 with proceeds going to the Music Festival.

The Calder Quartet returns to the Grand Canyon Music Festival this Friday and Saturday. Performances are at the Shrine of the Ages starting at 7:30 both nights. Below, a detail from the 2007 Music Festival poster created and donated by Phoenix artist Ed Mell. Posters are available for $15 with proceeds going to the Music Festival.

The Grand Canyon Music Festival continues this weekend with two performances by the Calder Quartet.

Members are Benjamin Jacobson and Andrew Bulbrook on violin, Jonathan Moerschel on viola and Eric Byers on cello.

The group draws their name and inspiration from the visual artist Alexander Calder, whose work was praised by Sartre as both lyrical and mathematical. Their performances are tight and intense, blending traditional and avant-garde. This year's performances reflect that in programs that include works by both traditional and modern composers.

The group highlights its 2006-07 season as The Juilliard School's Graduate Resident Quartet, one of the school's highest distinctions. Other pinnacles of the quartet's season include a return to Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts and a debut with the Orange County Performing Arts Center in the new Renee and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall.

The group also continues its relationship with the Colburn School in Los Angeles, where they served for two years as graduate quartet-in-residence and currently participate in the Colburn Chamber Artists Series of concerts and outreach events, and the Carlsbad Music Festival, an alternative classical music festival in Carlsbad, CA that the group co-founded with composer Matt McBane.

Recent milestones for the Calder Quartet include performing the music of Christopher Rouse at the Aspen Music Festival, and participating in La Jolla Music Society's SummerFest 2005. The group has enjoyed debuts with the Washington Performing Arts Society's Kreeger String Series at the Kennedy Center, the Mostly Mozart Festival at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, UCLA Live, and San Francisco Performances. Last season they participated in the Los Angeles Philharmonic's Minimalist Jukebox festival and had the opportunity to work with the composer Terry Riley. Their performance of Riley's early string chamber music garnered the attention of Los Angeles Times critic Mark Swed, who described them as "stunning."

The quartet has been featured in the Los Angeles Times and San Diego Union Tribune. Radio appearances include commentary and performances on NPR's Performance Today, WQXR in New York, WGBH in Boston and KMozart in Los Angeles.

Guest artists who have appeared with the Calder Quartet include pianist Claude Frank and Anne-Marie McDermott, cellist and mentor Ronald Leonard, double-Grammy Award winning guitarist Sharon Isbin, flutists Paula Robison and Ransom Wilson, harpist Nancy Allen, violinist Robert McDuffie, and mandolinist Mike Marshall.

Tickets are $15 for adults, $8 for children (no children under six please) and are available at the door or by visiting www.grandcanyonmusicfest.org. Call 800-997-8285 for more information.

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