Enjoying over 20 years of acclaim and a place as one of the world’s top string quartets, the Brentano Quartet returns to Caramoor with three-time Grammy-nominated clarinettist Todd Palmer. Their program includes transcriptions of madrigals by Gesualdo, whose works pre-date the string quartet as a medium, Beethoven’s magnificent Quartet Opus 18, No 4 and the Brahms Clarinet Quintet, certainly, one of the greatest chamber music masterpieces ever composed. “The Brentanos are a magnificent string quartet … This was wonderful, selfless music-making” (The Times, London).
“The American ensemble, by now well established in the international pantheon, offers performances both fiercely intelligent and expressively pristine.” — New Yorker
Since its inception in 1992, the Brentano String Quartet has appeared throughout the world to popular and critical acclaim. “Passionate, uninhibited and spellbinding,” raves the London Independent; The New York Times extols its “luxuriously warm sound [and] yearning lyricism.”
Since 2014, the Brentano Quartet has served as Artists in Residence at Yale University. The Quartet also currently serves as the collaborative ensemble for the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition.Formerly, they were Artists in Residence at Princeton University for many years.
In addition to their interest in performing very old music, the Brentano Quartet frequently collaborates with contemporary composers including Vijay Iyer, Eric Moe, and Felipe Lara.
The Quartet has performed in the world’s most prestigious venues, including Carnegie Hall and Alice Tully Hall in New York; the Library of Congress in Washington; the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam; the Konzerthaus in Vienna; Suntory Hall in Tokyo; and the Sydney Opera House. The Quartet had its first European tour in 1997, and was honored in the U.K. with the Royal Philharmonic Award for Most Outstanding Debut.
In addition to their interest in performing very old music, the Brentano Quartet frequently collaborates with contemporary composers. Recent commissions include a piano quintet by Vijay Iyer, a work by Eric Moe (with Christine Brandes, soprano), and a viola quintet by Felipe Lara (performed with violist Hsin-Yun Huang). In 2012, the Quartet provided the central music (Beethoven Opus 131) for the critically-acclaimed independent film A Late Quartet.
The quartet has worked closely with other important composers of our time, among them Elliot Carter, Charles Wuorinen, Chou Wen-chung, Bruce Adolphe, and György Kurtág. The Quartet has also been privileged to collaborate with such artists as soprano Jessye Norman and pianists Richard Goode, Jonathan Biss, and Mitsuko Uchida.
The Quartet is named for Antonie Brentano, whom many scholars consider to be Beethoven’s “Immortal Beloved,” the intended recipient of his famous love confession.
Clarinetist Todd Palmer has appeared as soloist, recitalist, chamber music collaborator, educator, arranger, and presenter in a variety of musical endeavors around the world. A three-time Grammy-nominated artist, he has appeared as soloist with the Atlanta, Houston, BBC Scotland orchestras; St. Paul, New York, Cincinnati, Montréal, and Metamorphosen chamber orchestras, as well as many others. He’s collaborated with many of the worlds finest string ensembles such as the St. Lawrence, Brentano, Borromeo, Pacifica, Daedalus, and Ying quartets; and has also shared the stage with sopranos Kathleen Battle, Renée Fleming, Elizabeth Futral, Heidi Grant Murphy, and Dawn Upshaw, and many other notable instrumentalists.
He has championed Osvaldo Golijov’s Dreams and Prayers of Isaac the Blind around the world and commissioned the theatre work Orpheus and Euridice by Ricky Ian Gordon which was presented by Great Performers at Lincoln Center in 2005. He was a winner of the Young Concert Artist International Auditions, and has participated in numerous music festivals in the US and abroad including 18 years at Spoleto Festival USA in Charleston, SC, 5 years at the Marlboro Festival, and the Tanglewood Institute, where he was awarded the Leonard Bernstein Fellowship. He has also held principal clarinet positions in the Minnesota Orchestra, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Orchestra of St. Lukes, the Gotham Chamber Opera, and the Grand Teton Festival.
Clarinetist Todd Palmer is a three-time Grammy-nominated artist who has collaborated with quartets, orchestras, and festivals around the world.
In 2008 he premiered David Bruce’s Gumboots, a Carnegie Hall commission that was written especially for him and the St. Lawrence Quartet, and for two years appeared in Lincoln Center’s revival of South Pacific. Recently he appeared as soloist in Robert Lepage’s staging of Stravinsky’s The Nightingale and Other Fables at BAM — dressed as a Cossack and performed the Mozart clarinet concerto as a part of Great Performers at Lincoln Center’s What Makes It Great series.