Pixel Tracker

Sunday, March 24 , 2019, 3:46 pm | A Few Clouds 63º


Gerald Carpenter: JACK Quartet to Bring Music Academy of the West Up to Speed

The JACK Quartet will storm the Music Academy on Monday. (Stephen Poff photo)
The JACK Quartet will storm the Music Academy on Monday. (Stephen Poff photo)

The next Mosher Guest Artist Recital — at 8 p.m. Monday in Hahn Hall at the Music Academy of the West, 1070 Fairway Road in Santa Barbara — will feature the dynamic new ensemble, the JACK Quartet (Christopher Otto and Ari Streisfeld, violins; John Pickford Richards, viola; Kevin McFarland, cello).

According to their website, “JACK (sic) is focused on the commissioning and performance of new works, leading them to work closely with composers John Luther Adams, Derek Bermel, Chaya Czernowin, James Dillon, Brian Ferneyhough, Beat Furrer, Georg Friedrich Haas, Vijay Iyer, György Kurtág, Helmut Lachenmann, Steve Mackey, Matthias Pintscher, Steve Reich, Roger Reynolds, Wolfgang Rihm, Salvatore Sciarrino and John Zorn. Upcoming and recent premieres include works by Wolfgang von Schweinitz, Toby Twining, Simon Holt, Kevin Ernste and Simon Bainbridge.”

Also, “JACK operates as a nonprofit organization dedicated to the performance, commissioning and spread of new string quartet music.”

Bearing this information in mind, you will probably not be surprised to learn that the JACK Quartet’s Monday evening program consists of Caroline Shaw’s Ritornello 2.sq.2.j (2014), Zorn’s The Alchemist for string quartet (2011), Pintscher’s Study IV for Treatise on the Veil (2009); and Iannis Xenakis’​ Tetras (1983).

The young men of this ensemble are what we used to call “Young Turks” — meaning young reformers, ruthless and uncompromising — before Cenk Uygur took the name for his program, network and website, and made such a success of it that we now think first of the network, and only second, if at all, of the historical reform movement that called itself the Committee of Union and Progress, and which the rest of the world called the “Young Turks.”

(The original Young Turks achieved some amazing reforms, turning Ottoman absolutism into a constitutional democracy, and making it stick, before splintering into factions, and slipping into moral relativism, over the fate of their Armenian subjects.)

When I call the JACK Quartet “young Turks” I mean only that they are a vigorous manifestation of the avant guarde.

I rather suspect that the audience for this performance will be largely made up of Music Academy fellows — that is to say, musicians rather than music lovers. There is a touch of arrogance about the program, in that they refuse to provide as a baseline a single familiar work.

Presumably, all four are masters of their instruments, but we will have nothing to measure their performance against. Their playing is intense, and astonishingly disciplined; whether they make music or trigonometry will be up to the individual listener to choose.

Tickets to the Jack Quartet are $10 and $55, with youth 7-17 admitted free. Click here for more information or to purchase tickets, or call 805.969.8787.

— Gerald Carpenter covers the arts as a Noozhawk contributing writer. He can be reached at [email protected]. The opinions expressed are his own.

Support Noozhawk Today!

Our professional journalists work tirelessly to report on local news so you can be more informed and engaged in your community. This quality, local reporting is free for you to read and share, but it's not free to produce.

You count on us to deliver timely, relevant local news, 24/7. Can we count on you to invest in our newsroom and help secure its future?

We provide special member benefits to show how much we appreciate your support.

I would like give...
Great! You're joining as a Red-Tailed Hawk!
  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.