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Microcosmos was formed in Vancouver in the spring of 2010 to perform the rich repertoire of string quartets written in the past 100 years. The quartet takes advantage of the compactness and portability of a string quartet to present some of the greatest music of the 20th and 21st centuries in intimate spaces and sometimes unusual venues such as private homes, clubs, small halls, public and commercial buildings, for an audience that can experience the music close at hand. The six quartets of Belá Bartók form the core of the quartet’s repertoire, with one of his quartets on each program, complemented by important related works, including those by Canadian composers.

Recent highlights include a performance of Benjamin Britten’s three quartets, celebrating his centennial in 2013, for Music on Main’s lauded ‘Cellar’ series, the premiere of eleven works for quartet as ensemble-in-residence for Vancouver Pro Musica’s ‘Further’ Series in February 2015, and ‘Speaking in Ligeti’, an interdisciplinary collaboration with MMHop Productions that has toured to Halifax for ScotiaFest (2015) and at the Canada Dance Festival in Ottawa (2016). In September 2015 Microcosmos launched the Kessler Academy, an exciting new educational initiative featuring a conductor-less orchestra mentorship program led by the quartet members

In this recital, Microcosmos will perform two great string quartets from the past century, both based on earlier forms. Bartók’s Second Quartet was his first significant foray into using folk idioms in his music. Britten’s work paid homage to his 17th century predecessor Henry Purcell by including a Chacony (Chaconne) as the giant final movement.



Marc Destrubé – violin
Andrea Siradze – violin
Tawnya Popoff – viola
Rebecca Wenham – cello


Recital Program

Béla Bartok String Quartet No. 2 (1918)
– Moderato – Allegro molto capriccioso – Lento
Benjamin Britten String Quartet No. 2 (1945)
– Allegro calmo, senza rigore – Vivace – Chacony: sostenuto


* All concerts will run approximately 90 minutes.