Widely celebrated for their fresh take on traditional, classic chamber music pieces, as well as their embrace of new music, the Cypress String Quartet is a clear, passionate, intricately textured and “beautifully proportioned” chamber ensemble with profound technical proficiency and a future-vision of classical music’s changing landscape. Described as spacious, transparent, powerful and nuanced, the quartet has made a name for itself as a fresh and welcome addition to the chamber music scene.
Formed in 1996 in San Francisco, the quartet members (Cecily Ward, violin; Tom Stone, violin; Ethan Filner, viola; and Jennifer Kloetzel, cello) made a commitment, from the outset, to only perform as a quartet. That meant no outside teaching jobs or freelance gigs playing with other groups or orchestras. The result is a quartet that is deeply connected, focused and intuitive. Taking their name from the set of twelve love songs for string quartet, The Cypresses, by Antonin Dvorák, the Cypress String Quartet takes pride in presenting well-known pieces in a “fresh context” and breathes life into new pieces, with over 30 commissioned and premiered works by modern, new music composers; four of which made it onto Chamber Music America’s list of “101 Great American Ensemble Works.”
Playing 90-plus concerts a year at venues and festivals around the world has earned the quartet an international reputation for excellence, and its dedication to the Bay Area’s vibrant arts community has made it a local favorite among classical aficionados and casual fans alike.
Returning to the South Bay as part of Montalvo Art Center’s 2011 Villa Chamber Music Series, the Cypress String Quartet will be presenting masterworks from Mozart (K465) and Beethoven (Grosse Fugue) on April 3 at the Historic Villa.