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Linda Cajigas
Jacobs School of Music

Alain Barker
Jacobs School of Music

Last modified: Wednesday, March 7, 2012

World-renowned Pacifica Quartet appointed quartet-in-residence at IU Jacobs School of Music

March 7, 2012

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The Grammy Award-winning Pacifica Quartet, one of the leading chamber music ensembles worldwide, has been appointed quartet-in-residence at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music.

Pacifica Quartet

Pacifica Quartet

Print-Quality Photo

The four members of the ensemble -- Simin Ganatra and Sibbi Bernhardsson, violin; Masumi Per Rostad, viola; and Brandon Vamos, cello -- will join the school's full-time faculty, beginning in fall 2012.

"The Jacobs School of Music is one of the crown jewels of the Bloomington campus," said Interim Provost and Executive Vice President Lauren Robel. "We are thrilled to add the world-class Pacifica Quartet to the excellent Jacobs faculty and to enhance opportunities for our students to study with chamber musicians of this caliber. Bravo!"

The Pacifica Quartet said, "We feel deeply honored to be joining this fantastic institution. The Indiana University Jacobs School of Music has such a storied legacy of excellence in music. We are excited to work with the outstanding students there and to be part of the wonderful faculty at the Jacobs School of Music."

"It has been more than 50 years since Indiana University has had a quartet-in-residence, with all members on the faculty," Jacobs School of Music Dean Gwyn Richards said. "During that time, the role of chamber music in the education of our students has become a gateway to multiple artistic realms. It is particularly exciting to know that the Pacifica Quartet will join us now, as we continue to develop this area of our school."

"It is with great delight that I heard the wonderful news that the Pacifica Quartet, who is without a doubt one of the finest young quartets playing today, has joined the faculty of the Jacobs School of Music," Jacobs School of Music Distinguished Professor Menahem Pressler said. "The position of Indiana University, which already has one of the great music schools, will be further enhanced by having the Pacifica Quartet on the faculty. Congratulations to both the Pacifica Quartet and the university!"

"Having the Pacifica Quartet as quartet-in-residence fulfills a long-held passion of virtually every string faculty member of the Jacobs School of Music for such a group," said Lawrence Hurst, chair of the Jacobs School's String Department. "The Pacifica has everything one associates with great chamber music: artistry, passion, precision, communication and great style. Added to these attributes is a dedication to teaching and students that is unusual among such ensembles. We have a perfect fit for Indiana University and the Jacobs School of Music."

As resident faculty of the Jacobs School, the ensemble's members will be involved in educational and performance activities such as teaching privately, coaching chamber music and working collaboratively with faculty and departments, as well as performing concerts.

Named Musical America's 2009 Ensemble of the Year, the Pacifica Quartet has gained international stature as one of the finest chamber ensembles performing today. In the same year, the Pacifica Quartet received a Grammy Award for Best Chamber Music Performance in a recording of the Elliott Carter String Quartets Nos. 1 and 5.

Shortly after its 1994 formation, the ensemble won the 1998 Naumburg Prize and has since received many honors, including an appointment as quartet-in-residence at The Metropolitan Museum of Art (2009-12), a position previously held by the Guarneri Quartet.

This spring, the quartet embarks on its second European tour of the season with stops in Germany, Switzerland, Italy and Great Britain, with debut appearances in Berlin, Luxembourg and Padua. In London, the Wigmore Hall is presenting the Pacifica's Shostakovich cycle in a series of six concerts, while back in New York City and Denver, the ensemble concludes its monumental Beethoven cycle at The Metropolitan Museum of Art and for the Denver Friends of Chamber Music.

The Pacifica Quartet continues its inventive CD survey of Dmitri Shostakovich's complete string quartets on Cedille Records with a new album that pairs the composer's first four quartets with one by Sergei Prokofiev. The second in a four-part series of studio recordings that launched in late 2011, "The Soviet Experience Volume II: String Quartets by Dmitri Shostakovich and His Contemporaries," will be released March 27.

Before their appointment at the Jacobs School, the members of the Pacifica Quartet were appointed to the faculty of the University of Illinois, serving as quartet-in-residence from 2003 to 2012. They are also resident performing artists at the University of Chicago.

For more information about the ensemble, as well as videos of performances and interviews, visit