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The Arditti Quartet enjoys a world-wide reputation for their spirited and technically refined interpretations of contemporary and earlier 20th century music. Several hundred string quartets and other chamber works have been written for the ensemble since its foundation by first violinist Irvine Arditti in 1974. These works have left a permanent mark on 20th century repertoire and have given the Arditti Quartet a firm place in music history. World premieres of quartets by composers such as Ades, Andriessen, Aperghis, Bertrand, Birtwistle, Britten, Cage, Carter, Denisov, Dillon, Dufourt, Dusapin, Fedele, Ferneyhough, Francesconi, Gubaidulina, Guerrero, Harvey, Hosokawa, Kagel, Kurtag, Lachenmann, Ligeti, Maderna, Nancarrow, Reynolds, Rihm, Scelsi, Sciarrino, Stockhausen and Xenakis and hundreds more show the wide range of music in the Arditti Quartet’s repertoire.
The ensemble believes that close collaboration with composers is vital to the process of interpreting modern music and therefore attempts to work with every composer it plays. The players’ commitment to educational work is indicated by their masterclasses and workshops for young performers and composers all over the world. From 1982 to 1996 the quartet’s members were resident string tutors at the Darmstadt Summer Courses for New Music.
The Arditti Quartet’s extensive discography now features over 160 CDs. 42 discs have been released as part of the ensemble’s series on the French label Naïve Montaigne. The series presents numerous contemporary composer features as well as the first digital recordings of the complete Second Viennese School’s string quartet music. Stockhausen’s infamous Helicopter Quartet is to be found here. As well as many composer portraits recorded in their presence, the complete quartets of Luciano Berio were recorded shortly before his death. Latest releases include Donaueschingen 2006, Lachenmann, Moe, Nancarrow, Paredes and Spahlinger.
Over the past 30 years, the ensemble has received many prizes for its work. They have won the Deutsche Schallplatten Preis several times and the Gramophone Award for the best recording of contemporary music in 1999 (Elliott Carter) and 2002 (Harrison Birtwistle). The prestigious Ernst von Siemens Music Prize was awarded to them in 1999 for ‘lifetime achievement’ in music.
Uri Caine was born in Philadelphia and began studying piano with Bernard Peiffer. He played in bands led by Philly Joe Jones, Hank Mobley, Johnny Coles, Mickey Roker, Odean Pope, Jymmie Merritt, Bootsie Barnes and Grover Washington. He attended the University of Pennsylvania and studied music composition with George Rochberg and George Crumb.
Since moving to New York City Caine has recorded 19 cds as a leader. His most recent is The Othello Syndrome (Winter and Winter 2008) He has made cd's featurning his jazz trio, his Bedrock Trio and the ensemble performing arrangements of Mahler, Wagner, Beethoven, Bach and Schumann.
Recently Caine has received commissions from the Vienna Volksoper, The Seattle Chamber Players, Relache, The Beaux Arts Trio, the Basel Chamber Orchestra, Concerto Koln and the American Composers Orchestra. Caine was the Director of the Venice Biennale for Music in September 2003, where he also premiered his new work "The Othello Syndrome". He has performed his version of the Diabelli Variations with orchestras including the Cleveland Orchestra, the Moscow Chamber Orchestra, the CBC Orchestra in Candada and the Swedish Chamber Orchestra. In 2006 he was named composer in residence for the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and premiered his Concerto for Two Pianos and Chamber Orchestra with Jeffrey Kahane in May 2006.
During the past several years, Caine has worked in groups led by Don Byron, Dave Douglas, John Zorn, Terry Gibbs and Buddy DeFranco, Clark Terry, Rashid Ali, Arto Lindsay, Sam Rivers and Barry Altschul, the Woody Herman Band, Annie Ross, the Enja Band, Global Theory and the Master Musicians of Jajouka. He has received grants from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts , the National Endowment for the Arts and the Pew Foundation. He has performed at many jazz festivals including The North Sea Jazz Festival, Montreal Jazz Festival. Monterey Jazz Festival, JVC Festival, San Sebastian Jazz Festival, Vittoria Jazz Festival, Newport Jazz Festival, as well as classical festivals including The Salzburg Festival, Munich Opera, Holland Festival, Israel Festival, IRCAM, and Great Performers at Lincoln Center.
More information here.