CECILY WARD – violin
TOM STONE – violin
ETHAN FILNER – viola
JENNIFER KLOETZEL – cello
JEAN-MICHEL FONTENEAU – cello
JAMES DUNHAM – viola
Known for its elegant performances, the Cypress String Quartet has been praised by Gramophone for its “artistry of uncommon insight and cohesion,” and its sound has been called “beautifully proportioned and powerful” by The Washington Post. The Cypress Quartet was formed in San Francisco in 1996, and maintains a busy national and international tour schedule, making appearances on concert series and in venues including Cal Performances, Kennedy Center, Library of Congress, Stanford Lively Arts, Krannert Center, Ravinia Festival, and the 92nd Street Y’s series at SubCulture in downtown New York. Their collaborators include artists such as Leon Fleisher, Jon Nakamatsu, Awadagin Pratt, Gary Hoffman, Atar Arad, James Dunham, and Zuill Bailey.
In addition to their touring schedule, CSQ has added several new recordings to its extensive discography in recent years, including the complete Beethoven Late Quartets and an all-Dvořák album. In May 2014, the Cypress released a recording of Schubert’s String Quintet D956 with cellist Gary Hoffman paired with Schubert’s Quartettsatz D703.
The Cypress Quartet members received degrees from many of the world’s finest conservatories before coming together as a quartet. These include The Juilliard School, Guildhall School of Music & Drama and the Royal College of Music (London), The Cleveland Institute of Music, the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and Indiana University. After a residency at the Banff Centre and a fellowship at the Center for Advanced Quartet Studies of the Aspen Music Festival, the Quartet coached intensively in London with the Amadeus Quartet. CSQ play exceptional instruments including violins by Antonio Stradivari (1681) and Carlos Bergonzi (1733), a viola by Vittorio Bellarosa (1947), and a cello by Hieronymus Amati II (1701).
APPEARING WITH THE CYPRESS
In the opening concert of our 2015-2016 season, the Cypress Quartet appears with violist James Dunham and cellist Jean-Michel Fonteneau – performing works by Glazunov, Schoenberg, and Brahms.
A founding member of the award-winning Ravel String Quartet, cellist Jean-Michel Fonteneau appears frequently with artists such as Leon Fleisher, Menahem Pressler, Gilbert Kalish, Claude Frank, Peter Frankl, Kim Kashkashian, and members of the Amadeus, Juilliard, Fine Arts, and Pro Arte Quartets. He served on the faculty of the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique in Lyon, France until 1999, when he moved to the U.S. to join the faculty of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. He is cellist with the San Francisco Piano Trio.
Violist James Dunhams’s rich background includes having been founding member of the Naumburg Award winning Sequoia String Quartet and subsequently violist of the Grammy Award winning Cleveland Quartet. An impassioned advocate of new music, he has premiered and recorded many works written for him, and his recording of Judith Shatin’s “Glyph” for solo viola and piano quintet was recently released. Fanfare Magazine (July/August 2014) praised the work as “reverent…beautifully, skillfully written” and “the playing here by soloist James Dunham is stunning: resonant and vital.” Mr. Dunham recently joined the members of the Diotima String Quartet of France for the premiere of a viola quintet by composer Richard Lavenda. In addition to guest appearances, Mr. Dunham is violist of the Axelrod String Quartet, in residence at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C.
Notes courtesy of the musicians.