Banff International String Quartet Festival Concert 2
The second concert of BISQFest 2023 features Viano Quartet performing pieces by Beethoven, Lau, and Smetena.
Ludwig van Beethoven: String Quartet in F minor, Op. 95 No. 11
Allegro con brio
Allegretto ma non troppo
Allegro assai vivace ma serioso
Kevin Lau: Train to Improbable Places
Bedřich Smetena: String Quartet No. 1 in E minor, ‘From My Life’
Allegro vivo appassionato
Allegro moderato à la Polka
Hao Zhou, violin
Lucy Wang, violin
Aiden Kane, viola
Tate Zawadiuk, cello
Praised for their “virtuosity, visceral expression, and rare unity of intention” (Boston Globe), the Viano Quartet are one of the most sought-after performing young ensembles today and currently in-residence at the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center Bowers Program from 2024-2027. Since winning First Prize at the 2019 Banff International String Quartet Competition, they have traveled to nearly every major city across the globe, captivating audiences in New York, London, Berlin, Vancouver, Paris, Beijing, Toronto, Lucerne, and Los Angeles.
The quartet was named the inaugural June Goldsmith Quartet-in-Residence for the Music in the Morning series in Vancouver until 2025, where their focus will be to commission new works and lead extensive community engagement initiatives. The quartet has also held residencies at the Curtis Institute, Colburn Conservatory, Northern Michigan University, and Meadows School of the Arts at Southern Methodist University.
Summer 2023 brings re-invitations to Chamber Music Northwest, the Bravo!Vail Festival and BISQFest, along with appearances at the Intimacy of Creativity Festival in Hong Kong, Ottawa Chamberfest, Minnesota Beethoven Festival, Strings Music Festival, Highlands-Cashiers and Mt. Desert Festivals of Chamber Music, as well as Bay Chamber Concerts. During the 23/24 season the quartet can be heard in Canada, Arizona, Minnesota, Massachusetts, Florida, Pennsylvania, Virginia, North Carolina, Maryland, Utah, New York and California.
The quartet achieved incredible success in their formative years, with an unbroken streak of top prizes at major competitions. In addition to their career-defining achievement at the 2019 Banff International String Quartet Competition, they also received the Grand Prize at the 2019 ENKOR International Music Competition and second prize at the 2019 Yellow Springs Chamber Music Competition. At the 2018 Wigmore Hall International String Quartet Competition they received Third Prize, the Haydn Prize for the best performance of a Haydn quartet, and the Sidney Griller Award for the best performance of the compulsory work, Thomas Ades’ “The Four Quarters”. They received the Silver Medal at the 2018 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition and Third Prize at the 9th Osaka International Chamber Music Competition in 2017.
The Viano Quartet has collaborated with world-class musicians such as pianists Emanuel Ax, Marc-André Hamelin, Inon Barnatan and Elisso Virsaladze, violists Paul Coletti and Paul Neubauer, violinist Noah Bendix-Balgley, vocalist Hila Plitmann and clarinetist David Shifrin. Their chief mentors include faculty of the Curtis Institute and Colburn Conservatory, as well as members of the Dover, Guarneri, and Tokyo string quartets. Past summers have been spent at the Ravinia Steans Chamber Music Institute, the St. Lawrence String Quartet Seminar, the Festival d’Aix en Provence, the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, and the McGill International String Quartet Academy.
The name “Viano” was created to describe the four individual instruments in a string quartet interacting as one. Each of the four instruments begins with the letter “v”, and like a piano, all four string instruments together play both harmony and melody, creating a unified instrument called the “Viano”.