When the Calidore String Quartet took the stage for a sold-out concert at the University of Delaware on Friday, Dec.
8, the award-winning musicians were celebrating a successful first
year as UD’s visiting guest artists and looking forward to a busy and
“It was really fortuitous that we were able to come to the University
of Delaware last spring,” said violinist Ryan Meehan. At the time, the
quartet had completed a two-year artist-in-residence appointment at
Stony Brook University, where Dennis Assanis, now UD’s president, had
recently served as provost.
At UD, Meehan said, “We’ve had great opportunities to perform, and we
always find time to work with students. We’re very indebted to all the
people who have helped us in our careers, so we feel strongly about
paying it forward.”
The Calidore musicians—Meehan and fellow violinist Jeffrey Myers,
cellist Estelle Choi and violist Jeremy Berry—have worked individually
with UD students, coaching them and leading master classes. They’ve also
held informal get-togethers and question-and-answer sessions where
they’ve offered students advice about pursuing careers in music.
Shortly after joining UD as visiting guest artists in early 2017, the
Calidore headlined a three-day Mendelssohn Festival on campus,
performing the works of Felix Mendelssohn in three concerts, including
one with the University’s Serafin Quartet.
“This is a very exciting time for music at the University of Delaware,” Russell Murray, chair of the Department of Music,
said at the time. “With such well-considered support and high-caliber
visiting artists, we can continue and accelerate the growth of our
outstanding music program.”
The quartet has performed several other concerts at UD during 2017,
in addition to touring widely. In February, the Calidore was honored by
New York’s Lincoln Center with its Emerging Artist Award, which cited
the ensemble’s “outstanding artistry and promising future.”
A performance at Lincoln Center in May, reviewed in The New York
Times under the headline “A Quartet With Sunny Energy and Grunge-Band
Grit,” called the Calidore a “charismatic young ensemble.”
Citing the quartet’s “deep reserves of virtuosity and, above all,
irrepressible dramatic instinct,” reviewer Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim
described the musicians playing “with synergistic brilliance and
About the December concert and 2018
The Calidore String Quartet most recently performed on campus Dec. 8,
to a full house in Gore Recital Hall of the Roselle Center for the Arts.
In what was described as a warm and welcoming event on a wintry night, the audience offered the musicians a standing ovation. The program featured Brahms’ String Quartet No. 1, Op. 51; György
Kurtág’s Officium breve in memoriam Andreae Szervánsky, Op. 28; and
Shostakovich’s String Quartet No. 9.
“This concert will show some different flavors, with Russian, German
and Hungarian composers,” Meehan said before the performance. The selections, he said, “really demonstrate the
capacities of the string quartet.”
In 2018, the quartet is planning a focus on Beethoven as they hope to
play the composer’s full string quartet cycle of 16 pieces he wrote
between 1799 and 1826.
Playing the cycle in a given period of time can be “a Herculean
task,” Meehan said, but it’s one that most string quartets aspire to.
About the Calidore String Quartet
The ensemble’s musicians met as students at the Colburn Conservatory
of Music in Los Angeles and have been performing together since 2010.
They have been mentored throughout their careers by the award-winning
Emerson String Quartet.
The Calidore has been praised by the Los Angeles Times for its
“balance of intellect and expression” and by the Washington Post as
“already world-class.” It made international headlines as the winner of
the $100,000 Grand Prize of the 2016 and inaugural M-Prize International
Chamber Music Competition, the largest prize for chamber music in the
Also last year, the quartet became the first North American ensemble
to win the Borletti-Buitoni Trust Fellowship and was named BBC Radio 3
New Generation Artists, an honor that brings with it recordings,
international radio broadcasts and appearances in Britain's most
prominent venues and festivals.
The Calidore String Quartet regularly performs in prestigious venues
throughout North America, Europe and Asia and has released three
Article by Ann Manser