The Escher Quartet has been acclaimed for its profound musical insight and rare tonal beauty. Championed by the Emerson String Quartet, the Escher has toured extensively throughout the US, Europe, Australia, and Asia. From 2010-12, the quartet served as BBC New Generation Artists, and gave debuts at both Wigmore Hall and the BBC Proms. In its home town of New York, the ensemble serves as Artists of The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, where last season they presented a critically acclaimed 3-concert series featuring the quartets of Benjamin Britten. In 2013, the quartet was awarded the prestigious Avery Fischer Career Grant. The current season sees the Escher Quartet's debut at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, as well as at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art in Israel. In addition, the quartet tours the UK with pianist Benjamin Grosvenor, and continues its relationship with Wigmore Hall, returning to collaborate with jazz saxophonist Joshua Redman. The Escher finishes the season with a return to Music@Menlo.
The Escher Quartet has performed at the Cheltenham and City of London festivals, the Auditorium du Louvre in Paris, the 92nd Street Y in New York, the Kennedy Center in Washington DC, and at the Ravinia and Caramoor festivals. Elsewhere, the quartet has toured China and made its Australian debut at the Perth International Arts Festival. Last season, the ensemble returned to Wigmore Hall, and made debuts in Switzerland at the Conservatoire de Musique de Genève and in Austria at the Schloss Esterházy in Eisenstadt. The Escher Quartet has recorded the complete Zemlinsky String Quartets on the Naxos label and released Volume 1 in July 2013; Volume 2 follows in summer 2014. Upcoming releases include the Mendelssohn Quartet cycle for the Swedish label BIS.
Within months of its inception in 2005, the Escher Quartet was invited by both Pinchas Zukerman and Itzhak Perlman to be Quartet in Residence at each artist's summer festival: the Young Artists Programme at Canada’s National Arts Centre and the Perlman Chamber Music Program on Shelter Island, NY. The quartet takes its name from Dutch graphic artist M.C. Escher, inspired by Escher’s method of interplay between individual components working together to form a whole.
Hailed “Queen of the Flute” (New York Magazine) at the outset of her, now, brilliant 40 year career, Carol Wincenc was First-Prize Winner of the Walter W. Naumburg Flute Competition, as well as the Lifetime Achievement Award recipient from the National Flute Association, the Gold Medal for Lifetime Achievement in Music from the National Society of Arts and Letters and numerous other awards. She has appeared as soloist with such ensembles as the Chicago, San Francisco, Pittsburgh, Detroit and London Symphonies, the BBC, Warsaw and Buffalo Philharmonics, as well as the Los Angeles, Stuttgart, and Saint Paul Chamber Orchestras, the latter for which she was Principal and Solo Flute from 1972-77. She has performed at numerous music festivals including Mostly Mozart, Aldeburgh, Budapest, Frankfurt, Santa Fe, Spoleto, Music at Menlo, Aspen, Yale/Norfolk, Sarasota, Banff and Marlboro. The muse of today’s most prominent composers, Ms. Wincenc has premiered numerous works written for her by Christopher Rouse, Henryk Gorecki, Lukas Foss, Jake Heggie, Paul Schoenfeld, Tod Machover (recently deemed Composer of the Year by Musical America), Yuko Uebayashi, Jennifer Higdon and Joan Tower.
In great demand as a chamber musician, Ms. Wincenc has collaborated with the Emerson, Tokyo, Guarneri, Juilliard and Escher string quartets, and performed with Jessye Norman, Emanuel Ax and Yo-Yo Ma. Commanding a richly varied and extensive performing and teaching schedule, this season, most recently, she performed in Prague (whilst judging the renowned Prague Spring Flute Competition), Venice, Chicago, Boston, Washington, DC, made an all-Uebayashi recording with the award-winning Escher String Quartet, and tours with her Trio Les Amies, which she founded with New York Philharmonic principal players, Nancy Allen, harpist, and Cynthia Phelps, violist; as well as with the New York Woodwind Quintet.
A Grammy nominee, she has recorded for Nonesuch, London/Decca, Deutsche Grammophon, Telarc (Diapason D’Or Award), Music Masters (Recording of Special Merit with Andras Schiff) and Naxos (Grammophone magazine “Pick of the Month with the Buffalo Philharmonic). Ms. Wincenc created and directed a series of International Flute Festivals at the Ordway Theater in St. Paul, Minnesota, featuring such diverse artists as Jean-Pierre Rampal, Herbie Mann, Steven Kujala, and the American Indian flutist, R. Carlos Nakai. She is a member of the New York Woodwind Quintet and a founding member of her trio, Les Amies. Ms. Wincenc is currently on the faculties of The Juilliard School and Stony Brook University having mentored and graduated countless rising, flute stars commanding Principal Flute positions in major symphony orchestras and university professorships. She is renowned for her popular series of etudes and flute classics, many of which Bryan Wagorn is co-editor, the “Carol Wincenc 21st Century Flute” published by Lauren Keiser/Hal Leonard Music Publishers. Carol Wincenc is a long-time resident of New York City, where she resides with her musician/ model son, Nicola Wincenc. She is a native of Buffalo, NY and was raised in a deeply active, loving, musical family, along with her two older sisters, Jane and Linda, and under the mentorship of her father and symphony conductor, Dr. Joseph Wincenc, and her pianist mother, Margaret Wincenc.
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