Hailed by The New York Times as “our leading new-music foursome,” the JACK Quartet is one of the most acclaimed groups specialising in contemporary music. Its members are committed to their mission of performing and commissioning new works, giving voice to underheard composers, and cultivating an evergreater sense of openness toward contemporary classical music. The quartet was selected as Musical America’s 2018 Ensemble of the Year, named to WQXR Radio’s “19 for 19 Artists to Watch,” and awarded the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant.
The ensemble’s accolades include Lincoln Center’s Martin E. Segal Award, New Music USA’s Trailblazer Award, and the CMA/ ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming. JACK has performed notably at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Miller Theatre, Wigmore Hall, Muziekgebouw aan ’t IJ, IRCAM, Cologne Philharmonic, Suntory Hall, Teatro Colón, Lucerne Festival, Venice Biennale, Bali Arts Festival, and Festival Internacional Cervantino in Guanajuato, Mexico.
The quartet has worked with artists such as Philip Glass, Steve Reich, Julia Wolfe, George Lewis, Chaya Czernowin, and Simon Steen-Andersen. Recently it has given world premiere performances of works notably by Tyshawn Sorey, Georg Friedrich Haas, Clara Iannotta, John Luther Adams, Catherine Lamb, and John Zorn. Its freshly announced Fulcrum Project consists in commissioning six new compositions every year from a wide range of artists. Composers of selected pieces receive cash awards, invitations to workshop, mentorship, and other resources needed to compose a piece that will then be performed and recorded by JACK Quartet.
The quartet’s most recent additions to their vast discography are Everything at Rises (music by John Luther Adams, released by Cold Blue Music), conceptual album Imaginist (with Le Boeuf Brothers, nominated for Grammy Awards in 2018), and a CD of Xenakis’s complete string quartets (named one of TimeOut New York’s Top Recordings of the Year). They have also recorded music by Helmut Lachenmann, Amy Williams, Elliott Sharp, Hannah Lash, and Horatiu Radulescu, among others. Committed to education, JACK is the Quartet in Residence at the Mannes School of Music, who also hosted JACK’s New Frontiers, a multi-faceted festival of contemporary music for string quartet. They teach each summer at New Music on the Point, a contemporary chamber music festival in Vermont for young performers and composers, and at the Ban Centre for Arts and Creativity. JACK has long-standing relationships with the University of Iowa String Quartet Residency Program as well as with the Lucerne Festival Academy, of which the four members are all alumni. Additionally, the quartet regularly teaches masterclasses at universities including Columbia, Harvard, Princeton, Stanford, and New York.