The Grammy Award-winning ensemble returns to the university in its second appointment as the Don Michael Randel ensemble-in-residence

Pacifica Quartet 4_credit Lisa-Marie Mazzucco

Pacifica Quartet © Lisa-Marie Mazzucco

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The Pacifica Quartet returns to the University of Chicago for a second appointment as the Don Michael Randel (DMR) Ensemble-in-Residence. The 2023-24 residency celebrates ten years since the quartet was named the first-ever DMR Ensemble in 2013. 

The quartet, comprising violinists Simin Ganatra and Austin Hartman, violist Mark Holloway and cellist Brandon Vamos, will visit the University three times for weeklong residencies during the University’s autumn, winter, and spring academic quarters. The ensemble will present three public concerts while in residence, along with participating in interdisciplinary panels and discussions, visiting music classes, leading workshops with Department of Music ensembles, and engaging with school and community music programmes in the city. 

The Pacifica Quartet has achieved international recognition during its career spanning three decades, striving for virtuosity, exuberant performance style, and often daring repertory choices. Having served as quartet-in-residence at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music for the past decade, the quartet also leads the Center for Advanced Quartet Studies at the Aspen Music Festival and School and was previously the quartet-in-residence at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. 

The Randel residency was established with a gift from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to honour its departing president and noted musicologist, Don Michael Randel, who served as the 12th president of the University of Chicago and is an emeritus faculty member in the Department of Music. The funding supports an acclaimed musical ensemble for up to three years, providing a permanent home for world-class musicians to engage with the University and Hyde Park communities.

The Pacifica Quartet, the resident ensemble in the Department of Music for 17 years, was the first to hold the appointment as Don Michael Randel ensemble-in-residence beginning in 2013. Subsequent ensembles in residence have been Imani Winds (2016-2018), Sweet Honey In The Rock (2018-19), Plena Libre (2019-20), Quatuor Diotima (2021-22), and Amjad Ali Khan and Ensemble (2022-23).

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