The New York Times calls the Parker Quartet “something extraordinary.” The Boston Globe hails their “fiercely committed performances.” The Washington Postdeclares them “a quartet that deserves close attention.” Just threemonths after winning the 2005 Concert Artists Guild Competition, theQuartet captured First Prize and the Mozart Prize at the BordeauxInternational String Quartet Competition, sparking internationalacclaim.

The Parker Quartet’s 2007-2008 season included debut performances atthe Mostly Mozart and Caramoor Festivals and at the Library of Congressin Washington, DC (on a program with the Borromeo String Quartet).Other highlights included engagements with the Chamber Music Society ofLittle Rock, the Rockport Chamber Music Society, the PhilharmonicSociety of Orange County, Music in the Park in St. Paul, and ShriverHall in Baltimore. The group also toured Europe in connection withtheir victory at the Bordeaux Competition, with concerts in South Koreaat the Tongyeong Festival in spring 2008.

Equally at home in a celebrated concert hall or a downtown club, theParker Quartet embraces opportunities to bring their performances tonew audiences in non-traditional venues. The ensemble challengeartificial boundaries by performing in bars and clubs nationwide,garnering media attention with features in Time Out NY, The Boston Globe, Chamber Music Magazine and Musical the Fall of 2007, the group became the first ever String Quartet inResidence at Barbes Bar and Performance Space in Brooklyn. As part ofthis residency, the Parker Quartet perform a series of collaborativeconcerts with artists of various genres including Jazz, Folk and WorldMusic.

The Parker Quartet’s 2007 debut CD (Zig Zag), featuring Bartok’sString Quartets Nos. 2 and 5, received high praise: “The Parkers’Bartok spins the illusion of spontaneous improvisation…they haveabsorbed the language; they have the confidence to play freely with themusic and the instinct to bring it off” (Gramophone). Theensemble’s upcoming release, on the Naxos label, is the complete stringquartets of the late György Ligeti, due out in 2008-2009; followed byan album of Haydn quartets for Zig Zag.

Recent highlights include concerts at Lincoln Center’s GreatPerformers Series, the Wolf Trap Discovery Series, Ravinia’s RisingStars Series, Jordan Hall and Gardner Museum in Boston, the CerritosCenter, Clark Memorial Library at UCLA, the Phillips Collection, MerkinConcert Hall, and Schneider Concerts. The Quartet has also performed atSymphony Space as part of Concert Artists Guild’s New Works Series and at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall on Concert Artists Guild’s Winners Series.

Dedicated to passing on the great chamber music tradition, theParker Quartet spends a great deal of time each year working with youngmusicians through educational residency activities. The group served asthe Ernst Stiefel String Quartet-in-Residence of the Caramoor Center,which featured a three-week long educational residency, culminating inperformances at the Caramoor. They were also the ensemble-in-residenceat the Yellow Barn Music School and Festival. Beginning in September2008, the group will become one of the first Quartets-in-Residence withthe Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra.

The Parker Quartet’s members hold graduate degrees in performanceand chamber music from the New England Conservatory of Music and werepart of the NEC’s prestigious Professional String Quartet TrainingProgram. The Quartet was founded there and in 2002 and 2003 held thepost of NEC’s Honors Ensemble.

When asked the origin of the ensemble name, Kee-Hyun Kim explains:

“We are named after the Omni Parker House, in Boston. We all camefrom different places (Dan from L.A., Karen from Wisconsin, Jess fromHouston and myself from Seoul, Korea) [and] when we first met it seemedfitting to choose a name that was such a landmark of Boston. The ParkerHouse is not only the oldest Hotel in Boston, it is the longest-runninghotel in the U.S., and was made a landmark in 1855. It’s also the hometo the creation of the Boston cream pie and Parker house rolls.Literary greats used to assemble here, including Hawthorne, Longfellowand Emerson.”

This biography was most recently edited by...
orikook - 12 Nov 2009
pacastillo - 12 Nov 2009