The Aizuri Quartet, winners of the 9th annual Osaka International Chamber Music Competition, and currently quartet-in-residence at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, will headline the Festival’s summer concert series this July.
Festival veteran and audience favorite Ayane Kozasa, who wowed audiences in previous years with her sensitive viola playing, is a member of the quartet, and is the driving force behind their Festival debut. “I want my colleagues to experience the magic of this place,” Ayane said.
The Aizuri Quartet has been attracting attention as a stand-out among top ensembles, with the New York Times reviewer praising their “imaginative programming” and their “genuinely exciting” playing.
Having an established quartet enables the Festival to present demanding music in the kind of interpretations that develop when an ensemble has had the opportunity to refine its performance over time, said Artistic Director Kevin Krentz.
Krentz enjoys highlighting unusual instruments in addition to the more-traditional strings and piano, and this year will be no exception. Several concerts will feature three of the Northwest’s most dynamic percussionists, in music for percussion as well as “an incredible arrangement” of a late Shostakovich symphony, said Krentz.
Returning artists include violinists Elena Urioste and Grace Park, cellists Krentz and Matthew Zalkind, violist Kozasa, and pianists Tom Poster and Ryan MacEvoy-McCullough.