In honor of the 250th anniversary of the birth of Ludwig van Beethoven, Orcas Island Chamber Music Festival is pleased to announce that the complete cycle of Beethoven String Quartets will be performed by the Miró Quartet in June of 2020. Beethoven’s 16 quartets will be performed over the course of six concerts at 7 p.m. on June 17, 18, 21, 22, 24 and 25 at Orcas Center in Eastsound, Washington.
When asked about this concert series, Aloysia Friedmann, Artistic Director of Orcas Island Chamber Music Festival, stated, “String quartets are considered to be the pinnacle of a composer’s art, and the Beethoven cycle of quartets are universally acknowledged to be the greatest of them all.” Beethoven wrote this series of quartets over a period of several years, and he revised many of them over time, sometimes replacing entire movements.
The Miró Quartet performs the pieces in the order in which Beethoven composed them, and each concert features two or three of these grand works. In 1799, Beethoven gave a friend a copy of Quartet no. 1, Opus 18 (his first group of six quartets), and soon after wrote to his friend telling him to “show no one this quartet, as I am currently revising it, now that finally, I know how to write quartets!” Each of Beethoven’s works expresses his physical and emotional state during the time he was writing it; anxiety over his increasing deafness and the cultural changes in Vienna and the Western world were great influences on his compositions.
The Miró Quartet, Orcas Island Chamber Music Festival’s Quartet-in-Residence, performs regularly at the August festival on Orcas, as well as on many of the world’s most prestigious stages, and in 2005 became the first ensemble ever to be awarded an Avery Fisher Career Grant. Deeply committed to music education, the Miró Quartet members, violinists Daniel Ching and William Fedkenheuer, violist John Largess and cellist Joshua Gindele, have served as the Faculty String Quartet-in-Residence at the Sarah and Ernest Butler School of Music at the University of Texas at Austin since 2003.
Tickets for Orcas Island Chamber Music Festival’s Beethoven Quartet Concerts with the Miró Quartet are available at the Orcas Center Box Office. Tickets can be purchased online at www.orcascenter.org, by phone at 360-376-2281, or in person at the box office. Tickets are $40 each for adults; package price for all six concerts is $200. Tickets for young people ages 6-18 are $10 each. Please note that there is a $2 per concert ticketing fee and tickets are not refundable.