The Clarion Quartet binds artistic virtuosity with humanitarian purpose in presenting great works that are gradually entering the standard repertoire. The Clarion mission embraces three principles: offering performances for all audiences to hear and appreciate this music; providing educational presentations and master classes for emerging artists in conservatories; and advocating among professional musicians for suppressed works to be included in the canon of chamber music performed today.
The members of the Clarion Quartet, colleagues in the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, have joined together to share their passion for chamber music and their particular interest in exploring Entartete Musik, works that were termed “degenerate” by the Nazis and banned during the years leading up to the Holocaust through the immediate aftermath of the World War II. The highlight of the Quartet’s 2016 debut season was a unique performance during an international tour with the Pittsburgh Symphony. The Clarion Quartet traveled to the former Theresienstadt (Terezín) concentration camp in the present-day Czech Republic, and they performed a program on this site to honor those composers whose creativity was stifled, who suffered abuses ranging from exile to execution. The Quartet seeks to immortalize the victims and their art through empathetic performances of relevant mid-twentieth century masterpieces.
With thanks to an Entrepreneur Grant from the Curtis Institute of Music and a grant from the Fine Foundation, the ensemble is turning its sights to the future with plans for many more performances and an ever-expanding repertoire.