Wednesday, May 8, 2019 | 7:30pm
On Wednesday, May 8, 2019, at 7:30 pm, at Christ and St. Stephen’s Church, Friends of Mozart is pleased to present, as part of its Introduction Series of young musicians, the Argus Quartet in a program of Haydn, Mozart, and Mendelssohn. The quartets by Haydn and Mozart are key works in each composer’s chamber music achievement—one of six works each—that also reflect warm, mutual regard and influence. Haydn described the quartets of his Op. 33, as being written in a “new and special” manner. In turns, the four-part discourse exemplified by the quartet instruments inspired Mozart to write and dedicate a group of six quartets, with a touching preface to Haydn, in which Mozart describes these works, including the String Quartet in G major, K. 387, as “the fruits of a long and laborious endeavor.” Mendelssohn, though born 18 years after Mozart’s death, was one of the most gifted prodigies of the early 19th century and an assured composer, whose brief life forms parallels to that of Mozart. The String Quartet in E-flat major, Op. 12, No. 1, written when Mendelssohn was 20, is a work of expressive scope and lyrical exuberance.
The Argus Quartet has quickly gained a reputation as one of today’s most dynamic and versatile young chamber ensembles. The Graduate Quartet in Residence at the Juilliard School, where they work closely with the Juilliard String Quartet, the Argus served previously as the Fellowship Quartet in Residence at the Yale School of Music, from 2015 to 2017. First-prize winners at the 2017 M-Prize Chamber Arts Competition, the ensemble is dedicated to presenting innovative concerts and diverse repertoire—connecting with and building a community of engaged listeners is at the core of the quartet’s mission. The Argus Quartet—Clara Kim, Jason Issokson, violins, Dana Kelley, viola, Joann Whang, cello—believes in furthering the understanding of the chamber music repertoire and expanding its dimension through contemporary music and the works of living composers.