Internationally acclaimed veterans of contemporary music, Sirius Quartet combines exhilarating repertoire with unequalled improvisational fire. These conservatory-trained performer-composers shine with precision, soul and raw energy, championing a forward-thinking, genre-defying approach.
Since their debut concert at the original Knitting Factory in New York City, Sirius has played some of the most important venues in the world, including Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall, the Beijing Music Festival, the Cologne Music Triennale, Stuttgart Jazz, Musique Actuelle in Canada, the Taichung Jazz Fest – Taiwan's biggest jazz event – and many others.
Having premiered works by significant living composers, Sirius continues their long-running commitment to musical innovation with bold, original works by its own members, pushing beyond the conventional vocabulary of string instruments by incorporating popular song forms, extended techniques, gripping improvisations and undeniable, contemporary grooves.
In 2019, they are premiering their new program & album New World, a politically-charged and topical work that explores themes of immigration, discrimination, and being an agent of change. The album will be released August 23 on ZOHO Records.
The title track “New World, Nov. 9, 2016” was the Grand Prize winner for the New York Philharmonic’s “New World Initiative” composition competition in 2017. Composer/violinist Gregor Huebner balances idyllic and hopeful themes of Dvorak’s Symphony No. 9 (“New World” Symphony) with the fiercer passages found in the Shostakovich String Quartet No.8 that allude to tensions between the composer and the Soviet Union. “With two immigrant violinists, we in the quartet feel that it’s important to create music that speaks to the moment in which we live and gives hope,” says composer Huebner.
Huebner’s “#STILL” is based on the devastating song “Strange Fruit,” first recorded by Billie Holiday in 1939. Eighty years later and institutionalized racism remains endemic. Composer/violinist Fung Chern Hwei describes the opening work, “Beside the Point” as his “declaration of struggle against discrimination.” Cellist/composer Jeremy Harman’s “Currents” maintains an often vague sense of menace throughout, prodding the listener out of any complacency. The Beatles’ iconic “Eleanor Rigby” and Radiohead’s “Knives Out,” both arranged by Huebner, showcase the group’s fierce improvisational acumen. Recorded in Germany over two years, New World is the quartet’s first full-length since 2016’s Paths Become Lines. The album & its program is both an impassioned lament for the state of a nation and beyond, and a beautiful and hopeful call to action.
"Versatility and flair with lively improvisations... another highlight."
The New York Times
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