Drawing on the Optimism in African Gumboot Dance

Source: New York Times (NY Times Concert Review)

by Vivien Schweitzer

Classical composers have incorporated numerous traditions into their music, including Czech folk tunes, jazz, blues and tango. David Bruce goes further afield with a work inspired by South African gumboot dancing, a form that originated during apartheid.

Playing the Same Game

Source: Klassik in Berlin

by Anicia Timberlake

Wednesday's audience certainly seemed to think so. From the moment the quartet took the stage, companionable, concentrated silence reigned in the hall. Not one cough was to be heard between the movements, even during the usually bronchitis-inducing "modern" piece. The quartet members, as well, seemed comfortable, if a little tired (Berlin being the last stop on their European tour). Comfort, with very few exceptions, was accompanied by their usual musical excitement and risk-taking.

String quartet's performance ranges from inspired to unusual

Source: Seattle Post-Intelligencer

by Philippa Kiraly
Special to the P-I

The St. Lawrence String Quartet's performance at Meany Hall Wednesday night ranged from the sublime to the bizarre.

Playing on the UW World Series, the group opened with Haydn's Quartet in G Major, Op. 77. No. 1, in a performance which was absorbingly lovely. Stylistically impeccable, with superb ensemble work, beautiful tone and expressiveness achieved with dynamic change and phrasing but also with changes in vibrato, it shone with warmth and joyousness. This was as fine a performance as I could ever hope to hear.

Classical Notes: Best of 2006 (excerpt)

Source: The New Yorker

by Russell Platt

Shostakovich, "String Quartets Nos. 3, 7, and 8" (Deutsche Grammophon; EMI)

Two magnificent recordings of the same works cap the Russian composer's centenary year. The first, by the Hagen Quartet, offers readings of cool precision and blistering objectivity; the second, by the St. Lawrence String Quartet, features impassioned performances full of operatic lyricism and structural insight. 

Quartet gains a new dynamic

Source: The Globe and Mail

by Tamara Bernstein
The St. Lawrence String Quartet at Walter Hall in Toronto on Monday

If classical music mattered as much as hockey or basketball in this country, the newspaper headlines would be trumpeting, "St. John traded to Stanford! Banff nabs Shiffman! Toronto left scrambling!"

High-tension strings play tribute to masters

Source: Daytona Beach News Journal

by Laura Stewart

DAYTONA BEACH -- The St. Lawrence String Quartet couldn't have offered Mozart and Shostakovich a better birthday tribute than Thursday's concert. The first of Central Florida Cultural Endeavors' "Great Masters Anniversary: Mozart/Shostakovich Project" performances, the program in Our Lady of Lourdes Church opened with a galvanic, richly textured reading of Mozart's String Quartet in C major, "Dissonance."

Quartet's new violinist shines in debut

Source: San Jose Mercury News

Quartet's new violinist shines in debut: St. Lawrence Strings expertly shift gears from Mozart to Shostakovich

by Richard Scheinin

The St. Lawrence String Quartet has been around since 1989. It has a couple of Grammy nominations under its belt, maintains a loyal international audience and is respected by its peers. And Sunday was a big day for the group. It marked the concert debut of its new member, second violinist Scott St. John, who has replaced Barry Shiffman, a cornerstone of the quartet for 17 seasons. With that sort of shake-up, you figure there must have been at least a little bit of nervousness up on stage at Stanford University's Dinkelspiel Auditorium.

Musica Viva

Source: The Sydney Morning Herald

by Peter McCallum

City Recital Hall

The St Lawrence String Quartet didn't so much begin this concert but fall into it, as though the frenetic extremis at the start of Osvaldo Golijov's Yiddishbbuk was a state of anguished disorder which had always been there waiting to enslave our attention.

And in a sense it has, in that this wild enactment of the extremes of Jewish culture begins by commemorating three child poets interned by the Nazis at Terezin. Yet while the mood is always obsessively intense, the expressive scope of the three movements is riveting, achieving in a short time an epic quality through the range and originality of its ideas and textures.