Borodin Quartet

The Borodin Quartet is considered one of the longest running chamber music ensembles in the world. On April 9, the Quartet will return to Vancouver with a program of Russian masterworks at the Vancouver Playhouse. The concert is part of the Friends of Chamber Music’s 2012/2013 season. The quartet, formed in the Soviet Union in 1945, is celebrated internationally for an intense, stylish (and very Russian) performance tradition, which they will apply to a program of Tchaikovsky and Shostakovich.

“The Borodin Quartet has been performing for Friends of Chamber Music since 1964, longer than any other current ensemble,” according to Eric Wilson, program director at Friends of Chamber Music. “Though individual members have naturally changed through the years, the unique performance tradition developed by its founding members has remained remarkably undiminished. Passed down from musician to musician, the Borodin Quartet collectively maintains the same authority and power in making music as when the group first crossed the Iron Curtain to visit us.”

The program features Piotr Ilych Tchaikovsky’s Quartet movement in B flat Major, and Dmitri Shostavokich’s Quartet No. 3 in F major, Opus 73 and Quartet No. 5 in B flat major, Opus 92.

The ensemble’s particular affinity with Russian repertoire was stimulated by a close relationship with Dmitri Shostakovich. The Borodin Quartet performed their first North American live concert cycle of Shostakovich string quartets in Vancouver in 1969, also for Friends of Chamber Music.

The Borodin Quartet group are four Moscow Conservatory students – one of whom, Rostropovich, would go on to be one of the 20th century’s greatest cellists. The ensemble quickly gained the attention of the country’s musical elite. In 1953, they were requested to perform at Stalin’s funeral, and they soon struck up a close partnership with composer Dmitri Shostakovich, who personally supervised their study of each of his string quartets.

While the quartet’s roster has changed over the past 60 years, their intense and unmistakably Russian performance tradition has remained the same. The current quartet lineup includes Andrei Abramenkov, Ruben Aharonian, Igor Naidin and Vladimir Balshin.

The Borodin Quartet
Date: April 9, 8 pm
Venue: Vancouver Playhouse Theatre, 600 Hamilton Street, Vancouver
Tickets: $40 (student and membership discounts available); purchase online or at the door

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