The American String Quartet performs the world premiere of Tobias Picker's String Quartet No. 2 on January 17 at Merkin Concert Hall of New York City's Kaufman Center for the Performing Arts, presented by the Manhattan School of Music. The composer elaborates on the piece's inception:
Following the premiere of my opera An American Tragedy at the Metropolitan Opera, the President of the Manhattan School of Music, Robert Sirota, called me and told me that the American String Quartet had asked him to commission me as part of the school's 90th anniversary celebration. I was very excited because this meant that the first new music I would write after my largest piece ever would be a string quartet for my alma mater. I had originally thought to give the American String Quartet a transcription of some songs, but after hearing them play so beautifully I decided to create something entirely new (at least for me) and to take advantage of the opportunity to re-invent myself through the genre of the string quartet. I embraced the chance to return to chamber music with gusto because I saw this not only as an opportunity to incorporate everything I'd learned writing four grand operas into an intimate genre but also as the starting point of a new direction in my compositional thinking. 20 years separate my first and second quartet and it is not difficult to hear the evolution between the two.
The American String Quartet performs String Quartet No. 2 in two follow up performances at Brooklyn's Bargemusic on January 24 and 25.
To find out more on the music of Tobias Picker go to www.schott-music.com and www.tobiaspicker.com.
Visit www.kaufman-center.org to learn more on the American String Quartet's performance of String Quartet No. 2.
String Quartet No. 2 (2008)
Commissioned by Ruth Widder for the Manhattan School of Music and the American String Quartet