The Quatuor Saguenay formerly the Alcan Quartet), has developed a reputation for excellence throughout Canada and internationally since its formation over twenty years ago. The quartets originality, contagious enthusiasm, unique sonority, and remarkable cohesion have all contributed to its long term success. Critics agree that, both on stage and in the recording studio, the Quatuor Saguenay possesses the qualities that characterize the best ensembles of its kind: a recognizable personality, a homogeneous sound, and elegant style
The ensemble’s list of accomplishments is impressive: close to 1000 concerts; over 100 live radio broadcasts (Radio Canada, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, National Public Radio in the USA, and Radio France); numerous television appearances; tours throughout North America, Europe, Asia; and a number of commissioned pieces and first performances.
The quartet’s discography includes major works from the string quartet repertoire including Haydn, Mozart, Schubert, Dvorak, Debussy, Borodin, and others. These recordings have received adulatory reviews in the United States, Canada, and Europe. The quartet won the “Prix Opus, recording of the year” for its CD of Schubert Quartets.
Applauded by The Washington Post as “a perfect encapsulation of today’s trends in chamber music,” and by The New Yorker as “independent-minded,” PUBLIQuartet’s modern interpretation of chamber music makes them one of the most dynamic artists of their generation. Dedicated to presenting new works for string quartet, PUBLIQuartet rose on the music scene as winner of the 2013 Concert Artists Guild’s New Music/New Places award, and in 2019 garnered Chamber Music America’s prestigious Visionary Award for outstanding and innovative approaches to contemporary classical, jazz, and world chamber music. PQ’s genre-bending programs range from 20th century masterworks to newly commissioned pieces, alongside reimaginations of classical works featuring open-form improvisations that expand the techniques and aesthetic of the traditional string quartet.
PUBLIQuartet has served as artist-in-residence at top institutions including the Metropolitan Museum of Art and National Sawdust and has appeared at a wide variety of venues and festivals, from Carnegie Hall and the Newport Jazz Festival to The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. Their latest album, Freedom and Faith, debuted atop the Billboard Classical Crossover Chart in May 2019. The 2019-2020 season brings a diverse array of programs to venues across the United States, including a special collaborative project with jazz violinist Diane Monroe.
PUBLIQuartet’s commitment to supporting emerging composers inspired their innovative program, PUBLIQ Access, which promotes emerging composers and presents a wide variety of under-represented music for string quartet--from classical, jazz and electronic, to non-notated, world and improvised music. Other unique projects include MIND|THE|GAP, a series of group-composed works developed by PQ to generate interest in new music while also engaging traditional classical music audiences. These unique creations range from Bird in Paris (Claude Debussy meets Charlie Parker) to more recent extended works including What Is American? (an exploration of Dvorak’s beloved “American” String Quartet) and Sancta Femina (based on themes by three medieval and baroque female composers).
Veterans of orchestral and chamber music performance and members of Port Milford's core Artist Faculty, the Port Milford Ensemble (Marie Berard, Rohan Gregory, Angela Rudden and Paul Widner) come together each summer to coach young musicians and to perform in concert with technical distinction and a sensitive rapport.
Praised for their "emotional investment" and "decisive" interpretations (Toronto Star) and "intense" and "hot-blooded" performances (Globe and Mail), the Tokai Quartet is one of Canada's leading string quartets. In September 2007, the quartet became prizewinners at the Banff International String Quartet Competition, the first Canadian group to do so since 1992. The vibrancy that this exciting young ensemble brings to their performances is gaining them enthusiastic audiences across Canada, and has earned the Tokai Quartet a growing demand for performances at concert series across the country.