Like the mythological figure from which it draws its name, the half piano/half percussion icarus Quartet dares to fly towards the sun, aspiring to new heights of artistry. Following their Carnegie Hall debut, composer Paul Lansky simply remarked, “This is music making of the highest order.”
Winner of the 2019 Chamber Music Yellow Springs Competition and laureate of the 2017-18 American Prize, icarus has given new life to old masterpieces as well as the future of their instrumentation. What started as a graduate school project that Yale composition chair Martin Bresnick regarded as “one of the best student performances of any work I have ever heard, with great energy, sensitivity, and precision” has now toured professionally throughout the United States. Highlights include performances at the New Music Gathering, the Queens New Music Festival, Music in the Valley, the Horowitz Piano Series, and two performances at Music at St. David's in Baltimore as their 2017-18 Ensemble-in-Residence.
Their 2020-21 concert season includes performances at Princeton Sound Kitchen, Music at the Forefront, Delaware County Community College’s New Music Concert Series, the University of Cincinnati's College-Conservatory of Music, Florida State University, the University of Florida, Community Concerts at 2nd, and more. Fostering the development of new works through commissioning and collaborating with composers is at the core of the iQ mission, and this season will see the culmination of some of these endeavors with world premieres by Liliya Ugay, Natalie Dietterich, David Crowell, Douglas Knehans, and Ruby Fulton. icarus’ season activities additionally include world premieres of works by the two winners of the inaugural iQ Tests, a program that incites collaboration and furthers the careers of gifted student composers. The Quartet will further serve as the first ever ensemble to hold the Klingler Electroacoustic Residency at Bowling Green State University.
Passionate about educating and engaging with the next generation of musicians, iQ often works in school and university settings. They have given classes and coachings on chamber music, as well as composition seminars on writing for their instruments at institutions including the Peabody Conservatory, the University of Massachusetts Amherst, Bridgeport University, Yale College, and Wright State University, in addition to presentations for grade school and Pre-K students.
Larry Weng, Yevgeny Yontov, Matt Keown, and Jeff Stern are all celebrated soloists in their own rights, and together they have found a special chemistry and inimitable joy playing chamber music. They are dedicated to the discovery, creation, and performance of new music, but what distinguishes their approach to contemporary music is a strong training and background in the classical genre. icarus Quartet is committed to performing new works with a studied and convincing interpretation that mirrors the validity of works with performance practices developed over centuries.