Enso String Quartet
Maureen Nelson, violin; Ken Hamao, violin; Melissa Reardon, viola; Richard Belcher, cello
"Enso played it with full-throated dramatic intensity. This fine, imaginative ensemble is well worth keeping an eye on."
--The Washington Post
"[Avital] is a musician…who has the artistry to persuade the listener to follow him anywhere."
--The New York Times
Founded at Yale University in 1999, the Enso String Quartet has, in a decade and a half, risen to the front rank of string ensembles. Described by Strad magazine as "thrilling," the Enso has won numerous awards, including top prizes at the Concert Artists Guild competition and the Banff International String Quartet Competition. The ensemble's name is derived from the Japanese Zen painting of the circle, which represents many things: perfection and imperfection, the moment of chaos that is creation, the emptiness of the void, the endless circle of life, and the fullness of the spirit.
Following their Fortas debut in the 2013–2014 season, the Enso returns with Beethoven's "Harp" Quartet and the Sibelius Quartet "Voces Intimae." Fittingly, the centerpiece of their program is also rife with symbolism. David Bruce's Cymbeline, featuring Avi Avital on mandolin, is titled from the old Celtic word meaning "Lord of the Sun." According to the composer, "I think the idea of the piece being about the sun emerged out of the colors of the string quartet and the mandolin together."
Grammy-nominated mandolinist Avital is recognized as one of the world's most exciting and entrepreneurial young musicians who is deeply committed to building a fresh legacy for the mandolin through virtuosic performance and exciting new repertoire.
Performance Timing: Approximately 1-3/4 hours, including one 15-minute intermission