The Distinguished Artists Concert and Lecture Series

The Aizuri String Quartet

Ariana Kim, violin| Miho Saegusa, violin| Ayane Kozasa, viola | Karen Ouzonian, cello| Ariana Kim, violin

Works by Dvorak, Lembit Beecher, Komitas, Rhiannon Giddens and Sibelius      

DATE:  Thursday, March 5, 2020
LOCATION: Peace United Church | 900 High St. Santa Cruz, CA
Time: 7:30 PM

Tickets:  General:  $37.50| Senior:   $32.50 | Student: $12.50

Ice Cream Social  provided by Marianne’s Ice Cream following the events of the evening



Generously sponsored by Staff of Life Natural Foods Market

Antonín Dvořák (1841-1904)
Cypresses (three selections)

Lembit Beecher (b. 1980)
These Memories May Be True

I. Old Folk Song
II. The Legend of the Last Ship
III. Estonian Grandmother Superhero
IV. Variations on a Somewhat Old Folk Song

Komitas (1869– 1935)
Armenian Folk Songs


Rhiannon Giddens (b. 1977)
At the Purchaser’s Option

Jean Sibelius (1865-1957)
String Quartet in D minor Op. 56, “Voces Intimae”



Praised by The Washington Post for “captivating” performances that draw from its notable “meld of intellect, technique and emotions,” the Aizuri Quartet was awarded the Grand Prize and the CAG Management Prize at the 2018 M-Prize Chamber Arts Competition, along with top prizes at the 2017 Osaka International Chamber Music Competition in Japan, and the 2015 Wigmore Hall International String Quartet Competition in London. Its debut album Blueprinting, featuring new works written for the Aizuri Quartet by five American composers, was released by New Amsterdam Records and nominated for a 2019 GRAMMY Award. Through its engaging and thought-provoking programs, branded by The New York Times as “genuinely exciting” and “imaginative,” the Quartet has garnered critical acclaim for bringing “a technical bravado and emotional power” to bold new commissions, and for its “flawless” (San Diego Union-Tribune) performances of the great masterpieces of the past.


Based in New York City, the Aizuri Quartet was the 2017-2018 MetLiveArts String Quartet-in-Residence at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, presenting five unique programs throughout the season. Previous residency engagements include: the 2015-2016 Ernst Stiefel String Quartet-in-Residence at the Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts; resident ensemble of the 2014 Ravinia Festival’s Steans Music Institute; and, from 2014-2016, the String Quartet-in-Residence at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. The Quartet has performed extensively throughout North America, as well as in Europe, Japan, Mexico, Chile, Costa Rica, and Abu Dhabi, and has commissioned and premiered new works by Pulitzer Prize-winner Caroline Shaw, Lembit Beecher, Paul Wiancko, Yevgeniy Sharlat, Gabriella Smith, Rene Orth, and Alyssa Weinberg. Formed in 2012 and combining four distinctive musical personalities into a unique collective, the Aizuri Quartet draws its name from “aizuri-e,” a style of predominantly blue Japanese woodblock printing that is noted for its vibrancy and incredible detail.

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