The 23-year-old, award-winning Miró Quartet is dedicated to performing works from the standard quartet repertoire.
“It’s an unpopular approach,” says the quartet’s cellist Joshua Gindele. “Beethoven is the center of our repertoire. He wrote 16 spectacular string quartets.”
Two Beethoven pieces-“Quartet in F minor, Op. 95” and “Grosse Fuge, Op.133”-are on the Miró Quartet’s January 13 program when Gindele, violinists Daniel Ching and William Fedkenheuer and violist John Largess come to St. Francis Auditorium as guests of Santa Fe Pro Musica.
The Miró Quartet, which has taken first prizes at national and international competitions, including the Banff International String Quartet Competition and the Naumburg Chamber Music Competition, and won the 2005 Avery Fisher Career Grant, is also an advocate for the works of Schubert. The majority of the quartet’s recordings contain pieces by Beethoven and Schubert.
Which is not to say that Gindele, Ching, Fedkenheuer and Largess shun the work of contemporary composers. In 2013, they performed a new work by the friend of a former student at the student’s wedding and were so drawn to it that they decided to program the piece for the Santa Fe performance.
“Big Sky, Low Horizon” by Michael Ippolito is played immediately prior to Beethoven’s quartet. “It’s really well-constructed with skilled writing,” says Gindele. “It’s almost minimalistic. The listener gets the feeling of a car ride across the desert.”
Also featured during the performance are Dvorak’s “Selections from Cypresses,” Wolf’s “Italian Serenade” and Puccini’s “I Crisantemi.”
“We’ve put together a casual program,” Gindele adds. “We’ll be speaking to the audience from the stage. It should be fun.”