Culture Connect Featured Event
The Grammy Award winning Pacifica Quartet will headline in a special 20th anniversary tribute to Beth El Temple’s Cantor Joseph Ness. Gregg Kallor, a West Hartford native and an acclaimed composer, pianist and improviser will also be part of the June14 program.
The Pacifica Quartet has gained international stature as one of the finest chamber ensembles performing today. In 2009 Musical America named them “Ensemble of the Year” They also received the music industry’s recognition with its 2009 “Best Chamber Music Performance” Grammy Award for its recording of Elliott Carter’s String Quartets Nos. 1 & 5 (Naxos). Since the group first came together in 1994, the Pacifica Quartet has swept top awards in the U.S. and abroad, including the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant in 2006, making the Pacifica only the second chamber music ensemble ever to be selected.
The Pacifica Quartet tours extensively throughout the United States, Europe, Asia, and Australia, performing in the world’s major concert halls in cities such as Paris, London, Amsterdam, Vienna, Tokyo, and Perth. Each season the ensemble can be heard on the nation’s most prominent radio broadcasts, such as Chicago’s WFMT, Boston’s WGBH, and American Public Media’s Performance Today and St. Paul Sunday.
During the 2009-2010 Season, the Pacifica Quartet assumed the quartet-in-residence position at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. For the 2010-2011 season the Quartet prepared the monumental Shostakovich cycle, which was performed in Chicago, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Wigmore Hall.
The Quartet takes its name from the awe-inspiring Pacific Ocean. Throughout their journey as a string quartet, its members continually strive to be Distinct as the billows/yet one as the sea. (James Montogmery)
Ness is being honored for 20 years of service to Beth El Temple and to the Greater Hartford community. In addition to his role as the synagogue’s cantor and music director, Ness continues to compose, create and inspire with his work in many genres. His most recently commissioned work debuted at Carnegie Hall in October 2011. His compositions and orchestrations have been performed all over the world by scores of orchestras, ensembles and synagogues including the Brooklyn Philharmonic, the Warsaw Opera Orchestra, the Rhode Island Symphony, the Los Angeles Jewish Symphony, the Manchester Orchestra (England), the American Symphony Orchestra, the Jerusalem Great Synagogue Choir, The Group for Contemporary Music and the Washington Festival Orchestra. Ness’ annual Beth El Music and Arts (BEMA) concert series, featuring major musicians and singers from around the world, is attended by fans from both the Jewish and secular worlds.
The tribute featuring Kallor and the Pacifica Quartet is open to the public. The program begins at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday June 14th followed by a dessert reception. Tickets start at $36. Sponsorships are available, including opportunities for a private dinner reception with a special performance by the Pacifica Quartet and premium reserved event seating. A major portion of this program is underwritten by the Gloria Goldenberg Music & Lecture Series Endowment Fund. For more information, please call 860-233-9696 or log onto www.bethelwesthartford.org.
Beth El Temple is an egalitarian congregation affiliated with the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism. The synagogue strives to create, sustain and strengthen Jewish unity and continuity through personal involvement in meaningful worship, ritual, learning and social action. All are welcome. Located at 2626 Albany Avenue in West Hartford, Beth El is home to worshippers who live in more than a dozen Central Connecticut cities. For more information, please contact Beth El at (860) 233-9696, on the web at www.bethelwesthartford.org or friend us on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/bethelwh.