Olivia De Prato - violin
Maya Bennardo - violin
Victor Lowrie - viola
Tyler J. Borden - cello
The four string players produce an unbelievable sound. It is as if they are putting all their trust in God and throwing themselves from a high cliff into the music. Sensitively, almost dreamily, but at the same time completely in control.
The Mivos Quartet is wholeheartedly devoted to performing the works of contemporary composers of the 20th and 21st centuries. As “one of America’s most daring and ferocious new-music ensembles” (The Chicago Reader) the four musicians, who are all resident New Yorkers, can regularly be seen in the USA and in Europe with their interpretations of new and cutting-edge repertoire. The Mivos Quartet, whose members are composers and arrangers themselves, is particularly interested in a consistent and long-term collaboration with composers.
The quartet already boasts a substantial list of such collaborations and counts, among others, Anna Clyne, Wolfgang Rihm, Luke DuBois, Felipe Lara, Mario Diaz de Leon and Tristan Perich, as well as the musician and poet Saul Williams among its artistic partners. While they regularly appear at New York venues such as the Guggenheim Museum, Kennedy Center, Zankel Hall, MoMA and The Stone, world premieres of new works by composers of their own generation such as Richard Carrick, Sam Pluta, Mark Barden, Scott Wollschleger, Patrick Higgins and Clemens Gadenstätter have taken the musicians to festivals that include Wien Modern, the Lucerne Festival and the Darmstadt International Summer Courses for New Music. Their performance there in 2012 served as a door-opener to further European festivals. In 2014 the quartet returned to Darmstadt for several concerts after being awarded a scholarship by the Summer Courses, including a lecture recital with Helmut Lachenmann on his String Quartet No. 2.
The musicians had already performed Helmut Lachenmann’s third string quartet Grido in 2012 together with the composer at the Aldeburgh Music Festival. Further ports of call in Europe have included the Asphalt Festival in Düsseldorf, Aix-en-Provence Festival, Klang Festival in Copenhagen and Transart Festival in the Trentino-Alto Adige region in South Tyrol. After performances in Brazil and Las Vegas, the musicians made appearances in the 2016/17 season in Switzerland, at the Eclat Festival in Stuttgart and ACHT Brücken festival in Cologne.
After their highly praised debut album Reappearances was released in 2013, the Mivos Quartet brought out a second CD Garden of Diverging Paths in June 2016 featuring works by Kate Soper, Andrew Greenwald and Taylor Brook. The Dust Moves, a further multimedia project realised by the quartet and composed and animated by the New York saxophonist Dan Blake, was released on DVD in January 2016. The collaboration is part of a plethora of projects with which the musicians have made a name for themselves as performers of improvised music with avant-garde jazz musicians such as Ned Rothenberg, Chris Speed, Timucin Sahin and Nate Wooley.
The members of the Mivos Quartet frequently perform with leading new music ensembles in New York including Ensemble Signal, Wet Ink, SEM Ensemble and Wordless Music Orchestra. In addition to their international concert activities they are active lecturers at master courses, which have taken them to universities in Shanghai, Singapore, Hong Kong and Istanbul, among others. The quartet also runs the annual Mivos/Kanter String Quartet Composition Prize, established to support the work of emerging and mid-career composers and to encourage continued interest in new compositions for string quartet. As co-initiators of the I Creation Prize, which is awarded every two years, they promote string quartet works by talented emerging composers of Chinese descent worldwide.
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