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September In-Studio Recap: the Aizuri Quartet

Members of the Aizuri Quartet in the KPR Live Performance Studio.
Chuck Smith
Kansas Public Radio
Members of the Aizuri Quartet in the KPR Live Performance Studio.

With the arrival of KPR's annual Fall Fanfare Membership Drive in September, Morning Classical's Cordelia Brown aimed to show listeners one of the many ways KPR brings classical music to our community: live, in-studio performances.

Local musicians are often invited to the KPR Live Studio to share their craft with listeners throughout our community, just like the Aizuri Quartet was on September 22.

Praised by The Washington Post for “astounding” and “captivating” performances that draw from its notable “meld of intellect, technique and emotions,” the Aizuri Quartet was named the recipient of the 2022 Cleveland Quartet Award by Chamber Music America, with other honors including the Grand Prize at the 2018 M-Prize Chamber Arts Competition and top prizes at the 2017 Osaka International Chamber Music Competition in Japan and the 2015 Wigmore Hall International String Quartet Competition in London. 

The Quartet’s sophomore album, Earthdrawn Skies, was released in 2023. Featuring music of Hildegard of Bingen, Komitas Vartapet, Eleanor Alberga, and Jean Sibelius, Earthdrawn Skies was praised by NPR Music as an album that “convincingly connects the dots in wildly diverse music stretching over eight centuries…arousing solemn contemplation, cosmic curiosity, folksy delight and introspective scrutiny.” Aizuri’s debut album, Blueprinting, featuring works written for the Quartet by five American composers, was released by New Amsterdam Records to critical acclaim (“In a word, stunning” —I Care If You Listen), nominated for a 2019 GRAMMY Award, and named one of NPR Music’s Best Classical Albums of 2018. 

Biography courtesy of the artists.

Enjoy a closer look at the Aizuri Quartet's performance in the videos below.

Additional content from the KPR Live Performance Studio is available on our YouTube channel.

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