FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – The Pacifica Quartet, quartet-in-residence at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, where its members serve as full-time faculty members, has received its second Grammy Award nomination.
The ensemble’s latest album, “Contemporary Voices,” was nominated in the Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance category. Pacifica won the same category in 2008 with “Elliott Carter: String Quartets Nos. 1 and 5.”
Joining the group on the final track of “Contemporary Voices” is Jacobs School of Music colleague Otis Murphy, professor of saxophone.
“We are overjoyed to receive a Grammy nomination for our latest album on Cedille Records,” said Mark Holloway, Pacifica’s violist. “We were privileged to record these masterpieces by outstanding Pulitzer Prize-winning composers Shulamit Ran, Jennifer Higdon and Ellen Taaffe Zwilich—music with which we have a strong personal connection. The rich and visceral musical languages of these three women address powerful contemporary themes, and we are honored to help bring them to life on this disc.
“It was also a thrill to collaborate on a saxophone quintet with our wonderful colleague Otis Murphy, whose unique and beautiful sonority served as an inspiration.”
All three pieces on the Pacifica Quartet’s latest effort were written for the group, and the pieces by Higdon and Zwilich were recorded in the Jacobs School’s Auer Hall.
Receiving its world-premiere recording, Ran’s “Glitter, Doom, Shards, Memory—String Quartet No. 3” is a moving tribute to painter Felix Nussbaum, who perished in the Auschwitz concentration camp in 1944.
Higdon’s “Voices” evokes explosive energy, otherworldly calm and spiritual serenity.
In Zwilich’s Quintet for Alto Saxophone and String Quartet, Murphy’s lusciously singing saxophone shares the spotlight with virtuosic string playing.
“We feel a strong bond to each of these pieces, and we’ve had the chance over the years to work with all of these living composers, which is such an extraordinary luxury,” said Holloway. “The fact that all of the composers happen to be celebrated women was just a happy coincidence, and we are very pleased!”
Recognized for its virtuosity, exuberant performance style and often-daring repertoire choices, over the past 26 years, the Pacifica Quartet has achieved international recognition as one of the finest chamber ensembles performing today.
Named quartet-in-residence at the IU Jacobs School of Music in March 2012, the Pacifica was previously quartet-in-residence at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
In addition to Holloway, the ensemble includes Simin Ganatra and Austin Hartman, violin, and Brandon Vamos, cello.
The 63rd annual Recording Academy Grammy Awards airs Sunday, Jan. 31, at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.