Winners of the First Prize and the Amadeus Prize at the London International String Quartet Competition in 2006, and intrepid commissioners of a range of new works, the Formosa Quartet offers electrifying performances characterized by vitality, spellbinding intensity, and transcendent virtuosity.
Formosa has welcomed a busy Spring season, with the release of a Delos Music album of piano quintets – with frequent Formosa collaborator, pianist Reiko Uchida – by Brahms and Friedrich Gernsheim (a late-Romantic German composer and pedagogue whom his friend Brahms acknowledged as a master composer).
Listen to a track from the disc, Gernsheim’s Piano Quintet No. 2, here.
And, as the Ensemble-in-Residence at San Diego’s Art of Élan, the Formosa Quartet performed a concert March 30, featuring works by Copland, Dana Wilson, and the world premiere of a new work by composer Lei Liang, commissioned by the Art of Élan, and developed in close collaboration with Formosa throughout the two years of its residency.
The work, “Song Recollections,” for which the Chinese-born Liang drew inspiration from recordings of aboriginal music from Taiwan, received high praise:
“Liang saluted the Formosa Quartet’s determination to promote the music of its homeland by delving into Taiwanese folk songs from aboriginal tribes who lived there long before others arrived. And it is a masterwork. It has everything: originality in conception as its striking shape emerges from a tantalizingly amorphous beginning; rollicking good humor transformed into sweeping triumph; melancholy and child-like playfulness; and above all Nature — frogs and crickets and the sound of rain on a forest canopy.
But make no mistake, this work is far more than tone painting. Liang has taken the raw material of human song and natural substance and made something sublime, often breathtaking.” – The San Diego Union-Tribune, March 30, 2015
Formosa’s upcoming dates include recordings, educational work, and a Wednesdays@7 performance at the University of California - San Diego; a concert at the Charleston Chamber Music Society in West Virginia; and a tour in the United Kingdom featuring dates at the Mill Hill Music Club in London, and at the University of Birmingham’s Barber Institute of Fine Arts.
On June 16, Formosa continues its collaboration with harpist Heidi Krutzen, performing the world premiere of Gareth Farr’s Aotea at Taipei’s National Theatre and Concert Hall. And later this Summer, Formosa returns to the National Youth Orchestra of Canada for the second year in a row as a Faculty Chamber-Ensemble-in-Residence.
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Watch Formosa perform Dana Wilson’s “Hungarian Folk Dances” in their March 30 performance at Art of Élan (with newest member, cellist Deborah Pae).
Browse the Formosa Quartet Ariel Artists page (where you can listen to more videos and audio clips).