The Sydney Morning Herald

June 19, 2017 | Clive O'Connell 

Splendid technical accomplishment of Shostakovich string quartet

This ensemble from Indiana has performed previously at the Musica Viva Sydney Festival, but not here. Now on a national tour, the visitors presented the second of two programs on Saturday. 

They have recorded all 15 of Shostakovich's string quartets, so programming No. 3 in F was a no-brainer. Also, the players have given complete Beethoven quartet cycles from New York to Tokyo; consequently, their reading of the last in the series found them on equally familiar turf.

Nevertheless, the program's capping-stone came in the Shostakovich: a splendid technical accomplishment without apparent flaw across all five movements, the last pages in particular a moving instance of the Pacifica's sympathy and insight.

Read More →

Chicago Classical Review

January 18, 2016 | Lawrence A. Johnson 

Pacifica Quartet's dark, thoughtful program feels timely at the Logan Center

If the subzero temperature outside the Logan Center for the Arts Sunday afternoon wasn’t brutal enough, Shostakovich’s music made things even more chilling.

The Pacifica Quartet has made Shostakovich one of their specialities since their memorable complete survey of his quartets at Ganz Hall five years ago. Sunday’s performance of the Quartet No. 13 showed that their mastery in this repertoire has only deepened, and elegiac moments seemed to have an extra depth of feeling.

Read More →

The New York Times

December 10, 2015 | Vivien Schweitzer

The Pacifica Quartet Interprets Composers' Last Words

Schubert knew he was dying when, in 1828, he wrote his final three piano sonatas. Beethoven was deaf and ill in 1826, the year before he died, when he composed his String Quartet No. 16. But Elliott Carter was still going strong when he finished his String Quartet No. 5 in 1995, at 87. He composed dozens more pieces before he died in 2012, completing his last work just a few months before his death at 103.

Still, even if more a late, late work than a swan song, Mr. Carter’s String Quartet seemed a fitting inclusion on the Pacifica Quartet’s program on Wednesday evening at the 92nd Street Y. Called “Last Words,” it featured the final string quartets written by Beethoven, Carter and Janacek.

Read More →

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

November 11, 2014 | Robert Croan

Pacifica Quartet evokes visceral response to works by Ravel, Ligeti, and Mozart

Is Ravel’s String Quartet everyone’s favorite piece of chamber music? Probably not, but in any poll it would certainly appear high on the list.

An extraordinary rendition of this popular work Monday evening capped a splendid program by the Pacifica Quartet on Chamber Music Pittsburgh’s series in Carnegie Music Hall.

The playing by Pacifica Quartet -- violinists Simin Ganatra and Sibbi Bernhardsson, violist Masumi Per Rostad and cellist Brandon Vamos -- was characterized by immaculate precision, on-the-mark intonation, incisive rhythms and a sense of give-and-take among the participants that made every piece seem like a conversation among the protagonists.

Read More →