Pro Arte Quartet
Current PAQ members, together since 1995, are David Perry and Suzanne Beia, violin; Sally Chisholm, viola; and Parry Karp, cello. Together, they have recorded works of Mendelssohn, Dvořák, Rhodes, Shapey, Sessions, Fennelly, Diesendruck, and the centennial commissions.
“One of the greatest quartets of our time.”
San Francisco Chronicle
The Pro Arte Quartet (PAQ) is one of the world’s most distinguished string quartets. Founded by conservatory students in Brussels in 1912, it became one of the most celebrated ensembles in Europe in the first half of the twentieth century and was named Court Quartet to the Queen of Belgium. Its world reputation blossomed in 1919 when the quartet began the first of many tours that enticed notable composers such as Milhaud, Honegger, Martin, and Casella to write new works for the ensemble. In addition, Bartók dedicated his fourth quartet to the PAQ (1927), and in 1936 PAQ premiered Barber’s Op. 11 quartet, with the now-famous “Adagio for Strings” as its slow movement.
“A first-rate quartet . . . wonderfully personal, intense music performed with real devotion and accomplishment.” New York Times
The Pro Arte made its New York debut in 1926 and toured the United States frequently under the auspices of Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge. The quartet was performing in Madison, Wisconsin in May 1940 when Nazi forces invaded Belgium. The University of Wisconsin responded to the emergency by offering the quartet a permanent campus home, the first such arrangement at a major American university. The UW Pro Arte residency became a model of artist residencies that is now widely emulated throughout the country.
“A high-spirited group unafraid to wear their hearts on their sleeves […] The group’s remarkable execution was topped only by its intensity.” Washington Post
As the first and only quartet ever to reach its centennial anniversary (2012), the Pro Arte’s 100th birthday was the occasion for a grand multi-year celebration. At its center was the commission of six new works by some of today’s most important composers: William Bolcom, Paul Schoenfield, John Harbison, Walter Mays, and Pierre Jalbert (United States), along with Benoît Mernier from Belgium. Other initiatives included a lecture series, museum exhibits, recordings on the Albany label, a video documentary broadcast on Wisconsin Public Television and available on DVD, a concert tour to Belgium, and an upcoming book on the storied history of this illustrious quartet.
“The four players sound as if they were born to perform together; they do honor to the name they have inherited.”
The Pro Arte Quartet performs throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia and continues to champion equally both standard repertoire and new music. The group is an ensemble in residence at the UW-Madison School of Music and resident quartet of the Chazen Museum of Art, performing regularly on the concert series of both institutions. The quartet has performed at the White House and, during the centennial celebration, played for the King’s Counselor in Belgium. Recent projects include the complete quartets of Bartók and Shostakovich and, in collaboration with the Orion and Emerson String Quartets, the complete quartets of Beethoven. Regular chamber music collaborators that perform with Pro Arte include Samuel Rhodes, viola; Bonnie Hampton, cello; and Leon Fleischer and Christopher Taylor, piano.
Please contact Music Engagement and Outreach regarding booking inquiries for concerts, clinics, and masterclasses.
Wingra Wind Quintet
Current members of Wingra Wind Quintet are Conor Nelson, flute; Lindsay Flowers, oboe; Alicia Lee, clarinet; Marc Vallon, bassoon; and Devin Cobleigh-Morrison, horn.
Since its formation in 1965, the Wingra Wind Quintet at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Mead Witter School of Music has established a tradition of artistic and teaching excellence. The ensemble has been featured in performance at national conferences such as MENC (Miami), MTNA (Kansas City), and the International Double Reed Society (Minneapolis). The quintet also presented an invitational concert on the prestigious Dame Myra Hess series at the Chicago Public Library, broadcast live on WFMT. In addition to its extensive home state touring, the quintet has been invited to perform at numerous college campuses, including the universities of Alaska-Fairbanks, Northwestern, Chicago, Nebraska, Western Michigan, Florida State, Cornell, the Interlochen Arts Academy, and the Paris Conservatoire, where quintet members offered master classes.
The Wingra Wind Quintet has recorded for Golden Crest, Spectrum, and the UW-Madison Mead Witter School of Music recording series and is featured on an educational video entitled Developing Woodwind Ensembles. Always on the lookout for new music of merit, Wingra has premiered new works of Hilmar Luckhardt, Vern Reynolds, Alec Wilder, Edith Boroff, James Christensen, and David Ott. The group recently gave the Midwest regional premiere of William Bolcom’s Five Fold Five, a sextet for woodwind quintet and piano, with pianist Christopher Taylor. New York Times critic Peter Davis, in reviewing the ensemble’s Carnegie Hall appearance, stated “The performances were consistently sophisticated, sensitive, and thoroughly vital.”
The Wingra Wind Quintet is one of three faculty chamber ensembles in-residence at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Mead Witter School of Music. Deeply committed to the spirit of the Wisconsin Idea, the group travels widely to offer its concerts and educational services to students and the public in all corners of the state.
Contact Music Engagement and Outreach regarding booking inquiries for concerts, clinics, and masterclasses.
Wisconsin Brass Quintet
Current members of the Wisconsin Brass Quintet are Jean Laurenz and Gilson Silva, trumpets; Daniel Grabois, horn; Mark Hetzler, trombone; and Tom Curry, tuba.
Regarded as one of the “superb brass ensembles in the USA” (Musicweb International) and praised for “remarkable musicianship and versatility” (International Trumpet Guild Journal), the widely acclaimed Wisconsin Brass Quintet (WBQ) has maintained a position at the forefront of brass chamber music since the group’s founding in 1972. In addition to its regular concert series on the campus of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the Quintet performs extensively throughout the Midwest and nationally, including appearances in New York at Weill Recital Hall and Merkin Concert Hall. Its players have been members of the American Brass Quintet, Empire Brass Quintet, and Meridian Arts Ensemble.
The WBQ’s commitment to commissioning and performing new music has attracted the attention of many renowned composers, including Verne Reynolds, Jan Bach, Karel Husa, John Harbison, and Daron Hagen. The Quintet’s premiere recordings of works by these composers and others can be found on the Summit, Mark, and Crystal record labels. American Record Guide reviewer Barry Kilpatrick writes: “The WBQ is a remarkable ensemble that plays with more reckless abandon, warmth, stylistic variety and interpretive interest than almost any quintet in memory.”
In demand for its engaging educational programs and master classes, the WBQ has presented clinics and residencies at such prestigious institutions as The Juilliard School, the Yale School of Music, the University of Michigan and Northwestern University. Since 2014, the WBQ has hosted Brass Fest, an annual festival featuring concerts, master classes, and seminars held at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Guest artists have included the Western Brass Quintet, Axiom Brass Quintet, tubist Øystein Baadsvik, trumpeter Adam Rapa, and composer Anthony Plog. Click here to view photographs from our first festival!
The Wisconsin Brass Quintet, with a graduate student on second trumpet, is one of three faculty chamber ensembles in-residence at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Music. Deeply committed to the spirit of the Wisconsin Idea, the group travels widely to offer its concerts and educational services to students and the public in all corners of the state.
To book the WBQ for concerts, clinics and master classes, please contact Music Engagement and Outreach.