Celebrating the Music and Legacy
of Iannis Xenakis
May 24–25, 2013

The Fields Institute, together with the Perimeter Institute and the Institute for Quantum Computing in Waterloo present a two-day festival of contemporary string quartet, percussion, and electroacoustic music, together with lectures and discussion on the impact of Xenakis's work

JACK Quartet electrifies audiences worldwide with "explosive virtuosity" (Boston Globe) and "viscerally exciting performances" (New York Times). David Patrick Stearns (Philadelphia Inquirer) proclaimed their performance as being "among the most stimulating new-music concerts of my experience." The Washington Post commented, "The string quartet may be a 250-year-old contraption, but young, brilliant groups like the JACK Quartet are keeping it thrillingly vital." Alex Ross (New Yorker) hailed their performance of Iannis Xenakis' complete string quartets as being "exceptional" and "beautifully harsh," and Mark Swed (Los Angeles Times) called their sold-out performances of Georg Friedrich Haas' String Quartet No. 3 In iij. Noct."mind-blowingly good.
The quartet has performed to critical acclaim at Wigmore Hall (London), Les Flâneries Musicales de Reims (France), Ultraschall Festival für Neue Musik (Germany), Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ (Netherlands), Festival Internacional Cervantino (Mexico), Donaueschinger Musiktage (Germany), Darmstadt Internationale Ferienkurse für Neue Musik (Germany), Library of Congress, Kimmel Center, La Biennale di Venezia (Italy), Carnegie Hall, and the Lucerne Festival (Switzerland), where they are the quartet-in-residence in the summer of 2013.

JACK has recent and upcoming performances at the SONiC Festival as hosts of the Extended Play Marathon at Miller Theatre, Vancouver New Music (Canada), Strathmore Hall, cresc...Biennale für Moderne Musik (Germany), the National Gallery of Art, Newman Center for the Performing Arts, at (le) Poisson Rouge performing with pianist Ursula Oppens, Carnegie Hall Neighborhood Concerts performing with composer/guitarist Steven Mackey, Carnegie Hall Choral Institute performing with the Young People's Chorus of New York City, the Wittener Tage für Neue Kammermusik (Germany) performing string octets with the Arditti Quartet, and the Athelas New Music Festival (Denmark).

Throughout 2012-2014, JACK will join legendary pianist Maurizio Pollini as a part of his Perspectives series with performances at the Lucerne Festival (Switzerland), Suntory Hall (Japan), Cité de la Musique (France), and Staatsoper Unter den Linden (Germany). Additionally, JACK was the featured ensemble for the 2012 Finale® National Composition Contest in partnership with MakeMusic and the American Composers Forum.

JACK has recently been announced by New Music USA as the 2013 recipient of The Trailblazer Award, which honors those deserving of commendation and support for their early and mid-career efforts in championing new music.

Comprising violinists Christopher Otto and Ari Streisfeld, violist John Pickford Richards, and cellist Kevin McFarland, JACK is focused on the commissioning and performance of new works, leading them to work closely with composers Helmut Lachenmann, György Kurtág, Matthias Pintscher, Georg Friedrich Haas, James Dillon, Toshio Hosokawa, Wolfgang Rihm, Elliott Sharp, Beat Furrer, Caleb Burhans, and Aaron Cassidy. Upcoming and recent premieres include works by Jason Eckardt, Zeena Parkins, Payton MacDonald, Huck Hodge, James Clarke, Mauro Lanza, Simon Steen-Andersen, Walter Zimmermann, and Toby Twining.

JACK has led workshops with young composers at Princeton University, Yale University, the American String Teachers Association of New Jersey, University of Iowa, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Darmstadt Internationale Ferienkurse für Neue Musik (Germany), New York University, Columbia University, Carnegie Mellon University, Eastman School of Music, University at Buffalo, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Northwestern University, University of Huddersfield (United Kingdom), University of Washington, University of Victoria (Canada), and Manhattan School of Music. In addition to working with composers and performers, JACK seeks to broaden and diversify the potential audience for new music through educational presentations designed for a variety of ages, backgrounds, and levels of musical experience.

The members of the quartet met while attending the Eastman School of Music, and they have since studied with the Arditti Quartet, the Kronos Quartet, the Muir String Quartet, and members of the Ensemble Intercontemporain.