Filmed and Edited by Nick Hughes

Photo by  R  yan Scherb

Photo by Ryan Scherb

Dubbed “independent-minded” by The New Yorker, PUBLIQuartet’s creative programming lends a fresh perspective to the Classical music scene. PQ’s innovative programs span the classical canon, contemporary works, original compositions, and open-form improvisations that expand the techniques and aesthetic of the traditional string quartet.

Founded in 2010, PUBLIQuartet is dedicated to presenting new works for the string quartet. PQ was selected as the Concert Artists Guild’s New Music/New Places Ensemble at the 2013 CAG Victor Elmaleh Competition, winning their 2013 Sylvia Ann Hewlett Adventurous Artist Prize. In 2015 PQ received the CMA/ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming for outstanding and innovative approaches to contemporary classical, jazz, and world chamber music.

PUBLIQuartet’s original program, MIND|THE|GAP, was developed in 2011 to generate an interest in new music and keep traditional classical music relevant to modern audiences. Intertwining compositions from seemingly disparate genres, their “ingenious, freewheeling hybrids” (STRAD magazine) touch on deeper connections between traditional, modern and popular music through improvisation and group composition. PQ’s MIND|THE|GAP compositions have been proclaimed as “remarkable” and “innovative music making without any condescension or compromise” (Feast of Music). The ensemble was featured in the Winter 2015 issue of Symphony Magazine as “Leaders of the New School” for their “audacious rearranging of beloved masterworks.” Along with string quartet composition, MIND|THE|GAP features a collaboration with hip-hop poetry trio, The Mighty Third Rail entitled Changing Night. This classical/hip-hop mash-up is a contemporary take on the Garden of Eden tale inspired by the music György Ligeti. The premiere of this work was presented by Symphony Space and subsequently through the PUBLIC Theater, at the LaMama Experimental Theater in New York City.

In 2014, PUBLIQuartet’s commitment to supporting emerging composers inspired their innovative program, PUBLIQ Access. PQA is designed to promote composers at the most formative point in their careers and presents under-represented music in the string quartet repertoire in a variety of styles; from classical, jazz, electronic, to non-notated, world, and improvised music. In its first two years, the program has received over 250 submissions from composers across the U.S. PQ recently recorded these works on their debut album, and every PUBLIQuartet concert highlights at least one PUBLIQ Access composition, bringing exposure of this music to the widest possible reach.

PUBLIQuartet is sought after for their creative and energetic educational workshops. Their mission to enrich and inspire students of diverse backgrounds has led them to hold residencies with American Composers Orchestra, Deer Valley Music Festival’s “Emerging Quartets and Composers” program, the Kanack School in Rochester, NY, and across the Northeast.

Photo by  Ryan Scherb

Photo by Ryan Scherb

PQ has performed in a diverse range of venues from Lincoln Center and SubCulture to the Detroit Institute of Arts and Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola. They have been presented by The American Composers Orchestra, Fordham University in Lincoln Center, American Modern Ensemble, Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival, Queens College, Nantucket Musical Arts Society, and the Music of Now festival at Symphony Space. They have collaborated with members of the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), JACK Quartet, Nadia Sirota, jazz tuba legend Bob Stewart, and innovative jazz clarinetist and composer Don Byron. Mentors and include members of the Muir, Juilliard, Orion, Mendelssohn, Tokyo, American, and Brentano String Quartets and composers Joan Tower and Butch Morris. They have participated in residencies at the Juilliard String Quartet Institute, Robert Mann String Quartet Institute, the Shouse Institute, and the Banff Centre.

Upcoming highlights in 2015 include the release of their debut album on CAG Records, performance at the prestigious Chautauqua Institute this August, an appearance with Billy Childs at the Newport Jazz festival, and the PUBLIQ Access showcase concert at the DiMenna Center in September.