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Founded in 2006 the New Esterházy Quartet continues to present masterworks of the classical period alongside intriguing works from less-familiar composers. With Haydn's 68 quartets as its core repertoire, NEQ is recognized as one of the world's top period-instrument string quartets. The ensemble has been presented by the San Francisco Early Music Society, Arizona Early Music Society, Carmel Chamber Music Society, has performed in New York, Pittsburgh, and Los Angeles, and appeared as a Main Stage event for the 2012 Berkeley Festival & Exhibition. NEQ was also selected for Early Music America's Touring Artists Roster and received two grants from the San Francisco Friends of Chamber Music. It was voted “Best Chamber Ensemble” for 2014/2015 by the readers of San Francisco Classical Voice.
In its first decade the New Esterházy Quartet performed all of Haydn’s Quartets, plus a dozen quartets dedicated to Haydn, two dozen quartets by students of Haydn, all of Mozart’s mature quartets, and all of Beethoven’s Middle & Late Quartets. It has ventured into the early 20th century with early works by Bartók and Schoenberg. January 2014 saw the world premiere of Esterházy, book II, written for the ensemble by noted New York composer Paul Brantley. NEQ's 2014 summer project was Mozart's complete "Haydn" Quartets, performed at Berkeley's historic Hillside Club in a three-concert Amadè-Athon. The summer of 2015 they gave the complete Late Quartets of Beethoven. The summer of 2017 featured three Paris & three London Symphonies of Haydn in late 18th century arrangements for string quartet. During COVID-time the quartet has played half-a-dozen outdoor performances in Bay Area gardens and cul-de-sacs. In addition to four Haydn discs, their world premiere recording of a mid-19th century string quartet by Hungarian composer Imre Székely, and their recording of Schubert's last quartet in G major are available.
The members of NEQ are internationally-known period-instrument and chamber music specialists Kati Kyme and Lisa Weiss, violins, violist Anthony Martin, and cellist William Skeen. As individuals, the players have performed and recorded in the top echelon of early music ensembles worldwide. In addition to many years of musical collaboration in Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, American Bach Soloists, Cantata Collective, and a long list of renowned chamber ensembles, these four Bay Area musicians have enjoyed decades of friendship and shared experience. Their history as both colleagues and friends endows the quartet with an unusual commonality of musical language and gesture, and provides a strong foundation for a unique and original ensemble voice. In addition to concert appearances, NEQ enjoys performing in private homes and other intimate settings where the traditional experience of true chamber music is renewed and shared by players and listeners together.
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