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Philharmonia Northwest’s season opener explores how modern composers reinvented music of the past. Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Caroline Shaw was inspired by how music can “suddenly take you to the other side of Alice’s looking glass, in a kind of absurd, subtle, technicolor transition,” and wrote Entr’acte after hearing one of Haydn’s String Quartets. Based on Handel’s Concerto Grosso, Arnold Schoenberg’s Concerto for String Quartet and Orchestra is a rebellion against the Handelian style. Igor Stravinsky’s charming Pulcinella is based on songs of the 18th-century composer, Giovanni Pergolesi, with modern harmonies and orchestration.
Founded in 2011, Seattle’s Skyros Quartet (Sarah Pizzichemi, Brandon Vance, Justin Kurys, and Willie Braun) brings a bright and inventive style to the stage, having concertized extensively on multiple continents. Entering their twelfth season together, they have been heard at some of the most prestigious venues and music festivals including the Aspen Music Festival and School (Aspen, Colorado), Seattle Chamber Music Society (Seattle), Deer Valley Music Festival (Park City, Utah), the Sunflower Music Festival (Topeka, Kansas), Quartet Fest at Sir Wilfrid Laurier University and the Kitchener-Waterloo Chamber Music Society (Ontario, Canada), and at the University of British Columbia concert series (Vancouver, Canada).
Skyros has also performed on tour in Xi’an and Hangzhou, China. In 2019, Skyros had the honor of giving the West Coast premiere of the newly composed Piano Quintet by Philip Glass with concert pianist and commissioner Paul Barnes. In 2017, Skyros, along with cellist Eric Wilson (Emerson String Quartet emeritus), gave the Canadian premiere of Mikołaj Górecki’s Elegy for Cello and String Quartet at the University of British Columbia.
Presented by Philharmonia Northwest