UC taps French quartet as ensemble-in-residence

Wed Jan 08, 2020 at 10:47 am

By Lawrence A. Johnson

Quatuor Diotima will make its University of Chicago debut in the 2020-21 season. Photo: François Rousseau

The University of Chicago is putting the classical band back together.

Quatuor Diotima has been named UC’s new Don Michael Randel ensemble in residence for the 2020-21 season. The French string quartet, formed in 1996 by graduates of the Paris National Conservatory, specializes in 20th- and 21st-century repertoire. The quartet will make its local debut this fall and perform an unspecified number of concerts in the University of Chicago Presents series as well as appearances under other UC auspices.

In addition to Beethoven and Schubert, Quatuor Diotima has earned praise for their recordings of Bartók’s complete quartets as well as music of the second Viennese School. They have commissioned and performed music from a wide swathe of contemporary composers including  Miroslav Srnka, Alberto Posadas, Mauro Lanza, Gérard Pesson, Rebecca Saunders and Tristan Murail.

The Quatuor Diotima appointment marks the first fully classical ensemble-in-residence at UC since the Pacifica Quartet’s departure in 2016 after 17 years. Recent seasons saw a succession of crossover and/or pop-centered groups in the post: the Imani Winds, Sweet Honey in the Rock and the current ensemble-in-residence, Plena Libre.

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