NEW YORK, NY – Afinat Records announces the release of American Quartets: Antonín Dvořák & Wynton Marsalis [AR1701] on October 6, 2017, by the acclaimed Euclid Quartet. The new recording contains the beloved American String Quartet No. 12 in F Major, Op. 96 (1893) by Antonín Dvořák, and At the Octoroon Balls, String Quartet No. 1 (1995) by Pulitzer Prize and GRAMMY® Award winning American trumpeter, composer, founder and artistic director of Jazz at Lincoln Center, Wynton Marsalis.
Regarding the music on the album, first violinist Jameson Cooper says “We first started playing the Marsalis when we received an award from the National Endowment for the Arts to create an educational program about the different ethnic and cultural influences in American music. The Marsalis was a great choice to represent African-American music. It fuses jazz, blues, fiddling and other popular styles with classical music. The resulting work is music of incredible energy, charm, beauty and humor. It became one of our signature works! The Dvořák is one of the most beloved pieces for string quartet, written in America’s heartland in rural Iowa. Like the Marsalis, the music is an ‘American’ melting pot of numerous styles and influences.”
Marsalis composed At the Octoroon Balls in 1995 at the invitation of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. The composer named it after his hometown of New Orleans’ legendary eighteenth and nineteenth century balls, which were given as a way to facilitate illicit long-term relationships between wealthy white men usually fair skinned women of color. Regarding the work, BBC Music Magazine wrote, “the music has a thrilling urgency and power… Marsalis has enlarged the soundscape of the string quartet and its emotional scope.”
The Euclid Quartet recorded American Quartets in 2016 at Indiana University South Bend’s Louise E. Addicott and Yatish J. Joshi Performance Hall. The CD was pre-released in a limited edition on April 4, 2017, at a special benefit concert at IU South Bend, where the quartet has held the prestigious chamber music residency since 2007. Because of generous underwriting for the album’s production by the ensemble’s close friends and patrons, Dr. Alfred J. Guillaume, Jr. and Melanie Smith Guillaume (to whom this album is dedicated), the Euclid Quartet is donating their proceeds from worldwide sales to the IUSB Raclin School of the Arts String Scholarship Fund at the Indiana University Foundation.
ABOUT THE EUCLID QUARTET
Praised for their “knockout performance” by The Los Angeles Times, the Euclid Quartet has been recognized as one of the finest American quartets of its generation, known for dynamic performances filled with personality and vibrant color. Its diverse members hail originally from the United States, England, South Korea and Venezuela. The quartet has captivated audiences and critics alike from Carnegie Hall to school classrooms, radio and television broadcasts across the United States. The Euclid Quartet’s recordings of the complete Bártok string quartet cycle on the Artek label received rave reviews from international publications, including Gramophone magazine, who wrote “Their artistry brings fresh perspectives to cornerstones of the quartet repertoire.”
Career highlights include being the first American quartet to be awarded a top prize at the prestigious Osaka International Chamber Music Competition in Japan, as well as top prizes in the Hugo Kauder, Yellow Springs, and Carmel competitions in the United States.
The Euclid Quartet is dedicated to championing contemporary music by living composers. The ensemble has performed world premieres at prestigious venues such as the Aspen Music Festival and the Library of Congress, and was awarded an American Masterpieces grant from the National Endowment for the Arts for its innovative showcasing of contemporary American string quartets.
Since 2007, the Euclid Quartet has held the prestigious quartet residency at Indiana University South Bend. The quartet has also given master classes at universities and colleges across the nation. For more information, visit their website at www.euclidquartet.com.
ABOUT AFINAT RECORDS
Afinat Records is an in-house boutique record label launched in 2016 as a companion venture to classical public relations firm, A440 Arts Group, which was founded in 2010. Afinat is owned and operated by A440’s founding partners: Lee Streby, CEO, and Paula Mlyn, Vice President for A&R and Promotion. The label’s name ‘afinat’ is a Catalan word meaning ‘in tune’. The label’s inaugural release, Prokofiev: Music for Violin and Piano [AR1601] featuring the Euclid Quartet’s first violinist, Jameson Cooper and Georgian pianist Ketevan Badridze, was released in September, 2016, to rave reviews. For more information, visit www.afinat.com.